Unlike in DII, much of DI-AA’s membership plays league games in the spring. So there isn’t a litany of playoffs or championships this fall. There are, however, a few conferences who will crown their champs this semester.
One, the MAC Schools, has already done so. Bowling Green was the first team to capture a DI-AA playoff spot this fall, clinching the MAC championship before the end of the season. The Falcons went 8-0 in league play and were dominant, never being held to less than 37 points in a single game. They even breached the 70-point mark a couple of times.
The East Coast title was clinched this weekend by Middlebury, as the Panthers finished their season 6-1 with a 40-5 win over Southern Connecticut. Boston College also went 6-1 in the East Coast, beating Middlebury, but a Week 2 loss to Albany and a lack of bonus points proved the Eagles’ undoing. So, in just its second season in DI-AA, Middlebury will advance to the Sweet 16.
The Empire Conference will also be decided by its league table, and there are just three games left to be played. They’re all makeups from the weekend following Hurricane Sandy, but only one matters: St. Bonaventure vs. Rutgers. If the Bonnies win and bonus-point against the Scarlet Knights, they will win the league title over Brockport via the head-to-head tiebreaker. St. Bonaventure beat Brockport 29-19 back in September. If St. Bonaventure does anything less, Brockport wins the league. The Empire champion takes an automatic bid to the Sweet 16.
The other DI-AA leagues active this fall will crown their champions in the spring. The Keystone and Ivy Conferences have spring playoffs, and the Heart of America and Southwest Conferences will play league games in the spring.
The Keystone playoff match-ups are set, as Pitt will take on Shippensburg in one semifinal and Philadelphia rivals St. Joe’s and Temple will meet in the other semifinal.