With the Military Bowl being cancelled, the college football season is officially over for Division One programs in New England.
So, here is our final college poll for the 2021 season. Remember, this is based on the respective performances of the individual programs, not which program is the most talented. We all know that’s Boston College.
1. Dartmouth (9-1): The Big Green finished number one in our poll after winning a share of the Ivy League title.
2. Holy Cross (10-3): Crusaders won their third straight Patriot League title and a playoff game. Bob Chesney has built a powerhouse in Worcester.
3. Sacred Heart (8-4): The Pioneers won the NEC and lost a heartbreaker in the first round of the playoffs. Head Coach Mark Nofri and his staff have laid a solid foundation for the future.
4 Harvard (8-2): The Crimson lost to Ivy League champion Dartmouth and Princeton but exceeded expectation this season.
5. Rhode Island (7-4): The Rams had their best season since 2001. Despite losing four of their last six, they had a shot at gaining an at large playoff bid going into the season finally. With several key pieces back, the Rams are poised to build on this past season’s success.
6. Boston College (6-6): The Eagles struggled down the stretch and ended up opting out of the Military Bowl due to Covid issues. With Phil Jurkovec and Zay Flowers back next season, the future is bright.
7. Bryant (7-4): The Bulldogs finished off one of the best seasons in program history with an impressive 58-14 win over Merrimack. Quarterback Zevi Eckhaus and a talented core returns next season.
8. Maine (6-5): The Black Bears finished the season strong beating UMass and UNH down the stretch. Replacing head coach Nick Charlton will be tough but new coach and alumnus Jordan Stevens played at Maine and knows how to recruit to the school.
9. Yale (5-5): The Bulldogs were in the Ivy League title hunt for most of the season. A slow start hurt them however. Nolan Grooms returning at quarterback is a big plus.
10. Merrimack (5-6): The Warriors got off to a 3-1 start but struggled to find consistency the final seven weeks of the season losing five of seven. Despite that, head coach Dan Curran has the program heading in the right direction.
11. Central Connecticut State (4-7): The Blue Devils won three of four to close the season. The future is bright for this once proud program.
12. UNH (3-8): After getting off to a 3-0 start, the Wildcats lost eight straight. With Sean McDonnell retiring, new coach Ricky Santos hopes to turn things around in Durham.
13. Brown (2-8): Quarterback E.J Perry had a season for the ages but the Bears once again struggled, especially on defense. Replacing Perry and fixing the defense will be the priorities this off-season.
14. UConn (1-11): Jim Mora Jr. has Huskies fans hopefully of turnaround in Storrs but it will take time. Mora has rebuilt the roster thus far through recruiting and the transfer portal. You can expect improvement in 2022.
15. UMass (1-11): Don Brown represents a bright future in Amherst but it is going to take some time to get the program turned around and competitive.