The D2 Football regular season has come to an end. Which teams improved the most from a year ago?
The 2017 D2 Football Breakout Teams of 2017 were determined by improvement in BennettRank from 2016 to this season.
Here are the 10 Breakout Teams from 2017:
|TEAM||2016 BR||2017 BR||CHG|
|So. Connecticut St.||104||42||62|
Northwood University improved four wins over 2016, Hillsdale just two, but the Chargers displayed numerous dominant wins, including three shutouts of 56, 38 and 54 points, plus a 45-7 win.
Gannon didn't win a single additional game but check out their game log: A year ago, the Golden Knights had trouble staying in games. This year, just one loss by more than two scores, only two by more than one score. Big-time progress despite stalling at five wins.
Walsh went from one victory in 2016 to four this season — all in the final six weeks of the season. Missouri S&T improved by two wins, including a 5-game winning streak.
St. Augustine's more than doubled their win total from last season (two), winning five of seven to finish 2017. Saginaw Valley, too, is stuck on five wins, but like Gannon, the Cardinals were significantly more competitive in 2017, hence the sharp turn in BennettRank.
Indianapolis is unbeaten and ranked No. 10 by BennettRank after a ho-hum six-win season a year ago. In hindsight, it appears the Greyhounds' turnaround began last October — the last loss came October 15, 2016 at Quincy. Since then, 15 straight victories.
Bentley won just one more game this season than last but of those six wins, one came at Top-10 Assumption the final week of the season and another over No. 6 LIU-Post September 23.
Southern Connecticut State ended the season with four straight wins, including on the road over Bentley and early in the year at Stonehill.