Tyler Madsen

Week 7 in the GLVC

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Since we’ve reached THAT point of the season, with the conference slate halfway complete for more than half of the league’s schools and the overall schedule past the mid-season week six mark, I thought it couldn’t hurt to remind everyone about how the playoff system in Div. II football works. The chatter on the D2 Football Message Board has certainly shifted that direction in the past 10 days, so, for those who are new to the game and checking out the specifics for the first time, here’s a quick crash course so our friends in the GLIAC, RMAC, and LSC don’t try to run you over in the forums:

The NCAA Div. II is divided into four “super regions” for football – different from the majority of other Div. II sports which have eight regular regions – which contain anywhere from 30 teams to 49 teams each vying for seven postseason slots per region. The top team gets a first-round “bye”, with the seven regional teams eventually playing down to a regional champion. Those conferences I mentioned above? Those are the other three conferences currently joining the GLVC to comprise “Super Region 4”, which contains 44 schools. I’ll get back to how this all changes next year in a minute.

From there, the four regional champions are "re-seeded" for the semifinals, playing down to an eventual champion. Simple!

The other key piece of information with NCAA football selection is the concept of “earned access”. In most sports (at all NCAA levels), the conference champion typically receives what is called an “automatic qualifier” or “AQ” into the national tournament. However, in football, there is no such thing as an “AQ”, but there is something called “earned access”. Earned access can be gained by a conference if a conference’s highest-ranked team in the region is within the top eight of the final super regional rankings on Selection Sunday. So, if your conference champ is ranked 8th, they get in, and they bump whoever the 7th-place “at-large” team is to take their place.

I mentioned before how this is all changing? Well, starting next year, the regions will get a little more “even” in terms of opportunities to qualify, bringing the total number of teams per region from 42 teams to a high of 45.

Super Region I: CIAA (12), Mountain East (11), Northeast-10 (10), PSAC (16) – 49 schools
Super Region II: Gulf South (8), South Atlantic (8), SIAC (11), Independents (3) – 30 schools
Super Region III: Great American (12), Great Northwest (7), MIAA (12), Northern Sun (16) – 47 schools
Super Region IV: GLIAC (15), GLVC (9), Lone Star (7), Rocky Mountain (10), Independents (3) – 44 schools

In 2017:
Super Region I: Northeast-10, Mountain East, Great Midwest*, PSAC
Super Region II: South Atlantic, Gulf South, CIAA, SIAC
Super Region III: GLIAC, GLVC, MIAA, Great American
Super Region IV: Great Northwest, Lone Star, Rocky Mountain, Northern Sun
*-The Great Midwest Athletic Conference doesn’t currently sponsor FB; however, a handful of GLIAC programs are headed to that league next year, spawning its first full conference season.

We won't have to worry about that for a little while.

Now, to look back at Week 6 in the GLVC...
Week 6 Players of the Week:
Offensive – Eric Poindexter (WR) – Quincy || 1st AOW of season / career
Defensive – Korey Rogan (DB) – Indianapolis || 1st AOW of season / career
Special Teams – Marcin Galwak (P) – Saint Joseph’s || 1st AOW of season / 3rd AOW of career

Week Six Scores & Links:
Truman 26, at Southwest Baptist 16 || Recap || Box Score
at Indianapolis 34, McKendree 24 || Recap || Box Score
Saint Joseph’s 27, at Lincoln 17 || Recap || Box Score
Quincy 55, at William Jewell 14 || Recap || Box Score
at Kennesaw State 49, Missouri S&T 16 || Recap || Box Score
Week Seven Previews:
Can’t Miss Game of the Week
Saint Joseph’s (4-2, 3-1 GLVC) at McKendree (3-3, 1-2 GLVC) || 1 p.m. (CT) – Lebanon, Ill. || Live Stats / Live Video
This game gets the blog’s top billing of the week, if only because these two teams are nearly identical and should lead to an exciting contest between two teams currently heading in opposite directions.

Hitting the road for a second straight week are the upstart Pumas, who picked up a 10-point win at Lincoln last week to hold tight in second place in the GLVC standings. Saint Joseph’s is 2-0 in road games this year (overall and GLVC) and features two of the league’s most dynamic offensive players. Running back Martez Walker (583 yards / 4.3 ypc / 5 TDs) is averaging close to 100 yards per game on the ground, while wide out target Tremel Glasper has 34 catches for 536 yards and five scores to also near that century mark in yards per game. In addition, the Pumas boast the league’s top sack man in GLVC games – D-lineman Evan Gill w/ 5.5 in four GLVC games.

On the other side, McKendree comes into Saturday afternoon having lost back-to-back road games at Southwest Baptist and Indianapolis to suddenly find themselves at .500 and a game under in the GLVC. Junior Derrick Curry is exciting to follow on special teams as the GLVC’s top punt returner and one of the top kickoff return men, while senior linebacker A.J. Wentland is averaging nearly 15 tackles per game in GLVC contests.

