Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Playoff scenarios for Southern Conference

You might have figured we had heard the last of Wofford in the Southern Conference race after the Terriers were blown out at Appalachian State on Halloween. Not so fast.

Should Wofford win at Samford Saturday, it will be 6-1 in the Southern Conference. If that's in conjunction with an Elon victory against the Mountaineers, all three teams would be tied for first place in the league.

Even that might not be enough for one of the trio; there's no guarantee that the NCAA's Football Championship Subdivision selection committee will select more than two Southern Conference teams for the playoffs, although a strong case could be made for each. The Terriers' only other loss was a competitive 23-13 decision at South Carolina.

"The one thing I know for sure is you can't guess what they're going to do as far as picking those teams," Wofford coach Mike Ayers said.

"I can remember in 2002 we were 9-3, and two of the teams that went to the playoffs, we beat head to head."

The hunt for the league's automatic bid breaks down like this:

- It will be clinched by Appalachian State if it beats Elon because of tie- breakers, even with a game with Western Carolina remaining.

- Appalachian State can also get it if it loses to Elon by 30 points or less and beats Western, while Wofford loses to Furman Nov. 22.

- If Elon wins Saturday and Wofford loses at Samford, the Phoenix would get the berth.

- If Elon beats Appalachian State by 31 or more and Wofford loses to Furman, the Phoenix get the berth even if the Mountaineers beat Western.

- Wofford would get that berth if it should beat Samford and Furman while Appalachian State loses its last two games.

Got all that?

- Stan Olson


Anonymous said...

Ink it in Stan....the APPS are a lock for the playoffs!!