The picture for the inaugural American Collegiate Rugby Championship is a little clearer after the weekend, as two teams have been chiseled into the bracket and a couple of teams have been eliminated from contention.
One team to solidify its position is Penn State. The ACRC brain trust has confirmed Penn State for the quarterfinals. The Nittany Lions finished second in the Rugby East, which even though it's lean in numbers, is still probably the toughest conference in the ACRC network. Penn State will travel to Atlantic Coast champion Clemson for what figures to be the marquee match-up of the quarterfinal round Nov. 16.
Stony Brook also punched its ticket to the postseason by winning a pair of games on the weekend. The Seawolves have one more league game left on the docket, but they'll rest several starters in an effort to get them healthy for a quarterfinal match against Middlebury.
In the Keystone, an error on our part last week indicated the winner of Saturday's match between St. Joe's and Shippensburg would represent the conference in the quarterfinals. We had a West Virginia score wrong from earlier in the season, and in fact, the Mountaineers control their own destiny with one game to go. It's simple, if they beat winless West Chester and score four tries in doing so, they're the Keystone Champs and headed to Kutztown, Pa. for the quarterfinals. If they don't, Shippensburg is in.
(Oh, yeah. West Virginia also has to be sure to turn in a match report. The Keystone awards a
gold star bonus point for a match report, so technically, a bonus point win doesn't put the Mountaineers on top. That, plus a completed match report does.)
In the Big Ten, Wisconsin has been eliminated from the playoff hunt, despite winning Saturday. The Badgers have finished the regular season with the same record as Michigan (5-1), but the Wolverines hold one more bonus point and will meet Indiana Saturday in the Big Ten Championship Game in Elkhart, Ind. The winner will host the victor of Miami versus Bowling Green Saturday in BGSU's Doyt Perry Stadium, home of the football Falcons.