Women College Weekend and Who Should Think Higher
Women College Weekend and Who Should Think Higher
There is something going on within women's college rugby that is bubbling up within the results of this winter/spring.
It's no secret that the D1 Elite is too small. It's four teams separated by some thousands of miles, making it very difficult for all of those teams (Penn State, Life, Lindenwood, and Central Washington) to play each other. The obvious solution is to expand, but that's a difficult thing to accomplish because of the relative strength these four teams.
But if you could find two teams, especially two teams in the West, you could create a meaningful season—a Western Conference of three teams that play each other twice, an Eastern Conference of three teams that play each other twice, and then a situation in which each team plays two teams in the other conference, one away, one home.
It means you commit to one cross-continental trip in the season, and secure five very difficult games. Then everyone assembles for the finals day with East #1 v West #1, East #2 v West #2, and East #3 v West #3.
The problem has been finding those extra two Western teams. The two most obvious candidates have been BYU and Grand Canyon. But those programs have been reluctant, pointing to the fact that they run up against plenty of competition in D1.
Well not so this year. BYU's games this coming weekend are canceled, and you wonder if part of the reason is that they have been so dominant. The Cougars won their last three games by an average score of 80-0. Their only loss was in October to Central Washington (see? they already play them anyway) 40-17. That was a supremely competitive game which the Cougars, if they played tougher competition more often, could win.
Grand Canyon? Well they were one of those teams that lost to BYU, 47-0 on January 21. But GCU's other conference games include an 85-0 shutout of Arizona, a 43-0 shutout of UCSD, and 36-5 win over ASU. It's difficult to imagine that Cal State Northridge will come closer. UCSB will be competitive but UCLA lost to Arizona State—expect GCU to be a clear 2nd in the Pacific Desert right behind BYU.
The other team to consider right now is Western Washington, which has emerged as a dominant force in the Pacific Mountain with a close win over Oregon and two big wins over Oregon State. They are idle this weekend but would be an excellent fit with CWU if they built on this success. As a rec sports team, however, they do not carry the same status as BYU and GCU.
(We can hear University of Washington saying "what about us?" and yes UW's results are not appreciably different from those of WWU.)
The point is, though, not just to help D1A, but find the right place for the strongest D1 teams—challenging games is a good thing. One-hundred-point margins is not.
Women D1 College Standings Spring 2023
This weekend UW and WWU play Oregon State and Oregon, respectively. Central Florida should keep up their solid run of form and Stanford, paced by the scoring touch of Alissa Vuillier, Sydney Hsu, and Chloe Shrager, should stay #1 in the Pacific Mountain West.
Might Stanford be that magical D1 Elite team? It wasn't that long ago that Stanford was the standard in women's collegiate rugby.
Regardless, all should keep an eye on which teams might want to consider moving up a level.
Check back for scores:
|2/18||UCSB||at||Arizona State||Pacific Desert|
|2/18||Florida State||at||Central Florida||Florida D1|
|2/18||Florida||at||St. Thomas||Florida D1|
|2/18||South Florida||at||Eckerd||Florida D1|
|2/18||Florida Int.||at||Miami||Florida D1|
|2/18||Oregon State||at||Washington||Pacific Mountain|
|2/18||Cal||at||UC Davis||Pacific Mountain|
|2/18||Stanford||at||Chico State||Pacific Mountain|
|2/12||Arizona State||27-17||UCSD||Pacific Desert|
|2/11||Arizona State||81-12||CSUN||Pacific Desert|
|2/11||Arizona||0-85||Grand Canyon||Pacific Desert|
|2/11||South Florida||Ccld||Florida State||Florida D1|
|2/11||Florida Int.||Ccld||Eckerd||Florida D1|
|2/4||Grand Canyon||43-0||UCSD||Pacific Desert|
|2/4||Eckerd||0-91||Central Florida||Florida D1|
|2/4||Fresno State||0-66||Stanford||Pacific Mountain|
|2/4||UC Davis||35-17||Chico State||Pacific Mountain|
|2/4||WWU||75-0||Oregon State||Pacific Mountain|
|2/4||UNC Chapel Hill||7-20||Virginia||Carolinas|
|1/28||Grand Canyon||36-5||Arizona State||Pacific Desert|
|1/28||Central Florida||20-0||Florida Int.||Florida D1|
|1/28||Florida||58-0||Florida State||Florida D1|
|1/28||Miami||Ccld||South Florida||Florida D1|
|1/28||UC Davis||19-20||Fresno State||Pacific Mountain|
|1/28||Washington||45-12||Oregon State||Pacific Mountain|
|1/21||UCLA||10-44||Arizona State||Pacific Desert|
|1/21||BYU||46-0||Grand Canyon||Pacific Desert|
|1/21||Central Florida||58-8||Florida||Florida D1|
|1/21||Chico State||5-83||Stanford||Pacific Mountain|
|1/14||Stanford||54-5||UC Davis||Pacific Mountain|
|11/19||Oregon State||10-59||Oregon||Pacific Mountain|
|11/12||Oregon State||0-81||WWU||Pacific Mountain|