Reaction to the brackets

Well, this was a stunner! A positive one, but a stunner nonetheless. Just going to paste in some quick analysis and open the floor.

In short, no Endicott in this field and no Case, with St. John Fisher and Illinois College replacing them. So on a day in which we finally officially gave up on getting a two-loss at-large team into the field over a one-loss team, the NCAA finally did the right thing.

The NCAA also sprung for an extra flight, sending Cal Lutheran back to Linfield and giving Redlands a trip to Mary Hardin-Baylor.

The top eight seeds, teams placed at either end of the four brackets: UW-Whitewater and Salisbury (top left), St. Thomas and Delaware Valley (bottom left), Mary Hardin-Baylor and Wesley (top right), and Wabash and Mount Union (bottom right).

This is a bracket similar to the ones the NCAA Division III mens basketball committee has been putting out the past couple of years. Mount Union is in a bracket with three other north teams, two west teams and two south teams. Hobart is essentially a seven seed, sent to Wesley for the first round and would fly if it won that game.

Opening the floor. Thoughts?

73 thoughts on “Reaction to the brackets

  1. Not only am I extremely upset that Bethel University did’nt make the playoffs, but I am upset at a few of the teams that made the playoffs. Bethel Lost the St. Thomas by 10 and St. Olaf by a last second Touchdown. I see a team like St. John Fisher that lost to Hobart and Salisbury. Bethel crushed simpson 48-0 and defeated Concordia-Wisconsin 55-3. Also Bethel outscored their last two opponents 75-13 in the last two games. The MIAC is in my opinion better than the Empire 8.. Also Illinois College made the playoffs at 9-1, but they are from the MWC. St. Norbert their third best team got destroyed by St. Thomas this year 45-0. Im also Upset that St. Olaf and Baldwin-Wallace did’nt make the playoffs in place of Bethel. The Royals made it to the final four two out of the last four years and they can’t show how good they truely are.. I hope St. Thomas can show the nation The Minnesota pride in our football. Also congradulations to St. Scholastica, another MN School.
    I posted the same comment so I can say again how dissapointed I am. I forgot about wheaton not being let in.. They were just unlucky because of North Central and Illinois Wesleyan aleready getting bids

  2. NCCFan

    Wheaton did notget in over StJF because they were ranked regionally behind Case Western. That means they never made it o the table as the national committee comparesonly the top 4 pool C teams from each region. If theybhad been compare to STJF I am pretty confisentheynwold have made it.

    Wich brings up another issue. I love this bracket but if the NCAA wants to continue to lose the regional focus in constructing the best field, the at large teams should be ranked nationally instead of regionally. That keeps ineeficiebciesnin the process to a minimum and allows a Wheaton and STJF to be compared with Illinois college, etc

  3. usee

    Thanks for your response that makes sense, although I wish it wasn’t the way they decided these opportunities for the playoffs. I can also understand as bethelmn stated that having two from your conference makes it unlikely to get a third. Having seen that the WIAC, MIAC and OAC each have just one, I can see that getting three would lead people to suggest that three loss teams from their conferences could be better that two loss from another, etc. And I am not one of those who would suggest that some conferences shouldn’t even get a bid. One of the fans from St. Norbert’s after the game against NCC last year said they were glad that they learned how much they needed to improve to take the next step to becoming competitive in the playoffs. I took that as a good sign and saw that as their commitment to improve. That is what these playoffs can do for the teams that need to get better. It gives them a way to measure their progress. I know NCC has done that over the past few years and before 2002, we were terrible. Good luck to all in the playoffs may they be safe and exciting.

  4. Hi.
    Were Hopkin’s last two “weak wins” the reason for them not getting a #3 or possible #2 seed?
    I’m thinking if they dominated F&M and McDaniel, they at least would have locked up a #3 seed.

  5. This 2011 bracket is a joke. How can you say you have the best teams competing when you have 3 teams with 3 or more losses and pale in comparison to several top 25 teams omited that are for more deserving.

