UW-Whitewater and Middlebury did exactly what they were supposed to in the Round of 16 and quarterfinals; dominate. They won their games with ease, leaving no reason to believe they’re not the two best teams in the country.
Salisbury won its two games as well, but Sunday’s 32-29 win over East Carolina was a squeaker, and one could argue 5-10 more minutes would have seen the South #2 jump over the Mid-Atlantic champs. Still, the Sharks won, setting up what should be a highly anticipated match in the semifinal with Middlebury. (Can we get the moniker “Bury Bowl” to stick?)
Sierra College also did what it should have done, which was use the seeding system to its advantage. Because SoCal held the top seed after Claremont Colleges’ 2010 title run, Sierra got the easiest road to Final Four of any semifinalist. But, they held serve and deserve credit for doing so.
Outside of the top four, a few things were discovered over the weekend. One is the Pacific Coast should be considered stronger than the West. Sure, this may not come as a surprise to anyone, but it’s now proven. So, while we still think rather highly of Saint Louis, Arkansas and Missouri, the rest of the West slips, while some PacCoast teams are given credit
We also now know the South was perhaps better than we originally thought. USF lost relatively big to Middlebury, but that’s no sin. The Bulls hammered Bentley, who hammered MARFU runners-up St. Joe’s, and ECU came within a kick of forcing the MARFU champs into extra time.
Guess who beat ECU in the regular season? Appalachian State, a team we liked all along (they were our preseason No. 1). The reason App. State didn’t make the Sweet 16 was because a scheduling crunch put their match with UNC-Wilmington, their only loss on the season, smack in the middle of spring break, and ECU won the three-way tie to decide their league. We still think App. State is a very good side.
The way Michigan State tested Salisbury and UW-Whitewater dominated also boosts the cred of the Midwest, hence the inclusion of Northern Illinois. The Huskies won the Chicago Area RFU in the fall, and gave Whitewater one of their toughest matches of the Midwest playoffs.
1. (1) UW-Whitewater. 14-0 Won 36-19 over Cal Maritime, 46-7 over CS Fullerton
2. (2) Middlebury. 14-0 Won 38-14 over USF, 34-5 over St. Joe's
3. (3) Salisbury. 12-2 Won 32-29 over East Carolina, 27-19 over Michigan State
4. (6) Sierra College. 10-2 Won 32-17 over Pepperdine, 44-13 over CS Long Beach
5. (5) South Florida. 12-3 Lost 38-14 to Middlebury, won 44-13 over Bentley
6. (7) Cal Maritime. 10-4 Lost 36-19 to UW-Whitewater, won 31-10 over Saint Louis
7. (4) Saint Louis. 8-3 Won 36-12 over CS Fullerton, lost 31-10 to Cal Maritime
8. (9) Utah Valley. 7-1
9. (17) Appalachian State. 4-1 (7-2-1)
10. (15) East Carolina. 5-4 (8-1-5) Lost 32-29 to Salisbury, won 56-7 over William Paterson
11. (11) Arkansas. 10-2
12. (13) Mary Washington. 12-3
13. (14) San Jose State. 9-1 (11-1)
14. (16) Missouri. 6-3 (9-4) Lost 47-26 to Kansas State
15. (20) Michigan State. 10-3 Won 46-5 over William Paterson, lost 27-19 to Salisbury
16. (18) Bentley. 8-4-1 (10-4-1) Won 41-14 over St. Joe's, lost 44-13 to USF
17. (22) UNC Wilmington. 9-2
18. (25) Pepperdine. Lost 32-17 to Sierra, won 30-20 over Rice
19. (8) St. Joe's. 9-5 Lost 41-14 to Bentley, 34-5 to Middlebury
20. (10) Towson. 10-4 (15-3)
21. (UR) Idaho
22. (UR) Georgetown. 10-4 (15-4)
23. (11) Rice. 8-6 Won 13-10 over CS Fullerton, lost 30-20 to Pepperdine
24. (UR) Northern Illinois, Won Whiskey 10s, Tourney of Champions
25. (24) Cal State Fullerton. 6-2 Lost 46-7 to UW-Whitewater, lost 36-12 to Saint Louis
(19) William Paterson. 8-4 Lost 46-5 to Michigan State, lost 56-7 to ECU
(21) Colorado College