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There is already turmoil in DIAA with the announcement that the fall and spring champions will not meet to determine a true national champion. However, there is still plenty of great rugby to be played in both seasons. Here is the breakdown of the current conferences and division shifts.
The fall features six conferences and a pair of independent teams.
The Chesapeake remains intact and is one of the most competitively balanced conferences across the board. Look for Mary Washington to remain the standard bearer as DIAA reigning champions but teams like Mount St. Mary’s and James Madison will look to strike back this season.
Teams: Mary Washington, Mount St. Mary’s, James Madison, Georgetown, Towson, Salisbury, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Maryland
The MAC is another conference that saw no changes from 2017. Bowling Green has won an unbelievable 36 consecutive MAC titles. Louisville, Western Michigan and Cincinnati are slowly catching up and one of these years may end the streak.
Teams: Bowling Green, Louisville, Western Michigan, Cincinnati, Ohio, Miami of Ohio, Dayton
Villanova dropped out of the MARC Conference so this year will only feature seven teams. St. Joe’s and Rowan lead the way in this division.
Teams: St. Joe’s, Rowan, Pitt, Temple, IUP, West Chester, West Virginia
The Ivy Conference, of course remains the same. However, the conference has elected to play its conference games in their entirety in the fall and will compete in the fall playoffs. In years past, the conference has participated in the spring playoffs. Dartmouth has reigned supreme for years and won the spring playoffs last year. Harvard and Brown will most likely be the stiffest competition.
Teams: Dartmouth, Harvard, Brown, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Cornell, Penn
The Southeastern Conference added two new teams to the mix. Kennesaw State and Middle Tennessee State join from the now defunct SIRC conference. Tennessee, South Carolina and Kentucky remain the odds on favorites. This is now the biggest conference in DIAA.
Teams: Tennessee, South Carolina, Kentucky, Alabama, Georgia, Auburn, Kennesaw State, Middle Tennessee State, Ole Miss, Mississippi State
Teams: Lindenwood-Belleville, New Hampshire
The spring season features six conferences.
This is a new conference that is made up of most of the former SIRC. The Florida teams splintered off the old conference to create the Florida Conference, presumably to ease the burden of travel. Central Florida, FIU and Florida State have been traditionally strong in this region.
Teams: Central Florida, Florida International, Florida State, University of Florida, Florida Atlantic, North Florida, South Florida, Miami
Heart of America
The Heart of America remains intact and adds one team to the mix in the University of Iowa. Seven teams will battle it out this year.
Teams: Iowa, Oklahoma State, Truman State, Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas, Kansas State
Seven teams return to the Pac West. The University of Nevada made it all the way to the spring championship last year but Chico State and Stanford will try and unseat them this year.
Teams: Nevada, Chico State, Stanford, Sacramento State, San Francisco State, San Jose State, UC-Santa Cruz
The Lone Star recently moved up from division II to DIAA. The conference is made up of a number of Texas schools.
Teams: Houston, Sam Houston State, Stephen F. Austin, Texas State, University of Dallas, UT San Antonio
USC joins the Gold Coast after opting out of the DIA Pac Conference. Long beach won the conference last year.
Teams: USC, Cal State Long Beach, Cal State Northridge, Cal State Fullerton, Loyola Marymount, University of San Diego
Although the Northwest appears to be having a division shake up, the teams remain the same. Western Washington has been the standard bearer in the conference for recent years. This is the second biggest conference with 10 teams.
Teams: Western Washington, Washington, Washington State, Boise State, Idaho, Gonzaga, Eastern Washington, Oregon, Oregon State