Super Region One ratings don’t change
It’s the final week of the NCAA Division II Super Region One football season.
When this week’s salvos have been heard, seven teams will be selected by the NCAA, headquartered in Indianapolis, to participate in the Super Region One playoffs.
The administrators in Indianapolis rank the region’s teams.
Unbeaten Indiana (Pa.) is 10-0 and has only the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference championship game remaining. The Crimson Hawks have the region’s No.1 ranking. Facing Indiana is West Chester, now 8-2 after edging East Stroudsburg and Millersville by three points each in its last two games. The Golden Rams are at home against Indiana.
West Chester is ranked No. 6 in the region. It is unknown if a loss in the conference title game will harm its ranking.
Assumption from the Northeast-10 Conference is unbeaten and 9-0. The Greyhounds hold the region’s No. 2 ranking and complete their season at home against Bentley, a team with a 5-4 record.
Shepherd has a 9-0 record that it takes to far southwest Virginia to play Virginia-Wise. With a No. 3 ranking in the region, Shepherd would gain nothing in the eyes of the rating people by stopping the Highland Cavaliers. Before defeating both West Virginia Wesleyan and Charleston, Shepherd was at No. 3 and didn’t advance with comfortable wins.
Findlay (Ohio) is ranked No. 4 and has a 9-1 record. Its loss was to Ferris State. This week, Findlay is at home against Ohio Dominican, a team with a 6-3 record.
Ranked fifth is Slippery Rock, now carrying an 8-2 record and facing Kutztown on the road on Saturday. Kutztown is currently 7-3. A Slippery Rock loss would likely carry them out of the playoff picture.
The seventh-ranked Shippensburg Red Raiders are 9-1 and finish the regular season at home against winless Seton Hill, now 0-10.
Just out of the playoff picture right now are Notre Dame (Ohio) now 8-2 at No. 8, California (Pa.) at No. 9 with an 8-2 record. The Vulcans are at East Stroudsburg, now 3-7, on Saturday. LIU-Post, now 7-2 and playing St. Anselm on Saturday finds itself needing help from all angles to move up to No. 7. Saint Anselm is 1-8. The New York-based Pioneers are ranked No. 10.
A longshot of immense proportions could be Shepherd’s only chance should it beat Virginia-Wise and both Indiana and Assumption both win. Notre Dame (Ohio), the No. 8 team, plays at Indianapolis this week. Indianapolis is undefeated and guaranteed a place in its region’s playoffs.
Notre Dame has been spinning backwards in the last few weeks – losing to West Virginia Wesleyan, beating Charleston by five points and winning by three points over Virginia-Wise in South Euclid, Ohio last weekend.
An improbable win by Notre Dame over Indianapolis would improve Shepherd’s strength of schedule. But would it be enough to shove it past either Assumption, a team Shepherd downed, 48-31, in last year’s playoffs, or Indiana?
If the Rams stay at No. 3, they would open the playoffs on Saturday, Nov. 18, at home against the No. 6 seed.
At the top of the rankings, Shepherd is placed below both Indiana and Assumption. But at the lower end of the rankings, Notre Dame is placed above both California and LIU-Post – teams from the PSAC and Northeast-10, the same as Assumption and Indiana.
Shepherd plays the same schedule as Notre Dame. LIU-Post plays the same schedule as Assumption and California plays nearly the identical schedule as Indiana.
The Rams have to win at Virginia-Wise – then shrug their shoulders – and get ready for a playoff game at Ram Stadium on Nov. 18.