Week 10 Preview: Teams Begin To Put Finishing Touches on Conference Schedules

D1A Rugby: Week 10 Preview: Teams Begin To Put Finishing Touches on Conference Schedules
Photo Credit: UMass Rugby Facebook

November is here and teams are making the most of what remains of the Fall season. With games on Friday Saturday and Sunday, it is going to be an action packed weekend.  

Friday sees three of the Top 20 teams in the country, including two of the Top 10, take the paddock. Newly crowned #5 Army headlines the weekend’s action, when they host their rivals, Air Force. Army is looking to cap off a perfect Fall season, after dismantling a very strong #8 Penn State side last weekend to secure the Rugby East title. Air Force has had a turbulent campaign. They are 3-2 in conference play and 3-3 overall. They started off slowly going 1-3, but they have strung two impressive wins back to back and are now looking like a threat in the Rocky Mountain playoffs. #12 Iona will look to wrap up their second consecutive undefeated conference schedule when they play Rutgers. Iona has already wrapped up the division title and will look to finish their fall off on a high note. #9 Arkansas State will play their second game of the D1A season against Notre Dame. Notre Dame had a tough run of it against Navy last weekend and will look to perform better against Arkansas State on Friday.

The Liberty Conference will continue to roll along with their season. Teams are now playing for positioning as the divisional titles were all decided in round 9. However, when Delaware takes on AIC it will likely determine who takes Iona’s spot in the Liberty Playoffs. As the Gaels chose not to participate in the Liberty playoffs. Delaware is on 15 points currently and AIC is on 12. The equation for both teams is simple, win and you’re in. Elsewhere in the Liberty Conference, Fordham will face Colgate and UMass will play Albany in two divisional cross over matches. The New England is the only division playing any intradivisional games. Northeastern travels to UConn and Boston College looks to rebound after their first loss of the year when they take on Fairfield.

It will be a busy weekend for the Rugby East. While the title was awarded to Army last weekend, teams are still playing to improve their rankings and help them crack into the national playoffs come May. The biggest matchup will be between #14 Notre Dame College and #18 St. Bonaventure. Both of these two teams sit on the cusp of making or being dropped from the national playoff picture. If either can land a signature win here it could be enough to carry them over the line. Penn State will hope to recover against Wheeling Jesuit, as they try to get momentum back on their side after losing to Army last weekend. Buffalo travels to #10 Kutztown for their penultimate game of the season.

Out west, Wyoming will take on #6 BYU for the second time this year. Last time out BYU won in a convincing manner, 117-0. Needless to say, Wyoming will be looking for a better showing this weekend. The other game in the Rocky Mountain Conference sees New Mexico travel to Colorado State.

Another Top 20 fixture takes place, this time in the Mid-South when #7 Navy travels to Michigan, to take on #17 Davenport. Both teams have had excellent Fall campaigns, with only one loss between the two of them. The one loss belongs to Davenport, who fell to Notre Dame College last weekend. A statement win against a Top 10 opponent would be a massive step forward for Davenport as they look to continue their surge up the rankings.

Sunday’s only action will see Rhode Island take on Tufts.