D3 Football: The Final Noontime Top 20 Poll (Nov. 25th, 2019)

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeNation 

It’s time to unveil our final New England D-III Football Top 20 Poll of the 2019 season.

The 2019 season was an exciting one, filled with some new storylines, along with some teams that will certainly be on our radar next fall.

Thanks for a great season and enjoy our final poll (and breakdown, too).


1. Western New England (9-2, 7-0 CCC): The Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) champions may have fallen short to The College of Brockport last Saturday in the NCAA Tournament, but did not lose to a single game to a D-III squad this season.

2. WPI (10-1, 6-1 NEWMAC): The Engineers of Worcester were impressive in all three phases this year, but will certainly miss their senior class next fall.

3. Endicott College (9-2, 6-1 CCC): Despite falling short to the Golden Bears a few weeks ago, these Gulls proved they can compete with some of the best teams, both in and outside the region. Endicott finished its season with nine wins for the first time since 2012.

4. Middlebury College (9-0, 9-0 NESCAC): These Panthers found ways to win some hard-fought (and dramatic) games this fall and will certainly be on our radar going forward.

5. Framingham State (8-3, 8-0 MASCAC): After starting their season with back-to-back losses, Framingham State ripped off eight-straight wins to secure a spot in the NCAA Tournament.

6. MIT (7-3, 6-1 NEWMAC): The Engineers’ improbable run to the postseason was impressive with some hard-fought (and important) wins over Coast Guard AcademySpringfield College, and WPI.

7. Springfield College (6-4, 5-2 NEWMAC): Losing to MIT was not an ideal way to end a season. Springfield overcame a 1-3 start to position themselves for a potential national playoff run, thanks to some key wins down the stretch.

8. Wesleyan University (8-1, 8-1 NESCAC): The Cardinals were one of the biggest surprises this season. Despite a lopsided loss to Middlebury a few weeks ago, Wesleyan proved they are (and will continue to be) one of the top teams in the conference going forward.

9. UMass Dartmouth (7-3, 5-3 MASCAC): The Corsairs enjoyed one of their best seasons, matching the 2004 squad with seven victories. UMass Dartmouth was impressive from the get-go and should certainly be in the mix for a conference crown in 2020.

10. Western Connecticut (8-3, 6-2 MASCAC): For the second-straight season, the Colonials ended their campaign with eight wins. Western Connecticut may have not been the juggernaut from last season (or past seasons), but should once again be in the mix for a conference title next season.

11. Williams College (7-2, 7-2 NESCAC): Despite losing a heartbreaking to Middlebury in their season-opener, Williams proved they are (and will continue to be) one of the top teams in the conference. The squad returns some impressive talent next season, which should help the Ephs contend for a New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) crown.

12. Bridgewater State (6-4, 6-2 MASCAC): The Bears were tough to gauge this season, especially with so many seniors back from last year’s eight-win squad. BSU had a chance to win the conference and compete in the postseason, but saw their playoff hopes dashed with a week ten setback to the Rams of Framingham State.

13. Trinity College (5-4, 5-4 NESCAC): The Bantams’ four-peat never happened, but they did end their season winning three of their final five contests. It will be interesting to see how Trinity rebounds from a five-win season.

14. Nichols College (6-4, 4-3 CCC): The Bison won six games for the first time since 2003. They scored some exciting wins over Salve Regina and the University of New England and should be back in the mix for the conference crown next fall.

15. Amherst College (4-5, 4-5 NESCAC): The Mammoths entered the 2019 season with hopes of winning a conference crown. Instead, they ended their campaign with four-straight setbacks, including a heartbreaking defeat to Hamilton College. Amherst won just four games in 2016 before rebounding with back-to-back winning seasons in 2017 and 2018.

16. Norwich University (5-5, 2-5 NEWMAC): The Cadets began their season with four-straight wins. And for a moment it appeared as if the Maroon and Gold would be the team to beat in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC). But unfortunately, the team’s winning ways concluded over the next few weeks as the Cadets mustered just one victory in its final six contests.

