What the committee chair said


When a former WIAC head coach became the chair of the Division III football committee, it’s understandable why strength of schedule was more important this year.
Photo by Larry Radloff, d3photography.com

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With the selection show cut down to less than eight minutes of actual content, there’s no analysis, no breakdown, just a reading of teams and a few nuggets of info. So it’s up to the rest of us to try to generate that, get the committee chair on the phone, try to get some questions answered, etc. Duey Naatz, the athletic director and former head football coach at UW-Stout, gave more than a half-hour of his time to our friends at In the HuddLLe, the weekly show covering the Liberty League and East Region football. Frank Rossi and James Baker are the interviewers on the clip below.

Definitely worth a listen, as there are several insights to be had regarding the emphasis on strength of schedule, how deep you might go within a region for at-large bids and much more. This conversation is also available as part of the Around the Nation podcast, Continue reading

Second 2013 NCAA regional rankings


The second NCAA regional rankings are now out.

Remember that regional rankings primarily take Division III games into account. Teams are listed with their Division III record first, followed by their overall record. For more information about the playoff format and how participants are determined, check out our FAQ.

Teams that have clinched playoff bids: ASC, Mary Hardin-Baylor; CC, Johns Hopkins; CCIW, North Central; ECFC, Gallaudet; E8, Ithaca; LL, Hobart; MIAC, Bethel; NACC, Concordia (Wis.); NCAC, Wittenberg; NWC, Linfield; SCIAC, Redlands; UMAC, St. Scholastica; USAC, Maryville; WIAC, UW-Whitewater.

EAST

1. Hobart, 8-0, 8-0

2. Ithaca, 8-1, 8-1

3. Lebanon Valley, 8-1, 8-1

4. Rowan, 7-2, 7-2

5. Gallaudet, 8-0, 9-0

6. Framingham State, 8-1, 8-1

7. Alfred, 7-2, 7-2

7. St. John Fisher, 7-2, 7-2

9. Salve Regina, 7-1, 7-2

10. Brockport State, 6-3, 6-3

NOTES:

Lebanon Valley and Rowan leapfrog Gallaudet, which was third last week. Brockport State moving into the rankings, instead of Endicott or Western Connecticut, who each have really low strength of schedule figures, explains Rowan’s boost. Also worth noting that Alfred and St. John Fisher, who clash on Saturday, are tied in the regional advisory committee’s view.

NORTH

1. Mount Union, 9-0, 9-0

2. North Central, 9-0, 9-0

3. John Carroll, 9-0, 9-0

4. Wittenberg, 8-0, 8-1

5. Illinois Wesleyan, 8-1, 8-1

6. Wabash, 8-1, 8-1

7. Wheaton, 7-2, 7-2

8. Hope, 7-2, 7-2

9. Frankin, 6-2, 6-3

9. Heidelberg, 7-2, 7-2

NOTES:

John Carroll’s win over Heidelberg helped it surpass Wittenberg, which it trailed in last week’s first set of regional rankings. Even though Wabash, Wheaton, Franklin and Heidelberg lost, there were no other teams in the North Region ready to move into the rankings. Albion, which faces Hope for the MIAA title in Week 11, is the closest.

SOUTH

1. Mary Hardin-Baylor, 9-0, 9-0

2. Johns Hopkins, 9-0, 9-0

3. Millsaps, 8-0, 9-0

4. Wesley, 4-2, 7-2

5. Thomas More, 8-1, 8-1

6. Maryville, 8-1, 8-1

7. Texas Lutheran, 7-1, 7-1

8. Washington U., 7-2, 7-2

9. Hampden-Sydney, 7-2, 7-2

10. Washington & Jefferson, 7-2, 7-2

NOTES:

Millsaps moved in front of Wesley after its win over Centre, while Texas Lutheran falls from third last week to seventh. That’s bad news for the Bulldogs, who if they missed a Pool B bid, wouldn’t get to the table in Pool C until Thomas More went in first. The Saints play Washington & Jefferson in Week 11.

WEST

1. UW-Whitewater, 8-0, 9-0

2. Bethel, 9-0, 9-0

3. Linfield, 8-0, 8-0

4. UW-Oshkosh, 7-1, 8-1

5. UW-Platteville, 8-1, 8-1

6. Pacific Lutheran, 8-1, 8-1

7. St. Thomas, 7-2, 7-2

8. Wartburg, 7-2, 7-2

9. Concordia-Moorhead, 6-2, 7-2

10. St. John’s, 7-2, 7-2

NOTES:

The last four teams in the rankings are all teams that Bethel has beaten or is scheduled to play; the Royals face St. John’s in Week 11. Still, four regionally ranked opponents isn’t enough to get to the No. 1 spot ahead of UW-Whitewater. Meantime, St. Thomas moved in while Illinois College moved out, on the heels of a win over Concordia-Moorhead and IC’s loss to Cornell. PLU’s position behind Oshkosh and Platteville suggests that the winner of that Week 11 game is on the table for a Pool C bid before the Lutes.

