Red's call to win 'em all
ASC -- We'll start this year's list off with a little controversy. Texas Lutheran is the preseason No. 1 in the land according to the voters. I'm not even going to call them No. 1 in their conference. That honor goes to Hardin-Simmons. How's that for bulletin board material?
Capital -- Goucher with the edge in a league where nobody starts with a team rating over 500. Not your national champion's conference this year.
Centennial -- The fans are restless in Collegeville. After seven undefeated seasons in conference play, Ursinus has floundered to a 29-3 record over the last two years. What lies in store for the preseason No. 9 team in the land? We'll start with a conference title.
CUNY -- Medgar Evers fans endured 40+ seasons of blah, but have had increasingly more to cheer about in the past decade. This season, they're the CUNY favorite and jana23 will be looking for a possible postseason in Brooklyn.
CCIW -- At Northland, raucous is hoping his streak of two consecutive undefeated league seasons can continue. On the other hand, he's hoping the five straight years of one-and-done postseasons can come to a screetching halt. The threat to the former is Illinois Wesleyan, which Sim has assembled into a nice team.
Coast -- Wentworth Tech is, as always, the favorite here until someone steps up to dethrone chewchad. This won't be that season.
Commonwealth -- As I do every year, I looked at Susquehanna. Then I looked at Penn St. Altoona. Then I flipped a coin. It came up heads -- Susquehanna is the favorite.
Empire -- Vassar. Big cliff. Everyone else.
Freedom -- Aptly named coach pork_melon led Carnegie Mellon to 24 wins in his first season there. That sounds like a good call to make for league champ this year.
GNE -- You don't hear much talk about the old Evil Empire these days with all that celebration over in the University. Some have even suggested the GNE is no longer the second-best conference in the world. That said, Johnson and Wales remains an elite Rupp team and the favorite heading into the year.
Heartland -- Transylvania seems to be heading in the right direction under tooslim. 22 wins and an NT appearance last year earns the conference favorite's nod this season.
Iowa -- profgreen tagged in for dshook last season at Simpson and kept the program moving just fine. I'll pick him ahead of Buena Vista and one of my favorite coach names in Rupp, darthhoosier.
Little East -- Another coin that can be flipped is the ECSU-UMass, Dartmouth decision this season. Tails never fails they say, so here's to pureh21 and UMass, Dartmouth in Season 71.
Michigan -- Calvin and prc56 has been good for at least 24 wins in each of the last four seasons. Generally, that's a number that assures you of a league favorite's title in this write-up.
Midwest -- Simmed Beloit was undefeated on their home floor and won 25 games last season. Let's give 'em some love and say favorite this season in the Midwest.
Minnesota -- foofighter has 177 wins in his eight seasons since taking over in Hamline. His ninth team in St. Paul might be his best yet.
NESCAC -- Worcester St. and kneehouse appear to be the best team on paper here. At the opposite end of the spectrum, Colby may well be the worst team in all of Rupp this season.
New Jersey -- Ramapo and pgj930 are poised to hold tight to the top spot in the New Jersey for another season.
North Atlantic -- Castleton St. gets the nod in a league that's 11 sims and a first-year coach in HD.
NCAC -- The defending national champs and Wittenberg are destined to battle down the stretch in the NCAC. Break out the bagpipes though, because Wooster has an edge here despite what the voters in the preseason poll say.
Northwest -- Willamette and bullman are the best bets to win this league, but there's some intrigue close behind that could make life nervous for folks in Salem.
Ohio -- John Carroll and whit6r are favored in a league that now has nachopuzzle at the helm of Maryville, which could push for contention already this season.
ODAC -- Lynchburg and googs are the call here once more. And why wouldn't they be? Since Season 57, Lunchburg has lost more than one conference game exactly once (that being a horrific 14-2 campaign)
Penn -- The perpetually Simmed wasteland of the Penn is about to undergo a shakeup with the arrival of oldave. Is it too early to embrace the buzz around Babson park? Is it too soon to throw oldave to the West Coast so I don't have to recruit against him in Mass? Nope, not at all.
Skyline -- US Merchant Marines and lynchmob look to be loaded for bear this season after back-to-back Sweet 16s in the NT.
SoCal -- The preseason voters like Cal. Tech. Red's spies like Colorado, the No. 16 team in the land, in what could be a three-team race with Whittier also involved.
St. Louis -- Webster is going for its eighth straight 16-0 season in the league. More than enough to say, hey, guess who the favorite is here.
SUNY -- Things seemed heading in the right direction at Cortland until a hiccup and only 19 wins last season -- not a tragedy by any definition,but a stumble from 20+ wins that had seemed the norm. This year, Cortland should move back north of 20 wins and ease fans' minds.
University -- Given the reign of success at Emory, it is hard to pick against them as the favorite here. Especially with Millsaps possible reloading slightly -- very slightly -- after an national runner-up performance. The University will be fun to watch this season from afar. The lowest-rated team is just one point below the Capital's highest-rated club.
Upstate -- Third-year coach joewhatever has St. Lawrence heading the right way and looks to build on an NT appearance and 20 wins from last season. He'll get a boost from playing in what is the most, um, "defensively challenged" league in America.
USA South -- Once again, I'm going to take the voters to task here. They like NC Wesleyan and nastynick with a No. 2 preseason mark. Piedmont with bunkerbuster gets only a No. 21 from them. I have the two schools as dead even to start the year and I'm suspecting there's more growth potential in bunker's lineup to earn him my nod.
Wisconsin -- LaCrosse and theaaskimo get the favorite's tip of the cap in what could be a very balanced and brutal chase behind him. This isn't a conference where you expect to get through unscathed by year's end this season.
Overall impressions -- As crazy as it may sound, Rupp is an overall tougher league this season than it was a year ago. The top end teams rate out stronger...and that's just going to make it all the more fun as the season progresses. Best of luck to everyone, hope you enjoyed the read! The WTEFF will be out in a couple days as I try to stay more active in the thread this season.