From our first poll at the start of the 1999-00 season through today, we've produced a Top 25 women's basketball national ranking more than 250 times. We've had more than 150 teams appear in those rankings but we've never had an easy way to answer the frequent question, "Has this team ever been ranked before?" or "Has this team ever been ranked this highly before?"
Now we do, and so will you, if you download the Top 25 women's basketball archive.
The archive is a large Excel spreadsheet that you can download, sort and analyze at will. The default view is an alphabetical listing of every team that's been ranked. Using Excel's sort feature you can organize them anyway you want.
The first columns show each team's highest ranking in the Top 25 poll and the number of times it has appeared in the poll, including preseason and final rankings. The columns highlighted in yellow show any team that was ranked in a particular season with an X and any team that was ranked No. 1 during that season with asterisks. Click on the plus sign at the top of the columns to reveal the week by week rankings for that season.
If you're not comfortable with Excel and accidentally mess something up, no worries -- just download the file and try again.
Here are some historical tidbits. We'll update these again at the conclusion of the next season.
And if you want to quickly jump from one poll to another online, we still have this listing for you to do so.
In the long run
Five teams enter the 2017-18 season with long streaks of consecutive appearances in the Top 25 rankings. Defending national champions Amherst made its debut in the Top 25 in January 2008 and hasn't missed one since, 143 rankings later. Washington U. is next with 127 appearances followed by Thomas More (76), Tufts (75) and Hope (74).
Only two programs have been ranked at least once in every season. Washington U. topped our very first ranking which was released during the Bears' run of four consecutive national championships and hasn't missed a season since. DePauw only appeared once in the Top 25 in our first season (No. 25 in Week 3 to be exact), but the Tigers have been in the poll at least once every season since then.
Hope gets an honorable mention for making our rankings every season but the first one and appearing in every poll but one since the start of the 2005-06 season.
We're No. 1
Over the poll's 18-year history, 28 programs have reached the top spot at least once. Washington U. has reached that spot in five different seasons. The NESCAC and WIAC have each had four programs reach that spot.
Only twice has a team been ranked No. 1 in the preseason and held that spot all the way through the national championship game -- Washington U in 1999-00 and Thomas More in 2015-16.
Here's the year-by-year list of teams that have been ranked No. 1, starting with the preseason selection and ending with the national champion.
|2014-15||FDU-Florham, Thomas More|
|2013-14||DePauw, Whitman, FDU-Florham|
|2011-12||Amherst, Illinois Wesleyan|
|2010-11||Amherst, Illinois Wesleyan, Thomas More, Amherst|
|2009-10||Washington U, Illinois Wesleyan, Amherst, Washington U|
|2008-09||UW-Whitewater, Kean, Rochester, Illinois Wesleyan, George Fox|
|2007-08||Mary Washington, Hope, Howard Payne|
|2006-07||Scranton, Bowdoin, Scranton, Messiah, Bowdoin, DePauw|
|2005-06||Millikin, Southern Maine, Hope|
|2004-05||Bowdoin, UW-Oshkosh, Bowdoin, Bates, Scranton, Millikin|
|2003-04||Eastern Connecticut, Trinity (Texas), UW-Stevens Point, Rochester, Bowdoin, Wilmington|
|2002-03||Washington U., UW-Eau Claire, Trinity (Texas)|
|2001-02||Messiah, Washington U., UW-Stevens Point|
|2000-01||Washington U., George Fox, Washington U.|
Rankings on repeat
Entering the 2017-18 season there are 21 programs that have appeared in at least 100 Top 25 rankings. If you've read this far, you won't be surprised at the top three. Here's the Top 10 including New York University which has had the most appearances without ever reaching No. 1. Such is life in the UAA with Washington U.
|9||New York U.||148|
When Carnegie Mellon made its Top 25 debut in January 2016, the UAA gained the distinction of having every current member ranked at least once. It's the only conference to achieve that distinction. Every WIAC team but UW-Platteville has been ranked at least once, including UW-Superior before it moved to the UMAC.
No unranked team has ever won the national championship but two teams came close. Trinity (Texas) was ranked No. 21 when the Tigers won the title in 2002-03. They only appeared in the national rankings a couple times that season and never higher than 21st. Wilmington entered the 2003-04 season ranked No. 9, dropped out before the holiday break and didn't return until the end of the season when the Quakers won the title as the No. 14 team.
Seventeen teams have appeared in the Top 25 poll just once but two of them made that apperance count. Fontbonne finished No. 15 in 2000-01 and Widener finished No. 12 in 2012-13.