    As well how is it St. Thomas the 3rd ranked team in the country does not even have another top 10 team in their bracket??? The first team they will play in the top 10 will not occur until they reach the semi finals. At minimum Linfield should have been placed in their bracket.

  6. Wow! Can you say “upset the apple cart”?

    This is a great bracket. Some of us may lament that “our” team did not get in or if our team did get in why it wasn’t ranked higher in the seedings. But if you step back and take a bird’s eye view you can see some of the logic. Now knowing that Hobart and Wesley could have played each other in the season makes that first round game understandable.

    Having St. Thomas as the 2 seed is a tough pill to swallow because it means they will only get 2 home games at the beginning (if they win of course) and then they go on the road to Salem.

    There are a lot of teams that are in this year that have never played each other – maybe not even played each other’s opponents – ever. Could make for some real interesting play in the first halves of games.

    Let’s go play some football!

  7. Understand the additional automatic bids this year. However that only explains 1 of 3 teams. At best prior to picking the bracket those teams should be placed in one group and then pick one of the those teams. No way should a 6-4 team make this braket.

  8. Understand the additional automatic bids this year. However that only explains 1 of 3 teams. At best prior to picking the bracket those teams should be placed in one group and then pick one of the those teams. No way should a 6-4 team make this braket.

  9. Markiedo, there are 25 conference automatic qualifier bids. Those go to teams that have won their conference. That is the way that D-3 does things. Those teams can lose games at the start of the season and still have a chance to pull it together and win the conference.

    The philosophy in D-3 is that every team knows what it needs to do to win at the start of the season.

    Albion is a program that wants to get better from a conference that is not very strong. They scheduled D1 FCS Butler, Wheaton IL, UW-Stevens Point and a usually strong DePauw. With the strong non-conference schedule, they prepared themselves to sweep the MIAA, 6-0.

    For me that is the real story about Albion, the 1994 Stagg Bowl champs. You analyze what you have to do get better and then do it.

  10. Regardless of whether Illinois Wesleyan should or should not have gotten the playoff bid over Case Western, it makes no sense that the same NCAA selection committee (using the same alleged criteria) ranked Case ahead of IW for two consecutive weeks in the regional rankings to conclude the season and then turn around and give the playoff bid to IW over Case. During the last two weeks of the season, Case comfortably took care of Wash U and Carnegie Mellon while IW struggled a bit with Carthage (a 5-5 team). Moreover, if the selection guidelines are to mean anything, Case went 9-0 in the North Region while IW went 8-1 (I understand strength of scheudle, etc. — but it’s the same two teams the committee compared based upon the same standards in the regional rankings). What’s the purpose of publishing the regional rankings and issuing guidelines if they are so casually ignored? It makes no sense for the NCAA to build the expectations of players (especially seniors), coaches and fans by putting out rankings and guidelines that turn out to be meaningless. With that said – congratulations to all of the teams that made the playoffs. They all seem to be great teams!

  11. UMHB alum here. One way I like to evaluate brackets like this is by the numbers. And here is what I have determined…Sucks to be UMHB/Wesley. I think the NCAA if they were looking at fairness think that UMHB and Wesley are the weakest #1 and #2 seeds. If you go strictly by ranking here is what you have for each side of the bracket:

    UWW Bracket
    #1 UW-Whitewater, #10 Salisbury, #12 Kean, #17 Franklin, #20 Thomas More, Unranked Albion, Christopher Newport and Western New England.

    DV Bracket
    #3 St. Thomas, #11 Delaware Valley, #13 Johns Hopkins, #16 Illinois Wesleayn, Unranked St. Scholastica, Monmouth, St. John Fisher, Norwich.

    UMHB Bracket
    #4 UMHB, #5 Linfield, #7 Wesley, #8 Cal Lutheran, #14 Redlands, #15 Trinity, #19 McMurray, Unranked Hobart.

