(This report is not based on an official release or statement from USA Rugby, rather on the information collected by the author through his sources.)
RUGBYMag has confirmed the 12 DII college conferences whose champions will receive automatic bids to the 2013 National Championships. We previously reported there would be 13 automatic qualifying conferences, but upon further review, the College Competitions Committee pared the list to 12.
The Cardinals, Gateway, Great Lakes, Mid-Atlantic, New England, New York Upstate, Northern Lights, Potomac, Rugby Northeast, Southern, Tri States and WIIL conferences will see their champions advance to the DII Round of 16. Four at-large bids will be awarded by the College Competitions Committee to fill out the field, which will be split into four regions. The locations and regional match-ups are to be determined.
The Deep South, Lone Star and NorCal conferences are recognized as DII conferences by USA Rugby, but their memberships do not meet the requirements set forth by the College Competitions Committee to garner an automatic bid to the Sweet 16. Their DII playoff-eligible teams, however, are eligible to receive at-large bids.
At time of publication, three teams have already won their way into the Sweet 16 – Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP), Minnesota-Duluth and Colgate.
Colgate clinched the New York Upstates’ bid Oct. 27 with a 31-15 defeat of Oswego in the conference championship game. The win capped off an 8-0 fall conference record.
The University of Minnesota-Duluth won the Northern Lights with a 6-1 conference record this fall. Northern Iowa also amassed a 6-1 record, but Duluth won the head-to-head match-up and had an extra bonus point.
IUP won the Great Lakes championship game 32-14 over Grand Valley State in Findlay, Ohio Saturday. IUP advanced to the championship game as the South Division champion, and GVSU as the North Division champion. The win was the Tooters’ second over GVSU this fall.
The Potomac, Rugby Northeast, Tri States, Mid-Atlantic and New England conferences will also decide their champions this fall. The Cardinal, Gateway and WIIL playoffs will be in the spring. Southern Conference league play runs into the spring. The league is divided into three divisions and will be decided by a four-team playoff.
The Tri State playoffs picture has been muddied by Hurricane Sandy. The team highest in the standings and available to play this weekend out of New Paltz, Sacred Heart and Molloy will travel to Marist for the semifinals.
QF: Towson 50-3 John’s Hopkins
QF: Salisbury 38-14 George Mason
QF: Georgetown 38-12 George Washington
QF: UMBC 28-12 Mt. St. Mary’s
SF: Salisbury vs. UMBC 11/10 Columbia, Md.
SF: Towson vs. Georgetown 11/10 Columbia, Md.
Finals: 11/11 Columbia, Md.
SF: Coast Guard 39-3 Rhode Island
SF: Norwich 32-17 Vermont
Final: Norwich @ Coast Guard 11/10 New London, Conn.
Final: Providence vs. 11/10 winner of Bryant/Holy Cross game 11/17 Easton, Mass.
SF: New Paltz/Sacred Heart/Molloy @ Marist 11/10
SF: Fairfield @ Vassar 11/10
Final: 11/17 Poughkeepsie, NY
QF: York @ TCNJ 11/10
QF: Drexel @ Scranton 11/10
SF: Lower seed QF winner @ Rowan 11/11
SF: Higher seed QF winner @ Lock Haven 11/11
QF 1: Illinois State vs. UW-Lacrosse 11/10 Lemont, Ill.
QF 2: Western Illinois vs. UW-Milwaukee 11/10 Lemont, Ill.
QF 3: UW-Whitewater vs. Loyola 11/10 Lemont, Ill.
QF 4: UW-Stout vs. Eastern Illinois 11/10 Lemont, Ill.
SF: Winner QF #1 vs. Winner QF #2 4/6/13 Cottage Grove, Wisc.
SF: Winner QF #3 vs. Winner QF #4 4/6/13 Cottage Grove, Wisc.
Final: 4/7/13 Cottage Grove, Wisc.
SF 1: Saint Louis Univ. vs. Central Missouri Spring TBD
SF 2: Southern Illinois vs. Principia Spring TBD
QF 1: Richmond/VCU @ Radford
QF 2: VMI @ Old Dominion
QF 3: William & Mary @ Longwood
QF 4: James Madison @ Mary Washington
SF: Winner QF #1 vs. Winner QF #2 4/13/13 Richmond, Va.
SF: Winner QF #3 vs. Winner QF #4 4/13/13 Richmond, Va.
Final: 4/14/13 Richmond, Va.