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Making Sense Of The D1A Maze

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Making Sense Of The D1A Maze

Ann Weinstock photo.

As usual it's a bit of a hedge maze to navigate the US DI college, but we've still got to navigate it.

Right now we have 70 teams in D1A, the most ever. They are split into the following conferences (or not conferences). We've got some links to more detailed articles if you want them.


Big 10 (9 teams). Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State, Purdue, and Wisconsin

The conference made a big change in its schedule to avoid blowouts between the top teams and the bottom teams. See Here.

They kick off their games next week.


California Conference (6 teams): Cal Poly, San Diego State, Santa Clara, Saint Mary's, UC Davis, UC Santa Barbara

They start playing in January. Sacramento State dropped down to D1AA and UC Davis moved up.


Liberty Conference (17 teams): Albany, Binghamton, Brockport, Colgate, Cortland, Syracuse, Delaware, Fordham, Iona, Rutgers, Stony Brook, Fairfield, Northeastern, Rhode Island, Tufts, UConn, UMass

A huge addition to D1A and only Iona and Delaware were in before. The Liberty is split into three divisions: Empire, I-95, and New England.


Mid-South (5 teams): Arkansas State, Clemson, Davenport, Life, Lindenwood

Davenport starts with two league games this fall to ease their schedule stress. The rest play in the spring.


PAC Rugby Conference (6 teams): Arizona, Arizona State, Cal, UCLA, USC, Utah

With Utah having to choose one conference or another, the Utes chose the PAC. Arizona State has served out its suspension and returns. Play starts Jan 20.


Red River (9 teams): Arkansas, Baylor, Houston, LSU, Oklahoma, TCU, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech

It seems Texas might be on a comeback. But this is a solid group with Baylor the defending champs. League kicks off in November. 


Rocky Mountain (8 teams): Air Force, Colorado, Colorado State, New Mexico, Utah State, Wyoming, *Utah Valley, *BYU

This league has already started with Air Force beating Utah State big. Utah Valley and BYU are associate members and their games don't count in the standings. But they are still ranked according to those games. There's a good chance BYU does OK.


Rugby East (7 teams): Army, Buffalo, Kutztown, Notre Dame College, Penn State, St. Bonaventure, Wheeling Jesuit

Still worries that Wheeling Jesuit is in trouble. See what their former captain has to say about that.

Iona and Delaware left for the Liberty Conference, while Notre Dame College joined.

Army plays Buffalo this weekend in the opener.


The Independents (3 teams): Grand Canyon, Navy, University of Notre Dame

It's not confirmed that some of these teams really even think of themselves as D1A. USA Rugby does, and also considered BYU and Utah Valley independents for ranking purposes. Central Washington is not listed, but could be. With the Varsity Cup in doubt right now, we might see something more official from UND, Navy, and CWU. GCU is all-in as an independent D1A team.