So here we are… The trees are dead, practice attendance dwindling, finals approaching, and talks of inconceivably uplifting Christmas break workout plans abounding! This time of year is tough, not only for the ultimate teams themselves but for us as fans of the sport too. WHAT THE HELL DO WE DO FOR TWO MONTHS???
We write unnecessary articles that cause unrivaled debate (sometimes).
After a good 3 month hiatus that has allowed us to observe, note, criticize, make fun of, and admire all of the teams in the Southeast, we arrive at our first ever post-fall/early spring/here’s where people stand SOUTHEAST POWER RANKINGS. Below you’ll find our thoughts as a squad (mostly mine) on where each team stands after their fall performance, AS WELL AS where I believe they’ll actually finish in April. These numbers may be very different. They might be the same. But let’s be real if they were the same we wouldn’t be adding this to the article because that would be boring af.
Where does your team stand? Are they even on here? Check it out.
16. USF, Kennesaw State, Ole Miss, UAB
Why four teams? Well it will depend on how the bids are allocated. But here are your 16th best Southeast teams so far. USF hasn’t made much noise outside of small Florida tourneys so far, but usually end up gaining a 4th bid for the Florida region quite often and will likely get another one this year. They showed promise at the end of the year last year, and have a ton of young players. Has KSU won a game this fall? I’m serious… because they have gone to some good quality tournaments and played a ton of quality teams. You have to respect them for that. But with how much talent they lost from last season, you can’t be surprised with early season struggles. JP continues to carry the team on his back, which must be pretty sore after the fall. Christmas break KSU goal: buy that dude a massage chair. Ole Miss seems to have a new positive mindset and had a decent fall. They didn’t have any great showings at quality tourneys, but it seems like their program is looking to turn itself around this year. With that being said, it’s going to take a lot of work. Maybe the GC will get that 7th bid? If so, you can expect UAB to be in the hunt for regionals this year as well. This team has more talent than most realize and a couple players in Ethan and Burke that are very underrated players in the Southeast.
Spring finish: 16
15. Mississippi State
State showed promise this fall with a good amount of recruiting, going split squad multiple times and being in tons of close games. Now, they lost a lot of those games… but it says something about a team that should be pretty good once combined. Normally this is where you say depth would be the biggest issue, but honestly their star players need to step up first. Once those top 3-4 guys play consistently, the depth I’m sure will fill its role.
Spring finish: 13
14. Georgia State
GS U KNOW!!! Geez did they have a solid Hootenanny Showdown… It’s obviously the coaching of Sun Choi. (maybe) But in all seriousness, GSU was not expected to bounce back like they did this fall after losing Sam Kim and Trenton Spinks. Credit to them for coming out of the gate hot. I still think other teams will continue to get better and GSU won’t have the luxury of playing split squads at tourneys this spring.
Spring finish: 15
Nat Oaks and friends had a tough CCC, but showed that they can at least compete against some of the best teams in the nation. With a lot of close game loses, Bama didn’t look awful. If there’s one team who does a good job of peaking at the right time, it’s the Alabama ultimate team. This is not the team of years past, but they are extremely young and are playing with low expectations. Look for them to inconsistently make some noise in the spring and play in some tough games at regionals.
Spring finish: 14
Tennessee had one of the better falls when it comes to expectations. No one expected this team to be a threat after the loss of a ton of vets, including Paul Lally. But low and behold, Agent Orange reloaded with some young talent and new breakout players. Phil and Mac have continued to carry the offense for this team, and with a new energy Tennessee is looking to continue to make the semis of their section and place top or so at regionals. Fall however did show that there depth wasn’t up to par with some of the best teams in the region. Rocky ain’t on top, but don’t be surprised if they slip into the top 8 come spring (especially since I’m picking them to finish out of it).
Spring finish: 11
The young guns from Baton Rouge played at quality tournaments this fall but never really showed us the full squad we’ll be seeing in the spring. With tons of new recruits and spreading time like crazy between CCC and going split squad at other tourneys, LSU is a mystery. They have the guys to place top 8, but haven’t had it come together quite yet.
Travis, Lutz, Monk, and Tom Echols (returning this spring) will look to gel early in the spring to make up for Tom’s absence in the fall.
Spring finish: 12
MLC wasn’t the prettiest of results… yet you have to give them credit for going out to Missouri and playing quality teams. You add MLC to a decent showing at Hootenanny Showdown and you get a decent fall from a team who, with a big off season pickup in Josh Feng, will look to show more consistency in the spring. Vandy has some studs in Danny, Martin, Victor and company… yet lacked the d-line depth to punch it in. This team will continue to get better though and assuming they don’t show up to their first round regionals game asleep like last year, should have a better showing late in the year.
