2024 Mid-Season D-III Bid Watch

Who has a chance to earn their way to Milwaukee and who still has work to do?

Ultiworld’s coverage of the 2024 college ultimate season is presented by Spin Ultimate; all opinions are those of the author(s). Find out how Spin can get you, and your team, looking your best this season.

At this point in the year, we’ve seen action from almost all of our D-III teams, with many of the top men’s division teams and several women’s division teams having two or more tournaments under their belt. Following the D-III men’s mega weekend at the beginning of March1 and a few big D-III women’s tournaments in D-III Grand Prix and Commonwealth Cup, it’s time for some mid-season bid watch. Courtesy of the incredible efforts of Cody Mills, frisbee-rankings.com presents a snapshot into how the bid picture will shake out based on the USAU algorithm.

With D-III only having six strength bids for each division, the margins are incredibly thin for Nationals hopefuls from regions with championship contenders. In this mid-season bid watch, we preview teams feeling secure in their position, teams right on the edge of the bid bubble, and teams on the outside looking in.

Note: If you’re curious about how the algorithm works, Mills included a summary in the FAQ portion of his site. 

Men’s Division

RankTeamBidRegionRecordRating
1St. OlafNC1North Central10-11537.19
2MiddleburyNE1New England4-11523.05
3FrancsicanOV1Ohio Valley14-01496.68
4Colorado MinesSC1South Central11-11490.21
5Oklahoma ChristianSC2South Central9-41485.87
6WhitmanNW1Northwest13-11441.32
7WilliamsNE2New England14-01420.99
8RichmondAC1Atlantic Coast9-51345.81
9Lewis & ClarkNW2Northwest12-21333.1
10Carleton-CHOPNC2North Central12-61325.19
11Ave MariaSE1Southeast7-01259.31
12Puget SoundNW3Northwest8-01252.01
13BerrySE2Southeast7-61201.98
14Michigan Tech-North Central4-31199.6
15Oberlin-Ohio Valley3-41193.51
16Davidson-Atlantic Coast10-81164
17Elon-Atlantic Coast10-31159.4
18Colorado College-Atlantic Coast5-21131.72
19Cedarville-Northwest4-21107.84
20Union-Southwest5-71083.16
21UNC- Asheville-Atlantic Coast5-21038.57
22Connecticut CollegeME1Metro East4-31027.63
23MacalesterNorth Central5-71027.39
24Bowdoin-New England5-21022.79
25College of New Jersey-Metro East6-11001.24
26Xavier-Ohio Valley8-6966.19
27Navy-Atlantic Coast3-4955.56
28Truman State-South Central7-6944.62
33ClaremontSW1Southwest6-4850.95
36DavenportGL1Great Lakes1-4816.31

Secure

St. Olaf, Franciscan, Oklahoma Christian, Williams, Whitman, and Lewis & Clark are all locks to earn their region bids. St. Olaf and Oklahoma Christian already look like semifinalist picks for Nationals this year and have played well enough against high-level D-I teams that it’s pretty improbable their future results drop them more than 300 rating points. Williams is a little lower on the rating scale, but fourteen games in their schedule demonstrate enough consistency not to drop. Franciscan, Whitman, and Lewis & Clark played well enough at D-III Grand Prix to earn bids, and none of these teams have any more tournaments in their schedule the rest of the season. For better or for worse, they will stick around the top seven until the postseason.

All-But-Secure

Colorado Mines, Middlebury, Carleton-CHOP, and Richmond will most likely keep their bids, but if they aren’t careful could watch them slip away. Richmond and CHOP would have to seriously screw up at their final tournament of the year, but we have seen teams do it. Colorado Mines is in a unique situation: they’re in a connectivity bubble after playing two tournaments with either the same teams or team that haven’t played otherwise. If the bubble pops and it turns out teams Mines beat by a lot aren’t good, Entropy could lose their bid. Considering Middlebury’s history of dominance and their talented roster, it’s doubtful Middlebury won’t earn a bid. However, they’ve played so few games that it’s still a possibility they won’t earn one, but bubble teams shouldn’t count on it.

Bubble Life

Puget Sound, Oberlin, Michigan Tech, Davidson, Ave Maria, and Berry will be sweating and refreshing frisbee-rankings.com daily for the next month, hoping they either jump up and grab a bid, or barely hold on. Berry holds the last strength bid currently at 1201.98, but is barely above Michigan Tech by two elo points, and Oberlin by less than ten. Those couple of elo rating points can be decided by a single extra goal scored or ceded in a game. Coaches will reconsider throwing on a rookie line because, at this point, every score matters.

