The Easter weekend didn't produce many men's college games, but those matchups that did take place had plenty of influence on the upcoming playoffs in both D1A and D1AA.
#2 Life 93, #32 Clemson 9
Shown live on FloRugby and available on-demand, this game was a blowout by Life and that term isn't used lightly. Before the match, Running Eagles head coach Colton Cariaga ominously proclaimed his team hadn't played its best yet. That turned out to be unsettling news for the Tigers.
#5 Lindenwood 31, #30 Davenport 10
After forfeiting last week due to injuries, Davenport got dinged pretty hard in the FloRugby rankings and, it appears, overall with all the voters, too. But the Panthers got back on the field this weekend and lost 31-10 to Lindenwood after going up 10-0.
Lindenwood didn't actually lead until the 58th minute when Andrea Livadaras converted Juan Romero's try. Tries from Jack Huckstepp, Alex Augspurg, and Connor Burns put the game in the win column for the Lions.
Those two Mid-South games won't really nudge the rankings far either direction. Davenport is 2-6 and Clemson is 0-8. Neither will be ranked high enough to make the D1A at-large spots. Life is ranked No. 2 and has a shot at No. 1 if Cal beats Saint Mary's next week and somehow looks bad doing it. Lindenwood, at No. 5, probably won't move.
#16 Arkansas State 48, #11 Indiana 16
Indiana has been playing some warmup matches in preparation for the D1A playoffs. The Hoosiers are the Big Ten champions and therefore have an automatic berth. Arkansas State is on the bubble, having been beaten by both Life and Lindenwood, twice each. But the Red Wolves looked the part this weekend in a 48-14 win over Indiana in Bloomington, IN.
"We started off hot then got ahead of ourselves and lost the discipline before putting things back together in the second half," A-State head coach Blake White said.
Neil Maestri and Andrew Pretorius scored tries in the first half, and Brock Roper converted both and added a penalty. John Scotti's try made it 22-0 at halftime, and right after the break, Zach Young set up Tanner Pope to push ASU's lead to 27-0.
Indiana's Connor Marsh got IU on the board but the Red Wolves stayed in control. Young set up Maestri, Tabo Maree scored, and then Tino Msasanure added one.
"Tabo Maree had a big game running the ball and penetrating their defense," White said. "Indiana is a class program with good players and coaches. We would like to thank them for their hospitality and a hard-fought match and wish them the best heading into playoffs."
In losing back-to-back games, Indiana's buildup to the playoffs hasn't been astounding but there's still time before it's the real deal. Still, one would expect IU to get dinged in the rankings following this latest loss.
#1 Saint Mary's 32, Capitolina 17
Saint Mary's capped off a three-game tour of Italy with a 32-17 victory over Capitolina. That marked three wins against three men's clubs for the top-ranked Gaels. Now all eyes turn to Cal at Saint Mary's this Saturday.
Pac West Championships
Chico State garnered revenge over Nevada with a 30-23 win in the D1AA Pac West playoffs on Sunday. CSU, which lost to UNR earlier in the season, earned the conference's automatic berth in the D1AA Spring Quarterfinals with its victory in the title game.
On Saturday, Chico State beat Stanford 66-17 in the semifinals with center Sam Miller, fullback Anthony Riley, and flanker Jake Wiley each scoring two tries.
Nevada had a much tougher game, holding off a determined UC Santa Cruz 36-29. No. 8 Logan Dulwiche scored two, but UNR was not able to rest starters in a game that was in doubt until the end.
In Sunday's final, the teams were essentially even until the 52nd minute when a yellow card to Nevada center Josh Serafino put the Wolf Pack down a man. Chico State scored two tries in that span to lead 30-15, and while Nevada got a penalty and an unconverted try, it wasn't enough.
#4 BYU 77, #24 Utah 3
Any hopes of showing well against BYU and getting a rankings boost evaporated for Utah as two Tosh Wilcox tries and a solid team effort put the Cougars up early and saw them roll. Lock Jonathan Layne also scored two.
#26 Central Washington 48, #18 Utah Valley 36
Utah Valley saw its playoff hopes take a hit with a loss to Central Washington (note: the overall D1A rankings voters have CWU higher than does FloRugby, at least for now). Jack Wendling scored four tries for the Wildcats as they logged their best result of the season.
#7 Penn State 41, #9 Army 40
This was another warmup for two teams destined for the playoffs. Penn State is the Rugby East champ and has a certain berth. Army is a likely at-large team and probably couldn't be bumped from that position. As it was, the result was kind of what the rankings predicted. PSU edged West Point 41-40, thanks to Brendan McCabe's last-second penalty goal. The game was a wild one all day.
Army led for a large chunk of the game but couldn't quite shake the Nittany Lions, and only for about 12 minutes in the entire game was one team ahead by more than a try.
What will this all mean for the rankings? Expect the top six to hold steady for sure. Penn State is ranked No. 7 by FloRugby and probably won't budge as a close win over a team ranked almost there isn't unexpected.
Indiana (and by extension Ohio State and Wisconsin) will probably get moved down, as will Utah Valley. Central Washington and Arkansas State probably will be moved up.