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Final DIAA-Level Men College Rankings of the Fall

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Final DIAA-Level Men College Rankings of the Fall

Where do you put Virginia Tech? Ollie Mide photo.

This is the final DIAA ranking of the fall of 2021, and we make a few changes, based largely on the two games of the past weekend, Wheeling vs Iowa Central and, of course, Virginia Tech vs West Chester.

Virginia Tech won the DIAA playoffs for NCR, but it's also worth noting that we have been ranking all of the teams in the Chesapeake and none of the teams in the Liberty in our DIAA. We followed what conferences billed themselves as. The fact that NCR moved the top teams in the Chesapeake into their D1 playoffs isn't something we can get too worked up about. We rank the same group of DIAA teams all fall. (This is at odds with the mixed-up DIA rankings we did, as we ended up putting the Liberty teams in there, and then took them and a few Rugby East teams out because our published DIA rankings are what we vote on the official DIA rankings, which do not include Liberty or some of the Rugby East teams.) 

So then, with the teams we have, how do we go about ranking them? Does Virginia Tech have a shot at #1? If not #1, could they be in the Top 10? The Top 5?? Let's have a look:

1. Tennessee ended the fall undefeated, beating Clemson twice as well as Kentucky, Georgia, and everyone else in the SCRC. In addition, Tennessee beat Bowling Green, the MAC champion, and Ohio State. This last result is key.

2. Ohio State (a DIA team and Big 10 champion), split their games against Indiana, and beat Penn State. It was a close game with Penn State, but a win nonetheless. We'd say Ohio State could be seen to be marginally better than Penn State, and equal to Indiana (a close loss and a close win). Penn State, for their part, beat Brown and also Queens by a single point, and then lost to St. Bonaventure by a point. One could legitimately argue that Ohio State, Indiana, Penn State, Brown, and Queens are roughly equal.

3. Queens rates ahead of Brown for two reasons: 1) they had a somewhat tougher schedule and 2) Queens was one pass away from actually beating Penn State. Brown maybe weren't quite that close (although very close). It's a slim distinction, but enough for say Queens is a tiny bit stronger than Brown.

4. We've established that Tennessee is stronger than Ohio State, and by extension Queens and Brown. Tennessee, by virtue of beating Bowling Green and Clemson, should be considered stronger than those teams. What about Notre Dame? UND's results were pretty solid, and they did beat Bowling Green, but they lost to Ohio State and Indiana, and by 17 and 23 points. So they are below Tennessee and also below Queens and Brown. Bowling Green, of course, has to be behind Notre Dame, but remember that BGSU lost to Tennessee by five points — we can't drop them down too far. Similarly, Clemson stays close.

5. Queens beat Mary Washington by a convincing score. Mary Washington and Queens and Mount St. Mary's all beat Virginia Tech by fairly large scores (average score 49-5), which makes it very difficult to rank Virginia Tech above them. 

6. We keep Dartmouth near the top because their only loss was a close one to Brown. We put Wheeling into the Top 10 because they tied Davenport (a team that beat Notre Dame by the way), beat Notre Dame College, and just beat Iowa Central. Iowa Central beat Iowa State and Minnesota, but did lose to Lindenwood, Davenport, and Arkansas State. Iowa Central's schedule is a tough one, but did they have enough DIAA wins to keep them in the Top 10? 

7. So Virginia Tech can't be ranked higher than Queens, UMW, or MSM. Those teams can't be ranked ahead of Tennessee, and we know that Brown, Notre Dame, Clemson, and Dartmouth can't be moved too far down. What we then have to do is cast aside VT's loss to Southern Virginia. We don't have a problem doing this because a) that SVU win was very close, b) it was two months ago, and c) since then Virginia Tech has improved and lossed impressive victories over Salisbury, Boise State, and West Chester. So if we cast aside the SVU loss, we can move Virginia Tech up right behind Mount St. Mary's—#11 is as high as we can do.

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There is no doubt, however, that the best DIAA team of the fall was the University of Tennessee.

Rank Prev Team Conference Notes
1 1 Tennessee SCRC  
2 2 Queens University Chesapeake  
3 3 Brown Ivy League  
4 4 U. Notre Dame Independent  
5 5 Bowling Green MAC  
6 6 Clemson SCRC  
7 7 Dartmouth Ivy League  
8 8 Mary Washington Chesapeake  
9 30 Wheeling Independent Beat Iowa Central (10)
10 17 Mount St. Mary's Chesapeake  
11 20 Virginia Tech Chesapeake  
12 10 Iowa Central CC Independent Lost to Wheeling (30)
13 11 Kentucky SCRC  
14 12 Western Michigan MAC  
15 9 West Chester MARC Lost to Virginia Tech (20)
16 13 Louisville MAC  
17 14 Kansas Heart of America  
18 18 Minnesota Heart of America  
19 15 St. Joseph's MARC  
20 21 Boise State NCRC  
21 16 Rowan MARC  
22 19 Western Washington NCRC  
23 22 Iowa State Heart of America  
24 23 IUPUI MAC  
25 24 Oregon NCRC  
26 25 CSULB Gold Coast  
27 26 Florida Atlantic Florida  
28 28 South Florida Florida  
29 29 Central Florida Florida Beat UConn
30 27 Arizona State Gold Coast  
31 31 Arkansas Heart of America  
32 32 Cincinnati MAC  
33 33 Kansas State Heart of America  
34 34 Texas State Lonestar  
35 35 Southern Virginia Chesapeake  
36 36 Iowa Heart of America  
37 37 Salisbury MARC  
38 38 Georgia SCRC  
39 39 UT San Antonio Lonestar  
40 40 Fresno State Pac West  
41 41 UCSC Pac West  
42 42 Sam Houston State Lonestar  
43 43 Chico State Pac West  
44 44 Oregon State NCRC  
45 45 Washington State NCRC