November 15, 2001

Committee follows criteria in selecting the Field of 28

By Pat Coleman
D3sports.com

Somewhere along the line we got off the track this year.

Last season, the committee blew us away by taking Ohio Northern over Illinois Wesleyan. Yes, we knew at the time ONU was a better team, but IWU was better according to the criteria.

Well, they took ONU anyway, leading us to attempt to determine where we'd gone wrong. We decided that the committee had made a stand against the bizarre criteria that make them select teams nationally based on results in-region, and attempted to increase the quality of their playoff field. Perhaps that's why, when questioned directly on the subject in last year's press conference, the committee representatives were vague.

It didn't last. In pairings announced here this afternoon, Ohio Northern out, UW-Eau Claire out, Washington U. out, while every single at-large team, whether Pool B or C, had no more than one Division III loss.

Regarding Whitworth, NCAA associate director of championships Wayne Burrow said, "we felt Whitworth deserved special attention for having lost only one ballgame overall."

Fair enough.

Regarding Ohio Northern, Burrow said, "There were a tremendous number of teams in the C category on the board last night that had lost only to their conference champion. I would have to say the second out of region loss (was a factor)."

Well, the second loss by ONU last year was out of region as well (and out of Division III). I'm not sure Dayton, a non-scholarship I-AA school, was all that much better than UW-Stevens Point is.

Somebody had to fly to reach a third Texas team, and I like the way the committee dealt with this, giving Wittenberg a trip to Abilene, Texas, to see Hardin-Simmons in the first round and either sending the winner to Thomas More, or MacMurray to the winner.

"There was a lot of discussion last night regarding if there was going to be a need to move any teams," said Burrow. "What came up was that there were six traditional Northern teams that were picked, seven from the East, seven from the West and eight from the South."

He went on to explain that a matchup between Hardin-Simmons and Mary Hardin-Baylor was something the committee wanted to avoid, since they just played in Week 10. So Trinity was matched up with UMHB while Hardin-Simmons was shipped out of region.

Now to the big question — how to resolve the three-way tie in the Northwest Conference, when all three teams split against each other? This was the topic of a long discussion, and here's a glimpse:

"We had that triangle (the three-way tie) that we had to do something about, said Burrow, "so once we couldn't solve that we looked at other issues."

Those issues ending up involving removing the three-way tie scenario from the discussion altogether and concentrating on other issues. Those involved Linfield's out-of-Division III loss, a shutout at the hands of NAIA Southern Oregon, a team which Pacific Lutheran beat (and Pacific Lutheran also beat Linfield head-to-head). And as mentioned earlier, Whitworth had only one overall loss.

And Washington U. (8-2) finds that the last-second blocked Jonathan Feig field goal against Rhodes sinks their playoff hopes.

Burrow said "there was a lot of discussion regarding who teams have beat and who teams have lost to. They (Wash U) were very highly discussed. The committee felt that they couldn't make the commitment to Wash U. with the Pool B teams that were on the board."

That in comparison to the East region Pool B teams. It's purely wins and losses this time around.

"We had some strong Pool B schools in the East with some pretty outstanding records with RPI, Brockport, Ithaca to name a few," said Bill Mottola, the Division III football championship committee chair. "Their numbers held up when compared to regional wins, opponents' opponents wins. That was a very competitive pool. We had some regional problems but went through it step by step with the criteria that was established."

To the seedings: Mount Union, Bridgewater, Central and RPI got the first-round byes, while Widener, snubbed for a week off, got 5-3 Christopher Newport instead.

"We're a little disappointed," said Widener coach Bill Zwaan, who directed the Pioneers to the national semifinals in 2000. "I think after the season we put together and the fact that coaches across the country had us rated No. 2, I thought we had played ourselves into a bye, but obviously some people felt otherwise."

Nobody asked this question of the committee, so we don't really have an answer.