17. Husson University (4-6, 4-3 CCC): The Eagles may have finished with four wins – all four victories came against conference opponents – but they looked pretty impressive against Nichols and Salve Regina.

18. Coast Guard Academy (5-5, 2-5 NEWMAC): Afer starting their season with a 4-1 mark, the Bears mustered just one win during their final five contests. The defense was impressive but struggled down the stretch against Merchant Marine and WPI.

19. Mass. Maritime Academy (6-4, 4-4 MASCAC): After a successful start to their 2019 campaign, the Buccaneers struggled to maintain their momentum by seesawing between the win and loss columns. The Bucs lost three of their final four contests but did score an impressive win on the road at UMass Dartmouth.

20. Salve Regina University (4-6, 3-4 CCC): The Seahawks may have finished with four wins this fall, but proved they are (and will continue to be) a team to watch every season in the CCC. They provided challenges for both Endicott and WNE before ending their season with wins over Curry College and UNE, which should provide the unit with some momentum heading into the 2020 season.

On The Rise: Dean College (4-6, 4-1 ECFC) and University of New England (4-6, 2-5 CCC). 

D3 Football: NCAA & New England Bowl Predictions

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By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation 

Happy Friday, everyone!

I hope you’re as excited as I am for the upcoming NCAA Tournament games tomorrow, along with two New England Bowls.

As usual, Friday’s mean one thing: games to watch and predictions. So, allow me to dish out my picks for the three NCAA Tournament games with New England teams, along with both New England Bowls.

Have a wonderful weekend, stay warm – it is going to be COLD tomorrow – and I’ll do my very best, as usual, to keep you all updated on social media!


NCAA Tournament Games | Saturday, November 23rd, 2019

Brockport at Western New England (12 p.m.): This is a very evenly matched contest – it is even a game the Golden Bears could (and should) win. I’ll give the edge to WNE since they are playing at home, but they will need a big day from their offense, as well as a stellar performance by their run defense. PREDICTION: WNE 31, Brockport 28 

Framingham State at Wesley College (12 p.m.): The Rams have never won an NCAA Tournament game, so perhaps this is the contest Framingham State wins. FSU’s offense and defense have been rather impressive the past few weeks, especially against some talented conference foes, which should translate to a one-point (or two-point) victory on Saturday. PREDICTION: Framingham State 28, Wesley 27 

MIT at Muhlenberg College (12 p.m.): This is a tough draw for the Engineers, who are set to face the fourth-best team in the country, per the latest D3 Football Top 25. MIT has been impressive in their last three outings – they needed to win all three to advance to the postseason – but something tells me the Mules will make a few more plays from the get-go to secure an opening-round win. PREDICTION: Muhlenberg 30, MIT 10 


New England Bowl Games | Saturday, November 23rd, 2019

Dean College at Endicott College (12 p.m.): This one is for the seniors. Look for a monstrous game from the seniors on both sides of the ball to send the Gulls into the offseason with some momentum for the 2020 season. PREDICTION: Endicott 35, Dean 16 

Western Connecticut at WPI (1 p.m.): After losing to the Engineers of Cambridge earlier this month, WPI has looked unstoppable, winning back-to-back games against Coast Guard Academy and Norwich University by a combined score of 124-35. Look for the Engineers to continue their recent momentum against the Colonials in Worcester. PREDICTION: WPI 38, Western Conn. 14 

D3 Football: Conference Race Watch (Week 11)

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By Matt Noonan | @MattyNoonz11

Welcome to the final week of the New England D-III Football season – man, this season has flown by. I still remember counting down the days to week one this past summer, but now it is time to unveil our final ‘Conference Race Watch’ post for the 2019 season.

