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Final College Rankings - An Explanation

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Final College Rankings - An Explanation

Michael Geib photo.

Goff Rugby Report has finalized the All DI College Rankings as well as an All-DIAA ranking. Both are available on our partner FloRugby site.

Here is some analysis.

First off, just because a college wins DIA doesn't make that team an automatic #1. You could have an up and down year, win the playoffs, but not play particularly well - admittedly, that would be a pretty rare thing. What wouldn't be rare would be the the #1 team coming from the ranks of the Varsity Cup. It happened last year. The key for us in making these rankings is the fact that Saint Mary's annually plays BYU and Cal.

And those games aren't soft. You never hear any coach in those games shrug and say "we didn't field our best team" or "we were focusing on the league game later." Cal v Saint Mary's, and Saint Mary's v BYU are always played to the best of the teams' abilities. We need that.

So how did that all help us compare the top teams? 

Saint Mary's beat BYU, and also lost to the Cougars. Saint Mary's beat Cal. Cal didn't lose to anyone else, but were swept by UBC in fairly clear fashion.

Life University, up until the playoffs, had played basically their Mid-South schedule, but no one outside of that immediate area.

So you could fairly safely argue that Saint Mary's and BYU were tied at the top. Except that the aggregate score between the two slightly favored Saint Mary's (53-47). If you wanted to get down to game-specific judgments, the Gaels' loss to BYU was the result of a little bad luck and a couple of poor decisions. But that's how rugby is - it's a game of decisions and taking advantage of luck when it falls in your lap. BYU didn't make Saint Mary's give up the ball, but the Cougars were responsible for what they did with it.

BYU and Saint Mary's also shared three common opponents - Cal Poly, San Diego State, and Air Force. (But not, oddly, Utah, which didn't have a game v BYU this year.) Both teams were 3-0. BYU scored 218 points against those three teams, and allowed 32. Saint Mary's scored 206 and allowed 12.

Going into the playoffs, BYU started off very well with a win over a really, really good Indiana team. Cal continued apace, and Life looked solid. Then Life beat BYU in the DIA semis. It all seemed to come clear after that. Saint Mary's was basically even with BYU, but a little better if you look at the stats. Saint Mary's had beaten Cal. Life had beaten BYU. So the winner of the DIA final would have to be #1. It was, predictably, close, and Saint Mary's won. Cal did well to win the Varsity Cup in convincing fashion, but can't say the loss to Saint Mary's didn't happen.

So what now? Let's reiterate the call for DIA and Varsity Cup to have a meeting of the minds and bring all of these teams back under one post-season umbrella. The schedule isn't going to be a problem. Venues and TV coverage shouldn't be a problem. We can just wish, right now, to have the best 16 teams in the nation play each other in a playoff. A quarterfinal round with Saint Mary's, BYU, Cal, Life, Arkansas State, and any combination of Indiana, Penn State, Navy, Army, Lindenwood, Central Washington, Arizona, San Diego State, or (looking forward) Notre Dame College would be a dream.

Final DIAA Rankings

Final All-DI Rankings