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Somewhat Early MCLA D2 Tourney Talk

edited March 30 in Open Forum
This year may be the most interesting yet as far as setting the field will go, with a lot of that intrigue coming from the fact that West and Midwest/East will not play each other at all before the tourney. You have Gonzaga, Western Washington, Western Oregon, Concordia, and Cal State Fullerton as the real hopefuls out west, and all of them will finish their regular season schedules without even the slightest semblance of a quality win except the games amongst themselves. There is not even a middle of the road team out west that they can blow out to show off; everyone besides those five teams out west is absolutely dreadful.

Hopefully the only tournament spots taken by western teams are the 3 conference champions (likely WCLL-SMC, SLC-CSF/Concordia, and PNCLL-WOU). I say hopefully because of the sheer number of SELC, UMLL, and CCLA teams with strong resumes and quality non-conference wins. In no particular order, Dayton, St. John's, St. Thomas, Indiana Tech, Grand Valley State, North Dakota St., Grove City, Elon, and FGCU are all but locked in the field and certainly have an inside track on any SLC or PNCLL team's resume. So without further adieu, the early projected tournament field.

1. Dayton, Runs table in CCLA tourney, comes in with one loss to UST (CCLA Champ)
2. St. Thomas, maybe drops 1 out of 3 or 4 games against NDSU and SJU (UMLC Champ)
3. SJU/NDSU, who beats St. Thomas, who wins versus each other decides this spot
4. SJU/NDSU
5. Grand Valley St, beats ITU at season's end, beats GCU in a tourney matchup
6. Elon/FGCU, whichever one (if either) can win the SELC conference tourney (SELC Champ)
7. Grove City
8. FGCU/Elon, likely the second strongest team/runner up in SELC tourney
9. Indiana Tech, Beat UST, lost only to strong tournament teams seeded ahead of them.
10. Western Oregon, PNCLL Champion comes into a fantastic matchup against Grove City undefeated.
11. Palm Beach Atlantic, Could be in trouble if they don't get a win against FGCU and get eliminated from SELC by anyone but Elon or FGCU
12. Coast Guard, PCLL Champion
13. Depaul, GRLC Champion, LBU and DePaul tried to schedule some tough OOC games, props for that, they just lost them all
14. Concordia, SLC Champion
15. St. Mary's, WCLL Champion
16. Fort Lewis RMLC Champion

Obviously there are some if/thens here, but I'm excited just thinking about these match ups.
Post edited by god2 on

Comments

  • bsigmund90bsigmund90 Grove City, PA
    edited March 30
    WCLL does not (or should not) have an AQ.

    Only conference I think I would seed behind the GRLC is the RMLC.

    Other than that I wouldn't know who to rank where
    Post edited by bsigmund90 on
  • It is my understanding that 6 non-D1 football programs are required to have an auto-bid. SMC, Humboldt, Sierra Nevada, UC Santa Cruz, Pacific, and Cal St-Monterey Bay would satisfy this requirement if I am correct. I could be misinformed though. I thought DePaul would keep it closer against SJU, with that blowout loss against their only tough OOC opponent, you're right to move the SLC winner ahead of them.
  • god2 said:

    It is my understanding that 6 non-D1 football programs are required to have an auto-bid. SMC, Humboldt, Sierra Nevada, UC Santa Cruz, Pacific, and Cal St-Monterey Bay would satisfy this requirement if I am correct. I could be misinformed though.

    Cal St. Monterey Bay canceled their season, and thus the WCLL does not have the required number of teams for an automatic bid. Neither does the LSA nor the UMLC. Only the other 7 conferences have automatic qualifiers, leaving 9 at-large bids.
  • 6x66x6
    edited March 31
    I have to disagree with you that FGCU is a lock to make the tourney. Should they lose to PBA they don't make the SELC tourney and based on their schedule not sure they'd earn an AL. Yes they have a win over GC but have beaten only one other team with a winning record, that being unranked N.Colorado. Other than those two teams and not counting Miami, which is D1, the combined records of their opponents is 14-33. In my experience it comes down to SOS in order to earn an AL and unlike you, I don't think they have it. Of course a win over PBA solves all their problems and leaves the fish on the outside looking in.
    Post edited by 6x6 on
  • bsigmund90bsigmund90 Grove City, PA
    WCLL does not have a single top 15 ranked win as a conference and should not send a team.

    with the WCLL not having an AQ - does the SLC send two? CSU-F and Concordia would have to split regular season vs. conference championship for it to happen, and even still, it would be their only ranked wins on the season, respectively, so I'd say no. other conference have teams with more ranked wins. if one team takes both games the other is definitely on the outside looking in with 0 ranked wins.

