Photo courtesy Seattle Saracens
The DI club season ended last weekend, and with it, the final rankings have been released. Movement was expected, and some of it needs explanation.
First, the obvious: Seattle retains the #1 spot that it’s held all year, and championship runner-up Chicago North Shore moves to #2. Read more about the DI national championship that occurred June 4 in Glendale, Colo.
The question then became how to judge the teams that the finalists played along the way. Raleigh lost to North Shore by single digits, and a converted try separated the Venom and Boston during the Round of 8. The aforementioned got the nod over the western quarterfinalists because the results out of Tucson weren’t as conclusive.
Seattle rated quarterfinal opponent Santa Monica above semifinal opponent Denver Black Ice, and if the competition ended there, then the ranking would be easy. But every Round of 8 team played two matches that weekend. Back-to-back games – especially consolation games that have little bearing on playoffs (save next year’s seeding) – speak to the depth and resilience of a team. And those are valuable attributes. Any other ranking would indicate that Austin’s victory didn’t matter.
The only other explanation needed is the vacated #11 slot. Houston had previously been on the list but finished runner-up in the Red River conference, thereby placing HARC into the DII national playoffs (HARC lost 97-8 to eventual champion Life West). Rather than add a team that hadn’t featured on the rankings in months, the slot remained unfilled. It’s appropriate as well considering the distance between the teams on either side of the gap.
The rest of the list is self-explanatory. Pittsburgh fell to #12 after dropping a 51-5 loss to NOVA in the Mid-Atlantic semifinals. The Virginia side missed out on the national quarterfinals after losing the play-in game against Beantown 32-17. The 2015 national championship finalist had to win the play-in after losing to Boston, 23-10, in the Northeast championship and again in the consolation semifinal, 24-8.
Teams 13-15 held onto their spots. Philadelphia’s playoff run ended in the MAC semifinals (32-0 loss to Raleigh), and the Midwest’s Detroit and Minnesota Valkyries have been idle (the region doesn’t hold a post-season).
DI CLUB FINAL RANKING
Rank (Old Rank) Team (Record). Results
1 (1) Seattle (13-6). 37-17 W Santa Monica, 32-14 W Denver Black Ice, 36-19 W Chicago North Shore
2 (5) Chicago North Shore (7-1). 29-8 W Beantown, 24-15 W Raleigh, 36-19 L Seattle
3 (2) Raleigh (9-1). 12-5 W Boston, 24-15 L Chicago North Shore
4 (4) Boston (8-3). 23-10 W, 24-8 W Beantown; 12-5 L Raleigh
5 (12) Black Ice (4-4). 34-15 W Austin, 32-14 L Seattle
6 (6) Austin (10-1). 34-15 L Denver Black Ice, 55-36 W Santa Monica
7 (11) Santa Monica (5-4). 37-17 L Seattle, 55-36 L Austin
8 (3) Beantown (9-3). 23-10 L, 24-8 L Boston; 29-8 L Chicago North Shore
9 (8) NOVA (5-4). 51-5 W Pittsburgh, 12-10 L Raleigh, 32-17 L Beantown
10 (10) Belmont Shore5-2SoCal SF: 37-31 L Santa Monica
12 (7) Pittsburgh (4-1). MAC SF: 51-5 L NOVA
13 (13) Philadelphia (1-4). MAC SF: 32-0 L Raleigh
14 (14) Detroit (2-3-1). Idle
15 (15) Minn. Valkyries (3-3). Idle