After dominating the Midwest collegiate rugby scene for years and cracking the top 10 national ranks, the Bowling Green State University men's rugby team has been set atop the new Division I national standings, according to one ranking on the American Rugby News website.
According to the list posted by Brian Lowe, the Falcons are ranked higher than teams like Syracuse, Minnesota, Harvard, and Florida.
Some may see this as a shock, or even a travesty, but it makes sense for a couple of reasons.
First off, the Falcons have all but imposed their will on the majority of its competition and the Midwest for a number of years, with a few hiccups here and there. The only team from the "old Midwest" in the new Division I that put up a fight against the Falcons was Indiana, and, at last year's Midwest tournament, the Falcons showed that they were no match for them in a 15s match.
It looks like the only way Indiana can one-up the Falcons is in pushing paperwork. Minnesota has been an essential non-issue for a few years, but since they are ranked higher than Indiana, they may be a dark horse to be dealt with.
Second, the raw talent the Falcons have is tough for other teams to top. The headline names of this group are Rocco Mauer and Nick Viviani, two stand-outs in the summer 7s they played with the Chicago Lions and names admitted to Rugby Magazine's All-American collegiate side. These are just two of the offensive and defensive weapons the Falcons can employ this season.
While the Falcons ran the "old Midwest" without issue, there are new teams and new competition to deal with. ARN feels they are far superior. Time will tell and see who is sitting atop the new DI mountain when the dust settles.