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While most of the top colleges in the country, the true National Championship contenders, are stand-alones in their conference, there is one conference that has two perennial powerhouses. That leaves us looking at massive wins week after week from top-five teams, except when Towson and Salisbury play.
In the WIIL, UW-Whitewater's closest divisional competitor, UW-Stout, is still 50 points away. Whitewater won't see Illinois State, which it beat 24-0 in last year's WIIL final, until the conference playoffs, since ISU is in another division. In the Northern Lights, Duluth's closest game was a 49-point victory over Northern Iowa. Notre Dame doesn't have a serious challenger in the MARC, and James Madison is four-tries-worth of points better than its closest competitor in the Cardinals Conference.
In the Potomac, Salisbury, the owner of more DII National Championships than anyone, has enjoyed a long reign. But Towson has knocked on the door for years, making multiple Final Four appearances. Oct. 11, for the first time since 2011, the Tigers beat Salisbury. The win is huge, not only in the Potomac, but in our rankings. It's the most impressive result in DII this season - the equivalent of a National Semifinal win, so Towson moves up to No. 2.
Rejoining the rankings after being pulled out due to a mistake on our part is Colorado College. The program is isolated as the only DII team in its region, so we made the mistake of labeling CC as NSCRO. The Tigers are a DII independent, however, and a non-conference win over Saint Louis University, an annual playoff participant, means Colarado College is back and a force to be reckoned with.
SLU bounced back from the road loss to Colorao College to crush conference rival Principia 68-0, knocking the Thunderchickens out of the Top 25. SLU is a good program, but not one with the firepower of Whitewater, Duluth, James Madison, Salisbury or Towson, who might beat someone by 68, but see that team remain in the rankings.
Taking Principia's place is East Carolina. The Pirates are undefeated in the Southern Conference. Also ranked out of the Southern are UNC-Wilmington and Furman, who meet this weekend in a clash of undefeateds.
|4||4||James Madison||Beat Virginia Tech|
|5||3||Salisbury||Lost to Towson|
|6||6||Notre Dame College||Beat Scranton|
|7||9||Illinois State||Beat DePaul|
|8||7||Old Dominion||Lost to James Madison|
|9||Unr.||Colorado College||Beat SLU|
|10||8||SLU||Lost to Colorado College|
|11||10||UW-Stout||Lost to Whitewater|
|12||11||UNC Wilmington||Beat College of Charleston|
|13||12||Northern Iowa||Beat St. Cloud|
|14||14||Vermont||Beat Boston U.|
|15||15||Rhode Island||Beat Coast Guard|
|17||18||Vassar||Beat New Paltz|
|18||19||Fairfield||Beat Seton Hall|
|20||22||Louisiana Tech||Forfeit over Troy|
|22||16||Norwich||Beat New Hampshire|
|23||24||Coast Guard||Lost to Rhode Island|
|25||Unr.||East Carolina||Beat Western Carolina|