Posts Tagged ‘NCAA D-III’

I’m enjoying looking through Stadium Journey. Looking through there has me thinking about the whole "NCAA Division I" thing. I’m guessing that what people think of when they think of NCAA Division I athletics, they think of those enormous stadiums. I guess I can appreciate them, but to me it just seems out of whack that for college sports that there’s 6 NCAA football stadiums that hold over 100,000 people. NCAA Division I basketball is better, the biggest only has roughly 25,000 people.

Those are the things that come to mind when thinking about Division I sports. Yet, it’s refreshing to me to see that’s not the case for all of Division I basketball and football. Take for instance the Big West conference. With the exception of Hawaii who is in the process of joinging the conference, the largest capacity basketball arena is UC Davis’ and that is only 8,000 capacity. Santa Barbara’s only holds 5,600, yet it looks wonderful to me.

I guess that’s why I still am holding on to enjoying NCAA Division I hockey, it still feels right now. The powerhouses don’t have the over-sized stadiums. If your school wanted to get into the top five largest capacity ice arenas in NCAA Division I hockey, the capacity would just be over 10,000.

NCAA BCS football is what it is, but for me it’s "too much" of a good thing.


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Something on Facebook last night got me thinking, thinking about myself and being a “fan”. With the possible exception of UMD hockey, I don’t think I can label myself as a “fan” for sports anymore. I may count certain things as interests, but I don’t think “fan” applies. Seems to me that to label myself a “fan” there’s all kind of stuff that goes along with that.

In cases like the NFL, NBA, MLB, even the NHL, I certainly wouldn’t call myself a fan. I’m not even certain how much I’m interested in them. The four leagues combined I’m not sure if I’ve watched more the three games in the last four years; haven’t watched one Superbowl, NBA Final, World Series, or Stanley Cup finals game in that time. I may hear about things going on in any of those league in my car each day, but whatever is being said I’m only mildly interested in, listening to sports talk radio is just something to have on, instead of silence, when I’m not wanting to listen to music. Like how Bostonians (is that the word?) are up in arms regarding the conduct of the Red Sox players. I heard about on the radio, but I really had no interest in any of it, it doesn’t matter to me.

Like I said UMD may be the exception, I may still label myself as a UMD “fan”, but even then I’m not so certain. I get plenty of enjoyment out of it and was very glad UMD won the National Title last season, their NCAA run was amazing. Still, if UMD was to zero wins for the next decade I really don’t think that would matter that much to me, I don’t have any expectations regarding team “performance”. Even with zero wins in a decade, I’d still want to go to games and I can’t see myself being one of the people who would be calling for a coach firing or any such thing.

It’s kind of been a lot of things that are why I’m a lot more mellow regarding sports compared to a decade ago. I’ve come to realize that “relax, it’s just a game” (this one is good too) so it’s not so often that I get worked up about sports anymore. I guess that’s why I’ve come to appreciate NCAA Division II, Division III, and junior hockey; the games are treated as just games, you don’t see the other stuff that you do in D-I or professional leagues.

So I guess what I’m saying is that I am not a “sports fan”, I’m someone who finds sports interesting from time to time.

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As far as my teams I’m interested in:

  • Carleton College lost 26-7 to Concordia-Moorhead
  • St. Olaf was off
  • UMD won 24-6 over Winona
  • Air Force Academy lost 33-59 to Notre Dame

In the D2football.com poll:

  • #9 Minnesota Duluth (unchanged from last week)
  • #15 St. Cloud State (#18)
  • Dropped Out: Michigan Tech (#21)

In the D3football.com poll:

  • #3 St. Thomas (no change)
  • #9 Bethel (no change)

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Last night I watched Carleton’s women’s football(soccer) team play UW-La Crosse; Ellie Wilson scored in the second overtime for a Knights 1-0 win, Beth Ashinsky got the shutout. 

I picked up Kaelyn and we went to watch it (missed the first half) and Amy showed up after she was done with work (although they both left early, Kaelyn had an accident – she’s still learning to use the toilet).  Not a lot of great chances, but the play was pretty even and both teams came close to scoring a couple of times in regulation (Carleton hit the bar once).