They broke the pairings up in every region but the South. In the North, No. 5 seed Wittenberg and No. 4 Augustana are too far away from each other (any trip longer than 400 miles requires the NCAA to pick up the tab for a flight, and they try to avoid that wherever possible) to play in the first round, so they are separated. Whitworth and Pacific Lutheran (Nos. 5 and 6) are matched up in the West.

And in the East, they broke up No. 4 Montclair State and No. 5 Brockport State because those teams have already played this year. So Montclair gets No. 6 Ithaca while No. 3 Rowan gets Brockport. This is really a minor change — Brockport and Ithaca proved they were pretty much even with their close head-to-head matchup this year.

Sep. 1: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Coast Guard at Anna Maria
Video Preview Live Stats
7:00 PM
Defiance at Baldwin Wallace
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Washington and Lee at Johns Hopkins
Video Live Stats Audio
7:30 PM
Trine at Manchester
Live Stats
8:00 PM
Belhaven at Millsaps
Video Live Stats
Sep. 2: All times Eastern
6:00 PM
Mass-Dartmouth at Mount Ida
6:00 PM
Delaware Valley at Wesley
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Muhlenberg at Wilkes
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
N.C. Wesleyan at Stevenson
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Western New England at Springfield
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Fitchburg State at Becker
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Albright at Salisbury
7:00 PM
WPI at MIT
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Salve Regina at Worcester State
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Bridgewater State at Curry
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Morrisville State at St. Lawrence
Video Audio
7:00 PM
Nichols at Westfield State
10:00 PM
Adrian at Pacific
Live Stats
Sep. 3: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Endicott at Framingham State
Video Live Stats
12:00 PM
Washington U. at Carnegie Mellon
Video Live Stats
12:00 PM
Chicago at Case Western Reserve
Video Preview Live Stats
12:00 PM
Husson at Alfred
12:00 PM
SUNY-Maritime at Maine Maritime
Video
12:00 PM
Cortland at Heidelberg
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Otterbein at Buffalo State
Video Live Stats
12:00 PM
Ursinus at Bethany
Video Live Stats
12:00 PM
Sewanee at Kenyon
12:00 PM
Alfred State at William Paterson
1:00 PM
King's at Moravian
Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
Kean at Christopher Newport
1:00 PM
McDaniel at Catholic
Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Lebanon Valley at Franklin and Marshall
Video Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
Plymouth State at Castleton
Video Live Stats Tickets
1:00 PM
Randolph-Macon at Dickinson
Video Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
Oberlin at Kalamazoo
Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
Emory and Henry at Ferrum
Video Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Wooster at Washington and Jefferson
Video Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
St. Vincent at Alma
Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
Concordia (Wis.) at Finlandia
1:00 PM
Olivet at St. John Fisher
Video Live Stats Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Rowan at Widener
Audio
1:00 PM
Hobart at Brockport
Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Union at Ithaca
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Susquehanna at Lycoming
Video Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Utica at Misericordia
1:00 PM
The Apprentice School at Methodist
1:00 PM
TCNJ at UW-Whitewater
Live Stats
1:30 PM
RPI at Norwich
Video Live Stats
1:30 PM
Wilmington at Bluffton
Live Stats
1:30 PM
Monmouth at Hope
Video Audio
1:30 PM
Bridgewater at Gettysburg
Video Live Stats
1:30 PM
Muskingum at Waynesburg
Audio
1:30 PM
Juniata at Grove City
2:00 PM
Wisconsin Lutheran at Trinity Int'l
2:00 PM
Lakeland at Carroll
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
UW-Stevens Point at St. Norbert
2:00 PM
Austin at Hendrix
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
Maranatha Baptist at Martin Luther
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Millikin at Greenville
