Still early in the season for many women's DI colleges in the nation, but a very telling start for others. The team we're most excited about is Norwich, which has been creaming the competition up in New England. While expectations were high for the DII champion in their first DI season, no one expected the Cadets to have outscored opponents 416-0 over three games. Granted, Norwich has seen three of less competitive teams in the league, but the squad impressed early on with a 34-15 victory over Army. We're calling it now: Expect Norwich in the final four come May.
After bowing out of the first round of national playoffs last year, Army hasn't signed on with any league or conference this season. Doesn't mean they've eased off on their schedule, and after a tough loss to Norwich, West Point beat up Virginia pretty handily last weekend. They'll take on Penn State - which won their side of the Big 10 over two consecutive weekends - this Saturday.
The Ivy League is also of interest. Brown started their league season with two close wins - 10-5 over Cornell and 10-0 against Dartmouth - before downing Penn 75-5 last weekend. They have some serious rebuilding ahead of them, and in the meantime, Princeton look best poised to take over the Ivy crown. That bout will play out this weekend as well.
Women's Cougar Rugby has yet to play a league game in the Pacific Mountain West, and in their absence, Air Force have taken the spotlight. The Academy has typically been on the losing end the previous couple of years, but 2012 has seen Air Force defeat Colorado (21-19) and Colorado State (14-10). Air Force leads the standings for now, although it's inevitable that WCR will take that spot soon enough. Nevertheless, a compelling race for #2 should ensue.
Portions of the country like Northern California and Texas are focusing on 7s this fall, while squads like Navy and Maryland are peppering a 7s tournament or two into their league season. We'll keep an eye on those teams, as well as squads like Pittsburgh, which impressed with a 36-19 loss to Navy in their first-ever DI game; and Texas Tech, which won the War of the Roses tournament.
Women DI College Rankings - Oct. 11, 2012
||Penn State (3-0)
||Defeated Michigan 50-0 and Michigan State 96-0 in doubleheader
||Women's Cougar Rugby (1-0)
||Friendly 114-7 v Utah State
||Norwich (3-0) (8-0)
||Defeated UMass 122-0
||Defeated Pittsburgh 36-19
||Lost to 35-14 Norwich, big win over UVA
||Defeated Cornell 39-10
||Defeated Penn 75-5
||UVA (1-0) (3-1)
||Lost to Army in friendly; defeated East Carolina 84-0
||Northern Iowa (2-0)
||Defeated Iowa State 70-0
||Radcliffe (2-1) (6-1)
||Defeated Columbia 52-12
||Defeated Alabama 86-0 and Florida State 31-7 at Heart of Dixie
||Air Force (2-0)
||Defeated Colorado State 14-10
||North Carolina (3-0)
||Defeated Elon 29-0
||Texas Tech (3-0)
||Won War of the Roses with wins v Oklahoma, Oklahoma State & Missouri
||New Mexico (1-0)
||Defeated Colorado State 36-31
||Lost to Air Force 21-19
||West Chester (1-0) (1-0-1)
||Defeated James Madison 34-3
||UC Santa Barbara
||Lost to Navy 36-19
||Lost to Penn State 50-0