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Granted, there’s only been a handful of regular season games played in college softball. But, it creates some brain-freeze when two independent and credible sources for coverage of the sport aren’t agreeing on one simple thing. What is that? An error, perhaps? Who’s the top ranked team in the country? That’s not too much to ask, or maybe it is. We’re taking a look at the USA Today/NFCA Top 25, ESPN/USA Softball Top 25 and adding the Fastpitch News College Softball Power Rankings for further clarity. Let’s hope we can find out what’s going on.

Overall, the ACC got off to an inauspicious start with the exception of Florida State. There was more than a fair share of sluggishness among conference teams. On the other side of the coin there were a number of promising results including an upset over a top 5 team by Notre Dame.

In the first game of the season for conference foes Duke defeated Notre Dame, 7-3. The Irish had a bit of a roller coaster ride before picking off No. 5 Washington. In close but no cigar games, Duke lost to No. 15 South Carolina, 3-2, NC State lost to #17 Michigan, 4-3 and to #4 Florida, 2-1. As coaches are fond of saying, ‘something to build on’.

On the noteworthy and winning side of the equation, North Carolina picked up a 4-0 win over No. 15 South Carolina and NC State nailed a 4-1 decision over No. 9 Arizona.

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Florida State isn’t the only conference team grabbing the attention of pollsters. Notre Dame, NC State, North Carolina, Virginia Tech and Louisville are all getting winks and nods this week in one or both polls. Let’s take a look at our first Top 25.

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USA Today/NFCA Top 25 – ACC (Week 1)

  • #1 Florida State
  • RV NC State #28, Notre Dame #31, North Carolina #40

ESPN/USA Softball – ACC (Week 1)

  • #2 Florida State
  • #24 Notre Dame
  • RV Virginia Tech #31, Louisville #34, NC State #40, North Carolina #41

Fastpitch Power Rankings – Select ACC (2/11-17)

  • #6 Florida State
  • #36 Notre Dame
  • #45 North Carolina
  • #49 Louisville
  • #54 Pitt
  • #56 Duke
  • #57 Virginia Tech
  • #65 Boston College
  • #68 Syracuse
  • #77 NC State

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Here’s how the USA Today/NFCA is broken down at the top.

  1. Florida State (26 First Place Votes)
  2. UCLA (3)
  3. Oklahoma (1)
  4. Florida (1)
  5. Washington (1)

Now let’s look at the ESPN/USA Softball top 5 and how their first place votes are divided.

  1. UCLA (17 First Place Votes)
  2. Florida State (2)
  3. Oklahoma
  4. Florida (1)
  5. Washington

The third through fifth teams are agreed upon in both polls. The question must be asked why is there such a large difference of opinion between the two when it comes to No. 1?

As a point of reference, the USA Today/NFCA Top 25 tabulates votes from 32 Division I coaches, one from each conference.

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Finally, a closer look at the top 10 in the Fastpitch Power Poll.

  1. Oklahoma
  2. Oregon
  3. Florida
  4. Washington
  5. UCLA
  6. Florida State
  7. Arizona State
  8. LSU
  9. Tennessee
  10. Alabama

With the exception of Washington and Arizona State, all teams are undefeated.

Moving forward, Florida State will have No. 3 Oklahoma, No. 6 Tennessee and No. 8 LSU on their schedule. UCLA will face the same onslaught the following week when they take on Oklahoma, No. 4 Florida, No. 18 Kentucky and No. 22 Texas A&M. The next two weeks should shake out a definitive top ranked team in both polls.

Until then, we’ll stick with the opinion of the coaches.

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