ATLANTA – After grabbing its second consecutive Division I national championship last spring, South Carolina is the heavy favorite in 2023, according to the New Balance Preseason Coaches Poll.
The Gamecocks (17-3), which also won the SELC tournament in 2022, gobbled up 24 of a possible 26 first-place votes to coast to the top spot.
South Carolina was followed by Georgia Tech (16-4). The Yellow Jackets fell to the Gamecocks in both the conference and national title games. They accounted for the remaining pair of first-place votes.
Brigham Young (17-3) is slotted third. The Cougars advanced to the national semifinals before falling to South Carolina.
Virginia Tech (15-2), which held the top spot in the weekly polls for much of last season, checks in at No. 4 while the Hokies’ ALC rival Clemson (15-5) rounds out the top five.
Both the SELC and ALC posted three teams apiece in the Top 10 while the SLC had four representatives in the Top 15.
Last year’s Division II champion Utah resides just outside the Top 25 in its first season back on the senior circuit.
2023 New Balance Preseason Division I Coaches
|25.||UC Santa Barbara||37|
Also receiving votes: Utah (19), Boise State (18), Michigan State (15), New Hampshire (13), NC State (11), Auburn (9), Georgia (9), Oregon (6), Texas A&M (6), Dominican (5), Florida State (4), Simon Fraser (2), Stanford (2).