Tradition • Character • Service

Tradition • Character • Service

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Road to the NCAA Division II Playoffs: A Look at Super Region 3

Usually by now, the NCAA has released its regional rankings and fans are eagerly watching their team's fortunes rise and fall each week through some geeky math formula based on wins, losses, and strength of schedule. The top six teams in four separate semi-geographically based region fill out the field of 24.

This year, the NCAA is holding its cards much closer to the vest and not releasing the regional rankings until after Week 10 of the season on November 8. That only allows us one week to gauge where Hillsdale might be sitting as "Second Season" starts on the 20th.

Here are the teams most likely in contention, current schedule strength (pdf from NCAA), and games remaining.

Grand Valley 7-0, (97th) at Ferris State, at Michigan Tech, Northwood, Saginaw Valley
Minnesota-Duluth 7-0 (81st) at Northern State, St. Cloud St., at Minn. Crookston, at MSU Mankato
Augustana 7-0 (46th) at MSU Moorhead, MSU Mankato, at Wayne St. (NE), Upper Iowa
Hillsdale 6-1 (23rd) at Wayne State (MI), at Northwood, Findlay, Tiffin
St. Cloud State 6-1 (40th) Minn. Crookston, at Minn. Duluth, Bemidji St, at MSU Moorhead
Colorado School of Mines 6-1 (107th) at Western State, Adams State, at Chadron St., Nebraska-Kearney
Nebraska-Kearney 6-1 (44th) NM Highlands, at Western NM, Fort Lewis, at Colorado School of Mines

Head to Head vs. one of these "contenders"
Games vs. two loss teams clawing to get into this conversation

Current team records:
Ferris State: 5-2
Michigan Tech: 4-2
Northwood: 4-3
Saginaw Valley: 3-4
Wayne State (MI): 5-2
Findlay: 1-6
Tiffin: 1-6

Northern State: 1-6
St. Cloud State: 6-1
Minnesota Crookston: 1-6
MSU Mankato: 4-3
MSU Moorhead: 2-5
Wayne State (NE): 5-2
Upper Iowa: 1-6
Bemidji State: 4-3
Minnesota Duluth: 7-0

Western State: 1-6
Adams State: 3-4
Chadron St.: 4-3
Nebraska-Kearney: 6-1
NM Highlands: 1-6
Western NM: 3-4
Fort Lewis: 1-5
Colorado Mines: 6-1

There is still a month of football to play and who knows how it will all shake out in the wash. As I highlighted above, there are a handful of teams in the region with two losses. Grand Valley faces two of them in Ferris and Michigan Tech the next two weeks on the road. Hillsdale faces Wayne State this week on the road. GVSU could most likely still take one loss and get in but when looking at all of the good teams in the region, Hillsdale has no room for error. Every week is the playoffs for the Chargers...but it has been since the 3rd week of the season.

This is where it starts getting fun.
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