CRC Day One Notes
CRC Day One Notes
The Collegiate Rugby Championship is an event that is supposed to say a lot about the college game, mostly because it's on NBC, but NBC also says what it wants.
What we found out on Saturday was intriguing.
#1 - When this writer worked at RugbyMag, which was owned by the same company that owns the CRC, I and then-assistant editor Pat Clifton made annual appeals for specific teams to be added to the CRC. Generally these were not schools with crossover name recognition, but sometimes they were. We pushed for UCLA, and they joined, which was nice. We pushed for Kutztown, and they were invited, which was nice. Life, Arkansas State, Lindenwood, and AIC got no love until they qualified directly. Saint Mary's finally got an invitation.
Why bring this up? Because the teams that were considered not the right fit for the tournament are now dominating. Kutztown, Life, Arkansas State, Lindenwood, AIC, and Saint Mary's are a combined 13-1-4. The only loss was Kutztown to Indiana.
#2 - Being at the CRC more than once, even if you've played and won in big tournaments before, is crucial. AIC is an excellent team, but they weren't conservative enough, tried to play big on a big stage, and ended up tying two games they should have won. It cost them.
#3 - Putting aside Point #2, tams like Lindenwood and Saint Mary's did the job because they have more experience closing out big games. The fatigue of playing at USA Rugby College 7s Nationals is outweighed by the game experience.
#4 - We thought Indiana was really good, but we're still surprised that they beat Kutztown.
#5 - Our picks were almost dead on. Our pool predictions at www.FloRugby.com
Were pretty darned close. We had Pool A pegged exactly right. Pool B we picked Life over Arkansas State (they tied). We also thought that the pool would be too tough to produce a wild card. The tie made that point moot. Pool C we picked Lindenwood (duh). Pool D was the Pool of Death and it proved to be so. We said possibly two very good 7s teams would not make the top 8, and that's true. We didn't predict that AIC would not lose a game and still be out of the quarterfinals, but that did happen. Pool E we had Cal and that was easy. Pool F we got wrong as we figured Kutztown would win. But we also predicted that Indiana was good enough to make the top 8, and that was correct.
So, not bad.
#6 - It's a shame NBC makes no notice of the women's teams, even though the women have to pony up for tickets just like the men do (although not as many). For their pains the women get a few games in the stadium, but not many. We understand the economics of it all, but it would still be nice.
#7 - Lindenwood looks excellent, Cal largely untested but good. Saint Mary's looked OK but you wonder about Day Two. Indiana has been the dark horse of the year.