Charlie Creme compiled this 2012-2013 projected list before last year’s Final Four even went down:
7. Penn State
8. Notre Dame
10. St. John’s
14. Georgia Tech
17. Texas A&M
19. Oklahoma State
25. Iowa State
The top three will likely stay there: Baylor didn’t lose anyone to graduation, Connecticut will stay strong, and Duke has some great returners and incoming freshmen.
Everyone else on the list is in the air.
Stanford enters a time of rebuilding this year after an era of dominance. Nnemkadi Ogwumike, who graduated last year and seems poised to take WNBA MVP ROY this summer, was the only reason the Cardinal came anywhere near the Final Four last year. Coach Tara VanDerveer will need a lot of time to re-fortify the depleted ranks that Ogwumike helped conceal so well.
Georgia will not see the top 20 – much less the top 10 – until they get a new coach. Andy Landers is a great man and a fine coach, but the Bulldogs need someone new.
We’ll see how long it takes St. John’s to recover from the loss of Kim Barnes Arico – the heart and soul of the program – who left for Michigan. My guess is it will be a while, but I could be wrong.
Speaking of that, Michigan should be on this list (Barnes Arico hadn’t taken the job at the time of this posting, though).
Georgia Tech should be further up on the list. Ditto Cal, Tennessee and Texas.
Oklahoma State probably shouldn’t be ranked in the top 25 yet.
What do you think of this list? Who should be on it that’s not? Who shouldn’t be on it that is?