    MU Bracket
    #2 Mt. Union, #6 North Central, #9 Wabash, #22 Dubuque, #25 Centre, Unranked Illinois College, Hampden-Sydney, Benedictine.

    I know geography is supposed to dictate these things, but wow 7 of the top 19 teams all in one region, while the other three brackets all have at least three unranked teams. That is crazy. Also, doesn’t it seem more logical to send Redlands, Cal Lutheran and Linfield into the UW-Whiteweater bracket?

    All that to say, it should be a great play-off I just feel bad for all those teams in what has to be considered the strongest bracket…the UMHB-Wesley.

  12. As a LINFIELD honk my only complaint is so many of us have a FAT CHANCE of traveling Thanksgiving weekend with a couple day’s notice.
    To be able to perhaps play Cal Lu (5th time in 2 years), UMHB (a 3rd time) and UMU (!) would be fascinating.

  13. I know I am being impatient since it is only Monday but will there be the bracket challenge as in years past?

  14. The bracket is definitely interesting. Anyone have thoughts about upsets? I am confident that Illinois College will knock off Wabash. If Monmouth gets by St. Thomas, you can bet the ranch that they will stun Delaware Valley!

  15. Morning all,

    Like I did for the 30 one and two loss teams, I stuck all 32 playoff teams into an Access database to record how the different rankings (NCAA Strength of Schedule, NCAA Total Offense, NCAA Total Defense) and the 2 poll rankings (D3 and AFCA) would average out. Well, for those that want to know:

    1 North Central 11.2
    2 Salisbury 14.0
    3 Cal Lutheran 16.0
    4 Delaware Valley 17.8
    5 Wesley 18.8
    6 Mount Union 23.4
    7 Linfield 23.8
    8 St. Thomas 24.4
    9 UW Whitewater 32.4
    10 Mary-Hardin Baylor 35.8
    11 Johns Hopkins 44.0
    12 Illinois Wesleyan 47.4
    13 Centre 49.0
    14 McMurray 49.4
    15 St. John Fisher 50.0
    16 Hobart 53.0
    17 Albion 53.2
    18 Western New England 53.6
    19 Redlands 54.6
    20 Monmouth 54.8
    21 Trinity, TX 59.2
    22 Wabash 59.6
    23 Hampden-Sydney 62.8
    24 St. Scholastica 67.8
    25 Thomas More 70.0
    26 Dubuque 70.0
    27 Christopher Newport 76.4
    28 Kean 76.6
    29 Franklin 77.8
    30 Illinois College 83.0
    31 Benedictine 95.0
    32 Norwich 101.6

    Notes: 25 and 26 got the same average but I gave the tip to the team with the higher SoS because that’s the number the NCAA looks at. Both Polls had 44 teams that got votes so all unranked teams got scores of 45 in those respective columns.

    Observations: Poll ranked teams tended to have better offenses than defenses in the NCAA rankings.

    Disclaimer: My reasoning for choosing these 5 criteria are as follows: 1) SoS is used by the selection committee. 2) Using the two recognized polls gets some subjective input because these folks have seen the teams in action. 3) The teams have some control over their respective rankings in the NCAA Offense and Defense rankings. 4) Everything divides nicely to a single decimal point with 5 columns of data only. 5) Lastly, this is only one of many tools that could show in a relative way how the teams stack up.

    Enjoy the post season!


  16. St. Thomas has to be absolutely giddy with their bracket, if they aren’t up by sixty at the half against St. Scholastica I’ll be surprised. Bethel at St. Thomas would have been a great game that Bethel could have won like they did last year, but instead we’ll have another first round route that will accomplish nothing. Nice job NCAA.

  17. Picking Western New England University to win over Salisbury for my upset of the week.Reason there 1 lose this year they had was without starting qb and runningback injuries in non conference match-up and lost in final minutes (should of won the game).There game against Endicott (in snowstorm) was very convincing(and there win over norwich also) and I believe there a underdog to watch.Defense has been stepping up huge and there O line is pretty good.Very consistant.

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