Bowling Green’s Aaliyah Scott / Photo: Ron Charette (see more)
The top five teams in the DII College Fall Rankings are still intact but there is some vulnerability. Winona State took another forfeit win against Gustavus Adolphus, signaling some issues in the Northern Lights. Through no fault of their own, the Black Katts might drop if another no-show forces another Saturday with no game time. Colorado Mesa finds itself in a similar situation; stay tuned for a feature on the Mavericks.
Vassar is eager and willing to take over the top spot, but had its hands full against Marist, which led the Brewers on two separate occasions in the first half of their last weekend. The second half, however, saw Vassar pull away for a 33-point win, knocking Marist down a spot.
Bryant deserved the bump after outscoring Colby eight tries to one in the Rugby Northeast. Colby is young and still developing, so don’t be surprised if the Maine team makes a late return to the rankings.
Grand Valley State and Buffalo State adjusted in the list, too. Even those the Lakers were idle last weekend, they only beat Great Lakes opponent Oakland 22-10 while Bowling Green stepped up with a 53-10 victory against the same opponent – a performance that warranted a spot on the rankings. Buffalo State just held onto a 26-25 decision over unranked Fredonia, which spent some time on our rankings last fall.
Temple played a respectable game against Kutztown, but the Bears triumphed 26-5 and leapt over Bloomsburg, which banked a two-point win against the Owls the weekend prior. Temple stays on the watch list, though, and provided the Owls stay healthy, we expect another late-season bloom.
Defending DI fall champion Davenport University dominated Youngstown State 117-0. The Penguins aren’t punished for the result – the Panthers defeat fellow DI teams by those margins – but IUP jumps up after a shutout over Slippery Rock. These teams lead Allegheny and will meet on Oct. 20.
With some of the departures, there was room for new teams, like Northern Michigan and Illinois State. They’re both 2-0 and doing well: Northern Michigan beat last year’s Great Waters runner-up UW Oshkosh 29-15, and last year’s Illinois winner Illinois State is rallying from a 78-5 win over Southern Illinois. Meanwhile, we’re watching the Ivy League for a consistent performer (remember, the rankings only track those teams vying for the DII fall championship), and keeping notes on teams like Maine, which garnered high marks from opponent Coast Guard last weekend.
Notes: Records only reflect league games. • Only those DII teams that are building toward the DII College Fall Championship are included below.