As usual, make sure to stay connected with our New England football coverage on Twitter by following @Noontime_FB


Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC): Western New England. The Golden Bears secured the conference’s automatic berth to the upcoming NCAA Tournament with back-to-back wins this month against Becker College and Endicott College. WNE concludes its regular-season slate on Saturday, November 16th when they host Husson University.

Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC): Dean College. Despite ending their season with a 38-20 setback to Castleton University, the Bulldogs still managed to secures its first conference crown since becoming a member of the league in 2017. Dean ended its season with a 4-1 record and will most likely play once more this season in a New England Bowl.

SUNY Maritime will represent the conference in the upcoming NCAA Tournament next weekend.

Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC): Framingham State. Despite starting its season with a pair of losses, the Rams managed to rebound with seven-straight wins, including a 40-20 victory last Saturday against Bridgewater State. The Rams conclude their season on Saturday when they visit Worcester State.

New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC): Middlebury College. The Panthers wrapped up their 2019 slate with a 31-24 victory over Tufts University last weekend. The nine wins are the most recorded in program history – the conference began playing five games in 2017.

New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC): MIT/Springfield/WPI. This particular conference champion has yet to be decided, but MIT has the easiest path to the league title if they beat Springfield. A loss to the Pride and a WPI win over Norwich University would then provide the Engineers of Worcester with their first conference crown. Springfield can capture the title by beating MIT and having WPI lose to Norwich.

D3 Football: Week 11 Poll (Tuesday, Nov. 11th, 2019)

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

Welcome to the final week of the New England D-III Football regular season!

Western New England remained the top team for a second-straight week, while Framingham State and Middlebury College swapped spots, checking in fourth and fifth, respectively. Both squads captured their respective conference crowns this past weekend.

MIT moved-up one spot following an important win over Norwich University, while Wesleyan University moved-up five spots following an exciting win over 13th ranked Trinity College.

And finally, with their win over 15th-ranked Amherst College this past weekend, Williams College moved-up one spot to secure the ninth position.


New England D-III Football Week 11 Poll| November 11th, 2019

1. Western New England 8-1, 6-0 CCC Last Week: No. 1 
2. WPI  8-1, 5-1 NEWMAC Last Week: No. 2
3. Endicott College  7-2, 5-1 CCC Last Week: No. 3
4. Framingham State  7-2, 7-0 MASCAC Last Week: No. 5
5. Middlebury College 9-0, 9-0 NESCAC Last Week: No. 4
6. Springfield College 6-3, 5-1 NEWMAC Last Week: No. 6
7. MIT  6-2, 5-1 NEWMAC Last Week: No. 8
8. Wesleyan University 8-1, 8-1 NESCAC Last Week: No. 13
9. Williams College 7-2, 7-2 NESCAC Last Week: No. 10
10. Western Connecticut  7-2, 5-2 MASCAC Last Week: No. 11
11. Bridgewater State  5-4, 5-2 MASCAC Last Week: No. 7
12. UMass Dartmouth 6-3, 4-3 MASCAC Last Week: No. 9 
13. Trinity College 5-4, 5-4 NESCAC Last Week: No. 12
14. Nichols College 6-3, 4-2 CCC Last Week: No. 17
15. Amherst College 4-5, 4-5 NESCAC Last Week: No. 14
16. Norwich University 5-4, 2-4 NEWMAC Last Week: No. 15
17. Coast Guard Academy 5-4, 2-4 NEWMAC Last Week: No. 16
18. Mass. Maritime Acad. 6-3, 4-3 MASCAC Last Week: No. 19
19. Husson University 4-5, 4-2 CCC Last Week: Not Ranked
20. Plymouth State 6-3, 4-3 MASCAC Last Week: No. 18 

On the Rise: Dean College, Salve Regina University, and Tufts University


New England D-III Top 20 Polls: Preseason Poll | Week One Poll |Week Two Poll| Week Three Poll |Week Four Poll| Week Five Poll|Week Six|Week Seven |Week Eight |Week Nine |Week Ten 


As usual, make sure to stay connected with our New England football coverage on Twitter by following @Noontime_FB today! 