    PNCLL - think WOU is in. if WWash wins the conference tourney, WOU is going - i think they've done everything asked of them to get an at-large, and they're the only ones on the West Coast that's done enough for one. I just don't think they'll like their seed at that point, cause it will be high (12-14). Finish the season undefeated and i could see them in 6-9 seed range.
  • god2 said:

    This year may be the most interesting yet as far as setting the field will go, with a lot of that intrigue coming from the fact that West and Midwest/East will not play each other at all before the tourney. You have Gonzaga, Western Washington, Western Oregon, Concordia, and Cal State Fullerton as the real hopefuls out west, and all of them will finish their regular season schedules without even the slightest semblance of a quality win except the games amongst themselves. There is not even a middle of the road team out west that they can blow out to show off; everyone besides those five teams out west is absolutely dreadful.

    This is an interesting paragraph, mostly because you have no facts to back it up. If Gonzaga, Western Washington, Western Oregon, Concordia, and Cal State Fullerton were all ranked in the top ten preseason then them beating up on each other, much like what the CCLA and UMLC are doing now, would look really good. In fact, they would be the only teams with "quality wins", right? The issue is, you have no crossover, and you can’t put all of the blame on the west coast for that one, as much as you would like to.

    Also, you are giving way too much credit to the SELC, what has Elon, Palm Beach, or Florida Gulf Coast done that is any better than what Western Oregon has done? In fact, Florida Gulf Coast has one OOC game against a top 25 team, more so, that is the only top 25 team they aren’t required to play.

    Are the CCLA and UMLC conferences better than the PNCLL, RMCL, and SLC? Probably yes.

    Does that mean there are no “quality” teams in those conferences? No.

    Please, do some research into what you say and go outside your Midwest bubble.

  • This is an interesting paragraph, mostly because you have no facts to back it up.

    Perhaps my language was a little strong; the loss by Gonzaga to Idaho, Concordia's struggle to even find close games against mid-high and mid-level D1 teams, Fullerton not playing a game outside Cali, all illicit emotional responses from me as a person who wants MCLA D2 as a league with some fantastic quality in several places to be recognized as such. I apologize for that.

    My doubt in the West this year comes from a general impatience with WWU. They have been close innumerable times, but have never actually had a single quality win against anyone but WOU in their history. Their win over Concordia leads me to believe WOU is the only team out West (granted a very, very good one) that can give CCLA, UMLC, or even SELC top teams a good game more times than not.

    The alternative would be to entertain the idea that D1 is so far superior to D2 that Concordia's and Gonzaga's struggles against non-elite D1 programs should be expected and that D2 there is as good as the midwest--this may be true, but it is incompatible with my hopes and dreams.

    So, to answer your question, no, I do not think there are any quality teams in the SLC, and certainly not in the RMLC with the departure of Westminster to D1.

    As for your points about my midwest bubble and the preseason polls. The polls are often terribly inaccurate, but history matters because things are never that different from year to year.

    The last four years, the CCLA is 10-1 in first round National games, the only loss being by the #13 Hope (who slipped in as a final, afterthought at-large when Elon elected not to go to the tournament) a few years ago to Briarcliffe, who were then blown out in a 10-0 first quarter vs. Davenport in round 2. The CCLA is 8-0 as the higher seed, 2-1 as the lower seed, while the PNCLL and SLC have combined for an 1-9 Tourney record over those four years, with only GCU sneaking by SCAD 6-5. I am not attempting to overplay my hand, just to give basis to my Midwest Bias.

    That said, my whole original argument was more geared towards my hope that a third SELC team makes the tourney in lieu of a second SLC team.
    SJU, NDSU, UST, GVSU, GCC, ITU, UD, Elon, WOU, WWU, and FGCU are all, undoubtedly in ahead of an at-large CSF or Concordia (and thus, due to lack of other threats, in period), barring multiple horrible losses. The GRLC champ, PCLL Champ, RMLC Champ, and SLC champ make 15 teams, and there is no question in my mind that PBA's USCG and mid-level SELC wins and close losses to rival SCAD in GA and a great GCC team trumps any resume that the loser of CSF and Concordia can put together with the remainder of their schedules.

