OXFORD, Miss. (WTVA/Ole Miss Athletics) – On Tuesday, the preseason USA Today/NFCA Coaches and ESPN.com/USA Softball polls were released, with Ole Miss ranked in both preseason rankings.
It is the first time in program history that the Rebels are ranked in either preseason poll, let alone both. Last season, Ole Miss entered the season receiving votes in both sets of rankings.
The Rebels are slotted No. 14 in the USA Today/NFCA Coaches Poll, collecting 361 points to move up a pair of spots from last season’s No. 16 finish in the poll. Defending national champion Oklahoma was a near unanimous choice at No. 1, collecting 31 of 32 first-place votes. The SEC boasts nine of the 25 ranked teams.
In the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll, Ole Miss is ranked No. 15, the same spot the Rebels closed the 2017 season at. Oklahoma once again tops the poll, garnering all 18 first place votes. Much like the USA Today/NFCA poll, the SEC makes up nine of the 25 ranked teams, including four schools in the top-10.
The 2018 USA Today / NFCA Division I Top 25 Coaches Poll is voted on by 32 NCAA Division I head coaches, one representing each NCAA Division I conference. The ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll is voted on by coaching representatives of 11 Division I Conferences in the 10 USA Softball Regions as well as members of the National and Local media who consistently cover Division I Softball across the country.
The ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll is currently in its 16th year. Starting Feb. 13, regular season polls will be released for 14 consecutive Tuesdays with the final poll of the season to be released on June 12 following the NCAA Women’s College World Series. The first of 14 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Week accolades will also be announced on Feb. 13 with a player chosen each Tuesday of the regular season.