While there wasn't a mass of exciting league games to keep an eye on last week, there was a rash of intriguing non-conference friendlies.
In one, LSU became the second highly-ranked SEC Rugby team to tumble in an early season tilt, losing 23-10 to Texas State. The Renegades were in our preseason poll, having reached the Sweet 16 last season, but were dropped due to early idleness. They're a great example of how we deal with idle teams. We can't ignore the winning of the teams currently playing, but when an idle team gets its season going and bags a couple wins, it'll be rewarded appropriately.
Tennessee, the first highly-ranked SEC Rugby team to be upset (losing to Maryland a couple weeks back) returned to the winner's circle with a 23-point win over Virginia Tech. Vols coach Marty Bradley says it's taken his team longer to transition from 7s than he would have expected or liked, but it appears Tennessee is coming along.
In another SEC Rugby-versus-Atlantic Coast matchup, South Carolina pounded NC State 38-7. The Gamecocks have a couple of impressive wins over area men's clubs in the bag this preseason, which coupled with the way they finished last year, has them looking quite dangerous.
Florida used a big second half Saturday to down rival Florida State in Tallahassee in front of a large partisan crowd. Florida coach Ken Simmons, though pleased with the win, says the Gators are still in a transitional phase and coping with the loss of several key playmakers. For the Noles, the void left by Dylan Hamilton at flyhalf has yet to be filled.
|Texas State in playoff action this spring. Dropkick photo|
There were two conference games of note Saturday; then undefeated Princeton against undefeated Dartmouth in the Ivy League and Stony Brook against Iona in the Empire East. Stony Brook avenged a heartbreaking loss from earlier in the season and replaced Iona in the rankings, and Princeton lost big to Dartmouth and followed the disappointment with a letdown against Brown on Sunday.
The most important match of the upcoming weekend? Easy: Miami (OH) at Davenport. Both teams are led by very experienced players, especially at flyhalf. The Reds' Luke Markovich could lineup in a number of different positions, and one of them could well be at standoff directly across from DU's all-world JP Eloff. This game is part of a three-game series that will determine the Mideast, and potentially the national title. The other two feature Bowling Green against Saturday's contestants.
1 (1) Davenport 4-0 Won 52-5 over Indiana
2 (2) Dartmouth 6-0 Won 57-5 over Penn, 53-21 over Princeton
3 (3) UC Santa Barbara 0-0 played in Cal Poly 7s
4 (4) Miami (OH) 3-0 Won 92-13 over Purdue
5 (5) Bowling Green 4-0 Won 20-19 over Ohio State
6 (6) San Diego State 0-0 Idle
7 (9) Florida 2-0 Won 28-5 over Florida State
8 (8) Stanford 0-0 Idle (first game Nov. 5 against San Jose State)
9 (13) Northeastern 5-0 Won 50-6 over UConn
10 (10) Claremont Colleges 0-0 Idle
11 (11) Indiana 2-3 Lost 52-5 to Davenport
12 (12) Wisconsin 4-1 Won 76-0 over Nebraska
13 (20) South Carolina 1-0 Won 38-7 over NC State
14 (14) Sacramento State 0-0 Idle (first game is Oct. 29 vs. Oregon)
15 (16) Minnesota 3-1 Won 13-10 over UNI
16 (17) Maryland 2-1 Won 24-17 over Towson
17 (18) Tennessee 2-1 Won 30-7 over Virginia Tech
18 (Unr.) Texas State 1-0 Won 23-10 over LSU
19 (7) LSU 0-1 Lost 23-10 to Texas State
20 (19) St. Bonaventure 3-1 Idle
21 (21) Oregon State 0-0 Played in NCRC 7s
22 (22) Loyola Marymount 0-0 Idle (first game Nov. 12 against UCLA)
23 (Unr.) Stony Brook 3-1 Won 24-20 over Iona
24 (24) Virginia Tech 1-1 Lost 30-7 to Tennessee
25 (25) Kansas State 0-0 Played in Oklahoma 7s
23 (Unr.) Iona 3-1 Lost 24-20 to Stony Brook
15 (19) Princeton 4-2 Lost 53-21 to Dartmouth, 19-12 to Brown