Anyone who follows college dodgeball closely knows that this past weekend featured a number a great events across the country. This past Saturday, Penn State hosted James Madison, Maryland, and Towson in an East Coast tourney that would provide more insight into where each of those teams are at. Also on Saturday, one of college dodgeball’s newest rivalries took place on the campus of Georgia Southern. UNG and GSU battled it out with a double-header, in the South Region’s first event of the season. Then, on Sunday, Grand Valley hosted their Gauntlet tournament with every Michigan school (plus Kent State) in attendance.
Winner #1: Central Michigan
No question that CMU makes this list. They had another fantastic performance over the weekend, as they took out MSU, GVSU, and SVSU. No game finished with a closer margin than 2 points, as CMU looked crisp all day. I was able to watch a good portion of the CMU vs. GVSU match, and let me tell you, this was a full team effort for the Chippewas. The bottom half of the CMU starting lineup (players 7-12) is performing noticeably better than any other team’s 7-12. It isn’t even close at this point. If this consistent play from CMU’s ‘supporting cast’ continues, I can see them going into the holiday break without a loss on their schedule. Neither GVSU nor SVSU has proven they are able to play a full 50 minutes at the same level as the Chippewas just yet.
Winner #2: James Madison
I already regret putting JMU as low as #4 on my latest power rankings. This team is 6-0 on the year, and get this: their combined point totals in their games vs. Towson is 10-4! Ouch. JMU is proving to everyone (including me) that they are without a shadow of a doubt, the best team in the east at the moment. Their closest game all year was a 4-2 win over Towson that quite frankly, wasn’t ever in question. I am dying to see how this team compete’s when they go up against some Michigan schools. Good news is, that will likely happen in early November…
Winner #3: Kent State
I’m trying my very best right now not to overreact, but people… Kent State went to Michigan for an early season tournament and came away with a 2-1 record, with two solid wins over Michigan schools. Wow! I am disappointing in myself for underestimating Kent State after a lackluster performance at the Summit Street Slugfest last weekend, because they certainly came to play last Sunday in Allendale, Michigan. I am pumped to see a rematch between BGSU and Kent now. When Kent is on their game, they clearly can compete with anybody. This weekend certainly proved that.
Winner #4: North Georgia
Won’t waste much time on this one. It’s pretty simple. Two 7-0 victories of GSU shows that for a second year in a row, UNG is the king of the south. Maybe UCF will steal that title from them later this year. Only time will tell…
Loser #1: Grand Valley State
I certainly won’t over react about this one, but after another loss to CMU, GV gets a spot in the loser section of this article. I still consider this team to have the most upside of any in the country, but unfortunately for them they have not lived up to their potential just yet. This roster has so many skilled players top to bottom, but they simply have not played smart dodgeball yet this year and it has come back to bite them in their two losses to CMU. I’m not sure when Grand Valley will flip the switch, but eventually this team will start playing organized, effective dodgeball. Until then, their opponents will continue to build confidence by taking advantage of GVSU’s deficiencies.
Loser #2: Towson
The team that entered the season #2 on my personal power rankings, has not shown us they are a top team just yet. I am not totally sure what to make of these early season struggles for TU, but I hope they can improve as the year goes on so someone can challenge JMU for the top spot in the east.
Loser #3: Michigan State
Clearly this team is a work in progress. that much has been established. but losing 6-0 to CMU can’t be fun.
It has been a very interesting start to the season. James Madison seems in complete control of the East Coast. So mush so, that VCU Dodgeball decided to tweet the league’s anti-doping policy at them.
Georgia Southern puts up a much better fight on Twitter than on the dodgeball court, but hopefully that will soon change.
Kent State went from having a below average performance, to one for the ages.
And of course, CMU has already racked up two wins over GVSU this year, and curiously, they’ve celebrated both with an organized team picture at the end of the tournament… as if they had won the national title or something.
Anyway, that’s my take on the dodgeball that took place last weekend. Excited to see how the rest of the season plays out. I’ll leave you with one of those CMU team photos I was talking about.