2012 playoffs: Mary Hardin-Baylor bracket

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Mary Hardin-Baylor Crusaders
Seed: No. 1, Mary Hardin-Baylor bracket
Last Top 25 ranking: No. 2, Week 11 2012
Location: Belton, TX
Enrollment: 2202
Stadium: Belton HS (8000)
Playing surface: Turf
Conference: ASC
Preseason ranking from Kickoff: 4
Head coach: Pete Fredenburg (Southwest Texas State)
Career record: 133-33 (.801)
Base offense: Multiple option
Base defense: 4-3
Record in NCAA playoffs: 18-10 (2001-02, 2004-11)
Championships: None
D3football.com team page: Schedule and results, more news
How they got here: Pool A, ASC champ
You'll know they're playing well if: They hold teams on third and fourth down. In their closest games, UMHB allowed teams to convert at a higher rate than in games where they seemingly were in control. Trinity, Sul Ross, TLU, and HSU all converted above 37 percent on third down.
You'll know they're playing poorly if: They are running the old style option too much and are not finding success through the air. Most of their struggles against Hardin-Simmons were on the option. Also, if LiDarral Bailey is missing his targets or if guys are dropping passes, forcing long third downs.
This season's turning point: Stephen Salinas and Bradlee Waddell run down the clock to keep Wesley from getting the ball back in any position to score in the closing minutes of the teams' game Week 3 in Dover, Del.
Rushing/passing yards per game: 315.5/221.4
Rushing/passing yards allowed: 56.2/258.5
How far can they go? The last time Mary Hardin-Baylor's path went through Alliance, they carried it through all the way to Salem. It's possible here, too.
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Wesley Wolverines
Seed: Likely No. 2, Mary Hardin-Baylor bracket
Last Top 25 ranking: No. 6, Week 11 2012
Location: Dover, DE
Enrollment: 1812
Stadium: Scott D. Miller Stadium (2500)
Playing surface: Turf
Conference: IND
Preseason ranking from Kickoff: 3
Head coach: Mike Drass (Mansfield '82)
Career record: 175-47-1 (.787)
Base offense: Multiple pro
Base defense: 4-3
Record in NCAA playoffs: 18-8 (2000, 2005-11)
Championships: None
D3football.com team page: Schedule and results, more news
How they got here: Pool B
You'll know they're playing well if: They are protecting the football on offense, converting on third down, and getting production from punt returner Sean Hopkins (leads nation with 22-yard punt return average) and kicker Dan Tryon (8 for 10 on field goals).
You'll know they're playing poorly if: If they are not converting in the red zone. The Wolverines have had five trips inside the 5-yard line that have not produced points.
This season's turning point: A week after losing by a touchdown at home to Mary Hardin-Baylor, rallying from a 22-14 deficit in the fourth quarter at Louisiana College to win on a Tryon field goal as time ran out. The Wolverines haven't lost since.
Rushing/passing yards per game: 88.9/262.8
Rushing/passing yards allowed: 124.0/161.8
How far can they go? Probably only to the quarterfinals in Texas, despite being one of the few programs with a real chance at Salem.
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Cortland State Red Dragons
Seed: Likely No. 3, Mary Hardin-Baylor bracket
Last Top 25 ranking: No. 18, Week 11 2012
Location: Cortland, NY
Enrollment: 5963
Stadium: Stadium Complex (6500)
Playing surface: Turf
Conference: NJAC
Preseason ranking from Kickoff: 30
Head coach: Dan MacNeill (Cortland State '79)
Career record: 107-55 (.660)
Base offense: Spread coast
Base defense: 3-4
Record in NCAA playoffs: 4-7 (1988-90, 1997, 2005, 2008, 2010)
Championships: None
D3football.com team page: Schedule and results, more news
How they got here: Pool A, NJAC
You'll know they're playing well if: They score on defense, which they've done five times this season, and if they convert for touchdowns in the red zone. As the season has worn on, the Red Dragons have settled for field goals on seven of their last 13 red zone opportunities and come up empty on three others.
You'll know they're playing poorly if: The defense misses tackles and gets burned for big gains. Cortland allowed 14 plays of 20 or more yards from scrimmage in its season-opening loss at Buffalo State. In eight games since, the Red Dragons have allowed 27 plays of 20 or more yards.
This season's turning point: Chris Rose hit D.J. Spencer for a 33-yard touchdown with 1:26 left to lift the Red Dragons past Rowan, 24-21.
Rushing/passing yards per game: 194.8/233.6
Rushing/passing yards allowed: 126.3/259.1
How far can they go? To the second round.
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Adrian Bulldogs
Seed: Likely No. 4, Mary Hardin-Baylor bracket
Last Top 25 ranking: Never ranked
Location: Adrian, MI
Enrollment: 1420
Stadium: Multi-Sport Performance Stadium (3000)
Playing surface: Turf
Conference: MIAA
Preseason ranking from Kickoff: 67
Head coach: Jim Deere (Adrian '89)
Career record: 22-8 (.733)
Base offense: Multiple
Base defense: 4-4
Record in NCAA playoffs: 0-2 (1983, 1988)
Championships: None
D3football.com team page: Schedule and results, more news
How they got here: Pool A, MIAA champ
You'll know they're playing well if: The ground game controls the clock and keeps the opposing offense on the sidelines. Adrian is ninth among Division III football programs in time of possession.
You'll know they're playing poorly if: They turn the ball over or are forced to pass, limiting their effectiveness in play action.
This season's turning point: Two key late-game events in the past two weeks got them here: stopping Albion's two-point conversion that would have decided the MIAA title and a 17-point fourth-quarter comeback at Huntingdon.
Rushing/passing yards per game: 150.7/178.5
Rushing/passing yards allowed: 89.9/135.1
How far can they go? Capped at one victory.
