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Chuck Bitner

PSAC West To Be Decided This Saturday

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Erie, Pa will host a pair of games this Satuday that will determine the PSAC Western Division Championship.

One participant in the Championship game has already been locked in and this week our focus moves to the Western division, where we will await the outcomes of two games to decide who will meet Shippensburg for the overall title. Unlike last week's "winner take all brawl" between Bloomsburg and Shippensburg, there are still three teams in play for the Western Division.

California, IUP and Mercyhurst are all 5-1 in the Western division but California is the only team that has complete control of its destiny. The Vulcans visit Mercyhurst on Saturday at 12:00, While IUP visits Gannon. Below is a breakdown of all three teams still fighting for the PSAC West.


Mercyhurst
Overall Record: 7-2
PSAC West Record: 5-1
PSAC West loss: IUP
Head-to-Head advantage:
Remaining Opponent: California (7-2, 5-1)

To win the Division: Two things have to happen. (1) The Lakers must beat California and (2) IUP has to lose to Gannon. In this scenario, the Lakers would finish 6-1, IUP and Cal would both finish 5-2.

Outlook: Not good - The Lakers have it in them to beat California, but I don’t see any way Gannon upsets IUP.

IUP
Overall Record: 8-1
PSAC West Record: 5-1
PSAC West Loss: California
Head-to-Head advantage: Mercyhurst
Remaining Opponent: Gannon (2-7, 1-5)

To win the Division: As with Mercyhurst, two things have to happen. (1) IUP Must beat Gannon and (2) Mercyhurst must defeat California. In this scenario, IUP and Mercyhurst would both be 6-1, with IUP owning the head-to-head tie breaker.

Outlook: Decent - IUP will take care of their business against Gannon and a Mercyhurst victory over California is within reason.

California
Overall Record: 7-2
PSAC West Record: 5-1
PSAC West Loss: Slippery Rock
Head-to-Head Advantage: IUP
Remaining Opponent: Mercyhurst (7-2, 5-1)

To win the Division: Only one result is needed – Cal must beat Mercyhurst.

Outlook: Good - California is the only team that controls its own destiny. If they beat Mercyhurst on Saturday, they’re in. They have the head-to-head tie breaker over IUP so if both finish 6-1, the Vulcans go on to the championship game.

The biggest variable in this equation is the health of Cal quarterback Peter Lalich. Lalich has missed the last three games due to injury and if he is unable to play this Saturday, it will dramatically decrease Cal’s chances of winning. I will have a more extensive look at the Cal v. Mercyhurst game later in the week when we might have an idea of whether or not Lalich will play.

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