Men D2 2023 Rankings Week 3
Men D2 2023 Rankings Week 3
Of the 40 teams in our D2 rankings, 28 represent rankings changes this week.
Now that the season has started in earnest we can drop a couple of teams out (Central Missouri has numbers issues, for example), and bring some teams in based on results we were waiting for.
Virginia drops 15 spots and it's a little unfair because this is mainly because they didn't get to play this past weekend. UVA is probably a good team, and while we still think they should be in D1, they don't meet the enrollment threshold for being forced to move up by NCR. So, fair enough, let's see them play. the problem is the Cardinals Conference isn't the right conference for them competitively. Too many small colleges, too many forfeits. Was their 14-10 loss to Virginia Tech a true representation of the Cavs' quality? We don't really know. So while other teams are playing, UVA is not, and we end up moving them down to 39 in the hopes we will see them play.
Same story, somewhat, for MSU Mankato. Got to see them play. They drop down 11 spots. East Carolina played a tough team and lost, and drop down 11 spots in part because so many other teams ranked further down won. All three of the biggest-dropping teams can easily move up with one or two strong results.
Kent State jumps up 13 spots after a very convincing win over Xavier. The Allegheny Conference is much better this year with more teams involved (although NCR still lists Alderson Broaddus as a member ... hmm ... maybe they can add Faber College instead). Anyway, jokes aside, Kent State jumps from 38 to 25, essentially reversing what we did with Mankato.University of New Hampshire was a team that kind of broke out in 2022. With a team like that we are usually cautious, keeping them in the rankings mix the next season but not too high as we look for some staying power. A tie with UMass Lowell bumps UNH up significantly—12 spots—and we have the two teams tied in the rankings at the moment. But they could separate. Ongoing results might let us know that one team has better depth or better luck with injuries than another.
St. Louis University pulled off a really impressive victory over Washington U., and get moved up 11 spots to #12. This is a huge jump. Think of the rankings like the atmosphere. It's not that hard for anyone to go up quickly from ground level to even 30,000 feet. You just need a little effort (and an airplane). But to get higher and higher it takes a lot more effort. Most commercial airplanes fly at around 35,000-40,000 feet. But the number of planes that can go higher than that is much smaller, and the amount of power, skills, and other factors required to get you up to, say, 100,000 feet is much greater. Going from 20,000 feet to 30,000 feet is not much of a big deel. Going from 80,000 feet to 90,000 is a massive undertaking.
So going from #40 to #29 is reason to celebrate, but nowhere near as difficult as going from #23 to #12.
Bloomsburg and Bucknell move up after good results.
We also bring Scranton because their result against Lehigh was better than that of Bucknell. We just needed another week to figure that out. Minnesota-Duluth won big and while beating St. Scholastica isn't a surprise, the margin perhaps indicates that UMD might be inching their way back to prominence.
Cornell's defeat of RPI brings them up, and it was competitive enough that RPI remains in the Top 40. Northern Illinois comes in after losing, by a point, to Illinois State. As usualy we have to keepa close eye on the Great Midwest.
Games to watch:
Loyola vs Illinois State
Marquette vs Northern Iowa
Villanova vs Bucknell
UM Duluth vs MSU Mankato
Coast Guard vs Norwich
Bentley vs UNH
Vermont vs UMass Lowll
(We might as well always list the NEWCRC games as crucial.)