The Mid-Atlantic and South held their respective women’s DI college championships this weekend, and the results forced some movement in the national rankings.
The University of Texas has been the most exciting team to follow. After winning the Texas seed to the South play-ins, the Longhorns went on a 4-0 undefeated streak to win the South Championship over defending champion North Carolina – and by no small margin: 36-3.
So it made sense to swap UNC’s and Texas’ rankings, and also drop Central Florida a couple of pegs after its 22-7 semifinal loss to the Tar Heels.
In MARFU, Virginia proved less competitive than years past. The 2011 Final Four team finished third in MARFU, defeating West Chester 10-0 in the quarters, losing 32-5 to Navy in the semis, and then defeating Maryland 29-5 for the final seed.
Other major moves include California, which finished second in the Pacific Mountain North Conference after Stanford. Why were the Golden Bears slotted in front of Midwest champ Northern Iowa? UNI’s ranking was established after they won the Midwest in November 2011. Since then UNI hasn't responded to any requests for information on their pre-season fixtures or results. Cal, on the other hand, has been active all year, and frankly, it’s easier to gauge progress when results are circulated.
You’ll also notice that Michigan has slipped in front of Ohio State. Very early in the season, the two teams played a friendly in which Michigan won 17-7. Since then, UM has stayed active, traveled to the East Coast for spring break, played in the Virginia Women’s Invitational Tournament, and logged some nice time on the pitch against teams like DI women’s club Detroit (17-all tie).
OSU, however, has been plagued with game cancellations as Mother Nature has prohibited its two true games against Tennessee and Indiana during the last month. It’s upcoming schedule isn’t looking too promising either, and it’s very likely that the top 15 will not be on the same pitch in a real match before nationals.
“We’re playing women’s club Scioto Valley this weekend, but some of our players are heading out of town for Easter,” OSU coach Philip Payne said. “The following week is the Midwest U23 tournament. It’s a shame since we have a really talented, but very young team that could do really well if we could play. We’re going to the Sweet 16 raw and untested.”
And finally, UC Santa Barbara joins the rankings after finishing second in the Pacific Mountain South Conference. The team fell to PMSC champ UCLA twice during league season and will attempt to snag that sixth and final seed to nationals this weekend during play-ins. UC Santa Barbara will have to get past Chico State, who we’ve ranked just below the Top 25 newcomer. Should they exit the semifinals unscathed, UCSB will face the winner of Colorado State v UC Davis for the berth to the Round of 16.
After the play-ins conclude, there will be little movement in the rankings before the first round of nationals, which are set to occur April 20-22 in four locations countrywide.
Women DI College Top 25 – April 3, 2012
1 (1) Penn State (3-0) (10-2). Won MARFU Championship with a 136-5 win over Maryland in semis and 32-5 win over Navy in final.
2 (2) Brown (7-0), (10-3). Defeated Boston College 70-7; went 2-1 on tour defeating Glasgow 50-5 and Watsonians 45-0, and losing to Edinburgh women 33-27
3 (3) Women's Cougar Rugby (BYU) (4-0) (8-2). Lost to WPL's Glendale 39-22 and Canadian university Lethbridge 5-3.
4 (4) Army (6-1) (7-2). Defeated women's DII club Brandywine 47-0 and lost WPL's Beantown 29-0 at Four Leaf 15s
5 (6) Stanford (4-0), (9-0). Won Pacific Mountain North Conference.
6 (7) Navy (2-1) (7-2-1). Defeated Virginia 32-5 in MARFU semifinal, lost to Penn State 32-5 in final.
7 (8) Eastern Illinois (5-0), (10-0). Idle
8 (5) Virginia (3-1) (7-3-1). Lost to Navy 32-5 in MARFU semifinal, defeated Maryland 29-5 for 3rd.
9 (15) Cal (4-1). Finished second in Pacific Mountain North Conference.
10 (11) Northern Iowa (7-1). Won the Midwest championship.
11 (14) Texas (7-1). Won South Championship with a 52-33 semifinal win over Georgia Tech and 36-3 final over North Carolina.
12 (12) Colorado (3-1) (11-6). Lost to Colorado State 19-10 in scrimmage.
13 (10) UCLA (5-1). Won Pacific Mountain South Conference but lost final league game 22-19 v UC San Diego
14 (9) North Carolina (7-1) (7-3). Defeated Central Florida 22-7 in South semifinal, lost to Texas 36-3 in final
15 (16) Michigan (6-2), (11-5). Tied Detroit Women 17-17.
16 (13) Ohio State (7-2), (7-3). Had lost to Michigan 17-7 but both real games vs Tennessee and Indiana canceled due to weather. raw and untested!
17 (17) Princeton (6-2) (10-3). Went 1-1 on spring break tour to England.
18 (20) UC Davis (2-2). Finished 3rd in Pacific Mountain North Conference.
19 (19) Colorado State (2-2), (3-2). Finished 3rd in Pacific Mountain East. 3 abbreviated scrimmages in 2012, the last of which was a 19-10 win over Colorado University
20 (23) West Chester (1-1), (6-3-1). Lost 10-0 to Virginia during MARFU quarterfinal
21 (unr) UC Santa Barbara (4-2). Finished second in Pacific Mountain South Conference; defeated UC San Diego twice.
22 (25) Chico State (1-3). Finished 4th in Pacific Mountain North Conference.
23 (21) UC San Diego (2-4). Finished third in Pacific Mountain South; lost to UC Santa Barbara 21-19, defeated UCLA 22-19.
24 (22) Central Florida (6-1). Lost South semifinal to North Carolina 22-7
25 (24) NC State (3-3). Finished second in South's Cardinal conference with two close losses to North Carolina but forfeited seed to South play-ins.