1. Nebraska-Omaha (9-0)
2. Grand Valley State (9-0)
3. North Dakota (8-1)
4. Central Washington (8-1)
5. Ashland (7-1)
6. Winona State (9-1)
7. Hillsdale (8-2)
8. South Dakota (6-4)
9. Saginaw Valley State (6-3)
10. Wayne State (Nebraska) (7-3)
11. Michigan Tech (5-5)
12. Indianapolis (6-4)
Well folks, the win by Hillsdale at Findlay and the South Dakota loss to UNO has moved Hillsdale one spot forward in the regional rankings released yesterday.
The Chargers now sit 7th, one step outside the coveted Top 6. Things will get very interesting with a number of big games on the slate.
First and foremost, Hillsdale must dispatch of #9 Saginaw Valley when the Cardinals visit Muddy Waters Stadium. A Saginaw win eliminates Hillsdale but probably won’t be enough to put SVSU into the mix.
Two GLIAC opponents who can help Hillsdale this week are #11 Michigan Tech when Findlay visits and #12 Indianapolis who travels to Northwood. Husky and Hound wins will boost Hillsdale’s strength of schedule and weaken Ashland’s. Ashland didn’t play either Tech or Indy. Indy has already secured a winning record. Tech can do that with a win and boost Hillsdale’s resume as the Huskies part of the criteria is “results versus teams .500 or above”.
Central Washington hosts UNO. A win by the Mavericks will drop CWU to 8-2 but how far the Wildcats drop is hard to estimate, and it is likely that they are already into the field. Nothing is certain until the NCAA announcement on Sunday.
Winona State (9-1) sits in the coveted 6th spot and plays #10 Wayne State College (7-3) in the Metrodome this Saturday. Either of these teams is a lock. A Winona win likely gets them a playoff spot outright. A Wayne State (Nebraska) win means “Earned Access” comes into play. The winner of the game will be the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference champ. Earned Access will replace the #6 seed with Wayne State thus removing a GLIAC or NCC team. For me, I will be cheering for Winona. I would much rather see a team with a 10-1 record be awarded a playoff site than an 8-3 team.