Puget Sound is in a very precarious situation, earning a strength bid with a strength of schedule of 755 while every other bid earner has an SOS of 1000 or more. The Postmen have beaten weak teams by enough to earn a bid, but with so few teams played, if any opponents perform poorly they could easily lose it. It’s unclear if Puget Sound has another sanctioned tournament later this year, leaving Northwest players surprised and happy to have a third bid, and other teams around the division questioning the legitimacy of it with such a soft schedule.

Ave Maria is in a similar position, playing a SOS of 648, but the Gyrenes are confirmed to be playing a more difficult tournament at Tallahassee Classic this weekend, so they’ll be able to prove their skills – or not. Davidson is the furthest away from earning a strength bid, forty total elo points. However, they play a soft tournament at Needle In A Ho Stack, and if Davidson can beat these teams at least, there’s a shot they snag the final bid. If they lose even one game, they can kiss their bid dreams goodbye.

Need Some Help

Elon, Colorado College and Cedarville all have a shot, but will need to play pretty well for the rest of the season in order to earn a bid. Elon could have earned bid at FCS but only beat a rebuilding Kenyon team by two, and are dragged down by a loss to Cedarville earlier in the season. Elon does themselves no favors by not playing another tournament until Regionals, in essence betting on themselves to win the title or Davidson to earn a bid. Only fifty elo points away from earning a bid, the Atlantic Coast has to be frustrated with Big Fat Bomb for skipping out on a chance to earn a bid in a talented region.

It’s hard to judge the reigning champions Colorado College, who lost big to Colorado B and Denver at Snow Melt. Maybe it was first tournament jitters, so don’t count them out yet, but they need to play very well at Centex if they want to earn the South Central a third bid. Lastly, Cedarville’s last tournament is the same as Davidson’s, and the same applies. Win big, and they could earn a bid; lose any game, and lose the bid chance.

Dreamers Can Hope

UNC Asheville, Union, and Bowdoin have almost no chance at earning a bid, but this is D-III ultimate, and you can never know. Expectations for Bowdoin were much higher, but a loss to TCNJ and Penn State-B demonstrated Bowdoin may have graduated more talent than we thought. Asheville has only played seven games, so if they have a spectacular Needle in a Ho-Stack, there’s a tiny chance of snagging the last bid with the rate they’ve improved in the last year.

Lost Their Shot

After promising starts to the year, Missouri S&T, Truman State, Xavier, Macalester, and Union all played themselves out of bid range. All teams have played two tournaments, and are 200+ elo points away from Berry. In our 12 Days of Ultimate Bid Predictions, I said the South Central would earn four bids, and what a turn of events that they may earn two or less. Truman State, Missouri S&T, John Brown, and even Colorado College look nowhere near as dominant as last year. Xavier had an eyebrow raising D-III Grand Prix and fell back to earth at FCS, but it was impressive nonetheless after not making Regionals last year. To end, Grinnell, John Brown, Navy, and Kenyon have all fallen off the map after making Nationals last year, and can only hope they improve enough by Regionals to make it back.

Women’s Division

d3 women's ultimate frisbee 2024 bidwatch

RankTeamBidRegionRecordRating
1Haverford/Bryn MawrOV1Ohio Valley7-01520.51
2WhitmanNW1Northwest6-11516.83
3IthacaME1Metro East5-01405.87
4PortlandNW2Northwest11-31404.14
5BrandeisNE1New England2-01395.56
6Carleton College EclipseNC1North Central8-21349.79
7Union (Tennessee)SE1Southeast12-21338.42
8Colorado CollegeSC1South Central8-31258.69
9St. OlafNC2North Central5-21168.69
10Connecticut CollegeME2Metro East3-21157.48
11LehighOV2Ohio Valley9-41072.97
12RochesterME3Metro East6-21069.19
13DavenportGL1Great Lakes4-11061.75
14WellesleyNE2New England4-21022.41
15Williams-New England5-11006.09
16Dartmouth-New England3-41005.12
17Macalester-North Central5-1998.84
18Lewis & Clark-Northwest2-5954.27
19Franciscan-Ohio Valley4-2902.38
20RichmondAC1Atlantic Coast3-2878.14
21Puget Sound-Northwest5-7874.82
22ClaremontSW1Southwest3-7871.21
23Cedarville-Ohio Valley4-2866.21
24Kenyon-Ohio Valley4-2806.34
25Amherst-New England0-2756.99
26Trinity-South Central9-4739.89
27Catholic-Atlantic Coast6-6684.55
28Wesleyan-Metro East3-3680.21
29Rice-South Central5-0673.71
30Truman State-South Central6-8658.16

