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DIAA Playoff Speculations and Situations

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DIAA Playoff Speculations and Situations

BC still in the hunt. CoolRugbyPhotos.

DIAA NCR playoffs this fall are just part of a fairly muddled picture for (mostly) club teams in (mostly) large colleges.


Expect the MAC, SCRC, Liberty, Southern, and MARC to contribute teams to this playoff.

The MAC winner will be one of four teams as the conference semifinals and final come in two weeks. While Louisville (winners over Bowling Green last week) and Bowling Green seem to be favored, Western Michigan isn’t out of the running.

And as we understand it, there’s the potential that if WMU does win the MAC, it will be the runner-up that plays in the NCR playoffs, not the Broncos.

The MARC winner is yet to be decided but it seems like it will come down to James Madison and St. Joseph’s, which will likely come down to the game those two play against each other on November 12.

The SCRC will see Tennessee or South Carolina play-off for NCR seeds.

Liberty has completed their regular season and we’ve got semifinals coming up. With Siena having been bumped up to the super diamond-encrusted D1, the semis are going to bring Boston College vs UMass and Binghamton vs Stony Brook.

Stony Brook beat Binghamton in the opening week of the season 27-22. Boston College beat UMass 27-7 on October 8. 

We will probably see two Liberty teams enter the NCR playoffs.

The new Southern D1AA conference of four teams looks to have Belmont Abbey well in control at 5-0. Second place is Lander at 2-2, the same record as UNC Chapel Hill. Those two play each other this coming weekend and then finish up with one more game—Lander hosting Belmont Abbey and UNC hosting Citadel. Lander will need to beat UNC to have a shot at 2nd.

Other Teams

Virginia Tech won the NCR D1AA playoff last year and now is in the Rugby East, a conference where everyone else is in a higher division. So should Virginia Tech get a spot? Well, they did beat James Madison early in the fall, and they did beat Lander. So despite losing all of their Rugby East games so far, the Hokies have a legitimate argument to be involved.

Also expected would be Boise State, who played in the NCR playoffs last year and have been logging the wins in the NCRC so far. Boise State plays Western Washington in a meeting of the top two teams in that conference, but it has no bearing on the NCR playoffs because WWU will be part of the CRAA playoffs later on.

So that gives us something along the lines of this:

#1 SCRC Winner (Tennessee or South Carolina

#2 MAC (Louisville or Bowling Green, realistically)

#3 Southern Winner (Belmont Abbey)

#4 Liberty Winner (BC, Binghamton, UMass, or Stony Brook)

#5 MARC Winner (St. Joe’s or JMU)

#6 Virginia Tech

#7 Boise State

#8 MAC Runner-Up 

#9 SCRC Runner-up

#10 Liberty Runner-Up

#11 MARC Runner-up (St. Joe’s or JMU)

#12 Wild Card


Not all DIAA teams are in NCR, and even not all the teams in NCR-feeder conferences are NCR. So we will see, for example Kentucky play in a bowl game in December at the CRAA Fall Classic.

You might see a Florida DIAA team in the bowl games in the Fall Classic, but it’s early days for them yet.

In the Heart of America, the semifinals will be played in a week and a half, with the final slated for spring as both teams would go into the ACR/CRAA playoffs.