NAIA Ramblings of Jason Dannelly from 11/5/2007: Postseason Championship Series Starting to Take Shape

1 Sioux Falls (S.D.) 9-0
2 Carroll (Mont.) 10-0
3 Ohio Dominican 10-0
4 Bethel (Tenn.) 9-1
5 St. Francis (Ind.) 8-1
6 Saint Xavier (Ill.) 9-1
7 Lindenwood (Mo.) 10-0
T8 Jamestown (N.D.) 9-1

However the rest of the spots in the postseason leave many of us scratching our heads. Losses on the last week of the season do nothing to help you. Especially if they are to teams whom the raters feel you should beat.

T8 St. Ambrose (Iowa) 7-2: St. Ambrose is really the only team that has some work to still do. The Bee’s play Trinity International in what should be a victory for SAU. I am not saying that to talk down the Trojans but if SAU is truly a postseason caliber program, they win this football game going away. A loss would still likely get the Bees in the postseason because they would be the MSFA Midwest conference champion. Even a bad loss to TIU would not likely get them to below #20 which is all they need to make the postseason.

10 Friends (Kan.) 8-1: Falcons take on the University if Saint Mary this week. This should be a victory if the Falcons are truly the KCAC Champs. A loss will take them out of contention and give the conference crown to Bethel (KS) if the Threshers also win this week. I would say that Friends is in, but you can never be too sure in the KCAC.

11 Morningside (Iowa) 8-2: Barring a complete reversal of the rankings and a time machine invention I would say the Mustangs are in. They play no games this week so any drop in the poll would a travesty. Rest up Mustangs, you’ll be taking a road trip on November 17th.

12 Missouri Valley 7-2: Probably the toughest task of any team that needs to win to get into the postseason. They take on #7 Lindenwood who has won the HAAC title and the automatic berth to the NAIA Championship Series. If MoVal wins, they are in. A loss has them cross their fingers and hoping there is some movement in the spots behind them.

13 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) 8-2: Pioneers face off with Culver-Stockton in a game they should win this week. A loss means they have to hope a lot of people rated #14-20 need to lose. Make things easy MNU … just win.

14 Virginia-Wise 8-2: Cavs tumbled in a few late games and now must win to make it in. They play WV Tech which should be a victory for UVa-Wise if they are postseason caliber. Given the fact that two conference champions sit below the Cavs, they need to finish strong. They are currently in a three way tie for their divisional title which means they would get the automatic bid if Georgetown and U-Cumberlands win.

15 Northwestern (Iowa) 7-2: Red Raiders did themselves no favors with a 33-7 loss to Morningside. They have to hope there are some losses in front of them to insure they will make the postseason. They also have to beat a much improved Doane College team.

16 Bethel (Kan) 7-1: Sitting on the bubble. Need to win this week against McPherson and hope teams in front of them lose.

17 Georgetown (Ky.) 6-3: Three way tie doesn’t help them. A loss by UVa-Wise puts the Tigers in automatically. They too need a few teams in front of them to lose in order to make it into the postseason. They will likely need to make it to #14 maybe #15 to make it. Gotta strap it on and beat Union while they are at it.

18 Cumberlands (Ky.) 7-2: Three way tie doesn’t help them. A loss by UVa-Wise and Georgetown puts the Patriots in automatically. They too need a few teams in front of them to lose in order to make it into the postseason. They will likely need to make it to #14 maybe #15 to make it. Gotta beat an improved Pikeville team to make it.

19 Northwestern Oklahoma 7-3: They win and they are in. NWOSU currently leads the CSFL and if they beat SNU they would get the automatic berth into the postseason. A loss will knock them out of the Top 20 and take that opportunity away.

20 Montana Tech 7-3: Gotta beat Carroll. If Tech can beat the Saints, then the raters will need to take notice and move the Orediggers up into a postseason position.

21 Black Hills State (S.D.) 7-3: Whoever wrote the DAC Bylaws had BHSU in mind, especially this season. According to the DAC bylaws: “If 2 of 3 teams are ranked in top 20, the winner of the head to head competition will advance.” Guess what … BHSU defeated Jamestown. Yellow Jackets just have to cheer on a team that beat them earlier this season to make it in as a Carroll College win over Montana Tech would almost seal the deal that BHSU would move up one spot to #20 and get the automatic berth.

22 Sterling (Kan) 7-2: Gonna need a miracle. Friends would need to lose and Bethel would need to lose along with Sterling getting a win over Ottawa. If all three of these things were to happen and Sterling were to move up into the Top 20, then the Warriors would make it according to the KCAC bylaws because they would have lost to higher rated teams than Bethel (KS) and Friends because the Warriors only losses are to those two squads. And as I stated last week …THEY BEAT NWOSU ON THE ROAD!

23 Malone (Ohio) 7-3: Has to win and hope for a miracle. That’s about all you can say. BTW, it’s only Ohio Dominican they have to beat …YEESH. Good luck Pioneers because it is not going to be easy.

24 Azusa Pacific (Calif.) 6-5: No game this week. Teams in front of them have to lose and they need to move up to #20. That’s a very manageable four spots but if you look at #17-#23 it will definitely not be easy.

25 Southern Nazarene (Okla.) 6-3: Crimson Storm has to defeat NWOSU and move up to #20 to make it to the postseason. It will be possible … but it will not be easy.

There are no unrated teams this week that I feel have a shot at jumping into the poll and making it to the postseason. There is just too much movement that has to happen in front of #26 in order for it to happen.

Ultimately there are two teams that I feel are probably going to get the shaft this season; Sterling College and U-Cumberlands. Both programs have won big games against top competition but due to losses to other good competition they could get left out of the postseason.

I am not trying to be a cheerleader for Andy Lambert and Sterling College but people need to wake up and notice what is going on with the Warriors. They had an eight win season last year. They are going to have another eight win season this year and they stepped up to the plate and played out of conference against NW Oklahoma State and won on the road. Ranger fans from Alva do not want to hear this but the facts show that the potential conference champion of the CSFL LOST to the #3 team in the KCAC. Plus Sterling has won six in a row after losing on the road to the top two teams in the KCAC.

U-Cumberlands could have helped their cause tremendously if they had beaten Georgetown a couple weeks ago. Now they have to win this week and hope for the best. The facts show they should be where they are unlike Sterling who should be higher in the ratings. I just feel the Pats are a postseason caliber football team but will struggle to make the cut on Sunday.

Speaking of Sunday … VSN will be broadcasting live from Grand Island analyzing the postseason picture starting at approximately 11:00 AM CST. You will be able to hear the broadcast live on the web via our broadcast agreement with

There are a lot of possibilities and the message boards will be VERY active with talks of possibilities for certain teams to make it. Sign up and join in on the conversation today. Check back this week for “Chip’s Picks” for this week’s game and for who could make the postseason!

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