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Men DI College 7s Rankings 2016

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Men DI College 7s Rankings 2016

Colleen McCloskey photo.

Here is Goff Rugby Report's Men DI College 7s rankings.

This is an enormously difficult ranking to put together, because most of these teams don't play each other. USA Rugby ran its National Championship, and the CRC ran their invitational, that many teams choose over the USA Rugby tournament. Meanwhile, there are some other prominent tournaments where teams have done well, only to see them improve, or drop off at a later date.

What to do. Well, we do our best is what we do. In our observations, it seems that Cal is the best college 7s team in the country. This is based in part on how convincingly they won the CRC, beating teams who have played some of the top teams in the USA Rugby tournament. Saint Mary's, in our opinion, is a pretty close second, while AIC, which lost to the Gaels 7-5 in the national final, has to be right behind.

And that's who we go, looking for past results to guide us (but not lock us in).

Some comments about specific teams:

Arkansas State. They might have beaten Cal - the only team to come close to doing so. They could certainly be ranked higher. However, we just weren't that impressed, frankly. We know they can play better - we've seen them play much better.

West Virginia. They were up and down, but at their best were close to the very top.

Notre Dame College. Two things hurt them; one, that Utah, the team they lost to in the LVI, didn't light the CRC on fire. And, they failed to finish the games at the USA Rugby tournament (yes, I know they were told by their AD to leave early, but, too bad, you don't play a game, you get hurt.) We have to assume a loss to Central Washington in that game, and they get pinged a few more spots for not playing the game.

Addendum: (Looking back at this, we've got to say it's a bit harsh. NDC and CWU were scheduled the last game of Sunday. Also, it's worth remembering that NDC beat AIC in March at the LVI, and pushed Saint Mary's 21-17 in Cary. While that first game was a while ago, you've got to wonder whether thing could have been different ...)

Wisconsin. Their record over the spring is about as good as anyone's - 29-3. Wow. And they beat two of the teams that beat them.

Delaware. We should actually ping Delaware pretty hard here, because they opted to play in a tournament that, really, they should have won easily (which they did), instead of being in the CRC (where they weren't invited) or USA Rugby tournament. Well, at least they won it ... Finishing top four in the ACRC 7s didn't hurt.

Navy. What to do with Navy. The Midshipmen played about as well as any Navy team has played in the ACRC 7s, which they won. But then it all imploded at the CRC. Now, as we are quick to hurt a team for not playing a game, we are not so quick to hit them for school-related issues. Everyone had some problems on the CRC weekend, but Navy's were especially difficult, and that hurt their early performance, for sure. We think they are top 10 on their best day, but in this case we decide to slide them in at #24 to recognize the ACRC performance.

St. Joseph's - much improved in the CRC over ACRC, which gets them in this ranked group 

Utah. It wasn't the losses. Losing by a try to Wisconsin and to Dartmouth wasn't a deal-breaker; it was just barely getting by Notre Dame, Temple, and Clemson ... we expected much more.

Virginia Tech. They beat Life. Come on, Goff! Yes, and lost big to Indiana. They get bumped.

UC Davis. We think they might be good enough to get in this group, but didn't play in a major tournament, so they aren't there.

South Carolina. Not completely sold on #22 for the Gamecocks. Could be #30, could be #16. They get a lot of credit for playing in the USA Rugby AND the CRC tournaments (and it was really nice to see that, of course, no one gave them any grief for that, because that would have been wrong ...). The Gamecocks pitched-up, and you know we love that.

We used a formula for this. After ranking it based on our observations, we then input a formula based on wins and losses at the ACRC 7s, CRC, and USA Rugby tournaments, and factored in wins against ranked teams (counting our initial rankings), and close losses to ranked teams. That formula actually put Kutztown at #1, but that was mostly due to the fact that Kutztown played in two tournaments. If we take our initial rankings, and then combined that with the formula rankings, our top 10 is virtually the same. We made a couple of adjustments based on actual head-to-head results (hence UCLA over Kutztown).

A note also on the USA Rugby v United World Sports rivalry. Sixteen of the ranked teams were in the CRC. Fourteen were in USA Rugby's championships. One team, Delaware, was in neither. South Carolina was in both. Six of the teams ranked played in the ACRC 7s.

Four of the Top 10, including #1, were in the CRC, The other six were USA Rugby teams. The average ranking for the CRC teams was 16.6; for USA Rugby championship teams it was 14.1; for the ACRC it was 20.5.

That data shows what we've known for a while - the CRC is strong at the top, but not in the middle, while the USA Rugby Nationals has more depth. 


2016 Goff Rugby Report Men's DI College 7s Rankings
1 Cal
2 Saint Mary's
4 Arizona State
6 Kutztown
7 Arizona
8 Lindenwood
9 Central Washington
10 Davenport
11 Bowling Green
12 Dartmouth
13 Life
14 Penn State
15 Arkansas State
16 New England College
17 St. Bonaventure
18 Army
19 Wisconsin
20 West Virginia
21 Notre Dame College
22 South Carolina
23 Delaware
24 Navy
25 Texas A&M
26 St. Joseph's
27 Indiana
28 Utah
29 Boston College
30 James Madison