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Combined Men's DII College Rankings The Last Five Seasons

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Combined Men's DII College Rankings The Last Five Seasons

Who's #1? Jeremy Fleming photo.

You've probably been waiting for this.

Here's our combined Men's DII collegiate ranking tracking 2015 through 2019. This was a difficult ranking in that many teams who did well in DII didn't stay long. There's a group of teams, from NC State to Salisbury, Towson to Mary Washington, that were in the rankings just for a year or two before moving up to DIAA. In addition, you have teams such as Queens and Iowa Central that show up in DII as new programs, win, and then move on. You also see this with teams moving to the small-college ranks.

With the movement of so many teams, and the up-and-down nature of DII rugby in general, it's actually pretty rare to see a team in all five rankings. 

Bentley, Coast Guard, Furman, GVSU, Illinois State, Minnesota-Duluth, Northern Michigan, RPI, UMass-Lowell, UMS&T, UW-Whitewater, Vermont, and York are the 13 teams that appear in all five end-of-year rankings. Nope, not even Norwich or UNC-Charlotte.

Our points system is fairly simple—we award points for a team's rankings position at the end of each season, plus an extra point just for being ranked (this gives a slight bonus to teams that are around every year). As it turns out, it's not even close for the #1. Wisconsin-Whitewater ended the year ranked #1 twice, #2 twice, and #3 once, giving the Warhawks 296 points, which is 58 more than the #2 team, Minnesota-Duluth. Put it another way; if Whitewater hadn't been ranked #3 in 2018 and instead had been ranked #50 that year, they'd still be #1.

It's been a pretty amazing run for Whitewater, highlighted by some very talented and athletic players.

Duluth was a top-10 team 2015-217 but has dipped a little of late, while Illinois State's consistency—three #6 rankings—puts them in what is perhaps a surprising #3 spot.

Norwich only got four years—they had a bit of an off year in 2015—but have been ranked #3 twice and #8 twice, good enough for #4 overall, tying Vermont and just beating out Furman even though Furman both were ranked all five years. The tiebreak for Norwich vs Vermont is highest ranking. Both got to #3, but Norwich did it twice, so the Cadets take #4. Like Norwich, Furman had an off-year in 2015 but made it to #42. However, only once, in 2016, did the Paladins rank ahead of Norwich 2016-2019. Vermont, too, was a little bit less consistent, but watch out for them now as they finished 2018 at #4 and 2019 at #3.

UMS&T gets the tiebreaker over York, and UW-Milwaukee gets the tiebreaker over Bentley.

There are a few obvious DI programs that were ranked in DII because they had nowhere else to play for a while. NC State and Virginia are two of those. But for the most part these are true DII teams—smallish colleges without big budgets and tough players who don't get assistance from the school. Norwich is a varsity program, and benefits from that, but Norwich in all other respects fits the profile of a DII school.

Up-and-comers for the next few years? Keep an eye on Memphis, Marquette, Illinois State, Vermont, and UMass-Lowell. And keep an eye on those tech schools. RPI and UMS&T continue to perform.

Here's the list. (PS, for some reason when we sorted this into its correct hierarchy, Northern Michigan got left out. Sorry about that. They're in there now.)

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Goff Rugby Report Combined Men's DII College Rankings 2015-2019
Overall Ranking Team Score
1 UW-Whitewater (Wisc.) 296
2 Minnesota-Duluth (Minn.) 238
3 Illinois State (Ill.) 230
4 Norwich (Vt.) 222
5 Vermont (Vt.) 222
6 Furman (SC) 221
7 Grand Valley State (Mich.) 220
8 North Dakota State (ND) 191
9 Northern Michigan (Mich.) 183
10 Coast Guard Academy (Conn.) 180
11 VMI (Va.) 177
12 Montana State (Mont.) 176
13 UMS&T (Mo.) 171
14 York (Pa.) 171
15 NC State (NC) 163
16 UW-Milwaukee (Wisc.)  160
17 Bentley (Mass.) 160
18 UNC-Charlotte (NC) 157
19 UMass Lowell (Mass.) 151
20 RPI (NY) 149
21 UNC Wilmington (NC) 138
22 Bethel (Ind.) 136
23 East Carolina (NC) 132
24 William Paterson (NJ) 127
25 Western State (Colo.) 126
26 Coastal Carolina (SC) 120
27 Marquette (Wisc.) 118
28 Queens (NC) 116
29 Sacred Heart (Conn.) 114
30 Rowan (NJ) 112
31 Northern Iowa (Iowa) 110
32 Villanova (Pa.) 108
33 Colorado Sch. of Mines (Colo.) 102
34 Pitt State (Kans.) 102
35 IUPUI (Ind.) 101
36 Old Dominion (Va.) 98
37 Geneseo (NY) 97
38 SLU (Mo.) 96
39 Rhode Island (RI) 93
40 SUNY Oswego (NY) 93
41 Bloomsburg (Pa.) 91
42 North Carolina (NC) 86
43 Northern Colorado (NC) 83
44 SUNY Cortland (NY) 77
45 Virginia (Va.) 76
46 IUP (Pa.) 73
47 Scranton (Pa.) 73
48 Southern Connecticut (Conn.) 72
49 Middlebury (Vt.) 71
50 Winona State (Minn.) 69
50 Appalachian State (NC) 69