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The fall DIAA is winding down and the playoff picture is becoming clearer. Meanwhile, fall-spring campaigns are getting underway and giving us an idea of who will contend in DIAA.
Several independents took on DIA teams and lost. Both AIC and NEC lost to Notre Dame College. AIC was competitive trailing 26-24 at one point but ultimately lost 36-24. NEC struggled, falling 58-5 to the Falcons.
It looks like Dartmouth will be declaring for the DIAA spring playoffs meaning that they will likely claim the spot out of the Ivy. In previous years, Dartmouth elected to forego the USA Rugby playoffs for the Varsity Cup. The Ivy stalwarts will most likely win the conference again and take the top seed going into the Ivy playoffs.
However, the other teams are jockeying for a top four spot and a spot in the playoffs. Brown helped its cause with a 27-0 win over Yale. With the win, the Bears moved to 4-1 and are in second place in the conference. Yale drops to 3-2 but has already played Dartmouth. Brown still has Dartmouth in a couple weeks.
Harvard had a bye week this week and currently sits at 3-1. Nobody else in the conference has more than two wins so it looks like Harvard, Yale and Brown will battle for seeding.
James Madison and Virginia Tech both win setting up a showdown between the teams next weekend. The Dukes bested Salisbury 44-28 and the Hokies outlasted Maryland 59-14. Both teams move to 4-1 and are on pace to play each other in a winner take all game for the second spot to the playoffs.
“We put in a great full team effort this weekend against a hard tackling Maryland. We feel we have hit our stride over these past two weekends and hope to continue doing so,” said Virginia Tech coach Paul Caron.
Things could get complicated over the next couple of weeks, however. James Madison will take on two loss Mt. St. Mary’s next week and will battle undefeated Mary Washington in the penultimate week of the season.
For Virginia Tech, the Hokies have Mary Washington next week. A win against the Mothers could throw the playoff situation in the complete disarray.
“Obviously, this weekend is a big one for the conference and we are looking forward to the challenge,” Caron added.
Towson, who upended Mount last weekend, saw their playoff hopes quickly fade with a loss to Georgetown.
The playoff matchups are all set in the MARC. St. Joe’s wrapped up the west with an emphatic 57-0 win over IUP. West Virginia edged Pittsburgh 32-26 to take the second spot in division.
Rowan captured the east title last week but Temple and West Chester battled for the second spot this weekend. West Chester won the game 50-24 and will take on St. Joe’s.
Conference playoff matchups are:
St. Joe’s vs West Chester
Rowan vs West Virginia
They will take place in the coming weeks.
There were no surprises in the SCRC as both Kentucky and South Carolina won big. Kentucky smashed Georgia 80-10 and South Carolina beat Ole Miss 84-6.
The four teams headed to the playoffs appear to be set with Kentucky, Tennessee, South Carolina and Alabama.
FIU and Florida State both moved to 2-0 in conference play. The defending conference champions, Florida State, outlasted South Florida in a close 24-19 battle. FIU best North Florida 20-0.