There may not be many D1A matchups this weekend involving two teams at or near the top of their conference’s standings, but there are plenty of teams that currently sit in the middle of the pack and need wins to get into a conference championship conversation.
Last season witnessed the West send three teams – Colorado, Colorado State and Wyoming – into the D1A Playoffs, with Colorado reaching its second consecutive National Quarterfinal. This year, there is no reason to believe the West does not have the talent to match last year’s number of three playoff teams.
The official start of the 2014-15 D1A season was pushed back a week as Texas Tech’s trip to Austin, Texas to face the Longhorns was postponed to a date yet to determined. Similarly, several D1A teams had their matches canceled due to poor weather conditions, but many clubs managed to gain a valuable 80 minutes of rugby over the weekend.
The number of colleges offering scholarships for rugby players continues to rise. With the increase of schools gaining financial support from its administrations, coaches’ responsibilities to recruit high-performance athletes eager to train in a varsity setting grows.
Oklahoma prevailed against Texas Tech and won the Allied Rugby Conference title in the process. In the Mid-South, Life and Arkansas State both won, but only by a combined 10 points. San Diego State was Saint Mary’s latest victim, as the Gaels won its third straight match by at least 90 points.
An automatic spot in the D1A playoffs will be on the line when Oklahoma and Texas Tech battle Saturday. Elsewhere, Lindenwood gets another crack at Life, and Saint Mary’s will not find a pushover when it ventures to southern California to face San Diego State.
Now that the Mid-South and West have both reached their midway points in the 2014 season, it is time to recognize players around the country who have bee playing at a high level, as well as hand out some midseason awards.
The West Conference is comprised of four colleges that reside in the Eastern Rockies: Air Force, Colorado State, University of Colorado and University of Wyoming. The four programs have a history of battling one another on the pitch dating back to 1972.
As the 2012 regular season comes to an end, a look at the past 11 weeks brings all sorts of memories and emotions for players, coaches, and supporters. There were upsets, blowouts, and matches that went down to the wire; and there were tries, big hits, and missed tackles that may never be forgotten. Veteran players led many teams, while others relied on youth to guide them through the season. No matter the differences in style of play, club location, or overall record, all players and coaches participated in a grueling competition that they will always remember.