Seven Pac-10 Teams Ranked in NFCA Preseason Top-25
Jan. 23, 2008
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Perennially one of the strongest softball conferences in the nation, the Pac-10 finds seven of its teams ranked in the first edition of the USA Today/NFCA Coaches Poll, released Wednesday.
The two-time defending national champion, Arizona, has been named the No. 1 team in the nation after the Wildcats received 27 of a possible 29 first-place votes. Arizona's top-ranking marks the 18th consecutive year in which the Wildcats have held the top spot in the national rankings for at least a part of the year.
The Wildcats are coming off a 2007 campaign in which they posted a 50-14-1 record en route to the 10th Pacific-10 Conference title and eighth NCAA Championship in program history.
Not far behind is Arizona State, which begins the season at No. 3. The Sun Devils feature the reigning Pac-10 Player of the Year, Kaitlin Cochran, as well as Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year, Katie Burkhart.
Washington, the other Pac-10 team, along with the Wildcats and Sun Devils, to advance to the Women's College World Series, enters the year ranked No. 11.
UCLA follows at No. 14 and a trio of Pac-10 teams round out the Top 20 as Oregon State sits in 18th, Stanford in 19th, and Oregon in 20th.
California also received votes in the poll.
The Pac-10 Coaches Poll will be released next week.
2008 USA Today/NFCA Preseason Coaches Poll
1. Arizona (27)
2. Texas A&M
3. Arizona State
6. Tennessee (1)
14. UCLA (1)
16. Virginia Tech
17. Georgia Tech
18. Oregon State
21. Cal State Fullerton
23. Ohio State
Others Receiving Votes:Houston 75, South Carolina 74, Georgia 62, Fresno State 42, UMass 38, Creighton 23, Illinois State 23, Florida State 22, California 21, Mississippi State 16, NC State 12, Tennessee Tech 12, Loyola Marymount 8, Nebraska 7, Southern Illinois 7, BYU 7, Hofstra 5, North Carolina 5, Louisville 3, South Florida 3, UNLV 3, Texas Tech 2, Mississippi Valley State 1, Fordham 1, Florida Atlantic 1, Iowa 1