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Louisiana College Wildcats
Seed: Likely No. 5, Mary Hardin-Baylor bracket
Last Top 25 ranking: No. 23, Week 11 2012
Location: Pineville, LA
Enrollment: 813
Stadium: Wildcat Field (7,000)
Playing surface: Turf
Conference: ASC
Preseason ranking from Kickoff: 31
Head coach: Dennis Dunn
Career record: 45-34 (.570)
Base offense: Spread
Base defense: 3-4
Record in NCAA playoffs: First appearance
Championships: None
D3football.com team page: Schedule and results, more news
How they got here: Pool C
You'll know they're playing well if: The running game, led by Ryan Montague and a huge offensive line, is able to pound the ball early. If they can, that sets up Jamie Bunting in the play-action passing game, which has been lethal in the past four outings. He has thrown for 16 touchdowns in that time. If Bunting can get the ball to his two biggest downfield receiving threats (D'Mario Parker and Cortland Bell), the Wildcats can pileup points in a hurry.
You'll know they're playing poorly if: The defense can't get a pass rush and teams are able to run the ball against the Wildcats stout front seven. On the other side of the ball, if opposing defenses can get Bunting to force throws deep and Montague to have to bounce runs to the outside, LC's offense can be grounded.
This season's turning point: Each of the weeks that followed the losses to Wesley and Mary Hardin-Baylor. Any team could have gotten down on themselves after those losses, especially after Wesley's fourth-quarter surge won the Wolverines the game. But LC bounced back in spectacular fashion to keep their focus on the postseason.
Rushing/passing yards per game: 144.8/308.8
Rushing/passing yards allowed: 117.6/221.4
How far can they go? It ends with the Round 1 rematch from the regular season.
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Franklin Grizzlies
Seed: Likely No. 6, Mary Hardin-Baylor bracket
Last Top 25 ranking: No. 16, Week 11 2012
Location: Franklin, IN
Enrollment: 1018
Stadium: Faught Stadium (2500)
Playing surface: Turf
Conference: HCAC
Preseason ranking from Kickoff: 13
Head coach: Mike Leonard (Hanover '84)
Career record: 75-32 (.701)
Base offense: Run and shoot
Base defense: 3-4
Record in NCAA playoffs: 3-4 (2007-08, 2010-11)
Championships: None
D3football.com team page: Schedule and results, more news
How they got here: Pool A, HCAC champ
You'll know they're playing well if: They are able to get defensive pressure from a wide range of individuals and Joey Pasquale and Luke Hamm each average at least 4 yards per carry.
You'll know they're playing poorly if: They can't protect Jonny West long enough for downfield routes to develop and they have to settle for short routes and checkdowns. They face a quarterback who likes to run and can't contain him.
This season's turning point: Simply surviving the first two games (Mount Union, Butler) intact. Since then it's been a fair amount of steamrolling a slate of overmatched conference opponents.
Rushing/passing yards per game: 177.3/281.0
Rushing/passing yards allowed: 80.4/214.3
How far can they go? One win is possible.
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Framingham State Rams
Seed: Likely No. 7, Mary Hardin-Baylor bracket
Last Top 25 ranking: Never ranked
Location: Framingham, MA
Enrollment: 3038
Stadium: Maple Street (1500)
Playing surface: Turf
Conference: NEFC Bogan
Preseason ranking from Kickoff: 151
Head coach: Tom Kelley (Framingham State '76)
Career record: 44-44-1 (.500)
Base offense: Spread
Base defense: 4-3
Record in NCAA playoffs: First appearance
Championships: None
D3football.com team page: Schedule and results, more news
How they got here: Pool A, NEFC champ
You'll know they're playing well if: Figure on Melikke Van Alstyne getting his yards. What they'll also need is an ability to stretch the field in the passing game and anbility to get off the field on third down.
You'll know they're playing poorly if: They're giving up big plays on special teams, don't take care of the ball in the red zone and are undisciplined on defense.
This season's turning point: Getting Matthew Silva back at quarterback. Although the Rams rolled over overmatched opponents in his absence, his return allowed Matt Mangano to move back into his normal role.
Rushing/passing yards per game: 225.5/185.2
Rushing/passing yards allowed: 57.3/155.3
How far can they go? Framingham has played one non-NEFC team in 11 seasons, and that was against Norwich of the ECFC. It could be a shock to see how the rest of Division III plays football.
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Mount Ida Mustangs
Seed: Likely No. 8, Mary Hardin-Baylor bracket
Last Top 25 ranking: Never ranked
Location: Newton, MA
Enrollment: 1371
Stadium: Mount Ida Stadium (1000)
Playing surface: Turf
Conference: ECFC
Preseason ranking from Kickoff: 158
Head coach: Mike Landers (Bridgewater State '01)
Career record: 28-25 (.528)
Base offense: Spread
Base defense: Multiple 3-4
Record in NCAA playoffs: First appearance
Championships: None
D3football.com team page: Schedule and results, more news
How they got here: Pool A, ECFC champ
You'll know they're playing well if: The line gives Chris McNally some room to run the ball. He's rushed for 1,208 yards this season, including 243 yards on 33 carries in the regular-season finale.
You'll know they're playing poorly if: The other team is committed to running the ball itself. Mount Ida's two losses this season have been to teams running option offenses.
This season's turning point: Not having to face Shane Brozowski, the star quarterback for Castleton State who broke his leg in Week 10. The Mustangs picked off his replacement three times in Week 11.
Rushing/passing yards per game: 188.4/238.8
Rushing/passing yards allowed: 165.0/203.6
How far can they go? One and out. Consider it payback for Mount Ida cancelling its game with Wesley in 2000.
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