Going to watch either of the Carleton football teams play in the fall is really wonderful.  You sit on a grass-covered hill, with the game going on below you, with the fall-colored trees in the background, and occasional Canadian Honkers flying by.  Really, there’s not much that can compare. 

Sitting there I just couldn’t help thinking that it sure seems that Division II and Division III NCAA athletics is what sports are supposed to be.  It could be just me though, judging from “professional” sports and NCAA Division I attendance.  Division II and Division III athletics is wonderful because:

  • There’s no problem getting to the event – traffic is either non-existent or not really a problem
  • It’s cheap to watch; sometimes it’s free, but even when you do pay you’re not having to worry about cost like when you go to Division I or “professional” sports game (paying for tickets, paying for parking, ticket processing fees, etc).
  • Very little fanatical stuff going on;  people are just simply watching the game, cheering for their team, and it’s very rare you see the “woofing” that happens in the Division I or “profession” sporting events.  Going to a D-II or D-III game you’re a ton less likely to encounter violence than at a D-II or “professional” sporting event.
  • Little to no advertising: Watching the game you are subjected to almost no ads, certainly none of the “that blocked punt was brought to you by Ed’s furniture and firearms.  Just remember if you want a new sofa and are worried about protecting it, come to Ed’s”. 
  • Rivalries/conferences:  Especially with the recent conference changes in Division I (gridiron-)football and hockey, it just seems that the conferences don’t make a lot of sense (Seriously, Colorado is in the Pac-10? What’s “Pac” about Colorado?).  Case in point, the MIAC has 13 schools and every single one is in Minnesota.  Thus traveling to see a road game is much more convenient and the rivalries make more sense.  Heck, in case you are a St. Olaf or Carleton College fan, if you want to see them play an away game you have a 5 minute drive since both teams are in Northfield.

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As far as my teams I’m interested in:

  • Carleton College lost 35-14 to Augsburg
  • St. Olaf won 30-28 over Bethel
  • UMD won 49-21 over MSU Moorhead
  • Air Force Academy won 35-34 in overtime over Navy

In the D2football.com poll:

  • #9 Minnesota Duluth (#10 last week)
  • #18 St. Cloud State (no change)
  • #21 Michigan Tech (#22)
  • Dropped Out:  Bemidji State (was #23)

In the D3football.com poll

  • #3 St. Thomas (no change)
  • #9 Bethel (#5)

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Time to look at some of the other Division II and III sports going on. For the D-III polls I’ll mainly list hockey schools, for the D-III polls I’ll mainly list Minnesota schools (since I don’t know the schools playing D-III hockey well), but there’ll be exceptions in either case (D-I hockey schools who are D-III, AKA Colorado College. D-II Minnesota non-hockey schools).

Men’s D-II football
Current Champion: Northern Kentucky
Current poll: #4 Mercyhurst

Men’s D-III football
Current Champion: Messiah
Current poll: #17 Gustavus Adolphus

Women’s D-II football
Current Champion: Grand Valley State
Current poll: None

Women’s D-III football
Current Champion: Hardin-Simmons
Current poll: None

Women’s D-II volleyball
Current Champion: Grand Valley State
Current poll: #1 Concordia-St. Paul, #4 Minnesota-Duluth, #13 Minnesota State-Mankato, #17 Ferris State

Women’s D-III volleyball
Current Champion: Concordia St. Paul (4th Title in a row)
Current poll: #11 St. Thomas, #12 Concordia, #14 Colorado College

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As far as my teams I’m interested in:

  • Carleton College won 34-0 over Hamine, they’re now 1-2
  • St. Olaf won 44-26 over Gustavus Adolphus, they’re 3-1
  • UMD won 26-23 over Bemidji State, they’re 3-1
  • Air Force Academy won 63-24 over Tennessee State , they’re 2-1

In the D2football.com poll:

  • #10 Minnesota Duluth (unchanged from prior week)
  • #17 St. Cloud State (#17 previously)
  • #21 Michigan Tech (#22)
  • Dropped Out:  Bemidji State

In the D3football.com poll

  • #3 St. Thomas (unchanged)
  • #5 Bethel (unchanged)

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