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The nationwide club restructure is making its debut this season, and we've mapped out the road to the postseason for DII men. There are eight competitive regions, whose champions advance to the national quarterfinals. Here’s a look at how each CR will fill its playoffs, and what teams are in the driver’s seat for postseason berths.
While different competitive regions have their own nomenclature for their competitions, for our purposes we are using the typical Region/Conference/Division system.
All regular season play was done in the fall. Unlike every other CR, this one has extended playoffs. The West conference was split into two divisions – North and South. The top two teams from each will cross over against each other in the quarterfinals. The East conference was split into two divisions, as well – Ohio/Pennsylvania and Michigan/Indiana, and they’ll also cross over against each other.
QF: Eastside Banshees (West-North 1) hosts South Side Irish (West-South 2)
QF: Wisconsin (West-South 1) hosts St. Paul Jazz Pigs (West-North2)
QF: Detroit Tradesmen (MI/IN 1) hosts Pittsburgh OH/PA 2)
QF: Cleveland Eastern Suburbs (OH/PA 1) Indianapolis Impalas (MI/IN 2)
SF: Eastside/South Side vs. Wisconsin/St. Paul
SF: Detroit/Pittsburgh vs. Cleveland/Indianapolis
There are three conferences in this CR – True South, Carolinas and Florida. The two DII teams in Georgia, Atlanta Renegades and Atlanta Old White, are playing in the Carolinas. Since the Carolinas are hosting the CR semifinals and finals in Charlotte May 3-4, they get a second bid to the championship weekend.
The Carolinas’ two bids to the CR semis will be decided by a six-team playoff. The top teams from Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina will be the first three seeds. The three next-best teams will be seeds 4-6. The top two seeds receive byes to the semifinals.
True South has two divisions – East and West. The top two teams in each will cross over against each other in the semifinals. Right now, Chattanooga has a comfortable lead in the East and has already clinched at least second. Knoxville is currently in second, and Chattanooga isn’t out of it.
The West is closer, but barring some major upsets, Birmingham and Jackson will be the semifinal teams. Baton Rouge needs to score some of those upsets to get involved, and Memphis is out.
Florida also has a four-team playoff. Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, the Miami Tridents, Boca Raton, Tampa Krewe are all within a bonus-point win of each other with three weeks left. The Krewe and Ft. Lauderdale have just two games left, while the others have three. Orlando is also still in the mix, but with just two games left, most likely on the outside looking in.
May 3-4 – Charlotte, NC
SF: TBD vs. TBD
SF: TBD vs. TBD
Two conferences – Capitol and Eastern Penn. The top four teams from each advance to the quarterfinals. While the bulk of regular season play was had in the fall, there are still a few weeks of play beginning later this month.
In the Capitol, only two teams miss out on the CR quarterfinals. Rocky Gorge is undefeated and has clinched a spot in the CR playoffs, as have the Washington Irish. Everyone else is still on the bubble.
In the Eastern Penn, the top four are stratified from the bottom four with just three weeks to play, so it would be surprising to see anyone other than Wilmington, Doylestown, Media and Lancaster represent this conference in the quarterfinals.
QF: Eastern Penn 1 vs. Capitol 4
QF: Eastern Penn 2 vs. Capitol 3
QF: Capitol 1 vs. Eastern Penn 4
QF: Capitol 2 vs. Eastern Penn 3
SF: EP1/C4 vs. C2/EP3
SF: EP2/C3 vs. C1/EP4
Monmouth and Princeton Athletic Club lead the Empire Conference with one game to go for everyone. Monmouth has clinched 1st, and PAC should be second, with Buffalo, Union, and New York shooting for the next two spots. That group is expected to play off to select a champion.
In New England, the playoffs are set for April 19 with Amoskeag at New Haven and Hartford at Portland. A week later they decide a champion, and then the New England winner visits the Empire winner on May 3.
New England #1 at Empire #1
ACR1 (old Pacific Coast)
Northern California and the Pacific Northwest make up this competitive region. Both are in the middle of their seasons right now. In the Pacific Northwest it's the Eastside Axemen just east of Seattle, Portland and ORSU out of Oregon, and Snake River out of Idaho that are the only teams with winning records and should be in the hunt for their own playoffs, which are held April 12-13 (Snake River, Portland, and ORSU are all in the South Division of this conference, and one of them, despite being a solid team, will not make the playoffs).
