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Furman with ball against ECU. Deborah Shue Miller photo

The bulk of DII Men’s College conferences got under way this weekend in a revamped landscape. Some traditional heavyweights won and some teams that finished strong last season continued it into the beginning of this season.

Division II is wide open this year, particularly on the east coast. With the emergence of the Chesapeake Conference, (a new DIAA conference) a number of the traditionally powerful DII scores moved to test their mettle in DI. Perennial final four participants, Salisbury and Towson followed James Madison and NDC to the higher level, allowing some other teams a chance to get Furman this year.

One of those teams that could head to South Carolina for the final four won’t have to travel very far and could play on its own campus. The Paladins have been in the upper echelon of teams for the past several years, and have opened the season 2-0. Furman smashed Elon 62-15 this weekend. The Southern Conference is one of the toughest in the country, however, and should bring interesting results every week.

Out west, the mighty War Hawks of UW-Whitewater opened their season with a punishing 70-10 win over Marquette. Its rival to West and three time defending champs, Minnesota-Duluth will start its campaign next weekend. Lindenwood-Belleville, who made its mark in DII in the program's first year, moved on to a DIAA independent schedule, making the Midwest a runaway between these two programs.

One of the biggest surprises of the weekend came in the NECRC. Rhode Island, who played the War Hawks tough in the round of eight last year, fell to Norwich 30-21 on Saturday.

In the Cardinal Conference, VMI has been the team to beat since the departure of James Madison. VMI started 2016 with a 67-19 victory over UMBC. The balance will be a little different this year, though as NC State moved down to DII this year. The Wolfpack beat a decent ODU team from last year convincingly 40-13.

If the first week is any indication, there might be a shake up in Rugby Northeast. UMass-Lowell who knocked off an undefeated Roger Williams last year to reach the round of 16, fell to Bentley 17-3. Roger Williams won 41-6 over Stonehill.

The Colorado School of the Mines is the favorite in the Rocky Mountain. A 46-10 win over UCCS did not do anything to deter that.

Spring Hill, who elected to play and independent schedule may have had the mist notable win of the weekend. It defeated Alabama 38-37 in a barn burner down South.

Here are all the scores from the weekend.




Scores 9/10/16
Appalachian St62-0UNC-GreensboroSouthern
Wake Forest32-21Western CarolinaSouthern
Citadel27-26East CarolinaSouthern
UW-Platteville5 82UW-MilwaukeeWIIL
Illinois Wesleyan22-41UICWIIL
Loyola19-24Northern IowaWIIL
Niagara29-45Bufalo StateUpstate NY
Fredonia24-33CortlandUpstate NY
Oswego27-19LemoyneUpstate NY
RIT29-24GeneseoUpstate NY
NC State40-13Old DominionCardinal
Vermont 54-3New HampshireNECRC
Norwich30-21Rhode IslandNECRC
Roger Williams41-6StonehillRugby Northeast
Bentley 17-3Umass-LowellRugby Northeast
Souther Connecticut46-12Holy CrossRugby Northeast
Scranton26-19Kutztown IIIMARC
Southern Illinois22-9PrincipiaGateway
St. Louis56-0MaryvilleGateway
Colorado College43-22Colorado MesaRocky Mountain
Colorado School of Mines46-10UCCSRocky Mountain
Spring Hill38-37AlabamaIndependent