A brand new season of New England D-III football has officially arrived — welcome to week one, by the way! — which means it is time to unveil our first Top 20 Poll of the 2021 season.
In addition to reading/seeing which teams made today’s poll, make sure to check out our first-ever New England D-III preseason team, which was posted last Friday.
Best of luck to everyone competing, both later this week and weekend (or later in September!), and make sure to stop by later this week for future New England football content and coverage!
Noontime’s New England D-III Top 20 Poll (Week No. 1 | August 30, 2021)
- Western New England (9-2, 7-0 CCC in 2019): The Golden Bears begin a brand new season as our initial favorite — WNE welcomes back some key pieces from both side of the ball from 2019, including wide receiver Steven Fedorchak and linebacker Erich Keutmann.
- Endicott College (9-2, 6-1 CCC in 2019): When we last saw the Gulls, they were celebrating a New England Bowl victory in November 2019. Expect that end-of-season momentum to continue two years later when Endicott begins its 2021 campaign on Saturday against St. Lawrence University.
- UMass Dartmouth (7-3, 5-3 MASCAC in 2019): Quarterback Stephen Gacioch returns for his final season with the Corsairs — UMD enjoyed one of their best seasons in program history in 2019, and should be able to duplicate that success this fall.
- Williams College (7-2, 7-2 NESCAC in 2019): The Ephs return some key pieces from its 2019 squad, including wide receiver Frank Stola, who “almost rewrote the entire Williams record book” two years ago.
- Middlebury College (9-0, 9-0 NESCAC in 2019): Similar to the Ephs, the Panthers welcome back some key pieces from their 2019 squad, including quarterback Will Jernigan, who was named the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Offensive Player of the Year.
- Wesleyan University (8-1, 8-1 NESCAC in 2019): The Cardinals return some impressive talent on both sides of the ball — Bryce Jenkins, who was named to our preseason team, will anchor an offensive line that will be ready to provide quarterback Ashton Scott with plenty of time to go through his progressions.
- Western Connecticut (8-3, 6-2 MASCAC in 2019): Look for wide receiver Will Daniels to lead the offense while Jarius Bailey to quarterback a defense that will provide some challenges for William Paterson University on Saturday.
- Trinity College (5-4 5-4 MASCAC in 2019): The Bantams are poised to bounce back this fall after producing just five wins two years ago.
- Springfield College (6-4, 5-2 NEWMAC in 2019): Fullback Tim Callahan will be tasked with leading one of the best rushing attacks in Division III two years ago.
- Bridgewater State (6-4, 6-2 MASCAC in 2019): Coach Joe Verria and the Bears enter the 2021 season “excited,” but also optimistic about their chances to compete for a conference crown.
- Nichols College (6-4, 4-3 CCC in 2019): The Bison enter the 2021 season as a squad to watch — look for them to challenge Endicott and WNE later this fall.
- MIT (7-3, 6-1 NEWMAC in 2019): The Engineers were a bit higher in our “Way Too Early” preseason poll earlier this summer, but we expect them to move up as the 2021 season progresses.
- WPI (10-1, 6-1 NEWMAC in 2019): Similar to the Engineers of Cambridge, the Engineers of Worcester should make the climb on this list — yes, they graduated some key pieces from their 2019 squad, but this unit appears “pumped” to be back on the field together.
- Tufts University (4-5, 4-5 NESCAC in 2019): Like the Bantams of Trinity, the Jumbos are expcted to bounce back this fall — both teams will meet in the conference’s season-opener in a few weeks, so let the countdown begin for Saturday, September 18.
- Husson University (4-6, 2-5 CCC in 2019): Coach Nat Clark and the Eagles are excited to be back on the field — the Eagles were picked to finish fourth in the conference preseason poll, but have potential to surprise some New England fans this fall.
- Salve Regina University (4-6, 3-4 CCC in 2019): The Seahawks will begin their 2021 campaign with a challenging test against Norwich University.
- Framingham State (8-3, 8-0 MASCAC in 2019): This placing may come as a surprise for many, but the Rams enter the 2021 season with some question marks on both sides of the ball. However, some members of the 2019 squad is back, including Joshua Onujiogu.
- Dean College (4-6, 4-1 ECFC in 2019): The Bulldogs were picked to capture the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) this fall — Dean won the league two years ago and will face some challenging tests in September.
- Colby College (2-7, 2-7 NESCAC in 2019): We mentioned this on our early summer poll, but keep your eyes on the Mules this fall.
- Coast Guard Academy (5-5, 2-5 NEWMAC in 2019): The Bears return some pieces from last year’s squad that competed against Merchant Marine Academy — they were picked to finish fifth in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conferece (NEWMAC) preseason poll.
On The Rise: Amherst College, Anna Maria College, Norwich University, and University of New England