The UMLL is considered one of the most dominate conferences in the MCLA in the last few years the UMLL has won the National Championship more times than any other conference than any other. With teams that like St. Thomas, St. Johns, and now North Dakota State who are big players on the national stage and contenders for national titles year in and year out.
When looking at the UMLL there is an obvious gap in talent between the top half of the conference and the bottom half. Although the top half of the conference includes one of the winningest programs in MCLA history and also one of the bright young programs in the MCLA the bottom half of the UMLL is starting to fall in to obscurity. The bottom half of the conference includes Carleton, Bethel, and St. Olaf.
As the new season nears the UMLL looks even more like it will be like last season. Last season the Johnnies finished the regular season on top and the Tommies took the playoff championship and ultimately the National Championship. North Dakota State was really the late one to the show they had a good season and beat some good teams, like Davenport, but lost to an underpowered Kennesaw St., St. Johns, and St. Thomas three different times towards the end of they’re season. The Bison will have the biggest jump year, they bring in a good group of freshman and also will return a lot of good players from last year like Peter Flock, Kyle Sturgeon, and Scott Wheeler.
The Bison’s biggest competition this year will obviously be from Tommies. This team returns most of its potency from last year, including both Peter Carbeneau and Joe Palermo. The Tommies also return most of the players on the defensive end of the field including Ryan Zeilinger, who the Tommies rely heavily on during their championship run last season. As always the Tommies will bring in a stellar class of freshman and couple of exceptional transfers to bolster the Purple Army.
The surprise this year will be with St. Olaf. They only won a single game last season and that was an un impressive win against Calvin College. Although the Oles only had a single win last year their return to some sort of prominence is coming. It may not come this coming season but it is coming. Last season the Oles played 13 games and 7 of those were out of conference and another 9 of their 13 games were with teams that were ranked at one point or another. This Oles team will be the next team in the UMLL to make the jump to the top of the conference with St. Thomas, St. Johns, and NDSU.
The UMLL is probably the most prolific conference in the MCLA. It has created the best teams year and year out. The UMLL has only 6 teams in the conference, but it has garnered more National Championships than any other conference in the conference.
This year I also believe with the level of teams in the UMLL, the next National Champion will come from the Upper Midwest.