The playoff picture, clear as mud

By: Wayne Gilmore, Team Kong Editor
Nov 8, 2013

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If you frequent the Teamkong or D2 message board there has been a lot of talk about the various playoff scenarios.  This season is a crazy on many levels.  The ridiculous MIAA schedule has made this entire process even more crazy.  

As of today there are five MIAA schools legitimately in the playoff hunt.  After this weekend that number will shrink.   Each year, on the D1 scene there is so much talk all season about the BCS rankings and who is going to get left out of the national title game.   Last year is a perfect example and generally teams lose and things take care of themselves.

This will happen for the most part in Super Region 3 but unfortunately it looks like a 10-1 team could be left out of the playoffs.  If you follow d2 nationally, you know historically the teams out of the East are far inferior to the other regions.  There is little doubt the top eight teams in our region could compete with most of the teams in the other regions.

Its important to understand the regions were created for all d2 sports, not just football.  There must be a way to divide team numbers evenly across the country.  It just so happens two of the best conferences in d2 football are in SR 3.  

You also have probably seen the acronym SOS recently -- in college football this stands for strength of schedule.  This is a number calculated for each team by a statistician at the NCAA.  The SOS is a weighted average of your opponents winning percentage; and your opponents, opponents winning percentage.  In years past the NCAA actually released the formula and fans could very accurately predict the rankings.  

For the past two seasons the NCAA has not published their handbook, and therefore the exactly formula is not known, although those crunching the numbers have to be able to get close.   Its no secret Pitt State only had nine MIAA games and played a 1AA team (which does not count in our SOS) and played a terrible d2 team.  

Fans have expressed displeasure with PSU for scheduling these two games, but when you have absolutely no other options for home games your hands are ties.  Without those two games, the Gorillas would have had three home games, which is not acceptable.   As I have written in the past, the MIAA should have blown up the league schedule when Truman bolted and did not.

If Pitt defeats NW none of this matters, but we didn’t. I have seen playoff scenarios which have Pitt State as high at 4th and as low as 7th.  In reality Henderson State who is the Great American Conference, probably could not compete for a top three finish in the MIAA or the Northern Sun, but they should be undefeated and the conference champion.  If they win out they will host in the first round.  Also, it will be interesting to see where St. Cloud ends up in the regional rankings and to see if the MIAA or Northern Sun gets three teams in the playoffs.

Next Saturday night and Sunday the National Committee for d2 playoff football will be provided all of final numbers.  They will then apply their criteria and rank the teams based upon their judgment. Just like in the NCAA Basketball selections, there is a “human component” to this process in d2. Because of this I feel while our game with Abilene Christian does not figure into our SOS, it will figure into the discussion on Sunday morning.  

With all of that being said, the bottom line is this:  There will be teams who will lose these next two weeks.  Much of this will be settled on the football field.  All our worries and concerns and criticism could all be for nought.  

I still stand by my statements made this week that if the Gorillas win out we will be in the playoffs.  Stay tuned!

This week the Gorillas travel to the St. Louis suburb of St. Charles to play Lindenwood.  Of course last year the Gorillas struggled against Tigers and were dominated.  Just like against Western, the Gorillas will establish the run tomorrow (something they were unable to do in 2012) and their defense will carry them to victory.  Remember this game will be on MIAA TV and begins at 2:37.

Go Gorillas

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