Welcome to the 2021 Landscape Series, a collection of pieces where I (a DIII nerd) look at each conference and examine the teams I feel are worth watching going into the upcoming season.
There were maybe 40 plus DIII teams when I started playing in college (2008). Springfield and Juniata … these were the powerhouse schools. They played DI schedules while virtually guaranteeing recruits a bid to play for a DIII National Championship via the Molten Tournament. Of the 15 Molten Championships that occurred, Springfield and Juniata won 6 championships each. The Molten Tournament itself wasn’t perfect (host automatically getting a bid), but it gave DIII something that didn’t exist at the time.
As we approach the 2020 season, I took it upon myself to research the incoming classes for DIII schools. I was able to verify the names below via Athletic Releases, Middlehitter commitment announcements, Instagram releases, and through communication with coaches across the country.