SAN ANTONIO, TX (JANUARY 10, 2024) – In this second article of a three-part series, the Association of Collegiate Anglers will take a look at the teams ranked 6th-15th in the Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia.
To this point in the season, dozens of points qualifying events have been contested nationwide. Hundreds of the top collegiate bass fishing teams in the nation have competed to see where they stack up against the biggest names in the sport, and to be ranked inside of the coveted Top 25 for the Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia.
Here is a look at the teams currently ranked 6th – 15th:
6) Murray State University – Pre-Season Rank: 13
7) Lander University – Pre-Season Rank: 17
8) Tarleton State University – Pre-Season Rank: 14
9) Bethel University – Pre-Season Rank: 10
10) Emmanuel University – Pre-Season Rank: T-8
11) Campbellsville University – Pre-Season Rank: 6
12) Adrian College – Pre-Season Rank: 3
13) LSU Shreveport – Pre-Season Rank: 15
14) Blue Mountain Christian University – Pre-Season Rank: 7
15) Drury University – Pre-Season Rank: 11
As was mentioned in the first article of this series, the race for 2023-24 Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia is extremely close. This specific segment of 10 teams is separated by just over 2,000 points. Essentially, one quality event separates 6th – 15th in the National Rankings.
Ranked 9th is a former winner of the Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia. With a season total of 10,435 points, Bethel University is currently ranked 9th. The team from McKenzie, TN finished the 2018 season ranked number one.
Murray State University is the highest ranked team in this review. Sitting in 6th, the team located near Kentucky Lake is in search of its first-ever title as Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia. The team got off to a great start this fall as Harlan Thomas won the Bass Pro Shops Big Bass Bash presented by Berkley. A total of five Murray State teams have earned automatic qualification to compete in the 2024 Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops at Pickwick Lake. As it stands right now, Murray State qualifies to send nine teams to the triple points event at the end of the year.
Campbellsville University won the second ACA major, no-entry-fee, double points event contested this fall. Wyatt Pearman and Ridge Rutledge won the AFTCO Collegiate Bass Open at Lake Dardanelle in Russellville, AR. That major victory has helped Campbellsville University to be ranked 11th in the Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia. A mere 15 points separate Campbellsville and 10th ranked Emmanuel University.
Each team presently ranked 6th – 15th was selected in the Top 25 of the ACA Pre-Season Poll at the beginning of the year. Some teams are exceeding expectations while others are looking to meet them by season’s end. Regardless, being voted as one of the Top 25 best bass fishing teams in the nation and earning a Top 25 ranking halfway through the season is quite the accomplishment.
The first ACA event of the spring will be the Hartwell Slam at Lake Hartwell in Anderson, SC. Two of the teams in this group have a storied history of success at Lake Hartwell, and their campuses are located nearby. Both Lander University and Emmanuel University are very familiar with Lake Hartwell. Ranked 7th and 10th respectively, look for these two teams to have a major chance at making big moves in the rankings with a strong showing at Lake Hartwell.
This section in the rankings is comprised of 10 teams in which any of them could skyrocket up the rankings before the end of the year. Moving up into the Top 5 is not out of the question, and several of these teams could even make it to the number one spot, depending on their performance. If a major shakeup in the standings is to happen, look for one of these 10 teams to be in the middle of the action making a lot of noise.