For the first mont of the regular season the top of the NCAA water polo rankings have remained stagnant, but then the SoCal Tournament happened. The USC Trojans will be the No. 1 team in the country, but after that many teams have a shot to make a case for that No. 2 spot.
My opinion is that the No. 6 UC Santa Barbara Gauchos should move up to the No. 2 spot after they defeated No. 2 UCLA Bruins and No. 3 Stanford Cardinals. Plus, two weeks prior they nearly upset Stanford, and currently have a record of 12-3. Their other loss was a 12-11 defeat against the No. 5 UC Irvine Anteaters.
The Gauchos pair of wins over the No. 2 and No. 3 ranked teams should give them consideration. Also to consider a big jump for the Gauchos is that No. 4 California Golden Bears loss to No. 5 UC-Irvine and No. 8 Pacific Tigers. A case could be made for UC-Irvine since they defeated Santa Barbara earlier in the season, and they beat Cal this past weekend.
Here is my projected top 10:
2. Santa Barbara
9. Loyola Marymount
10. Long Beach State
Also, outside of the top 10, look for St. Francis to take a jump to possibly in the top 15 as they defeated No. 12 UC Davis and No. 16 Princeton. Also, look for Air Force to climb a spot or two after also getting past UC Davis.