The NCAA released its first set of Super Region Rankings for football on Monday. The Fort Hays State University football team is ranked third in Super Region 3 in the initial release. The Super Region consists of four conferences, the MIAA, GLIAC, GLVC, and GAC.
The top seven teams in the Super Region at the end of the regular season will be selected to compete in the NCAA Division II Playoffs. Fort Hays is seeking its first appearance in the playoffs since 1995.
The nation’s top ranked team and winner of two consecutive national championships, Northwest Missouri State, is the top ranked team in Super Region 3. The Bearcats have won 38 consecutive games dating back to the start of the 2015 season. Ranked second is University of Indianapolis from the GLVC, the nation’s No. 6 ranked team, while Fort Hays State, ranked No. 7 nationally, is third. All three teams are undefeated at 8-0.
Ashland and Ferris State of the GLIAC are the only remaining one-loss teams in the region. Ashland holds the upper hand between the teams by winning the head-to-head match up. Central Missouri is ranked No. 6 in the region at 6-2, while Grand Valley State is No. 7, also at 6-2. All seven teams in the Super Region rankings are in the Top 25 of the AFCA Division II National Poll.
Arkansas Tech and Ouachita Baptist are currently in a four-way tie for first place among teams from the GAC and hold the No. 8 and No. 9 spots respectively. But in football, automatic bids are not given to conference champions, so any team among the four-way tie for first in the GAC will have to play well down the stretch for playoff consideration. Rounding out the rankings is Tiffin at No. 10, a member of the GLIAC with a record of 5-3.
The playoff format gives a bye to the Super Region’s top seed, while No. 2 plays 7, 3 plays 6, and 4 plays 5 in the opening round. If the playoffs started today, the current rankings would produce match-ups that have already occurred this year in all three first round match-ups. But, there are three weeks remaining in the regular season and rankings are likely to shift with several key meetings among teams inside the rankings.