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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, (more…)

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It will be another week until the NCAA releases regional rankings. In a sense, that isn’t so bad because we have some great games this week that will help determine the pecking order, especially in the North and West regions.

I also wanted to remind people of some changes in the playoff selection process this year. One of the main criteria they use to rank and select and eventually seed teams has changed, because instead of using strength of schedule solely in regional games, now every game against a full Division III member counts in strength of schedule.
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Mike McCarthy
How exactly did Bridgewater State get into the field? We get as much info for you as we can.
Bridgewater State file photo

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We know you have plenty of questions about how teams were chosen for the Division III playoffs and why. While we’re always glad to answer them to the best of our knowledge, it’s good to hear something a little more authoritative, so we’re glad to be joined by Brad Bankston, the chair of the NCAA Division III football championships committee.

Bankston and Pat Coleman talk about everything from those invisible final regional rankings, the at-large decision-making process, and as much detail as possible about how Bridgewater State got in and how Concordia-Moorhead (and others) didn’t. Will the trend of two-loss teams getting at-large bids continue? Why don’t all four regions rank their teams the same way? How has the committee’s conference call changed technologically, and how might that affect the actual decision-making process?

It’s a good conversation, and Bankston is about as frank as any national committee chair has been in the past decade. This is not just the party line. Listen in.

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Although Keith McMillan participated in putting the questions together, he was unable to take part in the interview because of scheduling. However, there will also be a full Around the Nation Podcast with Pat and Keith for Monday morning.

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