In Northern California, they have a problem, because due to some communication mishap, the league season runs through May 3. That's basically one week too long. May 3 will have to be a playoff between the NorCal champs and the PNW champs for the ACR1 spot. Work is being done to try to use a bye week to get these games done.
April 12-13 - Boise, Idaho
PNW SF: North 1 v South 2
PNW SF: South 1 v North 2
May 3 (?)
PNW #1 v NorCal #1 (location TBD)
ACR2 (old Southern California)
Two conferences – Southern California and Arizona/New Mexico.
Southern California is an 11-team conference decided by a traditional league table. Regular season play goes through April 12. Halfway through, the Defending DIII National Champion Oceanside Chiefs sit atop the standings at 4-1. Pasadena is in second at 4-0, Huntington Beach in third at 3-1 and the Las Vegas Irish in fourth at 3-2. The top four teams in the standings play the SoCal semifinals and finals April 26-27, with the winner advancing to the May 3rd CR final.
The other conference is split into divisions across state lines. The top
two teams in Arizona play the top two teams in New Mexico in a
semifinal/final format April 19-20, with the winner playing the SoCal
champion May 3rd for the right to move to the national
quarterfinals. Right now, the top two teams in Arizona are Tempe and Red
Mountain, in that order. The top teams in New Mexico currently are
Albuquerque and El Paso. In both states, DII teams play with DIII teams to
get enough games in.
QF: Arizona 2 vs. New Mexico 1
QF: New Mexico 2 vs. Arizona 1
SF: Winner vs. Winner
QF: SoCal 1 vs. SoCal 4
QF: SoCal 2 vs. SoCal 3
SF: Winner vs. Winner
Arizona/NM champ vs. SoCal champ
ACR3 (old West minus
Mid-America and Eastern Rockies are the two conferences. Both have split seasons, so they played a chunk of games in the fall and have a chunk left in the spring. The top two teams in each table advance to semifinals and finals May 3rd and 4th in Glendale, Colo.
Because the Mid-America has just four teams (St. Louis Ramblers the fourth) each team was charged with playing two out-of-conference games against DII competition that would count toward the league table. No two teams are playing the same out-of-conference opponents.
Omaha beat Tulsa and has a spring game against the Bremer County Bucks this month. Kansas City is playing both Bremer County and the Eastside Banshees in March. The Bombers beat up on Memphis and Nashville. The Ramblers either have played or are playing a number of out-of-conference teams – Nashville, Memphis, Baton Rouge and the South Side Irish, but it’s unclear which matches are meant to count toward the league table.
Because of the unbalanced schedule, it’s too early to say what’s what. But there are potential unjustices. For example, Kansas City could finish 5-1 against conference opponents, but 5-3 overall and miss out on the ACR3 playoffs.
The Eastern Rockies is a lot more balanced, and Park City is undefeated in the driver’s seat. Glendale’s only loss is to the Haggis, as the Raptors sit in second. If the playoffs began today, they’d be the teams in.
May 3-4 – Glendale, Colo.
SF: Eastern Rockies 1 vs. Mid-America 2
SF: Mid-America 2 vs. Eastern Rockies 2
ACR4 (Red River a.k.a Texas)
Three conferences. Two of them, the North and South, play home-and-away against conference rivals and home-or-away against inter-conference opponents. The third conference, made up of DI second sides (DI-B), is completely autonomous.
The winner of each conference, and a wildcard team, advance to the April semifinals and finals, with the champion gaining a bid to the national quarterfinals. The wildcard goes to the team with the highest percentage of maximum points.
The races in the DI-B and North conferences are close, with the two teams atop each heap having one loss. 6-1 HARC and the 5-1 Austin Blacks are those in the hunt in the DI-B, and Little Rock and Oklahoma City have one loss a piece in the North.
The South race is more stratified, as 6-1 HURT has already clinched the conference championship and second-place Alamo City is likely out of the wildcard race with three losses already on the board.