INDIANAPOLIS – Carson-Newman's playoff hopes are still alive with one weekend of the regular season left. The final iteration of the region rankings have the Eagles in eighth, one spot out of the playoffs ahead of this weekend's action.
The Eagles sit inside the top 10 of the region rankings thans to the region's third toughest strength of schedule. The Eagles have the hardest strength of schedule of any team in the top 10. Only North Alabama and Limestone have played a more challenging schedule than Carson-Newman.
The region rankings are used to determine the field of 28 teams that comprise the NCAA Division II playoff field. The top seven teams from each super region advance to postseason play.
The Eagles still need some assistance if they are to make that field with one week left. The top seven spots remain unchanged from a week ago. However, Miles (lost 50-20 to Tuskeegee) and Virginia Union (lost 40-39 to Virginia State) both dropped games last week to clear the way for the Eagles to move up to eighth.
Now the Eagles turn to Florida Tech and Lenoir-Rhyne for assistance.
The Gulf South's Delta State (7-3) is in seventh. The Statesmen lost back-to-back games to Valdosta State and North Alabama before rebounding with an overtime win at North Greenville. Delta State wraps up the year at home against Florida Tech.
Fellow South Atlantic Conference foe Catawba sits in sixth. The Eagles beat the Indians 31-20 on Sept. 30. Catawba is 7-2 and finishes the season with a home game against Lenoir-Rhyne.
Of potential concern for the Eagles is earned access and Tuskeegee. If a conference doesn't have anyone represented inside the top seven of the region and the highest representative of a league is ranked eighth, then that team bumps whoever is ranked seventh in the region.
Tuskeegee checks in in ninth with a 6-2 Division II record following the Golden Tigers spanking of Miles on Saturday. TU plays Fort Valley State in the SIAC title game Saturday and good move into eighth if Delta State or Catawba lose as well.
South Atlantic Conference foe Wingate holds the top spot in the region at 9-0. West Alabama follows in second. Virginia State, West Georgia and Bowie State round out the top five.
The first place team in the region receives a first round bye in the playoffs, which begin Nov. 21. The two-seed hosts the seven, the three-seed the six, and the four-seed the five.
The Eagles are in action this weekend against UNC Pembroke. Kickoff at Burke-Tarr Stadium is slated for 1 p.m. Pregame coverage on the Eagle Sports Network starts at noon with the AEC Tailgate Show on Joy 620 (WRJZ-AM, Knoxville), and online at cneagles.com/live.
|SUPER REGION TWO|