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7s college rankings, like their 15s counterparts, are difficult due to seasonality. Since only teams on the West Coast are playing 7s right now, we have to balance rewarding recent results with not ignoring those beasts of the east who we know are quality 7s programs, and will be again when they kick back up in the New Year.
The prime example of one of those beasts is Arkansas State. The Red Wolves are back-to-back USA Rugby College 7s National Champions, and by our count, they haven't lost a 7s match since 2012. They have to get top billing. Even with the loss of Shaun Potgieter, there is a lot of 7s firepower returning.
Likewise, AIC, Kutztown, Life, Dartmouth, Navy, Notre Dame College, etc., are in the Top 25 thanks to their previous accomplishments in the shortened game. Look out for AIC in the spring, with more and more 7s talent coming in. Freshman Jihad Khabir is a stud.
We've got seven college 7s tournaments as having been played so far, all in California, Washington or Oregon. The highest profile was West Coast 7s last week in San Luis Obispo, Calif. where UCLA beat Cal to take the title. That competition had the deepest pool of quality teams so far, so we give it the most weight.
The Northwest Collegiate Rugby Conference Championship is this weekend, which should help stratify its teams, which have been active since September. Viking 7s included several Canadian teams, and Palouse 7s was shortened due to weather, so there are still some questionmarks revolving around who's better than who in the Pacific Northwest. That's true, except at the top, where Central Washington is the uncontested team to beat.
There are two more major 7s tournaments this fall after the NCRC Championship, with the Battle in the Bay Oct. 25-26 in San Francisco and the PAC Championships Nov. 8 in Berkeley. Both will marry some of the best in California and the Pacific Northwest. Arkansas State is also hosting a college 7s tournament in November, and February should provide a platform for spring- and fall-playing 7s teams to meet on neutral ground at the Las Vegas Invitational.
|2||UCLA||Won West Coast|
|3||Cal||2nd West Coast|
|8||Central Washington||3rd Viking|
|9||Utah||Won Boise State|
|11||Notre Dame College|
|12||Cal Poly||3rd West Coast, 3rd Cal State|
|13||Santa Clara||4th West Coast|
|14||Arizona State||5th West Coast|
|15||Arizona||6th West Coast|
|16||San Diego State||Won Cal State 7s, 7th West Coast|
|22||Sacramento State||2nd Cal State|
|23||Western Washington||Won OSU|
|24||Oregon State||2nd OSU|
|25||St. Mary's||8th West Coast|