STARKVILLE, Miss. – After winning its second national title in four years last week, 2011 national champions Arizona State claimed the top spot in the final USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 poll of the 2011 season, the Association announced on Tuesday.
The Sun Devils claimed all 30 first-place votes in the poll to top the rankings for the fifth straight edition and the sixth time this season. National runner-up Florida (56-13) finished second in the poll, while national-semifinalist Alabama (53-11) finished third. The other national semi-finalist Baylor (47-15) came in at fourth with California (45-13) rounding out the top five in fifth.
Of the 25 teams that began the season ranked in the preseason poll, 18 of them went wire to wire in 2011 and never left the rankings.
Three teams surged into the final rankings on the strength of great performances in the NCAA tournament, while at the same time forcing three other teams out of the rankings. Houston (44-18) checked in at No. 16 after coming up one run short of advancing to the Women’s College World Series, while regional finalists DePaul (40-15) and Tulsa (46-15) also joined the fray in a tie for 24th.
Despite qualifying for the NCAA tournament, Georgia Tech (45-12), Auburn (40-19) and Notre Dame (46-11) all made an exit from the rankings in the final edition after each made an early exit from the 64-team field.