Jarrod Beckstrom is a globally nomadic sports-addicted renewable energy advocate fisherman. He’s the former communications manager of USA Rugby and has been covering high school, college, and international rugby since 2004. His opinions and picks don’t necessarily reflect the views of USA Rugby or D1A Rugby. Follow him on Twitter (@willcrawlthere). He welcomes well-informed and civil rugby discourse.
BOULDER, Colo. — The ARC and California keep chugging along this weekend and the Mid-South has its first in-conference game that should be a very interesting one. Davenport (Grand Rapids, Mich.) play at Life (Marietta, Ga.) in an all-important all-Mid-South clash. Here are my picks for the week and hopefully I can redeem myself after my whiff last week picking Sam Houston State over A&M (Aggies won 105-7…). Moving on…
Here are my semi-educated guesses:
ALLIED RUGBY CONFERENCE
SAM HOUSTON STATE (0-2) @ OKLAHOMA (0-1)
Pick: OU. The Sooners were in a state of shock last week as Texas pick-pocketed their win in the final minute and they’ll not be happy about it. Bad news for Sam Houston State who started bravely against Texas A&M scoring the first try, because OU is going to come out strong and effectively be fighting for a playoff spot every game now.
TEXAS (1-0) @ TEXAS TECH (2-0)
Pick: Texas. Before last week, I would have probably picked Tech to win this one just because they are so athletic and raw. But, Texas pulled a huge upset and will have a lot of momentum going into Lubbock this weekend.
TEXAS A&M (1-0) @ BAYLOR (0-2)
Pick: Texas A&M. The Aggies started slow in the preseason losing three straight, but have since overcome some “internal turmoil” and woken up in D1A play.
CAL POLY (4-0) @ SAC STATE (0-3)
Pick: Poly. I think it will be a tough day at the office for Sac State. Cal Poly has momentum having won all of its D1A fixtures to date, which, I think, sets them on a collision course with St. Mary’s next weekend to see who gets the #1 seed out of the California Conference.
SAN DIEGO STATE (2-1) @ UC DAVIS (0-2)
SDSU has been on a tear after Hawkins returned to the sidelines. They beat Stanford 78-0 last weekend. In this photo, Hawkins (far left) watches on as one of his charges extends the Aztecs’ lead. Photo credit: Bryan Cox
Pick: SDSU. The Aztecs are on a two-game win streak and have evidently kicked into another gear since their coach, USA Men’s Eagle Sevens captain Matt Hawkins, has returned from his playing duties. They stomped Stanford last weekend (78-0) and I think they’ll continue their run against Davis.
STANFORD (0-3) @ UCSB (0-3)
Pick: UCSB. The Gauchos have had a tough run early in the season (losing to Poly, St. Mary’s, and SDSU) and they’re hungry for a win.
DAVENPORT (0-0) @ LIFE (1-0)
Pick: Life. This one is going to be a tasty match up for rugby connoisseurs. Both of these teams are extremely well coached and are stacked with All-Americans, but it is going to be Davenport’s first time wading into the deep end of elite college rugby. I pick Life, but don’t think for a second that the Davenport Panthers are going to be pushed around by Life.