You are here
As in most years, the DII college landscape continues to change. Some teams have changed conferences, some teams have joined the division and a new conference has formed.
Division II was the first level to switch to a fall only championship and it remains the case today. All of the conferences but one across the country adhere to the fall schedule.
Things have been a little difficult to track in DII because according to USA Rugby, some teams have not officially notified them of conference changes. Official records from USA Rugby indicate some teams are in one conference, but social media, conference websites and commissioners have indicated movement not currently reported by USA Rugby. This breakdown reflects a combination of the two.
Great Midwest (WIIL)
We cannot mention DII without starting with perennial power UW-Whitewater. UWW has won two consecutive national titles and remains the team to beat here. The conference is hands down the deepest in the country. The Top 25 rankings are littered with WIIL teams including, Illinois State, Marquette, UW-Milwaukee, Northern Michigan and Northern Iowa.
The conference features 13 teams and is divided into two divisions, north and south. It is made up of Wisconsin and Illinois schools and the divisions reflect geography. Northern Illinois is the only new team to join the fray.
Teams: UW-Whitewater, Illinois State, Marquette, UW-Milwaukee, Northern Michigan, Northern Iowa, Northern Illinois, DePaul, Illinois-Chicago, Loyola-Chicago, UW-LaCrosse, UW-Platteville, UW-Stout
The Cardinals Conference is made up of teams in Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina. The conference is a hybrid between DII and NSCRO teams so calculating playoffs and divisions results gets confusing. There are three divisions, and the DII teams are sprinkled across each.
Last year, Virginia Military Institute gave everything they had to UWW in the final. The Keydets will once again lead the conference but NC State is always competitive.
Teams: VMI, North Carolina State, Old Dominion, VCU, George Mason, Radford, University of Maryland-Baltimore County
The Deep South is another hybrid conference with NSCRO. There are eight teams total but only three vie for the DII conference crown. Last year, Lousiana Tech took the conference title.
Teams: Louisiana Tech, Tulane, Lousiana-Lafayette
Rugby Northeast lost three teams for the 2018 campaign. Southern Connecticut, Bryant and Stonehill are no longer in the conference leaving seven teams to vie for the conference title. Norwich has been the best in the conference for the last couple years but Bentley, Middlebury and Roger Williams all will challenge Norwich.
Teams: Norwich, Bentley, Middlebury, Roger Williams, UMass-Lowell, Providence, St. Michael’s
The six team conference from upstate New York is now down to four teams. SUNY Oswego left for the DIA Liberty Conference and LeMoyne elected to join NSCRO.
Teams: Buffalo State, Fredonia, Geneseo, Rochester Institute of Technology
The Tri-State lost three teams for 2018. Sacred Heart decided to go to the New England Wide Conference and Siena College and Union left for NSCRO. The conference still has 10 teams with RPI and William Paterson leading the way.
Teams: RPI, William Paterson, The College of New Jersey, Hofstra, Marist, Molloy, Montclair State, NJIT, Seton Hall, Union, US Merchant Marine Academy
New England Wide
The New England Wide saw the biggest change from 2018. The conference added four new teams, Vermont, Southern Connecticut, Boston University, and Sacred Heart. Vermont comes in after being an independent last year, Southern Connecticut comes from the Rugby Northeast, Boston Unviersity from the Colonial Coast (NSCRO) and Sacred Heart from the Tri State.
With the addition of the new teams, the conference has decided to go to a two-tiered system. The top teams will play in tier one and be eligible for USA Rugby playoffs while the tier two teams will not.
Tier 1 teams: Southern Connecticut, Quinnipiac, Hartford, Vermont, Coast Guard, Sacred Heart
Tier 2 teams: Western Connecticut, WPI, Central Connecticut, Westfield State, Springfield, Boston University
This conference remains unchanged and consists of five teams. Long time DII juggernaut Minnesota-Duluth was unseated last year by North Dakota State. NDSU made the final four last season and will look to repeat.
Teams: North Dakota State, Minnesota Duluth, Mankato State, North Dakota
The Gateway has seven teams in the conference and is comprised of Missouri schools. Missouri S&T and Saint Louis have been strong in years past.
Teams: Missouri S&T, St. Louis, Central Missouri, Principia, Southern Illinois, Missouri-Kansas City, Washington University of St. Louis
The Great Lakes includes Michigan and West Virginia. Grand Valley State has won in recent years.
Teams: Grand Valley State, Ferris State, Oakland, Saginaw Valley, Wayne State, Marshall
The Rocky Mountain is another conference let untouched from last year. Montana State won the conference last year but Colorado School of Mines and Western State have proved formidable last season.
Teams: Montana State, Colorado School of Mines, Western State, Colorado College, Colorado-Mesa, Northern Colorado, Colorado Springs
The Southern Conference is comprised of 12 teams. It is divided into two divisions and is made up of North and South Carolina schools. Furman, and UNC-Charlotte have been the dogs the last few seasons.
Teams: Furman, UNC-Charlotte, Appalachian State, Citadel, Coastal Carolina, East Carolina, Elon, UNC, UNC-Greensboro, UNC-Wilmington, Wake Forest, Western Carolina.
The Midwest is a hybrid conference with NSCRO. Four teams will compete for the DII title. IUPUI came out of the conference last season.
Teams: IUPUI, Kent State, Eastern Kentucky, Western Kentucky
After a national championship in NSCRO last season, Iowa Central moves to DII and will go for a fall championship. The Tritons blitzed everyone in their path last season and will be formidable in DII.
Teams: Iowa Central