Everyone likes a little controversy right? Well to stir the pot and fire up everyone nationals, we figured a pre-nationals top 25 of college wakeboard teams was the ticket. The ranking process wasn’t easy. After several arguments of SEC dominance and if the Big Ten is over-rated, we got back on track.
We decided we needed to be rational about it. Eight hours of looking at results, intense arguing back and forth, and a couple of coin tosses later, we had a USA Wakeboard Top 25.
We may be off a little on teams. We may have even left someone out. But this was what we came up with. Don’t like where your school is ranked? Ride hard this spring and show us what you got in downtown Shreveport, LA on Memorial Day weekend. 16 schools will be throwing it down on the Red River in front of what is expected to be the largest crowds for a college wakeboarding tournament ever. So, without further adieu, here is your Top 25 College Wakeboard Teams.
24) Long Beach
23) Ole Miss
22) Boise state
21) Mississippi State
20) Ohio State
19) Oklahoma State
17) Louisiana Tech
16) Wake Forest
Wake Forest is the new kid on the block with one of the newest clubs, starting this year just weeks before the east regional. Led by Tori Koch, after qualifying for nationals they are off to a good start already.
Indiana knows what’s up. With a team that puts it all on the line with every ride. At regionals they came out in force but their all-out approach over consistency put them at #3 in the Midwest.
14) Sacramento State
Sacramento has shown that they know when and where to play their cards. This year is no different. Their strong women’s riders may just be the ticket.
13) Texas Tech
Texas Tech had a solid showing in the south central regional. The red raiders have a great core and are a fun group to watch but do they have the firepower to be a title contender?
12) Ball State
Last year’s finish: 9th
Ball State comes back for their second nationals looking to stay in the top ten. Returning 3 of their riders from the last year they may have their work cut out for them.
11) Central Florida
UCF has the second most team titles with 3, and after a few years out of the loop they are back competing again. Led by Nick Kamper, they’ve got the guys side, but do they have a girls?
Tennessee’s first year at nationals resulted in a sweep of the men’s divisions, and the highest ever team score at nationals. A few graduations later and Tyler Greene and Brad Riddick lead this mystery.
After keeping to themselves for a few years, the longhorns are back. A second place finish at the Shreveport regional was a good way to start. But we know Texas has to be eyeing another title.
8) Florida Gulf Coast
Last year’s finish: 10th
Florida Gulf Coast has the talent to take the title. A roster of girls that can shred, a wakeskater that drops hammers, and 2010 national champ Kevin Wipplinger back from a knee injury, with the right weekend they may be this years sleeper.
7) Virginia Tech
Last year’s finish: 3
Virginia Tech has been a powerhouse in the east region winning 4 of the last 5 regionals. Last year was their first national team podium at 3rd. But with all new faces, their maturity and contest experience is in question.
6) Chico State
Last year’s finish: 1st
Defending champs are looking for a third team title in 4 years. They graduated the top female rider Diana Fleenor and veteran Rob Way, but don’t be surprised, last year they took the title with the 6th seed.
5) Arizona State
Last year’s finish: 5th
ASU made their Collegiate National Debut last year taking 5 despite a few injuries. With RJ Pabon and Ryan Platt back from injuries, motivated, and coupled with year round training, they have an upper hand on half of the top 4. With a healthy team this year and last years experience don’t be surprised to see these wakedevils on the podium.
Last year’s finish: 6th
ULM has the most decorated Waterski team in history with over 20 team titles. With a strong group of riders, and support from their school, they hope this is their start for wakeboarding. The warhawks had a solid performance at the largest regional and walked away with the title.
Last year’s finish: 7th
Powerhouse Florida holds the most team titles with 4. With newcomers to their team Freddie Wayne, and skater Marcus Knox they are looking to push that total even higher. With a lake on campus, a history of winning, and school support these gators have all the things champions come from.
Last year’s finish: 2nd
The unlikely Wisconsin, last year’s runner up, made a quick rush towards the top in only their third year as a team. They pack a deep roster with the first dual Collegiate champ (John Zdeblick on wakeboard and wakeskate in 2012), and 6 of 7 wins on the way to their 3-peat regional title. The only thing holding these badgers back is their frozen waters.
1) Central Washington
Last year’s finish: 4th
Central has come out strong the last few years but has battled some unfortunate injuries that kept the team off the podium. Thomas Olsen has shown that there isn’t much that can slow these guys down from head injuries to broken boards. Calling Radar Lake home may be the advantage these guys need. All healed up now with a deep roster, CWU may just be able to put it together this year and walk away with the title.