Originally Posted by mikej
or i just realize that duke wasn't far behind UVA last year (cunha losing to jenkins was the difference b/t a 4-3 win and a 4-3 loss in the regular season meeting), returns 5 of 6 as well, and gains much more in redlicki and semenzato than they lose in an often-injured wietoska
get over yourself - that trophy case is still empty - you're not the powerhouse usc is, duke isn't afraid (not that they're afraid of usc either, beating them twice in the last three years)
I made no mention that Duke is far behind UVA. Nor did I make any national reference or implication.
Duke and UVA certainly had some competitive matches this year and they should be closer next year. Ramsey Smith is doing a great job. It's very possible Duke may beat UVA next year. Plenty of teams can beat each other in the top 10, just as you reference between USC/Duke. It's been a long time since any team went undefeated and USC has experienced a number of losses in the past 4 years.
If there's one thing teams like UVA and Ohio St. need (and that USC has had in the Pac 12) it's tough conference competition. Playing difficult, high level matches in March/April can only help in May.
My point was simply about the ACC for next year. If one team has a very long conference winning streak and returns nearly everyone, it's pretty reasonable to say that they remain the Conference favorite going in to the season. At least, until someone else proves they can win the conference and especially before one of their top guys gets injured.
A similar example would be nationally last year. Coming into the 2012 spring, USC returned nearly everyone from a team that had won multiple titles. Certainly other teams could potentially beat the Trojans. However, SC had to be considered the favorite until someone proved differently. Only a very biased observer would have argued otherwise.