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The Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship is right around the corner, and the field looks like its best yet. All but one program that’s ever won a tournament which can be construed as a 7s National Championship is involved, more teams won their way to the CRC via qualification vehicles than ever before, and many of those invited have claimed tournament titles this spring.
Life (2011 USA Rugby College 7s), Arkansas State (2012 & 2013 USA Rugby College 7s), Dartmouth (2011 & 2012 CRC) and Cal (2013 & 2014 CRC) account for seven of the eight 7s national titles ever won. The one champion missing is Utah, winner of the inaugural CRC in 2010. The Utes attempted to qualify for this year’s tournament at the Las Vegas Invitational but fell short.
Arkansas State bested 23 other teams at the LVl, Utah included, winning the only open-entry qualifier. Indiana won the Big Ten, claiming the conference’s automatic bid. Alabama shocked the Southeastern Collegiate Rugby Conference, winning its championship and bid. And Clemson finished second to Virginia Tech, a team already invited to the CRC, in the Atlantic Coast championship, claiming that conference’s ticket to Philly.
Additional conference 7s champions include Cal (PAC), Dartmouth (Ivy) and St. Joe’s (Keystone), giving this year’s field six conference champions in total. CRC participants swept that upper echelon of non-conference tournaments during the 2014/2015 season, too, those which routinely attract several highly ranked teams from multiple conferences – LVI (Arkansas State), Battle in the Bay (Cal), ACRC 7s (Kutztown) and West Coast 7s (UCLA).
Several other CRC participants have had great success this season, as well. Kutztown won a remarkable seven tournaments. St. Joe’s won three. Indiana won three. Cal, Dartmouth, Notre Dame and Virginia Tech all won two each. 12 CRC teams won at least one tournament this season, and the field combined for a whopping 26 tournament titles.
Of the 45 major DI-level college 7s tournaments this season, CRC participants won 26. They didn’t compete in at least 11 of those 45 major tournaments, meaning CRC teams won an incredible 76-percent of the tournaments in which they competed throughout the scholastic year.
Even some of the CRC teams that didn’t win a tournament even had good seasons. Temple, for example, finished second in three tournaments. Texas finished second in its conference championship. Clemson finished second in the Atlantic Coast tournament. Boston College finished second in a quality event.
The point is, on paper the 2015 CRC field is as competitive, if not moreso, than any of the competition’s previous incarnations, or any other college 7s tournament in history, for that matter.
|Cal State 7s||Sacramento, CA||San Diego State||Sacramento State|
|Viking 7s||Bellingham, WA||U. Victoria||UBC|
|Oregon State 7s||Corvallis, WA||W. Washington||Oregon State|
|Boise State 7s||Boise, ID||Utah||Utah B|
|West Coast 7s||San Luis Obispo, CA||UCLA||Cal|
|NCRC||Ellensburg, WA||C. Washington||W. Washington|
|Battle in the Bay||San Francisco, CA||Cal||Arizona State|
|PAC Championship||Los Angeles, CA||Cal||Arizona State|
|PacWest Championship||Reno, NV||Nevada||Sacramento State|
|LVI||Las Vegas, NV||Arkansas State||AIC|
|SIRC Championship||Savannah, GA||UCF||Georgia Tech|
|College Clash||Brighton, MI||Bowling Green||Michigan|
|ACRL Series||Clemson, SC||Notre Dame||Virginia Tech|
|Stony Brook||Long Island, NY||Dartmouth||Kutztown|
|Big XII||Norman, OK||West Virginia||Kansas State|
|St. Joe's 7s||Philadelphia, PA||Kutztown||St. Joe's|
|Dayton 7s||Dayton, OH||Michigan||Notre Dame College|
|SCRC Series||Gainesville, FL||South Carolina||Tennessee|
|ACRL Series||Raleigh, NC||Kutztown||Virginia Tech|
|Philadelphia Collegiate Cup||Philadelphia, PA||Kutztown||Maryland|
|Empire Series||Long Island, NY||AIC||Stony Brook|
|SCRC Series||Tuscaloosa, AL||South Carolina||Tennessee|
|Keystone Series||Morgantown, WV||St. Joe's||West Virginia|
|ACRL Series||South Bend, IN||Indiana||Michigan|
|Big Ten Series||Ann Arbor, MI||Indiana||Illinois|
|Keystone Series||Shippensburg, PA||St. Joe's||Temple|
|Kutztown 7s||Kutztown, PA||Kutztown||AIC|
|ACRL Series||College Park, MD||James Madison||Maryland|
|Big Ten Series||Iowa City, IA||Notre Dame||Iowa|
|NDC Falcon 7s||South Euclid, OH||Bowling Green||St. Bonaventure|
|Rocky Mountain 7s||Fort Colilns, CO||Air Force||Colorado State|
|SCRC Series||Tupelo, MS||South Carolina||Florida|
|ACRL Series||Blacksburg, VA||Virginia Tech||Maryland|
|URugby Challenge Cup||Philadelphia, PA||Kutztown||Temple|
|Armory 7s||Springfield, MA||AIC||Boston College|
|Big Ten Championship||Champaign, IL||Indiana|
|Empire Series||Binghamton, NY||Kutztown||Stony Brook|
|SCRC Championship||Knoxville, TN||Alabama||Mississippi State|
|Heart of America||Lawrence, KS||Arkansas|
|MAC Championship||Bowling Green, OH||Miami||Bowling Green|
|Keystone Series||Rutgers, NJ||St. Joe's||Temple|
|ACRL Championship||Charlotte, NC||Virginia Tech||Clemson|
|Red River Championship||Austin, TX||Texas A&M||Texas|
|ACRC 7s||Virginia Beach, VA||Kutztown||AIC|