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
7:00 PM
Defiance at Baldwin Wallace
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Washington and Lee at Johns Hopkins
7:30 PM
Trine at Manchester
8:00 PM
Millsaps at Belhaven
Sep. 2: All times Eastern
TBA
Muhlenberg at Wilkes
6:00 PM
Mass-Dartmouth at Mount Ida
6:00 PM
Delaware Valley at Wesley
7:00 PM
N.C. Wesleyan at Stevenson
7:00 PM
Western New England at Springfield
7:00 PM
Fitchburg State at Becker
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Albright at Salisbury
7:00 PM
WPI at MIT
7:00 PM
Salve Regina at Worcester State
7:00 PM
Bridgewater State at Curry
7:00 PM
Morrisville State at St. Lawrence
10:00 PM
Adrian at Pacific
Sep. 3: All times Eastern
TBA
Endicott at Framingham State
TBA
Kean at Christopher Newport
TBA
King's at Moravian
Live Stats
TBA
Lebanon Valley at Franklin and Marshall
TBA
Marietta at Denison
TBA
McDaniel at Catholic
TBA
Wisconsin Lutheran at Trinity Int'l
TBA
Sewanee at Kenyon
TBA
UW-Platteville at George Fox
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Washington U. at Carnegie Mellon
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Chicago at Case Western Reserve
12:00 PM
Husson at Alfred
12:00 PM
SUNY-Maritime at Maine Maritime
Video
12:00 PM
Cortland at Heidelberg
12:00 PM
Otterbein at Buffalo State
12:00 PM
Ursinus at Bethany
1:00 PM
Plymouth State at Castleton
Live Stats
1:00 PM
RPI at Norwich
1:00 PM
Randolph-Macon at Dickinson
1:00 PM
Oberlin at Kalamazoo
1:00 PM
Emory and Henry at Ferrum
1:00 PM
Wooster at Washington and Jefferson
1:00 PM
Alfred State at William Paterson
1:00 PM
St. Vincent at Alma
1:00 PM
Concordia (Wis.) at Finlandia
1:00 PM
Olivet at St. John Fisher
1:00 PM
Rowan at Widener
1:00 PM
Hobart at Brockport
1:00 PM
Union at Ithaca
1:00 PM
Susquehanna at Lycoming
1:00 PM
Utica at Misericordia
1:00 PM
The Apprentice School at Methodist
1:00 PM
TCNJ at UW-Whitewater
1:30 PM
Wilmington at Bluffton
1:30 PM
Monmouth at Hope
1:30 PM
Bridgewater at Gettysburg
1:30 PM
Muskingum at Waynesburg
1:30 PM
Juniata at Grove City
2:00 PM
Lakeland at Carroll
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
UW-Stevens Point at St. Norbert
2:00 PM
Austin at Hendrix
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
2:00 PM
Concordia-Moorhead at Jamestown
2:00 PM
Crown at Hamline
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Carleton at Macalester
2:00 PM
Bethel at Dubuque
2:00 PM
St. Scholastica at St. John's
Live Stats
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
2:00 PM
UW-River Falls at Coe
2:00 PM
Ripon at Concordia-Chicago
2:00 PM
Elmhurst at Loras
2:00 PM
Huntingdon at Louisiana College
2:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at Robert Morris-Chicago
2:00 PM
Benedictine at Wheaton (Ill.)
2:00 PM
John Carroll at UW-Oshkosh
2:30 PM
Southern Virginia at Earlham
Live Stats
2:30 PM
Lawrence at Presentation
4:00 PM
La Verne at Puget Sound
Live Stats
4:00 PM
Central at Whitworth
5:00 PM
Hartwick at Western Connecticut
6:00 PM
Wabash at Albion
6:00 PM
Maryville (Tenn.) at Berry
6:00 PM
Augustana at Mount St. Joseph
6:00 PM
Thomas More at Franklin
Live Stats
6:00 PM
Hampden-Sydney at Averett
6:00 PM
Redlands at Trinity (Texas)
7:00 PM
Hiram at Westminster (Pa.)
7:00 PM
Thiel at Allegheny
7:00 PM
Capital at Wittenberg
7:00 PM
Shenandoah at Gallaudet
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Illinois College at Rose-Hulman
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Hanover at Centre
7:00 PM
Geneva at Frostburg State
7:00 PM
Nichols at Westfield State
7:00 PM
Greensboro at Guilford
Live Stats
7:00 PM
LaGrange at Birmingham-Southern
7:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Southwestern
7:00 PM
Anderson at North Park
7:00 PM
Ohio Wesleyan at Mary Hardin-Baylor
7:00 PM
East Texas Baptist at Texas Lutheran
7:10 PM
St. Thomas at UW-Eau Claire
Video Live Stats
8:00 PM
Willamette at Rhodes
8:00 PM
Cornell at Iowa Wesleyan
Live Stats
8:00 PM
Augsburg at Northwestern (Minn.)
Live Stats
8:00 PM
Southwestern Assemblies at Howard Payne
8:00 PM
Sul Ross State at UT-Permian Basin
Dec. 18: All times Eastern
Final
Mount Union 49, at St. Thomas 35
@ Salem, Va.
Box Score Recap Recap Photos