    Short of conference champions, I think we have a good idea of the field, perhaps the deepest yet at that.
    spokomptonsr
  • @god2‌ I think in terms of body of work, the SELC is not that far, is any, above the PNCLL (and by PNCLL I mean Western Oregon and Western Washington).

    You are right, Gonzaga showed that scheduling no competition early on will really come back to haunt you, with their only chance of going to LA is now by winning the PNCLL tournament, which means going through both Western Washington and Western Oregon on back to back days.

    The SLC, well Concordia lost to Western Washington and, if twitter is correct, was unable to compete with Western Oregon getting five goals in garbage time. Fullerton is another interesting team, who looks like the best in the SLC, but going up against a top 4 seed at nationals, regardless of the home field advantage, will be difficult.

    I will agree with you fully, that if there was no AQ’s, than the SLC and RMLC would have a hard time making a case for themselves to nationals. But I do believe that the PNCLL could be a team that has the talent to send two teams.

    And again, I am in no way arguing that the PNCLL is better than the CCLA or UMLC, but I don’t want people thousands of miles away to think that people on the west coast are stuck out here playing with used Hi Walls.
  • bsigmund90bsigmund90 Grove City, PA
    2 questions:

    1. is Elon going to go? with Matt Ward at the helm my bet is yes, they're all in.
    2. is USCGA cleared to go if they win their conference? if not, what's procedure? 2nd place team? or open another at large?

    I wouldn't sleep on Lourdes. yes, they've not played anyone yet, but if they steal a game from Dayton or GCC, i could see them making noise in the CCLA tournament. Not only that, but even if they lose both games, laxpower will get them in on the wild card. I see them getting the 6 seed which gives them a very favorable matchup vs. Siena Heights/Michigan Dearborn. They take that game, and then anything can happen up in Ann Arbor.

    not consistently playing has also hurt teams this year. I look at this weeks polls and the teams that have had large drops are all of the teams sitting idle (Elon ; DePaul ; Gonzaga)
  • 1. is Elon going to go? with Matt Ward at the helm my bet is yes, they're all in.
    2. is USCGA cleared to go if they win their conference? if not, what's procedure? 2nd place team? or open another at large?

    If a team cannot fulfill an AQ bid that they earn, then it is at the conference's discretion to select a team to replace them. It is up to the conference to determine the method that best selects a team to represent itself. I would assume most conferences would send the runner-up. I believe this has precedent, but I can't recall all the teams involved. Pretty sure the PCLL did this once, for USCG?
  • And again, I am in no way arguing that the PNCLL is better than the CCLA or UMLC, but I don’t want people thousands of miles away to think that people on the west coast are stuck out here playing with used Hi Walls.

    Fun fact:

    National MCLA D2 Titles:

    CCLA - 1
    RMLC - 1
    PNCLL - 1
    SELC - 0
  • Patton503 said:

    And again, I am in no way arguing that the PNCLL is better than the CCLA or UMLC, but I don’t want people thousands of miles away to think that people on the west coast are stuck out here playing with used Hi Walls.

    Fun fact:

    National MCLA D2 Titles:

    CCLA - 1
    RMLC - 1
    PNCLL - 1
    SELC - 0
    Fun fact:

    All of those teams are D1 now.
  • edited April 1

    Patton503 said:



    Fun fact:

    National MCLA D2 Titles:

    CCLA - 1
    RMLC - 1
    PNCLL - 1
    SELC - 0

    Fun fact:

    All of those teams are D1 now.
    Correct, and actually this would be the full title count in MCLA D2 history:

    UMLC - 4
    SLC - 2 (though USD and Claremont existed in the then unified WCLL)
    CCLA - 1
    RMLC -1
    PNCLL - 1

    All other conferences - 0

    Only St. Thomas exists as a D2 title winner that has not gone D1 (as they should not in my opinion).
    Post edited by Patton503 on
    bsigmund90

  • 2. is USCGA cleared to go if they win their conference? if not, what's procedure? 2nd place team? or open another at large?

    Almost positive USCGA can go. Yes, back in 2008 (I think), the PCLL was in a bind and sent Framingham State to the national tournament in lieu of the conference champion in order to preserve their AQ. They have since put in measures to make sure that does not happen again. Any school that cannot commit to taking the bid to nationals is not eligible for the conference tournament.
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