 

D3 Football: 10 Games To Watch (Nov. 9th, 2019)

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By Matt Noonan | @MattyNoonz11

It’s Friday – why do people call it ‘Fri-yay?’

If anyone has an answer, please let me know, but in the meantime let’s get ready for another important week of New England D-III Football with our weekly edition of ’10 Games to Watch.’

Last Week: I went 5-5, which is OK, but not great, so my current record heading into the second to last week of the regular season is 60-30. Let’s see if I can at least pick six, seven or eight games correctly this weekend! 

As usual, make sure to stay connected with our New England football coverage on Twitter by following @Noontime_FB.

Also, subscribe to our podcast on iTunes – you will enjoy our hyperlocal sports chatter!

Have a great weekend, everyone!


New England D-III Football | Games to Watch (Week Ten)

Rankings based off this week’s Noontime Top 20 Poll 

No. 1 Western New England at Becker College (Saturday, Nov. 9th at 12 p.m.): The Golden Bears can clinch the CCC title on Saturday with a win on the road. And after watching last week’s win against Endicott College, I think the Golden Bears will certainly be able to score an important win against the Hawks. PREDICTION: WNE 35, Becker 10 

Castleton University at No. 20 Dean College (Saturday, Nov. 9th at 12 p.m.): The Bulldogs need just one more win to secure the ECFC crown outright. PREDICTION: Dean 28, Castleton 10 

No. 7 Bridgewater State at No. 5 Framingham State (Saturday, Nov. 9th at 12 p.m.): Both teams enter this important clash riding impressive winning streaks, but in the end, the Rams should be able to make a few more plays on both offense and defense to secure a VERY important conference win. PREDICTION: Framingham State 24, Bridgewater State 17 

No. 19 Mass. Maritime Academy at No. 9 UMass Dartmouth (Saturday, Nov. 9th at 12 p.m.): The Corsairs looked impressive last week against Western Connecticut and should be able to throw and run the ball against the Buccaneers defense. PREDICTION: UMass Dartmouth 26, Mass. Maritime Academy 14 

No. 14 Amherst College at No. 10 Williams College (Saturday, Nov. 9th at 12 p.m.): Williams enters Saturday’s must-see rivalry clash with an edge – they should be able to bounce back from last week’s setback to Wesleyan University by scoring an exciting season-ending win against the Mammoths. PREDICTION: Williams 25, Amherst 13 

No. 13 Wesleyan University at No. 12 Trinity College (Saturday, Nov. 9th at 12 p.m.): The Cardinals are still in contention to share the NESCAC crown, so this is a must-win against their rival. PREDICTION: Wesleyan 24, Trinity 20 

No. 16 Coast Guard Academy at No. 2 WPI (Saturday, Nov. 9th at 12 p.m.): The Engineers need to win both this week and next week, but face a stiff test against a solid Bears defense. WPI should be able to squeak out a win, but don’t expect it to be an easy victory. PREDICTION: WPI 23, Coast Guard 16 

No. 15 Norwich University at No. 8 MIT (Saturday, Nov. 9th at 12 p.m.): The Engineers have some serious momentum following an epic double-overtime win against WPI last week. Look for that momentum to help MIT score an exciting ‘Senior Day’ victory. PREDICTION: MIT 27, Norwich 21 

No. 6 Springfield College at Maine Maritime Academy (Saturday, Nov. 9th at 12 p.m.): With just two games remaining, Springfield knows this is a must-win. They have looked pretty impressive in their last few contests and should continue to their recent success on the road Saturday. PREDICTION: Springfield 28, Maine Maritime 7 

No. 4 Middlebury College at Tufts University (Saturday, Nov. 9th at 12:30 p.m.): At 8-0, these Panthers need just one more win to finish their nine-game slate undefeated. Tufts will provide the Panthers with some challenges, but in the end, I expect Middlebury to win. PREDICTION: Middlebury 20, Tufts 14