DIAA-Level Men College Rankings Week 14
DIAA-Level Men College Rankings Week 14
Now you know we don't root for a team, but sometimes a certain result makes this a lot easier.
As the news came in that Queens had lost to Penn State by a single point, I was cringing, to be honest. I was working the announcing on Tennessee vs Bowling Green and was thinking ... OK so if Queens has lost to a very good D1A-level team by a point (as did Brown), what happens if Bowling Green's stirring comeback against Tennessee wins it for them? Who's #1? Bowling Green? Queens? Brown?!?. Or, probably, Notre Dame?
It was not a decision I was psyched to make.
The thing is, Notre Dame had an OK schedule, not a great one, but pretty good. They beat Western Michigan and Cincinnati (the latter by a wide margin), matching, to a certain extent, Bowling Green. Then they beat BGSU too. But ... BUT ... UND lost to Ohio State 24-7, a team Tennessee beat. Moreover, Penn State lost to Ohio State by three points, so Queens and Brown could claim to be only four points off the pace vs Ohio State while Notre Dame was 17 points off. In addition, the Fighting Irish lost to Indiana and Davenport and neither game was especially close.
So I didn't think Notre Dame was the best DIAA team in the nation. At the same time, they were/are pretty good. So to finish this rambling through, everything is much simpler with Tennessee winning. Tennessee is clearly the best DIAA team in the country playing right now (remember, the teams from Florida and the West will have something to say about this later).
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OK ... so here's what the thinking is for our Top 10:
Tennessee didn't lose, beat Kentucky, Georgia and Clemson (twice). They beat Ohio State, the Big 10 champions in DIA. And they beat MAC champs Bowling Green.
Queens lost only to Army (our DIA #1) and Navy, beat everyone in the Chesapeake, and then lost to Penn State by the width of a goalpost.
Brown beat Dartmouth to win the Ivy League, beat the #1 D2 team in Norwich. They put a hurting on a good Fordham team, and also lost to Penn State by a single point. It's not a massive full resume, but we're pretty sure we got that right.
Notre Dame did lose to Davenport and Indiana and Ohio State, but they beat Purdue, Western Michigan, and, tellingly, Bowling Green. There's an argument you could have Notre Dame ahead of Brown and maybe even ahead of Queens. But we talked about those results against DIA competition, and Queens and Brown have slightly better scores.
Bowling Green has to be behind Notre Dame. There is no reason to toss out that loss to the Irish.
Clemson is just a hair behind Tennessee, so you could argue they might be #2 ... but they really would need to play more outside the conference for that.
Dartmouth lost a close game to Brown and did beat Army ... albeit not necessarily Army's frontline 15. They also lost to Navy by over 30. Good team bolstered by the win over Army but could drop down.
Mary Washington was second in the Chesapeake behind Queens but in their cash with Queens and their playoff game with St. Bonaventure they weren't close. Vulnerable.
West Chester is in the NCR DIAA final. If they lose the entire MARC drops, because Virginia Tech was 5th (!) in the Chesapeake and they're in this final too.
Iowa Central is at #10 but it's tough. We could put Kentucky or Western Michigan or Kansas there. Their independent schedule was a good one but this ranking is somewhat speculation and maybe somewhat a message that more teams should consider putting them on their schedule.
Also ... we moved Western Michigan up because we had failed in the last couple of weeks to put them above Louisville, a team they beat in the MAC playoffs. Sorry about that.
When spring comes, expect someone from Florida and one or two from the West to move up. But to challenge the very top they need to play, and win, outside their conference.