Three weeks of the New England NCAA Division III football season are in the books.
This past weekend featured a slew of upsets, along with some impressive wins by a few teams that are slowly emerging from the pack as potential frontrunners. But luckily, we still have more football left to be played.
In case you missed it, make sure to check out last week’s poll — click here! — but let’s dish out (below!) this week’s poll.
Noontime’s New England D-III Top 20 Poll (Week No. 4 | September 20, 2021)
- Western New England (2-1, 0-0 CCC | LW: No. 1): Despite suffering their first setback of the 2021 season, the Golden Bears remain in the top spot, but the Blue and Yellow face a real challenge this week against Salisbury University.
- Salve Regina University (3-0, 0-0 CCC | LW: No. 8): After rolling past Norwich University in the opening week, these Seahawks have found ways to win games against both MIT and Montclair State – can they keep this momentum going this week against Rowan University?
- Williams College (1-0, 1-0 NESCAC | LW: No. 4): The Ephs made a statement in the opening week of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) season with a BIG win over the defending champions. Look for their momentum to continue this week in Somerville against Tufts University.
- Trinity College (1-0, 1-0 NESCAC | LW: No. 7): Like the Ephs, the Bantams made a statement in their season-opener by defeating the Jumbos of Tufts by a score of 42-28.
- Endicott College (2-1, 0-0 CCC | LW: No. 2): After scoring two dramatic wins at home, the Gulls suffered their first setback of the 2021 season on the road, losing to Catholic University by a score of 32-29. Endicott’s defense caused problems for the Catholic offense – can these Gulls bounce back on Saturday against Norwich University?
- Wesleyan University (1-0, 1-0 NESCAC | LW: No. 6): The Cardinals remained in the sixth position for the fourth-straight week, but did take care of business in Maine last Saturday against Colby College.
- Middlebury College (0-1, 0-1 NESCAC | LW: No. 5): The Panthers dropped two spots following an opening day loss to the Ephs. Middlebury hosts Bates College on Saturday – the Bobcats provided some challenges to Amherst College in their season-opener, so we’ll definitely be keeping our eyes on this matchup.
- MIT (1-1, 0-0 NEWMAC | LW: No. 9): Despite being idle, the Engineers were able to move up one spot. This week, they travel to Dean College – will the extra rest pay off against a Bulldogs squad that has dropped two-straight?
- Western Connecticut (2-1, 1-0 MASCAC | LW: No. 13): The Colonials returned to the win column last Friday by defeating Westfield State in their initial conference clash. Coach Joe Loth’s squad will look to make it back-to-back wins this Friday when they visit Bridgewater State in an important week four meeting.
- UMass Dartmouth (2-1, 0-1 MASCAC | LW: No. 3): The Corsairs initial conference clash against Framingham State did not go their way. UMass Dartmouth was penalized 10 for 112 yards and only produced 299 yards of total offense. Saturday’s clash with Worcester State is not a “must-win,” but a chance for the Corsairs to regain their early-season momentum.
- Coast Guard Academy (2-1, 0-0 NEWMAC | LW: No. 17): The Bears were hands down one of the biggest movers after scoring an impressive win over Nichols College on their home turf. An interesting test awaits them this weekend against Anna Maria College.
- Springfield College (1-2, 0-0 NEWMAC | LW: No. 11): The Pride may have dropped their second game to a top team in NCAA Division III — that would be Union College — but Springfield certainly provided challenges for the Dutchmen, which means one should certainly not overlook this squad on Saturday against Husson University.
- WPI (1-2, 0-0 NEWMAC) | LW: No. 10): After scoring a come-from-behind win over Worcester State earlier this month, the Engineers of Worcester have struggled recently against Endicott College and RPI. The Engineers of New York — that would be RPI, to be exact — captured the Transit Trophy Game this past weekend by defeating WPI by a score of 24-10. Saturday’s game against Montclair State is somewhat of a must-win.
- Husson University (2-1, 0-0 CCC | LW: No. 14): The Eagles picked-up their second-straight win last Friday by rolling past Dean College by a score of 42-14. Can their early season momentum continue this week against a Springfield College team that is eager to register its second win?
- University of New England (2-1, 0-0 CCC | LW: No. 16): The Nor’easters enter their bye week with two wins, along with some momentum — they got a bit lucky this past weekend against Alfred State, which almost tied the game with a late field goal. They open conference play one week from Saturday against Nichols College.
- Bridgewater State (1-2, 1-0 MASCAC | LW: NR): The Bears returned to the poll after a hard-fought win over Plymouth State this past weeked — the victory was the team’s first in conference play after dropping a pair of non-conference meetings to Ithaca College and UNE. A big test is on the horizon this Friday against Western Connecticut.
- Framingham State (1-2, 1-0 MASCAC | LW: NR): Tom Kelley’s Rams surprised all of us on Saturday with a BIG UPSET against UMass Dartmouth. Let’s see if this win can translate to more success, beginning this weekend against Westfield State.
- Tufts University (0-1, 0-1 NESCAC | LW: No. 15): The Jumbos lost their season-opener, but did prove they will be a team that will provide challenges in all three phases: offense, defense, and special teams.
- Nichols College (2-1, 0-0 CCC | LW: No. 12): After rallying to beat Anna Maria last weekend, the Bison took a step backwards, falling to Coast Guard Academy on the road. Nichols hosts TCNJ in its final non-conference clash — will they be able to tame the Lions after struggling to contain the Bears?
- Amherst College (1-0, 1-0 NESCAC | LW: NR): Chad Peterson and the Mammoths commenced their season with an opening day win, which was a bit closer than many, including us, expected.
ON THE RISE: Anna Maria College (1-1, 0-0 ECFC), Colby College (0-1, 0-1 NESCAC), Curry College (2-1, 0-0 CCC), Dean College (1-2, 0-0 ECFC), and Massachusetts Maritime Academy (1-1, 0-0 MASCAC)