BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Arkansas men are ranked the nation’s No. 1 team to start the season, highlighting 13 Southeastern Conference men’s and women’s track and field programs ranked among the nation’s top-25 in the preseason edition of the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association’s preseason computer rankings, which are based largely upon the top returners from each school and early performances from this season.
On the men’s side, a nation-leading seven SEC programs are ranked among the top-25 nationally, including three in the top-five. Arkansas checks in as the nation’s No. 1 team for the first time since the USTFCCCA preseason projections began in 2008. Florida, which is the three-time defending NCAA Indoor Champion, is ranked second, while Texas A&M – participating in its first season as an SEC member – is No. 4. No. 3 Texas and No. 5 Oregon also comprise the men’s national top-five.
LSU (No. 10), Auburn (No. 11), Mississippi State (No. 20) and Ole Miss (No. 23) round out the SEC men’s programs ranked among the preseason top-25.
On the women’s side, the SEC leads the way nationally with six teams ranked among the top-25. LSU is the highest-rated league squad, checking in at No. 4, while Florida ranks No. 5, Texas A&M is No. 6 and Arkansas is No. 7. Clemson is the top-ranked squad in the women’s preseason poll, Kansas is No. 2 and three-time defending NCAA Indoor Champion Oregon is third.
Georgia (No. 17) and Auburn (No. 24) round out the SEC women’s programs ranked among the preseason top-25.
The 2013 SEC Indoor Championships are slated for Feb. 22-24 at the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville, Ark.
The next USTFCCCA rankings will be released on Jan. 22.
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2013 USTFCCCA Men’s Indoor Track and Field Preseason Rankings
4. Texas A&M
6. Arizona State
14. Virginia Tech
16. Florida State
17. N.C. State
18. Penn State
20. Mississippi State
21. Northern Arizona
22. Kansas State
23. Ole Miss
2013 USTFCCCA Women’s Indoor Track and Field Preseason Rankings
6. Texas A&M
8. Iowa State
18. Indiana State
20. San Diego State
23. Michigan State
25. Illinois State