With our first take on the Down South’s Regional Rankings (NCAA DII Southeast Region) we see a long time favorite grabbing the top spot. North Georgia sits at #2 in the NFCA rankings and is 5th in the Massey ratings, it’s an easy for us to sit them at the top of the initial rankings. North Georgia is followed up by Armstrong State, while Armstrong is not ranked by the NFCA, in the Massey ratings they sit in the overall #10 spot with one of the best strength of schedules. Armstrong has some serious quality wins in the region with a split of North Georgia and then sweeping Young Harris and Flagler.
The number 3 and 4 spots come up with Conference Carolina foes Pfeiffer and Limestone. Both brag the most regional wins while Pfeiffer claims the 3 spot with 22 wins and only losses to Lenoir-Rhyne, Limestone and Anderson all in the Down South’s Top 10. Other than that, Pfeiffer has taken care of business in the region. Limestone comes in with a sweep over Lenoir-Rhyne however losses to Catawba and being swept by USC Aiken hurts the Saints’ standings. Both Pfeiffer and Limestone are ranked in the top 25 by the NFCA at 9 and 22 respectively. In the Massey ratings Pfeiffer is ranked 16 while Limestone sits at 19.
The number 5 team Lenoir Rhyne, who may have been at the #2 spot two weeks ago, had gone 3-5 in the region over the last two weeks, dropping them down to #5. The #6 Carson-Newman team is quickly gaining ground on Lenoir-Rhyne. The Eagles are on a 9 game win streak but early losses in the region to Augusta, and Erskine keeps them just below Lenoir-Rhyne. The number seven Young Harris team actually sits as the 5th best team in the Southeast in the Massey ratings but losses in the region knocks them down. A loss to Montevallo and then being swept by Carson-Newman last week keeps them at the 7 spot. Young Harris fellow PBC school Georgia College is number eight but this weekend will really see them move playing North Georgia and Young Harris at home, splits or sweeps in these series are big statements for a Georgia College team that is on the edge of being one of the better teams in the Southeast.
The last two teams in the Regional Rankings are #9 Anderson and #10 Flagler. Anderson has started receiving votes this past weekend in the NFCA poll and sits at 55 in the Massey ratings while Flagler comes in at 56. Anderson has had some quality splits with Pfeiffer, Limestone and Georgia College accounting for 3 of their 6 region losses, however loses to North Greenville, and Lincoln Memorial keeps Anderson from taking the next step. Flagler easily has one of the toughest first half schedules in the region and posting a 22-17 record is a great statement. Five of Flagler’s 9 region loses are to teams in the top 5 of our region rankings but being swept by USC Aiken and losses to Tusculum, and Wingate keep Flagler from being in the top 8 of the region.
With three more weeks in the season before conference tournaments team are jockeying themselves for positioning in the postseason. In the NCAA DII postseason bracket 8 teams from the southeast will play for their chance to be one of the eight teams in the NCAA DII World Series.