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DIA rugby is down to the wire and there were a number of critical games over the weekend. Several conferences were officially decided and a number of non-conference games helped paint a more interesting playoff picture.
St. Mary’s officially clinched the conference with a win over Cal Poly but the game was not as easy as most had anticipated. The game was 7-7 at the break and the Gaels needed a strong second half to pull away from their opponent to win 36-17. That is an uncharacteristically close win for the Gaels.
This could bode well for other teams in the Conference. Cal Poly lost to UC-Davis and still has to play San Diego State. This close match may propel all of the teams up in the rankings and give them an outside shot at the playoffs.
Cal clinched the conference with an emphatic 80-0 win over Utah, effectively ending the Utes hopes of making the post season this season. The Bears will battle St. Mary’s in the coming weeks for a shot at the top spot overall.
Life rolled over Davenport by 90 points while Arkansas State kept its playoff hopes alive with a win over Clemson by 30. The first time the teams met was a four point game, indicating that Arkansas State might start to be putting it together. Whether they get a shot in the playoffs remains to be seen.
Life will play Lindenwood this weekend, and with a win will clinch the conference title.
LSU kept pace with Texas A&M in the southern division with a 71-17 win over Texas. A matchup with the Aggies next week will determine who will play the northern division winner, Baylor on April 7.
There was a bevy of non-conference games this weekend and several teams came out big winners. After losing to Davis in the DIAA playoffs last year, Grand Canyon bested the Aggies 45-14 in their first DIA meeting. Along with a solid win over Santa Clara, GCU is primed to make the playoffs.
Utah Valley comfortably defeated Central Washington 40-24 moving their stock up significantly during the week. Central Washington continues to struggle and along with a loss to BYU over the weekend, may miss out on the playoffs.
Central is a bit of a paradox as they played Lindenwood and BYU fairly close but were hammered by St. Mary’s and beaten by UVU and San Diego State.
The other big non-conference game saw Arizona win a see saw game over San Diego State 43-41. SDSU missed a kick as time expired that would have given them the win.
As for playoffs, five teams have clinched a playoff spot. Five of the seven conference winners currently fill those spots. All seven along with one independent will get a home playoff game.
St. Mary’s (California)
Penn State (Rugby East)
Indiana (Big 10)
Colorado State (Rocky Mountain)
This leaves two conferences Mid-South and Red River as well as nine at large bids. DIA Rugby posted an article that gives insight into the playoff if the season ended today. The at large teams are determined by the DIA rankings so things can still shake out over the next couple of weeks.
Currently, San Diego State and Utah Valley are the two odd teams out. Central Washington is in the rankings despite losing to both of these teams and leaving many people scratching their heads.
Both teams are certainly better than the Red River and Rocky Mountain winners based on season results but due to the playoff format could likely be left out in the cold.