Alas, RPI, It Was Not To Be

I got my undergraduate degree at RPI (Div III for all sports except hockey, hence my general lack of caring about who wins in the NCAA basketball tournament). Because of hockey being the only Div I sport, that's almost entirely the only one people care about.

The one exception to that is football, a few years ago. For a couple of years, RPI made noise in the Div III football rankings, even getting to the national championship game one year.

When I went to RPI, we had Joe Juneau and several other very good players for my freshman year. That was a really wild year; defense entirely optional. I remember one of the games against Harvard that year was 9-8, and I don't remember that being especially atypical. But I don't remember them being especially successful that year (though I didn't follow the team particularly closely that year, despite already being a hockey fan from following the Caps for years; I blame that on ROTC).

And I think I remember the year after that being really miserable, leading to a coaching change.

The remaining several years were very good for the school, with regular rankings in the national Top Ten. But we never really made it over the hump, wiping out early in the ECAC tournament each year, and never getting an at-large bid for the NCAA tournament.

Incidentally, I believe the only player off of those teams to make the NHL was Neil Little, our awesome goalie. Well, awesome by NCAA standards. Obviously, he was only marginally replacement level in the NHL. Actually, I'm shocked he only played those two games, because that means it's a total fluke that I even heard about him playing.

Since then, the team has been downright miserable. I don't believe they've had a winning season from my graduation until this season.

All of which is a very roundabout way of leading up to this year. They didn't start all that well, but got on quite a roll in the middle. They even knocked off then-#1 Yale. I believe they peaked at #6. But the last couple of weeks were bad and the ECAC tournament was worse. And yet, they somehow got an at-large bid to the main tournament. I was hoping they would manage to turn things around a bit.

I got home from an ultimate frisbee game, and turned on the video for the game. Two-nil already, in favor of North Dakota. Ugh. I think I watched about ten minutes, which was enough to see two more goals scored. At that point, I'd had enough. Four-nil close to the end of the second period, if you aren't a better team who's been very unlucky, is damned near hopeless. What did I end up missing? Two more goals for the Fighting Sioux. Double-ugh.

So congrats on a fine season, RPI. But I'm very disappointed about the finish. I hope things can improve next year.

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