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Walmsley carrying the ball for Dartmouth

The DIAA spring playoffs start in a few weeks and each of the conferences are finishing up. The playoffs will likely feature eight teams divided into two regions. Here is where things currently stand.

Ivy

Dartmouth have clinched a spot with a conference title in the fall. The Big Green had passed on DIAA playoffs to participate in the Varsity Cup in years past but this year will be heading to the DIAA playoffs. Dartmouth has been testing itself against DIA competition to get prepared and it has not been pretty so far. Both Army and Navy rocked the New Hampshire school. The tests will certainly help going forward.

SIRC

The SIRC regular season is now complete. This conference, which is divided into two divisions, has a conference playoff with the top two teams from each division making the post season.

In the north, Middle Tennessee State rolled through the competition with a perfect 8-0 record. 

Kennesaw State finished runner up with their lone losses coming to MTSU.

In the South, both Central Florida and Florida State finished 8-2. The Seminoles, however, edged the Knights 27-25 in the penultimate game of the season and ended up finishing with one extra bonus point to take the  top spot.

Middle Tennessee State will play Central Florida while Florida State will battle Kennesaw State in the conference playoffs.

NCRC

A format change and weather issues complicated the season in the Pacific Northwest but ultimately Western Washington came away with the conference berth. WWU ran away with the division, going 5-0 and easily taking home the top spot.

Heart of America

The conference finished this week. There were three teams atop the conference, Kansas, Kansas State, and Missouri. All three teams finished with one loss. Kansas State bested Kansas, Missouri beat Kansas State and Kansas beat Missouri. All three games were within six points. Ultimately, Missouri won out on bonus points and will head to nationals.

Gold Coast

This is a hybrid conference between NSCRO and DIAA. NSCRO powerhouse Claremont Colleges is undefeated but will head to the NSCRO playoffs later this year. Long Beach State is 4-1 and won the conference. The Dirtbags will host a regional playoff on April 7.

PAC West

Chico State has won the conference at 6-1 despite falling to 6-1 Nevada. Bonus points are crucial and Nevada finished with 29 to Chico’s 30. Stanford, who is Currently 5-1, has a shot to take over second place outright with a bonus point win over UC-Santa Cruz this weekend. A win without a bonus point will make the teams tied but a win over Nevada earlier this year, should give them a boost. The game could have important playoff ramifications as one of the two teams may get an at large spot in the playoffs.

There are six conference winners who are guaranteed a playoff spot, five of which have already been determined. Dartmouth, Missouri, Western Washington, Long Beach State, and Chico State have punched their ticket to the playoffs. Once the SIRC playoffs play out in the coming weeks we will have number six.

But who will get those two remaining spots? Last year, Grand Canyon took one as an independent. This year it is likely that two second place finishers will get a nod. But who? It depends on who the DIAA Committee determines to be the tougher conferences. 

Kansas State, Kansas, Nevada, Stanford, and the runner up from the SIRC will have a realistic shot. It may come down to geography and cost. For now we will just have to take a wait and see approach.