How to use these regional rankings: If you are an at-large candidate, you want to be sure you are the top at-large candidate in your region. That will ensure you get discussed by the national committee and have a chance to be put in the field.

There are 24 automatic bids, three Pool B bids and five Pool C (true national at-large) bids. Selection Sunday is Nov. 17.

Being listed in these rankings is not a guarantee of selection to the playoffs. There is no guarantee an at-large team will be taken from each region.

First 2013 NCAA regional rankings


Wesley finds itself in the regional rankings, but there are more Pool B teams listed than there are spots for them in the postseason.
Wesley athletics photo

The first (and second-to-last) public NCAA regional rankings have been released.

Remember that regional rankings primarily take Division III games into account. Teams are listed with their Division III record first, followed by their overall record. For more information about the playoff format and how participants are determined, check out our FAQ.

No teams have clinched an automatic bid to the playoffs as of yet.

EAST
1 Hobart 7-0 7-0
2 Ithaca 7-1 7-1
3 Gallaudet 8-0 8-0
4 Rowan 6-2 6-2
5 Lebanon Valley 7-1 7-1
6 Framingham State 7-1 7-1
7 Alfred 6-2 6-2
8 St. John Fisher 6-2 6-2
9 Salve Regina 6-1 6-2
10 St. Lawrence 6-2 6-2
Notes: Framingham State is a Pool B-eligible team. One-loss Ithaca is ranked ahead of unbeaten Gallaudet, likely on the strength of a better strength of schedule, plus two wins vs. regionally ranked opponents.
NORTH
1 Mount Union 8-0 8-0
2 North Central (Ill.) 8-0 8-0
3 Wabash 8-0 8-0
4 Wittenberg 7-0 7-1
5 John Carroll 8-0 8-0
6 Illinois Wesleyan 7-1 7-1
7 Franklin 6-1 6-2
8 Wheaton (Ill.) 7-1 7-1
9 Heidelberg 7-1 7-1
10 Hope 7-2 7-2
Notes: In this region, all of the unbeaten D-III teams come first, followed by all of the teams with losses. Franklin’s performance vs. common opponent Butler doesn’t seem to weigh into how it is ranked vs. Wittenberg. Heidelberg needs to beat John Carroll to have a fighting chance anyway, but definitely once you see where they’re ranked. The North Region rankings were released with conference record rather than Division III record printed. We have corrected this to show consistent data.

SOUTH
1 Mary Hardin-Baylor 8-0 8-0
2 Johns Hopkins 8-0 8-0
3 Texas Lutheran 7-0 7-0
4 Wesley 4-2 6-2
5 Millsaps 8-0 8-0
5 Thomas More 7-1 7-1
7 Maryville (Tenn.) 7-1 7-1
8 Washington U. 6-2 6-2
9 Hampden-Sydney 6-2 6-2
10 Washington and Jefferson 6-2 6-2
Notes: More or less lines up according to form except that Wesley’s strength of schedule (.688, best in D-III) gives it a big advantage over Millsaps (.484). Texas Lutheran, Wesley, Millsaps and Wash U are all Pool B eligible in this ranking.
WEST
1 UW-Whitewater 8-0 8-0
2 Bethel 8-0 8-0
3 Linfield 7-0 7-0
4 UW-Oshkosh 7-1 7-1
5 Concordia-Moorhead 7-1 7-1
6 UW-Platteville 7-1 7-1
7 Pacific Lutheran 7-1 7-1
8 Illinois College 8-0 8-0
9 Wartburg 6-2 6-2
10 St. John’s 6-2 6-2
Notes: Bethel has two wins vs. regionally ranked opponents and if the Royals finish running the table, will have three. UW-Whitewater is 3-0 vs. regionally ranked opponents (including Wash U.). Strength of schedule is basically a wash. Unbeaten Greenville (.394 SOS, eighth from the bottom in Division III) is not ranked.

How to use these regional rankings: If you are an at-large candidate, you want to be sure you are the top at-large candidate in your region. That will ensure you get discussed by the national committee and have a chance to be put in the field.

There are 24 automatic bids, three Pool B bids and five Pool C (true national at-large) bids. Selection Sunday is Nov. 17.

Being listed in these rankings is not a guarantee of selection to the playoffs. There is no guarantee an at-large team will be taken from each region.