Defending champions Houston lead this year’s projections with 860 points. That total is well ahead of the 715 they had at this point last year. Last year they augmented their leading swimming points total of 630 with 142 diving points. None of their divers graduated, so that should be a strength this year again. The only team close to them in diving points last year, Connecticut, graduated 2 seniors who finaled on all three boards. Houston’s main rival last year was SMU. SMU’s projected score this season is only 352 points. Last year at this time they were projected to score 620 swimming points and actually scored 622. Unless their philosophy on in season meets has changed or they have several unreported meets, they appear out of the running this year.
The most plausible (but still pretty unlikely) challenger is Cincinnati who is second with 533 points. They picked up 78 points at conference last year and Houston dropped 85. If that were to be repeated this year, even before Houston’s diving advantage, Houston would still win by nearly 200 points. As of today, any result other than a Houston win would be a pretty big surprise.