Noontime’s New England D3 Top 10 Poll (Nov. 21, 2022)

The Springfield College football team clinched its first postseason win in 16 years this past weekend against Endicott College. (PHOTO: Matt Noonan/NoontimeSports.com)

By NoontimeSports.com

Another season of New England small college football is slowly winding down.

Springfield College highlighted the 12th week of the season, winning its first NCAA Division III playoff game since 2006 with a hard-fought 17-14 win over Endicott College.

The Pride secured a spot in the second round of this year’s national playoffs. Springfield will travel to Ithaca College on Saturday, November 26 with kickoff scheduled for 12 p.m.

Springfield and Endicott secured the top two spots in our end-of-season poll followed by Trinity College, which checked-in third with a 9-0 record.

UMass Dartmouth and Plymouth State rounded out the top five.

Noontime’s End of Season Top 10 Poll: Monday, November 21, 2022

1. Springfield College (9-2, 6-0 NEWMAC): The Pride clinched their second-straight New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) crown with a 6-0 record, as well as won their first postseason contest in 16 years this past weekend against Endicott. Springfield will compete in the second round of the NCAA Division III Tournament this Saturday, November 26 against Ithaca.

2. Endicott College (10-1, 6-0 CCC): Despite ending its season with an opening-round postseason setback, the Gulls were the team to watch this fall. Endicott produced its first perfect season (10-0) in program history, as well as claimed its second-straight Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) crown. Additionally, Endicott’s defense limited opposing offenses to just 6.5 points per game in 10 contests.

3. Trinity College (9-0, 9-0 NESCAC): The Bantams became the third-straight New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) squad to clinch a perfect 9-0 season. Trinity’s defense was a unit to watch this season, yielding just 98 points in nine games while the Bantams’ offense ranked second in touchdowns (40) and points (301).  

4. UMass Dartmouth (9-2, 8-0 MASCAC): UMass Dartmouth made its first appearance in the national tournament in 20 years by winning its first Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) crown earlier this month. The Corsairs have won 14 of their last 16 conference tilts, dating back to last season’s initial league clash with Worcester State.

5. Plymouth State (9-2, 6-2 MASCAC): The Panthers concluded their 2022 campaign by winning their first-ever New England Bowl on Saturday with a come-from-behind victory over Husson University. Plymouth State won nine games for the first time since sharing the MASCAC crown in 2017 with Framingham State.

6. Middlebury College (7-2, 7-2 NESCAC): Coach Bob Ritter’s tenure may have concluded with a setback to Tufts University, but the Panthers exceeded our expectations, winning seven of nine contests, including an impressive late September win over Wesleyan University. Middlebury has recorded five wins or more in its last five seasons, including a 9-0 campaign in 2019.

7. Western Connecticut (7-3, 6-2 MASCAC): The Wolves were the biggest surprise of the 2022 season, winning seven games after concluding the 2021 season with five wins. Western Connecticut was one of the top three offenses in the MASCAC, averaging 383.7 yards per contest.

8. Tufts University (6-3, 6-3 NESCAC): Like Western Connecticut, Tufts was a pleasant surprise, as well, thanks to an impressive quarterback-wide receiver duo of Michael Berluti and Phil Lutz that helped the Jumbos offense conclude its nine-game season with a league-best 306 points.

9. Wesleyan University (6-3, 6-3 NESCAC): The Cardinals’ season ended with a difficult setback to rival Trinity – Wesleyan did lead Trinity, 14-10, at the break before the momentum shifted to the Bantams in the second half. Wesleyan’s biggest victory of the season occurred in mid-October when they beat Tufts under the lights by a score of 26-24.

10. Bridgewater State University (7-4, 6-2 MASCAC): The Bears closed out their 2022 campaign with a three-game winning streak, which culminated with their second New England Bowl victory in program history this past weekend. Bridgewater State was one of three MASCAC teams to post a 6-2 conference record – additionally, the Red and White ranked second in the conference in yards per game (415.1).

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