LOUISVILLE, Ky. – As 64 teams prepare for the postseason, Oklahoma continues its move up, Auburn returns to the top-five and Utah joins the poll for the first time, while Florida remains No. 1 in the final USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Coaches Poll of the regular season. With the NCAA Championship field set, the final poll will be announced after the Women’s College World Series concludes.
The Gators (53-5) enter the 2016 postseason as the No. 1 overall seed and are looking for their third straight national championship, a feat only accomplished by UCLA (1988-90). They received 30 first-place votes and 798 points. Florida’s regular season was ended in the semifinals of the SEC tournament. After defeating Ole Miss, 1-0 in the quarterfinals, the Gators were edged by eventual champion Auburn, 2-1.
Michigan remained at No. 2 with 758 points and is the NCAA Championship No. 2 overall seed. In the Big Ten Championship game, the Wolverines (46-5) were edged, 4-3, by then No. 23 Minnesota in a 10-inning thriller. Michigan picked up two wins over Indiana (10-0) and host Penn State (6-1) to reach the title game.
After taking both games from Oklahoma State (8-0, 5-2) in Bedlam, Oklahoma wrapped up the regular season with a program-best 17-1 Big 12 record and jumped up two more spots to No. 3. The Sooners (47-7) ride into the NCAA Championships on a 22-game winning streak and will be the NCAA’s No. 3 seed.
Regular season Pac-12 champions, Oregon, slipped to No. 4 after taking two-of-three in its home finale against then-RV Utah (5-1, 2-3, 3-2). The Ducks (44-8) enter the postseason as the No. 5 seed.
SEC tournament champion Auburn, who received the other two first-place votes, returns to the top-five after dropping out two weeks ago. The Tigers (49-9) dispatched of then No. 4 Alabama (6-4), No. 1 Florida (2-1) and then-No. 12 LSU (7-1) to claim their second straight tournament title and the NCAA tournament’s fourth seed.
Alabama fell two positions after being defeated in the quarterfinals of the SEC tournament by eventual champion, then-No. 8 Auburn (4-6). The Crimson Tide (46-12) will be the No. 6 seed and host a NCAA Regional.
Florida State and James Madison dropped one spot each despite claiming conference tournament titles. The seventh-ranked Seminoles (47-8) earned their third consecutive ACC championship and the NCAA’s No. 8 seed after it cruised through the tournament with victories over Pitt (8-0), North Carolina (7-1) and then-No. 20 Notre Dame (7-3). The NCAA’s No. 7 seed Dukes (46-4) also ran through their respective tournament, claiming the Colonial Athletic Association crown, defeating Delaware (2-0) and run-ruling Towson twice (14-2, 8-0).
Rounding out the top-10 in Sun Belt champion Louisiana-Lafayette and SEC runner-up LSU. The Ragin’ Cajuns (43-7) claimed their 13th tournament title and 18th straight trip to the NCAA tournament. ULL topped Georgia State (13-1) and Texas State twice (9-7, 12-0) and earned the No. 14 overall seed for the NCAA tournament. The NCAA’s 10th seed, LSU (45-15) posted three tightly-contest wins over then-No. 16 Texas A&M (5-4), then-No. 11 Kentucky (3-1) and then-No. 10 Tennessee (3-1 in 8 inn.) to reach the SEC title game.
No. 25 Utah is ranked for the first time since the 2001 preseason poll and was 20th in the final 2000 regular season poll. The Utes (32-19) closed out the season dropping two-out-of-three at then-No. 3 Oregon earning a 3-2 win in game two and falling 3-2 in the finale.
The USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Poll is voted on by 32 NCAA Division I head coaches, one representing each conference. Records reflect games played through May 15, 2016.
2016 USA Today/NFCA Division I Softball Coaches Poll
Week 14 | May 17, 2016 (Results through 5/15)
|Rank||Team||Totals||2016 Record||Last Poll|
Dropped Out: No. 25 UCF
New to Poll: No. 25 Utah
Receiving Votes: UCF (13), Cal State Fullerton (7), Oregon State (2), Texas (2), Tulsa (1).
The USA Today/NFCA Division I Softball Coaches Poll is voted on by 32 NCAA Division I head coaches, one representing each conference.