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DIA Weekend Notes And Picks

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DIA Weekend Notes And Picks

Colleen McCloskey photo.

The D1A fall kicks off officially this weekend with some conference games and major matchups.

"Each year, the D1A competition continues to grow in both quality and strength," DIA commissioner Kevin Battle said in a USA Rugby release. "Thanks to the tremendous growth in youth and high school game, student-athletes are flooding college campuses in greater numbers and even better prepared.  The result is more parity and higher quality rugby, we've been able to see in the D1A semi-finals and finals these past few years. I expect 2020 to be even better." 

There have been some shifts among conferences. Utah Valley State will play in the Rocky Mountain Conference after playing an independent season last year. Central Washington remains an independent team. Buffalo moved from Rugby East to the Liberty, joining the Liberty's Empire Conference. But UB remains in DIA. Arkansas re-joins the Heart of America. Wheeling Jesuit is out and there are serious questions as to whether WJU will play at all.

Arizona State leaves the PAC Conference, while Delaware has left the Liberty to play in the MARC DIAA conference. Meanwhile, Mary Washington has left the Chesapeake in DIAA to join the Rugby East in DIA.

Some teams have named new coaches:

San Diego State (Jason Merrill)

Grand Canyon (Sean O’Leary)

Michigan (Matt Trenary)

Utah Valley State (Eric Swapp)

Colorado State (Mose Timoteo)

Wisconsin (Kurtis Shepherd)

Last week, as reported on GRR, some DIA teams got underway, with Iona beating Indiana, and Stony Brook beating Albany. Wisconsin lost to Iowa Central CC, and Army played a scrimmage against AIC.

Navy was the first of a series of DIA teams to play Dublin University's team, Trinity. Navy lost.

So what's up this week? Here's a look:

Saturday, September 7

Navy at St. Bonaventure — GRR's pick. Navy. SBU is pretty solid and getting better, but Navy should be OK.

Ohio State at U. Notre Dame—This might be a strong Fighting Irish side this year, but we're going with the Buckeyes.

Kutztown at Mary Washington—This is a wild one. Possibly a pick 'em.

Buffalo at Albany—Very tough to pick but we're going with UB

Syracuse at Brockport—Too early to tell. We'll go with the home team, Brockport.

Stony Brook at Rhode Island—Also close. Rhode Island.

Sunday, September 8

Notre Dame College at Wisconsin—Tough start for the Badgers last week, and they will get better, but NDC should win this.