Secure

Whitman, Portland, Carleton College Eclipse, Union (Tennessee), and Colorado College are all looking very comfortable going into the end of the season. For four of these schools, their results are bolstered by the strongest tournament in D-III Women’s so far, D-III Grand Prix. have solidified themselves as the frontrunner2 in this Grand Prix group, with two wins against Portland and their only loss to Carleton College Eclipse. Whitman will test themselves at Northwest Challenge this weekend, an incredibly strong tournament featuring top D-I Women’s teams. Looking at their regional rival, Portland are similarly feeling comfortable in their positioning due to their three strong tournament showings, giving them a lot of connectivity.

Colorado College is in a similar boat to Whitman, and will be testing themselves against strong teams at Women’s Centex.3 While Eclipse has underperformed this year based on expectations, their 8-2 record is good for sixth in the rankings.4 Finally, our last team in this list is looking comfortable to take the Southeast bid based on good results and no strong regional challengers. Union (Tennessee) has played well at two tournaments so far, and is set to roll into Nationals again for 2024.

All-But-Secure

With the limited results and minimal connectivity for D-III, teams outside of D-III Grand Prix attendees are hard to predict. This next tier of teams may be feeling comfortable, but they cannot rest on their laurels. St. Olaf and Wellesley came into the year as frontrunners, but have struggled to impress so far. St. Olaf went into Midwest Throwdown with high expectations and secured strong wins against Missouri, Saint Louis, and regional rivals Macalester, but were knocked out of the bracket by Truman State. They also had a close loss to a D-I Nationals hopeful in Northwestern. Wellesley is in a similar boat, winning big against teams in the bottom half of our Power Rankings in Bates and Wesleyan, but recording a loss to Williams and a close win over Brandeis. Spring in the northern half of the country is unpredictable, so weather may have played a large role in both of these team’s early season results.

Our next grouping is teams with limited connectivity. These teams have performed well so far, but we have yet to see a ton outside of a single tournament. Haverford/Bryn Mawr and Rice went undefeated in each of their first tournaments, with the Sneetches’ biggest wins being against Lehigh, Boston University, and Rochester. The Rice Torque performed very well at Antifreeze, beating Trinity twice by one. Our other two teams in this list, Williams and Davenport, are single loss teams with a lot to prove. Williams is comfortable here based on the strength of their region, while Davenport is comfortable here based on the weakness of their region. Overall, these four teams are in control of their own destiny, but still need to prove themselves at another tournament.

Bubble Life

Again, this group is split into two categories. We have teams who played a decent selection of games, through attending two or more tournaments or playing a full slate at their first tournament. Teams like Lehigh, Rochester, Lewis & Clark, Trinity, Wesleyan, and Mount Holyoke are fighting for an extra strength bid for their region. On the other hand, Claremont is the top team in their region and will have to fend off Occidental for the Southwest’s autobid. Claremont struggled at their first two tournaments, but can right the ship at the end of the season. Two other teams are in this grouping, Brandeis and Richmond, due to their minimal connectivity thus far. Lehigh may be the team most in the driver’s seat, avenging a bad 10-3 loss to Haverford/Bryn Mawr at Bring the Huckus with a 5-1 record at Cherry Blossom Classic ,where they beat Catholic and lost close to American. If Lehigh can put together another solid showing before the series, they could find themselves in strength bid territory.

Looking at the Metro East, the rankings imply Ithaca and Connecticut College are in control, but their limited results show that Rochester and Wesleyan are actually most in charge of this region. With Lehigh surging, Rochester’s 8-7 win over them at Bring the Huckus is getting sweeter. Wesleyan played at No Sleep Till Brooklyn, getting reps against the New England teams, including wins against Bates and Mount Holyoke, and a close loss to Williams. Their 10-5 loss to Wellesley makes their situation precarious, however, so they will need a good second showing to get a strength bid for the Metro East.

Trinity and Lewis & Clark are the product of weird rankings results. Trinity found success at two tournaments, but minimal connectivity with the rest of the region has them very low on the rankings. Trinity, along with Rice, will be able to prove the SC strength at Centex this weekend. Lewis & Clark has attended two tournaments so far, and struggled against great talent at D-III Grand Prix. That said, almost every team they lost to at that tournament are in the “Secure” section of the bid watch. These losses raise Lewis & Clark into the bid earning bubble.

