2019: Round 7 Preview

D1A Rugby: 2019: Round 7 Preview
Photo Credit: @dave_chan_photography
  • Five Top-25 ranked matchups this weekend
  • Mid-South conference in full swing
  • Cross-Conference battles
  • Notable home conference games
  • All matchups listed across the weekend

East

There are two big home matchups in the Eastern Conference this upcoming weekend. The first will be the rebounding #16 St. Bonaventure (1-3) side taking on #12 Army (1-3). Both of these clubs are riding a two game losing streak, albeit to top ranked opponents, and will be desperate for a win. Neither of the clubs’ remaining schedules will get easier from here, and having much needed momentum now could lead to a successful campaign into playoffs.

#11 Notre Dame College (2-2) is set to travel into the #7 Kutztown Golden Bear (3-1) den to face their hot-handed hosts, and to prove their potential. The Falcons are 1-2 in their last three matches, although both their losses came to Top-12 opponents, while the Golden Bears are 3-1 in their four matchups this season. After their convincing win over #9 Penn State, Kutztown will be ready to defend their territory against the challengers, who will be throwing the kitchen sink in order to get back on the winning track.

Mid-South

On the Bubble, #24 Clemson (1-0) will be heading into their second XVs matchup the 2019 Fall Season against the toughest active team in the land, in #5 Navy (5-0). The Midshipmen have been extremely dangerous this entire Fall season by winning by an average of 27.5 points per game, with their closest deficit at 4 points against Kutztown. Clemson has been mostly dormant in XVs for the season, with their only official matchup ending with a victory against On the Bubble #25 Texas A&M.

The Mid-South conference could be argued as the toughest conference in the nation as #9 Penn State (3-1) takes on #14 Davenport (0-1). Within the Mid-South, there are six teams, every one of those teams are ranked in the Top-25, with four of those clubs in the Top-6. Davenport, being the hosts, will try to be the second team this season to defeat this strong Nittany Lions side. Both of these clubs will be looking to rebound from their previous match’s losses. The loser of this game will have a tough time keeping their confidence moving forward, in each of their deathly schedules for the remainder of the competition.

Big Ten

Illinois (2-2) will be traveling to Columbus in facing off against the #19 Ohio State (4-1). Illinois has been sneaky this year in staying relevant within the Big Ten conference. The have beat a solid side in Wisconsin and had a very close loss to Michigan State side in their first match of the season, by 1 point. The Buckeyes have been very strong since their sole loss to Indiana three rounds ago, which has been stirring up controversial dialogue having Ohio State currently ranked higher than the Hoosiers.

#20 Indiana (4-1) will be traveling to East Lansing, MI and will challenge Michigan St. (2-1-1). Indiana is sitting at #2 in the Big Ten, according to their standing’s points (15), and Michigan State is #3 with (13). Even though the Spartans have less of impressive record, they have been tough in gaining bonus points and keeping all their games close. Expect this well-oiled Hoosier machine to keep on the path of dominance, while the Spartans look to throw an obstacle in their way.

The final battle of the Big Ten, Michigan (1-1) will be hosting Wisconsin (2-3) in a matchup that could go either way. The Big Ten has been incredibly close with the Top-5 clubs being within (5) standings points of each other and could be easily shaken-up due to an upset or two. Count on these two clubs to fight their way for every inch in order for a shot at the playoffs.

Liberty

The undefeated Syracuse (5-0) side will be coming off their bye-week with fresh legs against the troublesome Binghamton (3-1) squad. Binghamton had had mostly lopsided wins until they ran into a very strong Buffalo side two weeks ago. The Syracuse Hammerheads will be charging forward to bring down their Empire sub-conference foe, but expect Binghamton to challenge the ‘Cuse’ with everything they have.

With the host team being a member of the Liberty conference, #21 Notre Dame (1-2) will have their hands full with a ferocious #15 Iona (4-2) side. The Fighting Irish have found themselves back in the good graces of the voters after their major upset against St. Bonaventure. Even though Iona have been flying below the radar of many pundits, their record clearly shows they are a solid club that means business. The Gael’s only two losses were to the military power-houses, #5 Navy & #12 Army. Since, they have gone on a Liberty conference tear, and will run into an On the Bubble side who is hungry for national attention.

