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Santa’s Parade begins at 5 p.m. tonight (November 25) with the Grand Illumination to follow.
@EOUAthletics @MontanaTechFB @MTechDiggers #NAIAFootball @racetodaytona @Play_NAIA
Game 1 – Robert Morris (Ill.) (7-3) at Marian (Ind.) (10-0)
Game 2 – Sterling (Kan.) (8-2) at Baker (Kan.) (11-0)
Game 3 – Southeastern (Fla.) (6-2) at Reinhardt (Ga.) (11-0)
Game 4 – Missouri Valley (9-2) at Saint Francis (Ind.) (9-1)
Game 5 – Tabor (Kan.) (8-2) at Morningside (Iowa) (9-1)
Game 6 – Dickinson State (N.D.) (9-2) at Montana Tech (9-1)
Game 7 – Eastern Oregon (8-2) at Doane (Neb.) (9-1)
Game 8 – Grand View (Iowa) (9-2) at Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) (10-1)
Montana Tech has earned a home playoff game. Eastern Oregon has not (although Massey has Eastern Oregon at #3).
Many of these playoff teams are mediocre at best. They would finish in 8th or 9th place if they were in the Frontier Conference. Those teams include Missouri Valley, Robert Morris, Southeastern (Florida), Sterling, Tabor, and Dickinson State. These teams will get crushed in the first round. If Montana Western and/or SOU were in the playoffs, that would not be the case.
Massey hasn’t made predictions for these games yet, but based on Massey Ratings as of now, I’m guess Massey will disagree with the coaches when it comes to Eastern Oregon at Doane. The coaches have Doane at #7 and Eastern Oregon at #9. EOU should win by two touchdowns, even on the road. Montana Tech should win by more than three touchdowns.
NAIA headquarters are in Kansas City so it’s not surprising that a weak conference like the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference has two teams in the playoffs even though neither of those teams are in Massey’s top 35.
I lied. There was some ranting. Sorry. However, the coaches’ poll blows and needs to be replaced.
@SOURaiders @JSing03 #NAIAFootball @racetodaytona @Play_NAIA
OK. Maybe this won’t be my last rant on the NAIA football rankings, but here goes.
As demonstrated by last year’s playoffs, Massey Ratings (an unbiased, objective, computer-based ranking system) did a far superior job of predicting which NAIA football teams were better when compared to the coaches’ poll (which is, unfortunately, the main thing considered when it comes to determining who makes the postseason and where the games are played). Massey went 7-0 in games when the coaches’ rankings went 3-4. That’s especially significant because the coaches gave the inferior teams home-field advantage, and Massey saw right through that benefit and still predicted the lower-ranked (in the coaches’ eyes) teams to win. The current system is unfair not just because certain teams (Morningside, Baker, etc.) will receive home field advantage throughout much, if not all, of the playoffs again (even though they had weak schedules), but also because teams that Massey doesn’t have in their top 20 (or even top 40!) will make the playoffs.
Let’s look at some things:
1) If the Raiders beat Montana Tech this Saturday in Ashland and Eastern Oregon loses at Carroll College, the Frontier Conference won’t end up with a single team getting a home game in the playoffs. If Massey Ratings was being used, instead of the coaches, four Frontier Conference teams would receive home playoff games.
2) Even if SOU and Montana Western win this weekend, neither team will make the playoffs.
3) Neither Baker (ranked #2 by the coaches) or Reinhardt (ranked #3 by the coaches) have played a team in Massey’s top 13. Not even once. Southern Oregon has played teams in Massey’s top 12 nine times, and that doesn’t even count UC Davis, an NCAA DI team!
4) Some teams that will make the playoffs would not be able to beat MSN, a team SOU beat 56-14 (without scoring in the 4th quarter with the second string playing) last week. Those teams include Kansas Wesleyan (ranked #10 by the coaches, ranked #50 by Massey), Tabor (ranked #13 by the coaches, ranked #41 by Massey), and Sterling (ranked #15 by the coaches, ranked #42 by Massey).
5) Dickinson State will make the playoffs by virtue of winning the incredibly weak North Star Conference. Dickinson State lost to Montana Western by more than two touchdowns. It’s safe to say, and Massey agrees, that Dickinson State would come in 8th place if they were still in the Frontier Conference.
6) Why does the Frontier Conference only get a maximum of two schools in the playoffs? Because the Frontier Conference teams have to play each other, sometimes multiple times. With ten intra-conference games it’s virtually impossible for more than two Frontier Conference teams to come away with fewer than 3 losses, which is pretty much what the coaches require to make the postseason.
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SOU’s loss at College of Idaho this past Saturday seemed to end the Raiders’ post-season hopes. The coaches confirmed this in today’s poll by dropping the Raiders to #23 with just three weeks to go. Even if the Raiders win out (and upset #7 Montana Tech) they will likely finish no higher than #17 in the final poll. They would need no worse than a top 14 ranking to make the playoffs (as probably two or more teams not in the top 16 that are not in the Frontier Conference will make the playoffs).
Massey has the Raiders, with the hardest schedule in the country, @ #5 (and Montana Tech @ #2). The coaches don’t consider strength of schedule in their rankings. That’s why teams like Kansas Wesleyan, Tabor, Southeastern, Sterling, Arizona Christian, and Concordia (Nebraska) are ahead of the Raiders in the coaches rankings and will likely remain there as they don’t play any decent teams. Hence, they have little chance of dropping in the rankings. Never mind that Massey Ratings doesn’t have any of those teams in their top 40.