The progosticators on volleytalk have been real busy this summer chattering about the usual suspect programs. One strand a few months ago was started by some hoser who asked what was up with "the USA Conference?" I've waited somewhat patiently for one of the anonymmous experts to offer their take on that USA Conference...crickets.
Here is my take as a rookie dad in D1 Vball:
1. Rice-Returning studs at setter, OH and Libero.
2. Tulsa-OH Tyler Henderson is a girlie toy cannon (Jimmy Wynn old school baseball reference)
3. Southern Miss-2009 regular season champs say they are on a mission after getting whacked in the CUSA tourney...with a rookie coach who has had the job for around three months
4. UCF-Injuries kept this squad from doing more damage last season. Dr. Evil, aka Todd Dagenais, is a top-notch coach.
5. UTEP-Veteran leadership, improved defense and much more physical attack and block packages
6. Marshall-Coach Ratigan's kids are scrappy (my observation from watching them play UCF on TV last season)
7. SMU-Guessing-they have a preseason conference all-star shorty OH in Dana Powell and my wife met the mom of their Libero at a tournament, and mom thought they would be pretty good.
8. UAB-Sister Messerschmitt is down a couple of Euro ringers
9. Memphis-The new collegiate home for Serbian ringers
10. Tulane-Two key Serbians are now Florida State Seminoles
11. Houston-Brand new coach and I think their setter from last year bailed.
12. ECU-Two freshmen setters and all but one of their recruits played club ball for the Lollipop Guild