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Date Posted: 20:28:36 11/16/03 Sun
Author: Leatherhead
Subject: Re: Playoffs
In reply to: LeatherCy 's message, "Playoffs" on 20:02:14 11/16/03 Sun

I don't think you can draw a team from your own conference in the first round, so we (and WKU) could be going outside the Central Region--there's no way the OVC will get an at-large this year.

Here's a good analysis of it:

by Tony Moss, Executive Director of I-AA Football

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - One more week is all that remains in the I-AA regular season. November 22nd figures to be an angst-filled Saturday for a number of would-be at-large qualifiers, who could see their playoff hopes dissolve if upsets occur elsewhere in the country.

In the Big Sky, a Montana State (6-5) win over Montana (9-2) would give MSU an automatic bid and swipe an at-large selection from someone else in the field.

In the Southland, a McNeese State (9-1) loss to Nicholls State (5-5) would mean entry into the bracket for either NSU or Stephen F. Austin (6-4), and another sharp pin in someone’s at-large bubble.

And if Villanova (7-3) can take out Delaware (10-1) in the Atlantic 10, the Wildcats would have a stronger case for at-large inclusion than several other fringe members of the postseason discussion.

What that means, interestingly, is that folks all over I-AA nation will take to rooting for Montana, McNeese State, and Delaware, the three I-AA (playoff-eligible) schools that already feature the sub-classification’s strongest fan bases.

If the Grizzlies, Cowboys, and Blue Hens all prevail, below is a projection of how the playoff field could look, formed in a very rough, unofficial, and completely unscientific manner:

Western Illinois @ Montana

Northern Arizona @ No. 1 McNeese State

Jacksonville State at Southern Illinois

Florida Atlantic @ No. 4 Northern Iowa

Colgate @ UMass

Lehigh @ No. 3 Delaware

Appalachian State @ North Carolina A&T

Western Kentucky @ No. 2 Wofford
Again, let’s review the I-AA playoff particulars for the unacquainted.

Sixteen playoff teams will be announced on Nov. 23th, of which eight will be automatic qualifiers (the champions of the Atlantic 10, Big Sky, Gateway, MEAC, Ohio Valley, Patriot, Southern and Southland conferences) and eight chosen as at-large entries. A committee of I-AA directors of athletics will be asked to judge at-large teams on the following points - which come straight out of the NCAA manual:

1. The committee shall select the best teams available on a national at-large basis to complete the bracket;

2. There is no limit to the number of teams the committee may select from one conference;

3. The won-lost record of a team will be scrutinized to determine a team’s strength of schedule; however, more than three losses will place a team in jeopardy of not being selected;

4. The committee may give more consideration to those teams that have played all Division I opponents; and

5. If the team of a committee member is under consideration, the member may not vote for the team being considered and will not be in the room when a vote is taken. Once they’ve got their 16, the committee will determine the top four seeds, and will attempt to fill in the rest of the bracket with potential regional matchups in mind. Two teams from the same conference cannot meet in the first round.

A few additional clarifications:

-The Ivy League does not participate in the I-AA playoffs by decree of the Ivy school presidents.
-The SWAC will send its division champs to the SWAC title game on Dec. 13th, so only second-place teams and below are playoff eligible. Grambling and Southern, which play in the Nov. 29 Bayou Classic, are also ineligible for the playoffs due to conflict with the first round.
-The five-team Big South Conference’s teams are eligible for the playoffs, but the league does not have an automatic bid.
-The 23 teams from the three "I-AA mid-major" conferences (MAAC, NEC, Pioneer) are technically playoff eligible, though no team from any of those non-scholarship leagues has ever been chosen for the field.
Below is The Sports Network’s current take on the prospects of the I-AA playoff living. Schools are ranked by their probability of making the 16-team field, and not by current Top 25 rank or potential playoff seeds. Teams that have already clinched automatic playoff berths are noted with an asterisk (*). Current overall and conference records are in parentheses, and each team’s remaining schedule is listed along with a brief capsule of its chances:

*2. Northern Iowa (9-2, 6-1 Gateway)


THE DEAL: The Panthers wrapped up the Gateway automatic bid with a 43-40 win over previously unbeaten Southern Illinois on Saturday, and Mark Farley’s team should be considered strongly for a top four seed.

6. Southern Illinois (10-1, 6-1 Gateway)


THE DEAL: The Salukis fell to Northern Iowa on Saturday, forfeiting the outright Gateway title and an automatic bid. SIU should still be a strong contender for a first-round home game, but the school’s weak non-conference schedule probably eliminates them from contention for a top four seed.

10. Western Illinois (8-3, 5-2 Gateway)


THE DEAL: WIU is in terrific at-large condition after taking down Southwest Missouri State, but the Leathernecks might not be too jacked about one potential first-round destination – Missoula, Montana. If the Southland fails to put a second team in the field, Don Patterson’s team might be the default choice to be sent to chilly Montana.

13. Western Kentucky (8-3, 5-2 Gateway)


THE DEAL: Unless the committee resists placing four teams from one league into the field, or there are bid-stealing upsets in the A-10, Big Sky, and Southland next week, WKU is a virtual lock for at-large inclusion. The Hilltoppers, whose losses are to Auburn, Western Illinois, and Southern Illinois, could travel (by bus, significantly) to Wofford in round number one.

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[> [> Re: Playoffs -- wiuato, 07:28:23 11/17/03 Mon

I'll take Montana, i think we can put a hurtin' on them.

I like Moss' outlook, WIU could take both Montana & McNeese I feel. I just hope they do not get seeded with Delaware & Umass because of their scoring abilities.

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[> [> [> Re: Playoffs -- BigSky, 15:52:00 11/17/03 Mon

Be careful what you wish for... You DON'T want to head to the frozen tundra of Montana in front of 23,000+ screaming maniacs to play a Griz team which is peaking right now!


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[> [> [> [> Re: Playoffs -- wiuato, 07:38:02 11/19/03 Wed

Actually, Montana does not scare me in the least. As I recall the last time WIU was there they put an a** woopin on those mighty Griz & their 23,000+ fans. And as for frozen tundra, where do you think Macomb is at? Sure as heck not Florida. We do have winters in Illinois and they are as cold if not colder than Montana so there will be no advantage for the Montana guys over WIU's as far as the weather is concerned.

And, I am wishing for Montana so that a repeat can happen and make everyone realize that you play nobody and when you do you lose. Just ask NDSU! LOL

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[> [> [> [> [> Re: Playoffs -- loyalgriz, 15:55:06 11/24/03 Mon

We play nobody? Could someone buy this guy a clue? We had the 7th toughest schedule in the nation for IAA. We try and schedule everyone from the east for a home and home and nobody will do it. We get to play you though and let's see what happens. And you haven't played us at WashGriz, so get your facts straight. You beat us at your place and this is a different year and a different team. Bring it.

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[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Playoffs -- loyal griz, 16:03:30 11/24/03 Mon

A little history lesson: In 2001, we beat Northwestern State, Sam Houston St, Northern Iowa (heard of them, 38-0) and then Furman. If that's nobody, who is somebody?

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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Playoffs -- wiuato, 07:16:50 11/25/03 Tue

Did I stutter or something? Since when are we talking about 1930, or 1969, or 2001, I believe we are talking about this year RIGHT? If the past is all you have to go by then fine for you but stay away from this board.

My badd if i said WIU won at UM.

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