Who's Going To Men's DII Playoffs?
Who's Going To Men's DII Playoffs?
College playoff time is almost here, with the USA Rugby Fall Finals LIVE on FloRugby.
Who will we see get to that special weekend? Here’s a look at the Men’s D2 potential playoff seeds, and who is in contention for those places.
In doing this we are relying on the seeds from 2017, but we also discuss who might get in from another conference. In 2017, USA Rugby ran a payoff bracket of 21 teams, with ten playing in a first round, and the five winners joining 11 others in a Round of 16.
Could this be the same in 2018 It’s going to be close, but we’re going to make a case that some conferences might deserve an additional play-in.
Rugby Northeast 2 Seeds
Norwich is dominating this conference and will be #1.
After that, Bentley and UMass-Lowell are battling for 2nd. Both are probably good enough to do well in the playoffs.
Given that Norwich made the national semifinals last year, you could argue RNE deserves one more spot in the playoffs.
NEWCRC 1 Seed
Vermont is far and away the best team in this conference. It’s not even close. While you could argue that the addition of Vermont could support a plan for a 2nd seed for the conference, no one else is looking like a contender.
Tri-State 1 Seed
Someone at the Tri-State has to play well enough to earn Tri-State another seed. That will be up to William Paterson this year, as WPU seems to be the conference front-runner.
Upstate NY 1 Seed
Three more weeks of games plus the playoffs are left, and we have no real front-runner. RIT and Geneseo are probably the top two. RIT beat Geneseo in Week #1, but the score, 15-10, suggests that Geneseo could get revenge this weekend.
MARC 1 Seed
There’s a lot of argument that the Mid-Atlantic deserves more than one seed. This conference is so competitive, it’s difficult to say that one week’s champion is all that much better than the #2. Villanova, Bloomsburg, Scranton, even York are all good enough to win this conference.
Cardinals 2 Seeds
NC State leads this conference and could well be a national title contender. Virginia is solid here, too. (Yes, yes, these are both teams that could easily be D1AA - fine, call your congressman; they’re in a DII conference, so here they are.)
We’d be very surprised if any team other than Old Dominion unseats those two teams.
Southern 3 Seeds
Yes it could be that the top three in the South are strong enough to perform well at playoffs. But in 2017 the South went 1-3 in playoff games - albeit they weren’t outmatched in any of them.
This year, Furman is a really, really good team. Hurricanes have made it difficult for some North Carolina teams to get games in, so we may yet see some playoff surprises.
Deep South 1 Seed
Toulon leads this group. We’ll see if anyone, such as Spring Hill, can do anything about it. Expect just the one seed from the Deep South, and for that seed to play a secondary seed from the Southern in the 1st round.
Great Lakes 1 Seed
The top two teams are good enough to be thought of as playoff caliber, and given that Grand Valley State won a playoff game, and then was eliminated by the eventual champions 24-19, the conference has a legit argument.
Bethel leads this group, with GVSU next in line.
Northern Lights 2 Seeds
This conference is not as strong as it was two years ago. Too many forfeits - not enough tough competition. North Dakota State and Minnesota-Duluth lead this conference, and they play this weekend. About time, too.
Midwest 1 Seed
IUPUI leads the roost here and there’s not much room for debate. This week’s game against Kent State could be the one potential speed bump. But expect there to be one seed this year, and IUPUI to occupy it.
Great Midwest 3 Seeds (?)
This is what used to be called the WIIL. It’s actually very competitive. The issue is that not all of the teams are, but out of the 13, at least 10 could give you major problems. Wisconsin-Whitewater may well be favored to win it all (FloRugby now has Vermont at #1 but Whitewater had been #1 for the entire season until this week). Northern Michigan, Marquette, Illinois State, and Northern Iowa could all take a seed, and it’s our opinion that the GMW deserves those three.
In 2017, WIIL (now GMW) teams went 6-2. All three playoff teams won at least one game.
Lonestar 0 Seeds
Someone is coming from the Lonestar. University of Dallas is playing the best, but the competitive level is unsure.
And Don't Forget ...
We did, our apologies. Iowa Central CC has been beating D1 teams and competing well on all stages. They should get an at-large bid.
So … our pool of teams numbers around 30 teams that could challenge for 16 to 22 or so.