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The DII league that runs from St. Louis, Mo. to Omaha, Neb., otherwise known as the eastern part of the American Competitive Region 3, has undergone some changes this season. For Starters, the name is different. It used to be known as the West-Central, but since the new Mid-America GU encompasses all of the teams in the league, we'll call it the Mid-America. Secondly, Tulsa left and moved down to Texas, leaving the league with just four teams.
One possible motive for Tulsa’s move is the path to the National Championships. By being in Texas, a region that’s seen both teams who’ve managed a Sweet 16 appearance recently move up to DII, Tulsa now has to best just seven teams to make it to the playoffs. Just one of those teams, Little Rock, also new to the league, has sniffed Nationals the last few seasons. Whereas, the old West-Central has sent one team to the Elite Eight and two teams to Sweet 16 each of the last two seasons.
Because of Tulsa’s departure and the nationwide club reconfiguration that’s mandating more league games, the remaining teams in the Mid-America – Kansas City RFC, Omaha, the St. Louis Bombers and the St. Louis Ramblers – each have to schedule two out-of-league matches against DII teams that will count towards the league table, in addition to playing each other on a home-and-away basis.
For example, both the Bombers and Ramblers played Memphis and won huge – the Bombers hung 69 points on Memphis and the Ramblers 82. Omaha beat Tulsa 28-13. Those results count in the Mid-America league table.
So far, there have only been three matches between members of ACR3. The St. Louis Bombers beat Kansas City 27-21 Sept. 21 in St. Louis. Kansas City scored a bonus point for losing by seven or less. Omaha beat the Bombers 24-20 Oct. 5 in Omaha. Both teams scored bonus points. And Kansas City beat the St. Louis Ramblers 24-11 Oct. 5 in St. Louis. KCRFC scored a bonus point.
So three matches involving all three Mid-America teams have been separated by an average of just over a converted try a piece, indicating this league will be hotly contested.
The two teams atop the Mid-America standings at the end of the season will crossover against the top two teams from the old Eastern Rockies region, with the winner advancing to the National Quarterfinals as the ACR3 champion.
League play continues Saturday, as the Ramblers and Bombers meet for the first time this season, but on neutral ground in Columbia, Mo. Oct. 19 is a big day, too, as Kansas City hosts the Bombers for a rematch of their six-point squeaker from last month, and Omaha goes on the road to meet the Ramblers.
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