Finally, Brandeis and Richmond. Brandeis currently has a ranking of 1395.56, but this does not include the results from this past weekend. A 13-11 loss to Wellesley, even if it was the product of wind, will help keep Brandeis in the picture. Richmond is in a similar boat to Brandeis, and will ride on the strength of their 8-7 win over Davenport and their 7-6 win over Cedarville. We need to see more results from both of these teams to determine where they fall in the bid picture, but they’ve set themselves up for success so far.

Need Some Help

Macalester, Dartmouth, Franciscan, Catholic, Puget Sound, Connecticut College, and Ithaca are all in limbo. For the most part, this group has put up solid results and has a chance to fight for bids come April, but their ability to earn their own bid is slowly slipping away. Macalaster and Franciscan exceeded expectations at each of their first tournaments, but they need to win against stronger teams in order to get into the bid picture. Dartmouth, Puget Sound, and Catholic have had mediocre results in the win-loss column, but their stronger strength of schedule could give them a boost to make it into the bubble. Connecticut College and Ithaca both have minimal results and limited connectivity. Their only results, a five game tournament called South Hill Slam, is completely isolated from the rest of the women’s division in the rankings. Where these teams end up is anyone’s guess.

Dreamers Can Hope

Cedarville, Kenyon, Occidental, Truman State, and Bates are in the dreamers category. While not technically eliminated, these teams will need a miracle, or some perfectly timed gusts of wind against a top 10 team, to propel them into the rankings picture. These teams aren’t necessarily unable to make Nationals, but their best shot is to steal a bid.

Truman State may be in the best position to steal a bid with upset wins over St. Olaf and Northwestern at Midwest Throwdown. Kenyon is in a similar boat with a head-to-head win over Franciscan, their regional rival. Cedarville is a few good results away from being a tier or two up on this bid picture, with a close 7-6 loss to Richmond and a big 13-6 loss to Georgetown. Occidental and Bates are in the most precarious position in this group, but these two teams have a history of success in April and May, and could become hot at just the right time to swipe a bid in the Series.

Lost their Shot

Amherst, SUNY-Geneseo, and Knox are all in a tough position. Their only hope is to get hot at Regionals and swipe a bid. These teams have one win across the three of them, with Amherst losing to Brandeis, a stronger team in their region. Knox, the only team with a win in this group, got a 7-6 victory against Wisconsin B but struggled otherwise at Midwest Throwdown. SUNY-Geneseo struggled to close out games at Bring the Huckus, losing four games by less than three points, including a single point loss to Dartmouth and Swarthmore. If these games had gone differently, SUNY-Geneseo would be in a very different position looking into the end of the 2024 season.

Hasn’t Even Played Yet

Finally, we have our four teams that have graced our power Rankings During the season but have yet to take the field in sanctioned competition. Middlebury, the top team in our rankings for every week of 2024, will first be seen at Centex this weekend. Given their back-to-back-to-back titles, Middlebury is in a secure place to earn a bid for NE. Michigan Tech also has yet to take the field and will finally be seen at Meltdown. Michigan Tech has the strength of returners to get a strength bid for the North Central, but are sitting in a precarious position on the bubble. Winona State lost a ton of strong players to graduation and are in the dreamers can hope grouping. They could have some good results and propel themselves into bid earning territory. Berry joins Winona State in this grouping, with their first result being at Moxie Madness in a couple weekends.


  1. Catch the recap by our own Zack Davis here 

  2. Amongst teams who have played 

  3. Including both of their strongest regional rivals, Rice and Trinity 

  4. Per frisbee-rankings.com; USAU just released their first set of rankings that placed Eclipse at third 

  1. Anna Browne
    Anna Browne

    Anna Browne is a writer for the D-III Women's Division. She has been playing competitive ultimate since 2019, spending her college years at Michigan Tech. Anna is based in Detroit, Michigan where she plays in the Women's Club Division and coaches the Michigan Tech Superior Ma's.

  2. Calvin Ciorba
    Calvin Ciorba

    Calvin Ciorba is a D-III Men's writer currently studying Leadership and Economics in his junior year at the University of Richmond. He started his ultimate career in St. Louis, MO playing ultimate at Ladue High School and St. Louis Storm YCC, when he also created the popular frisbee Instagram account Discmemes. Now he has sold the account and plays for the UR Spidermonkeys. You can find him on twitter @calvin_ciorba for passionate takes on the "People's Division."

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