Last season, the Bearcats notched a 29-10 win against SJC in Rensselaer and will have to rely on its defense again to stop the firepower at the skill positions for the Pumas if it wants to hold its home field.
Projected Score (via MasseyRatings.com): McKendree 24, Saint Joseph’s 14
Watching the Rest
Southwest Baptist (5-1, 3-1 GLVC) at William Jewell (0-6, 0-4 GLVC) || 12 p.m. (CT) – Liberty, Mo. || Live Stats / Live Video
After moving into the AFCA top-25 coaches’ poll for the first time last week, Southwest Baptist got tested at home and couldn’t prevail late, as Truman marched into Bolivar and snapped the Bearcats’ seven-game winning streak in a 26-16 decision last Saturday. SBU didn’t put points on the board until the third quarter, and a key fumble at the one-yard line squashed any hopes of a comeback in the battle of previous-league unbeatens.

William Jewell, meanwhile, continued their 2016 struggles by falling 55-14 at home to Quincy. This is the first of three tough weeks in a row for the Cardinals, as WJC hosts SBU before traveling back-to-back to Truman and UIndy to close out October.

A quick summary here: SBU still has postseason aspirations despite last Saturday’s loss and one of the top quick-strike offenses in the GLVC. William Jewell has struggled to move the ball and stop it from coming back at them all year. This will be a tough week for WJC to earn win No. 1 on the year.
Projected Score (via MasseyRatings.com): Southwest Baptist 41, William Jewell 17

Lincoln (1-5, 0-3 GLVC) at Missouri S&T (3-3, 2-1 GLVC) || 1 p.m. (CT) – Rolla, Mo. || Live Stats / Live Video
Missouri S&T returns to its friendly confines this weekend after a long non-conference battle at FCS program Kennesaw State last Saturday, in which the Owls lifted a 49-16 win. Prior to that trip, S&T posted two straight GLVC wins against Saint Joseph’s and William Jewell to currently sit 1.5 games back in the conference standings.

After letting go of head coach Mike Jones after a week four loss at Truman, the Blue Tigers have played two tough games at home – splitting with Lane and Saint Joseph’s – in the past two weeks. Lincoln saw some life at the QB position last week, as QB Dennis Vinson tossed for a school-record 34 completions and 432 yards, which he’ll have to continue to do as the LU ground game continues to struggle.

Missouri S&T will undoubtedly put points on the board (No. 1 in GLVC –only games in scoring), but I’m not sure if Lincoln can keep pace on Homecoming in Rolla.
Projected Score (via MasseyRatings.com): Missouri S&T 42, Lincoln 13

Truman (5-1) at #2 Grand Valley State (6-0) || 3 p.m. (CT) – Allendale, Mich. || Live Stats / Live Video
The GLVC will get a good benchmark this coming Saturday, as its top team leaves conference play to take on the No. 2 team in the nation and top GLIAC program Grand Valley State in a Saturday afternoon affair. The Bulldogs take a four-game winning streak to Allendale, where the teams last met in 2013 – GV won, 31-15 in week two of that season.

After three weeks of big offensive outputs, the Bulldogs have been efficient in the past two weeks, picking up wins against Indianapolis and then-No. 20 Southwest Baptist to currently sit as the last unbeaten conference team (4-0). There is little “flash” on either side of the ball, but the Bulldogs are getting things done with proficiency as the league’s No. 2 scoring offense and No. 1 scoring defense.

To get win No. 6 on the season (and make quite the statement nationally), Truman’s stingy defense will be tested against a GVSU offense that’s putting up more than 40 points per game and has practically identical rushing/passing yardage (1465 vs. 1496 … nearly 500 yards per game combined). Teams have had varied success in scoring on the Laker defense (three games w/ +20 pts allowed; three games w/ 7 or fewer pts allowed), so if Truman gets deep into Laker territory, it needs to be “7” not “3” going up on the board.
Projected Score (via MasseyRatings.com): Grand Valley 31, Truman 10

Indianapolis (2-4, 1-2 GLVC) at Quincy (4-2, 2-2 GLVC) || 6 p.m. (CT) – Quincy, Ill. || Live Stats / Live Video
This game should serve as a nice “dessert” for the Saturday course of games, as it’s the sole night contest on the board for week seven. Each team is coming off a solid road victory a week ago, as QU blasted William Jewell, 55-14, while UIndy earned its first league win with a 34-24 victory against McKendree.

The key to this game on paper would appear to center around the status of UIndy QB Jake Purichia, as he left last week’s game early in the second half and didn’t return. His replacement, Bryce Stancombe, went 4-for-10 for 49 yards in his stead, mostly handing off to Andrew Walker, who churned out 105 total yards on 20 carries. The game was in doubt until the last two minutes, when UIndy returned a pick-6 with 1:38 to play that pushed the ‘Hounds ahead by 10.

Quincy, meanwhile, lit up the scoreboard in Liberty, behind one of the most Madden-esque individual performances ever seen at the Div. II level. WR Eric Poindexter caught 20 passes for 317 yards and three scores (20 of QU’s 30 completions went to Poindexter), helping the Hawks build a 20-0 lead early in the second and cruise from there.

Another contender for “Game of the Week” status, it will be interesting to see if the Hawks can put together strong back-to-back offense performances in GLVC play for the first time this season.
Projected Score (via MasseyRatings.com): Indianapolis 37, Quincy 28

Enjoy the games, everyone!

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  1. Bearcat15's Avatar
    Wow Super region 3 for 2017 is going to be a power house. Most of the top teams will be in that region.