ACA staff highlights the Top 25 entering 2023 while comparing schools’ current rankings to their initial pre-season ranking

SAN ANTONIO, TX (January 9, 2023) – With the calendar now turning over to 2023, the race for Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia is entering the second half of the 2022-2023 chase to be the number one ranked team in all of collegiate bass fishing.  Throughout the course of this week, the Association of Collegiate Anglers is going to reveal the teams currently ranked 1st-25th.

Each day we will highlight five teams, providing a glimpse at their season thus far and comparing each school’s ranking in the ACA Pre-Season Poll to where they stand presently.  The reveal will culminate with teams 1st through 5th being announced on Friday, along with a link to view the complete rankings of the top collegiate teams in the nation.

In today’s feature, we will be highlighting teams ranked 21st-25th.

University of Tennessee

Total Points: 8,335

Pre-Season Ranking: 13th

The University of Tennessee checks in at 21st in the latest rankings for the Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia.  Tennessee entered the 2022-23 race ranked 13th in the pre-season poll, following a 9th place ranking to finish the 2021-22 campaign the season prior.

During this past fall, the University of Tennessee competed in each of the two Association of Collegiate Anglers double points events on the schedule.  At the Bass Pro Shops Big Bass Bash presented by Berkley on Kentucky Lake, Tennessee earned 1,920 points.  Just a few weeks later at the AFTCO Collegiate Bass Open on Lake Dardanelle, the team gained an additional 1,290 points.

Entering the 2022-23 season, the University of Tennessee had high hopes to replicate the Top 10 end of season ranking they finished with last May.  “This upcoming season, our goals are to stay in the Top 10 in SOY and make a run at Top 5. That’ll take us sending as many boats as possible to each event and competing at our highest level possible,” said Teddy Peznola, President of the University of Tennessee Bass Fishing Team.

If the team from Knoxville is going to achieve their goal of finishing with a Top 10 ranking this season, they will have to capitalize on the many double points opportunities that are left on the schedule.

Georgia College

Total Points: 7,890

Pre-Season Ranking: 22rd

Georgia College is meeting expectations so far this season as they are ranked 22nd overall in the Bass Pro Shops school of the Year presented by Abu Garcia.  Entering the 2022-23 season, Georgia College was picked 22nd in the ACA Pre-Season Poll.

Georgia College showed out at each of the two ACA double points events in the first half of the season.  Callaway Robinson kicked the year off with a bang by claiming an 8th place finish at the Bass Pro Shops Big Bass Bash presented by Berkley on Kentucky Lake.  Josh Finnerty also contributed to the cause by finishing inside of the Top 150 and earning 890 points at Kentucky Lake.  Those two finishes awarded Georgia College 2,570 points.

Just a few weeks later at the AFTCO Collegiate Bass Open on Lake Dardanelle in Russellville, AR, Georgia College capitalized on the double points opportunity to the tune of 2,640 points.  Cooper Mclemore & Carson Dyer finished in 24th, and Josh Finnerty & Cody Gaines took 64th out of the more than 200 boat field.

Coming into this season, Georgia College was shooting to finish the year ranked inside of the Top 10 for the Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia.  “One of our main goals for the upcoming season is to try to get into the Top 10 in points. Our team is very dedicated, and we all have the same mindset on the goals we’d like to achieve,” noted Josh Finnerty, President of the Georgia College Bass Fishing Team.

The triple points BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops at Lake Hartwell in Anderson, SC could be the event that pushes Georgia College into the Top 10 to end the year.

Missouri State University

Total Points: 7,320

Pre-Season Ranking: 26th

Missouri State University entered the 2022-23 season of the Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia ranked 26th in the ACA’s annual pre-season poll.  Halfway through the current season, and they are exceeding expectations.  Missouri State checks in at 23rd with 7, 320 points.

As has been the case with each of the two teams ranked in front of them in this rankings reveal, Missouri State competed in both ACA double points events contested during the fall of 2022.  The club of anglers from Springfield, MO earned 1,100 points at the Bass Pro Shops Big Bass Bash presented by Berkley, and 2,110 points at the AFTCO Collegiate Bass Open in October.

Missouri State University has competed in a total of nine points qualifying events this season.  On two occasions, they have earned over 2,000 points at major double points tournaments.  A spring season loaded with more double points opportunities should give Missouri State some optimism as there are plenty of chances for them to move up the rankings as the spring progresses.

University of Nebraska

Total Points: 6,885

Pre-Season Ranking: Unranked

The first unranked team from the pre-season poll makes an appearance in the latest update to the standings in the Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia.  To this point in the season, the University of Nebraska has earned a total of 6,885 points.  Nebraska is currently ranked the 24th best collegiate bass fishing team in the country.

The lone ACA double points event the team from Lincoln, NE has competed in this season is the AFTCO Collegiate Bass Open.  Nebraska sent a total of three teams to compete at Lake Dardanelle in Russellville, AR this past October.  Jonah Barrow and Logan Greeno finished 129th to earn 470 points.

The team’s best showing of the season came at the MLF Central on the Mississippi River last summer.  Logan Russell & Trevor Schleich won the event with a five fish limit of bass weighing 16 pounds 9 ounces.  Their fellow teammates Alex Falkinburg & Keegan Lyons managed a Top 25 finish as well, ending up in 23rd.  Those two Top 25 finishes earned Nebraska a total of 2,280 points at that particular tournament.

In order to remain inside of the prestigious Top 25 teams in the nation this season, Nebraska will need to continue to get out on the national scene and secure high finishes at just about every stop.

Minnesota State University – Mankato

Total Points: 6,830

Pre-Season Ranking: Unranked

Rounding out the Top 25 in this rankings reveal is Minnesota State University.  Minnesota State entered the 2022-23 season unranked and has fished their way up to 25th with 6,830 points.

Minnesota State also provides us with one of the more bizarre facts we’ve ever pointed out in these types of rankings reviews.  The school’s men’s ice hockey team and bass fishing team are both ranked in the Top 25 of their sport’s respective national rankings.  Minnesota State’s ice hockey team is ranked 19th.  From an indoor cold weather sport to the year-round sport of collegiate bass fishing, Minnesota State University is having a strong athletics campaign this school year.

Brian Linder & Nathan Thompson kicked the year off with a bang by winning the Bassmaster College Series event at Saginaw Bay.  The team then proceeded to have strong showings in multiple MLF Regionals as well.  Minnesota State had two Top 35 finishes at the Mississippi River, a Top 10 at Lake Erie, and two Top 90 showing at Lake of the Ozarks.

As is the case with the University of Nebraska ranked just ahead of them in 24th, Minnesota State’s key to maintaining this prestigious National Ranking will be dependent upon their success at numerous national level events.

The post Bass Pro Shop School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia Enters Second Half of the Season appeared first on Collegiate Bass Championship.

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