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Thread: GAC Playoff Portrait

  1. #1
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    Default GAC Playoff Portrait

    Okay, so the Regional Rankings came out. Ouachita leads the GAC pack at #5, Tech is in at #7 and Harding is at #8. The question becomes what does the GAC’s postseason picture look like with all the possibilities and what-ifs regarding game results this week? This post will focus on the potential playoff teams, I will do another post regarding the bowl games. Let’s start with a little bit of background.

    First, there are three games outside the GAC that will realistically have a chance at impacting the SR3 rankings and thus the GAC’s playoff hopes. Those games are:
    1) Notre Dame College (8-2) at #2 Indianapolis (10-0)
    2) Tiffin (6-4) at #9 Grand Valley (7-3)
    3) #10 Central Missouri (7-3) at Lindenwood (4-6)

    From a GAC standpoint all fans should be rooting for UIndy to beat NDC. That guarantees a GAC/GLVC first round matchup. I like the GAC’s chances in such a game. Second, to ensure that the GAC gets a second playoff team, the GAC needs Lindenwood and Tiffin to win. Central Missouri and Grand Valley would then have four losses and even if Ouachita lost, they would still have only three losses.

    Now let’s look at the big games in the GAC this week that impact the playoffs, their background and their implications. The two big games are:

    Henderson (6-4) at #5 Ouachita (8-2)
    #8 Harding (7-3) at #7 Arkansas Tech (8-2)

    Background:
    Both Ouachita and Tech are playing for a shot at a sole GAC title and at least a share. Harding is playing for a share of the GAC title. Both Ouachita and Tech are also playing to retain a playoff spot, while Harding is playing for a shot at a playoff spot and at least a guaranteed Texarkana Bowl berth. There is one more monkey wrench in this equation: Henderson. The Reddies are playing Ouachita not only for bragging rights in their heated rivalry, they are playing simultaneously to:
    A) Knock the Tigers out of the playoffs
    B) Deny Ouachita an outright GAC title
    C) Preserve their own NCAA record breaking streak of consecutive road game victories
    D) A possible at-large bid to either the Corsicana Bowl or Heart of Texas Bowl[/INDENT]

    Implications:
    Ouachita win against Henderson: Guarantees at least a share of the GAC title and a playoff berth.
    Ouachita loss against Henderson: Will be out of the playoffs. Likely guaranteed Texarkana Bowl berth, but will depend upon result of Harding-Tech game. Will need a Harding win to secure a share of the GAC title.
    Ouachita Summary: Ouachita has a big stake in the outcome of the Harding-Tech game. Tiger fans need a Harding win to ensure that no matter the outcome of the Battle of the Ravine, Ouachita has at least a share of the title. Of course, if Ouachita wins and Harding wins then the Tigers are sole champs. Either way Ouachita needs Harding to win to secure at least a share of the championship. As for the playoffs, the Tigers need to win or else they must rely on both Tiffin and Lindenwood to get in, otherwise they are heading to the Texarkana Bowl instead.

    Arkansas Tech win against Harding: Guarantees at least a share of the GAC title and a playoff spot.
    Arkansas Tech loss against Harding: Will need a Henderson win to earn a share of the GAC title. To have a guaranteed post-season (i.e., Texarkana Bowl), would need Ouachita to win. Otherwise, Tech will have to hope for either a Heart of Texas Bowl or a bid to the new Corsicana Bowl.
    Arkansas Summary: Tech must win to ensure both a share of the title and a postseason game. The Wonder Boys will also need a Henderson win to become sole champs. If Tech loses and Ouachita loses, then Tech will share the title with both Ouachita and Harding. However, since Ouachita owns head-to-head against Tech, Ouachita would get the Texarkana Bowl bid. The Wonder Boys would need to hope that either the Heart of Texas Bowl or the Corsicana Bowl offer them a bid for any sort of postseason appearance. Bottom line: Tech needs Henderson to win to have both a shot at being sole champs and ensure they will have a share of the championship. Regarding the playoffs, win and the Wonder Boys are in.

    Harding win against Arkansas Tech: Guarantees Harding a playoff spot and a shot at sharing the GAC title—depending upon the results of the Battle of the Ravine.
    Harding loss against Arkansas Tech: To have a shot at the Texarkana Bowl, the Bisons would need a Ouachita victory and an Arkansas-Monticello victory against Southern Arkansas in the Battle of the Timberlands game—Southern Arkansas owns the head-to-head with Harding—for Texarkana. There is also the possibility that Harding could receive an at-large bid to either the Heart of Texas Bowl or the Corsicana Bowl.
    Harding Summary: Harding needs to beat Tech to ensure both a shot at a share of the title and guarantee a postseason appearance in either the playoffs or a bowl. If Harding and Henderson win, Harding makes the playoffs. If Harding wins and Ouachita wins, Harding should go to the playoffs, if not, they will go to the Texarkana Bowl. If Harding loses they are putting their hopes of going to Texarkana on a Ouachita win in the Battle of the Ravine and a UAM win in the Battle of the Timberlands.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: GAC Playoff Portrait

    This was really good Armo.
    I wanted to thank you publicly for having the passion, giving your time, so we can see your insight and analysis.

    I appreciate what you have done here. There are other posters in the D2 message board arena that contribute their time as well, FOR FREE!!! I really apprcaite that.

    Glad we have a good one to represent the GAC.

    Thanks

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