Another still-undefeated Liberty side in Northeastern (4-0), will be on the road against the Tufts (1-3). Although Northeastern have yet to register a loss, they are still behind New England sub-conference rival, Boston College in overall points standings (-3). With the Golden Eagles on a bye, a convincing win for the Huskies could mean first place in the New England region.

Stony Brook (3-2) will be looking to avenge their previous week’s loss against a tough inter-conference rival in AIC (2-0). American International College has yet to take flight within the meat of their Fall schedule, beat this consistently strong club side will be ready to host the Seawolves with open arms. Buffalo (4-1) has been a consistent side all year thus far, with their sole loss to come at the hands of undefeated Syracuse. UB will travel to Brockport (1-4) and are aiming to keep their trending success on the path to the Liberty playoffs later this season. Brockport has been trying to find their way through this tough Empire region, and will have to dig deep for this upcoming match.

Oswego (3-2) will have home-filed advantage against visiting Cortland (2-3). The Wizards have had decent success this year in a jam-packed Empire region behind Syracuse & Buffalo in the standings. This will be a big match for Oswego, because with a potential loss, could be too little too late in catching up to their table leaders. Cortland has been fighting in the same phone-booth as Oswego, and are hungry to reverse their fortunes of two consecutive conference losses. The winless UConn (0-4) side will be traveling to UMass (1-2) this upcoming weekend, which should see the winner of this game creating more distance away from the bottom of the table.

Fordham (2-2) will be on the road against inter-conference Fairfield (3-2). Both these clubs are in different sub-divisions, but respectively within their own are not far from top of the table. A mere 5-6 points in standings separates these clubs from the leaders, with this season’s opportunities dwindling. We should see a brutal and close match between these dedicated clubs in attaining the much needed point boost. The winless Albany (0-6) will be hosting Colgate (1-3), in a matchup which will decide the bottom of the Empire table.

Rocky Mountain

Within the Rock Mountains, Wyoming (1-1) will host On the Bubble #22 Colorado State (2-1) this upcoming weekend. The Cowboys have been looking for consistency throughout the season, but will have trouble finding it against a tough side in the CSU Rams. Colorado State’s sole loss came to now #8 BYU, who have predominately been one of the toughest teams in the country year after year. The Cowboys will attempt wrangling in the Rams, but the visitors will be ready to butt heads with their conference foe.

Under the radar, Utah State (2-1) will be on the road vs #8 BYU (3-0). The Cougars have been nothing short of dominate this entire Fall season thus far, and will be ready to continue on their trending success. Finally, the Colorado Buffaloes (1-2) will travel south to Colorado Springs to face-off against the struggling Air Force (1-4) side.

10/18/2019#22 Colorado StateatWyoming6:00 PM MDTLaramie, WY
Utah Stateat#8 BYU7:00 PM MDTProvo, UT
10/19/2019#16 St. Bonaventureat#12 Army12:00 PM EDTWest Point, NY
#11 Notre Dame Collegeat#7 Kutztown1:00 PM EDTKutztown, PA
Illinoisat#19 Ohio State1:00 PM CDTColumbus, OH
#20 IndianaatMichigan St1:00 PM CDTEast Lansing, MI
WisconsinatMichigan1:00 PM CDTAnn Arbor, MI
ColoradoatAir Force1:00 PM MDTColorado Springs, CO
NortheasternatTufts5:30 PM EDTMedford, MA
UCONNatUMASS1:00 PM EDTAmherst, MA
ColgateatAlbany1:00 PM EDTAlbany, NY
SyracuseatBinghamton1:00 PM EDTBinghamton, NY
BuffaloatBrockport1:00 PM EDTBrockport, NY
CortlandatOswego1:00 PM EDTOswego, NY
FordhamatFairfield1:00 PM EDTFairfield, NY
#21 Notre Dameat#15 Iona1:00 PM EDTNew Rochelle, NY
#5 Navyat#24 Clemson1:00 PM EDTClemson, SC
#9 Penn Statevs#14 Davenport2:30 PM CDTColumbus, OH
10/20/2019Stony BrookatAIC1:00 PM EDTSpringfield, MA