Spring finish: 9
Emory had a very average showing through its first two tourney appearances but made some noise with big wins at CCC over Brown and Michigan. This insanely young team has the top players to compete with anyone in the region, and when their depth is playing well maybe even win some quality games… but you can only expect so much from such young talent. There will be hiccups, but no one will want to play this team later in the year. The future is bright. Can they make noise THIS year though?
Spring finish: 8
The boys from Chatt had a pretty impressive fall for a team who lost its two biggest contributors from last season in Blake Waldron and Chris Newsom. UTC didn’t win many games at Fall Easterns… Good news? They lost a lot of close games vs national level opponents while having a few major players sitting out and a lot of younger guys getting reps. This could easily end up being what propels them to being a top 8 contender at regionals, but I can’t see them being able to keep up with the big boys come late spring. With some big potential in years to come, there will be a good amount of growing pains this year for UTC, but will ultimately lead to success in the future.
Spring finish: 10
The definition of a rebuilding year is upon DUF. We all know the guys who left were important, but when Connor Holcombe is having to handle a ton it’s a damn shame. Connor is maybe the biggest cutting threat in the region, but so far has had to control the disc due to the lack of experienced handlers on DUF. Even during a year where FSU will be focused on development for the future, you can’t count them out. A very solid program in general, FSU will still be flying all over the place on D and could easily shock some regionals favorites with their well-known defensive energy. What wins games? Defense. What loses games? A bad offense. Will the DUF cult be good enough on offense come spring to find their way to nationals once again?
Spring finish: 7
Not the best fall from a team with such incredibly young talent, but Jojah will Jojah… and you can expect to see this team playing for a nationals spot come April. When you have Sam Little and Nathan Haskell on your team you have a chance. Add the depth of Parker Bray, little Erickson and a few key rookie pickups and you have yourself a nationals level talent pool. Plus you’ve gotta love having maybe the best puller in the region in George Summers. DUDE CAN PULL. Recent reports have told us that Sebi may be out though with an ACL injury. Let’s hope for speedy recovery. You can still expect to see Jojah bounce back and have a very good spring.
Spring finish: 5
As expected, Auburn had a very solid fall. They might not have finished as high as they wanted at CCC, but were in close games all weekend. They’re still looking for that missing piece to replace Ryan Landry, but from what we can tell are on their way to peaking late spring. With basically the rest of their roster returning this year, you’d expect this team to be a favorite by then.
Spring finish: 4
4. Georgia Tech
Tech didn’t play many fall tournaments, but sure showed some quality play at CCC. Even with the loss of Revolver start Nathan White, Tech’s roster showed up big in the fall. Tech has some great depth, one of the best freshman classes in the Southeast, and a big time handler in Stephen Burkot. Burkot ran the offense and showed maybe the most consistency from any Southeast handler at CCC. This team’s success will rely on the defense being able to convert without Burkot on the field though, and it’s going to be tough in a very deep Southeast.
Spring finish: 6
This fall, Florida continued to show why they have been one of the best programs in the nation year after year. When a down year is losing in the “game-to-go”, you’re doing something right. Another quality CCC performance showed that Florida, even with the loss of Dahl, will be a favorite in the Southeast. With revenge on their mind, I can’t imagine these guys falling short of nationals again this year. Don’t expect them to just LEY down… I’ll see myself out.
Spring finish: 2
Holy moly what a CCC for Tulane. No one except maybe Tulane saw them beating UCF and looking as good as they did. This team might have the best O-line in the Southeast right now. With a top 5 of Walter, Lamp, Mooney, Chance, and Baba who have been playing together for a couple years now, it will be hard to break this team all year. Tulane has some swag, and you can’t deny that. Some called them “try hards” at CCC… ummm…. yeah that’s what you SHOULD do when you play competitive ultimate. There way ahead of the chemistry curve while everyone tries to catch up. You do not want to see them at regionals. Am I right Georgia?
Spring finish: 3
Deep. Again. UCF has turned itself into a quality program that does an incredible job of recruiting athletes and developing them into ultimate players. They don’t need your high school YCC stars to be good (even though one of their best players played YCC Michael Fairley). They have height, speed, great motion offense, and guys willing to throw their bodies around on D. They showed their depth and dominance at CCC, and even though they didn’t win the tourney they did a great job of getting their bench quality playing time. With Langdon coming back, look for these dogs to be a favorite once again. Plus Roca is our BFOTB. What a guy!
Spring finish: 1
16. USF, KSU, Ole Miss, UAB
13. Miss St
6. Georgia Tech
I can’t wait to look back at this list in April and see how wrong it was.