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Eureka at Knox
Live Stats
2:00 PM
MacMurray at Rockford
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Gustavus Adolphus at Westminster (Mo.)
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
UW-La Crosse at Luther
2:00 PM
Beloit at Lake Forest
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
Concordia-Moorhead at Jamestown
2:00 PM
Crown at Hamline
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Carleton at Macalester
Audio
2:00 PM
Bethel at Dubuque
2:00 PM
St. Scholastica at St. John's
Video Live Stats Audio Audio
2:00 PM
St. Olaf at Grinnell
2:00 PM
Buena Vista at Mayville St.
2:00 PM
Simpson at UW-Stout
2:00 PM
Aurora at Carthage
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
UW-River Falls at Coe
2:00 PM
Ripon at Concordia-Chicago
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
Elmhurst at Loras
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
Huntingdon at Louisiana College
Video
2:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at Robert Morris-Chicago
Video Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
Benedictine at Wheaton (Ill.)
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
John Carroll at UW-Oshkosh
Video Audio Audio
2:30 PM
Southern Virginia at Earlham
Video Live Stats
2:30 PM
Lawrence at Presentation
4:00 PM
McPherson at Nebraska Wesleyan
Live Stats
4:00 PM
UW-Platteville at George Fox
4:00 PM
La Verne at Puget Sound
Video Live Stats
4:00 PM
Central at Whitworth
Video Live Stats Audio
5:00 PM
Hartwick at Western Connecticut
Live Stats
6:00 PM
Wabash at Albion
Video Live Stats Audio
6:00 PM
Maryville (Tenn.) at Berry
Video Live Stats
6:00 PM
Augustana at Mount St. Joseph
Live Stats
6:00 PM
Thomas More at Franklin
Video Live Stats Audio
6:00 PM
Hampden-Sydney at Averett
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Denison at Marietta
Video Live Stats Audio
7:00 PM
Hiram at Westminster (Pa.)
7:00 PM
Thiel at Allegheny
Video Live Stats Audio
7:00 PM
Capital at Wittenberg
Video Live Stats Live Stats
7:00 PM
Shenandoah at Gallaudet
Preview Live Stats
7:00 PM
Illinois College at Rose-Hulman
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Geneva at Frostburg State
7:00 PM
Greensboro at Guilford
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
LaGrange at Birmingham-Southern
7:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Southwestern
Live Stats Audio
7:00 PM
Anderson at North Park
7:00 PM
Ohio Wesleyan at Mary Hardin-Baylor
Video Live Stats Audio
7:00 PM
East Texas Baptist at Texas Lutheran
Video Live Stats Audio
7:10 PM
St. Thomas at UW-Eau Claire
Video Live Stats
7:30 PM
Hanover at Centre
Video Live Stats
8:00 PM
Willamette at Rhodes
8:00 PM
Cornell at Iowa Wesleyan
Video Live Stats Live Stats
8:00 PM
Augsburg at Northwestern (Minn.)
Live Stats
8:00 PM
Southwestern Assemblies at Howard Payne
Video Live Stats Audio
8:00 PM
Sul Ross State at UT-Permian Basin
8:30 PM
Redlands at Trinity (Texas)
Live Stats Audio
Sep. 1: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Washington and Lee at Johns Hopkins
Video Live Stats Audio
Sep. 2: All times Eastern
6:00 PM
Delaware Valley at Wesley
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Albright at Salisbury
Sep. 3: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Cortland at Heidelberg
Live Stats
1:00 PM
TCNJ at UW-Whitewater
Live Stats
2:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at Robert Morris-Chicago
Video Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
John Carroll at UW-Oshkosh
Video Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Huntingdon at Louisiana College
Video
2:00 PM
St. Scholastica at St. John's
Video Live Stats Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Benedictine at Wheaton (Ill.)
Video Live Stats
4:00 PM
UW-Platteville at George Fox
4:00 PM
Central at Whitworth
Video Live Stats Audio
6:00 PM
Thomas More at Franklin
Video Live Stats Audio
6:00 PM
Wabash at Albion
Video Live Stats Audio
7:00 PM
East Texas Baptist at Texas Lutheran
Video Live Stats Audio
7:00 PM
Ohio Wesleyan at Mary Hardin-Baylor
Video Live Stats Audio
7:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Southwestern
Live Stats Audio
7:10 PM
St. Thomas at UW-Eau Claire
Video Live Stats