1. Penn State
This is an easy one. Cas Loxsom, Ricky West, Robby Creese, and whoever else they feel like putting at the 400m, makes Penn State the obvious choice for the number one DMR team in the country starting the 2013 season. Loxsom has a PR of 1:45.08 for 800 and just ran 1:46.98 already, Ricky West has gone 1:46, and is a very good choice for the 1200m leg. Robby Creese is a 3:58 guy as a freshman and as long as he continues to improve and does not plateau, he will be a very good anchor leg. One of the possibilities for Penn State for a 400m leg is Emanuel Mpanduki who this past weekend ran 48.44, which is very fast this early and is a likely candidate for that spot. All things considered, Penn State is by and large the favorite, right now, to win the DMR.
As much as Penn State appears to be a clear favorite for the number one DMR team in the country, Oregon is not that far behind. Mike Berry came on very strong last year as one of the premier 400m runners in the country. Oregon has two very good 800m runner in Elijah Greer and Boru Guyota (either can run the 1200m or 800m interchangeably). The one question mark will be at the Mile. Not that the Ducks do not have a slew of outstanding potential anchor legs, just who do you choose to run it. Some possibilities are Mac Fleet, Trevor Dunbar, maybe Stinson are some options. It is also important to note that all most likely every one of the members of their DMR will be competing in other events besides the relay (not saying other schools athletes are not either).
Another possible contender for the title is Villanova which has a slew of really good middle distance runners. Samuel Ellison at 800m has run 1:47, Jordy Williamsz is a very good option at 1200m with PRs of 3:36 and 1:47 as well. Sam McEntee has run 3:57 and 3:36 and will provide an anchor leg that could possibly beat Penn State or whatever team is up front with them. Bryan Murphy provides them with a good option at the 400m leg. Murphy has PRs of 48.30 open and 47.90 split 400m times. Williamsz will be sure to give them a good lead or put them in the mix from the beginning and will give Villanova good position and help McEntee anchor home a very good DMR team that is legitimate threat to Penn State and Oregon.
The middle distance power house has had its fair share of quality athletes come through, and this year is no different. Kyle Thompson is a very solid up and coming 800m runner and will surely give them a good 1:48. A big question mark is who will fill the 1200m leg. Some options are Joe Stilin, Patrick MacGregor, Trevor Van Ackeren (eligibility?). Kyle Merber (who has run 3:58) will provide a nice anchor leg and will look to bring home All-American status for him and his teammates. The 400m leg is probably going to be filled by Zack Bilderback who has already run 48.16, but Texas has plenty of good 400m runners that can run the 400m spot.
5. Texas A&M
Anytime Henry Lelei has the stick in his hand, he seems to bring it and that should definitely be the case for Texas A&M and their potential excellent DMR squad. With a ridiculous amount of unreal 400m runners (i.e. Aldrich Bailey, Ricky Babineaux, Deon Lendore, etc.) the Aggies are sure to have the best 400m leg in the race. A question mark will be who can take the place of Michael Preble and Joey Roberts at 800m. Josh Hernandez has run 1:53.41 already and should for sure be a sub 1:50 guy by the end of the season going into nationals. The problem is Texas A&M needs to find someone that can contribute in the 800m early enough to assure them a spot at the NCAAs in Fayetteville.
Others considered: Indiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Notre Dame, Wisconsin (they can move up if they put together a solid team, Wisconsin hasn't had incredible success indoors and therefore need to prove it first. Mudd, Hatz and Finnerty are solid options though.