Fort Valley State submits resume early to Super Region Two committee

November 10th, 2022 3:00pm

Fort Valley State submits resume early to Super Region Two committee

With their victory this past Saturday over previously Top 25 ranked Albany State (7-3, 5-2), the Fort Valley Wildcats ascended to the 7th seed in Super Region Two, entering the final week of the regular season.  With #12 Benedict (10-0, 7-0) winning the SIAC East Division crown and claiming the spot in the SIAC Championship this Saturday, FVSU has decided not to pursue an eleventh game this week and let their current resume speak for itself.  In the past, this region has seen idle teams during Week 11 be ultimately left out of the playoffs, while in some years idle teams still made the playoffs.  What will be the fate of the Wildcats this season?   Let's look at some the information that the committee will have to consider when discussion Fort Valley State during Sunday’s selection process.

The Schedule

Key Wins

The two key wins for Fort Valley State were the book ends of the season for the Wildcats.  FVSU opened the season with a dominating performance versus Tuskegee (8-2, 7-0) in the Red Tails Classic, 21-6.  Tuskegee is the SIAC West representative in the Championship Game on Saturday and currently ranked #9 in Super Region Two.  The other victory was last week versus rival Albany State (7-3, 5-2) in the Fountain City Classic, 31-21.  The Golden Rams were ranked eighth in the region at the time of the contest. 

Key Losses

Fort Valley State was defeated by Benedict, 45-13.  These two teams were undefeated at the time of this matchup.  Benedict has finished the season undefeated, is currently the top seed within Super Region Two, nationally ranked at #12, and are playing in Saturday’s SIAC Championship Game.  The major hiccup was the loss to Savannah State (5-5, 3-4) in Week Nine.  The loss was controversial, as FVSU had a late touchdown wiped off the board.  SSU would finish the season at .500 and were .500 (4-4) in Division II and within the Super Region.


Of the teams ranked in the Top Ten of Super Region Two, Fort Valley State is tied for the fourth best strength of schedule.  When combining win percentage with strength of schedule, FVSU is eighth in the Super Region.  There are five teams currently tied with an in-region record of 8-2 (7th best record).  Of the teams tied at 8-2, the Wildcats are tied for the second-best win percentage (.667) against teams with a record better than .500 with Newberry (who is not currently ranked), only trailing Wingate (8-2, 6-2 SAC), who has a 4-1 record versus teams over .500.  All the above combined numbers give FVSU the 6th best performance indicator within Super Region Two.

What can happen on the field Saturday to help/hurt Fort Valley State?

  1. Tuskegee at Benedict - Super Region Two #1 Benedict is in the playoffs, no matter the outcome of the SIAC Championship.  But a BC loss will potentially elevate Super Region Two #9 Tuskegee into the conversation and should be enough for the Golden Tigers to receive an at-large berth.  That at-large nomination would probably be at the expense of Fort Valley State.
  2. UVA Wise at Wingate.  Super Region Two #5 Wingate enters the contest with an 8-2 (6-2 SAC) record and failed to make the inaugural SAC Championship Game, after losing a tiebreaker to Newberry.  UVA Wise enters the game with a 2-8 (1-7 SAC) record.  The match will already hurt Wingate’s strength of schedule, no matter the outcome, but a loss to a significantly weaker opponent will knock the Bulldogs out of contention.  If UVA Wise upsets Wingate, this will secure the Wildcats position as an at-large member of the Super Region Two field.
  3. Mars Hill at Newberry.  These two teams will battle with the SAC Championship on the line this Saturday.  Newberry was ranked in the first two Super Region Two rankings.  Mars Hill sits, just above Fort Valley State, at #6 in the rankings.  This is a road game for the higher ranked Mars Hill.  A loss by Mars Hill should, at minimum, force the committee to swap the position of the Wildcats and the Lions and secure a spot for FVSU.
  4. Emory & Henry at Limestone.  A loss by Super Region Two #8 Limestone (7-3, 6-2 SAC) to Emory & Henry (5-5, 4-4 SAC) will definitely leave the Saints marching out instead of in.  But a win may be enough to have the committee switch the position of Fort Valley State and Limestone.
  5. Chaos.  Should Wingate and Mars Hill lose, and Limestone win, who will be the highest ranked SAC team?  That scenario will most certainly open the door for the Wildcats entry into the playoffs.  Extra chaos occurs if Tuskegee upsets Benedict.  A Tuskegee victory, along with a Mars Hill and Wingate loss could open the door to both HBCUs gaining entry, meaning that the SIAC will occupy three of the seven playoff positions, and HBCUs will have over 50% of the playoff field in Super Region Two with Virginia Union most likely receiving a bid.
  6. Gulf South Conference.  Super Region Two #2 Delta State (9-1, 6-1 GSC) and #3 West Florida (8-1, 6-1 GSC) are in the playoffs.  The only thing to be determined is what seed they will have.  The conference has three teams ranked in the region, with West Georgia (7-2, 5-2 GSC) currently #10.  Delta State has the most competitive matchup, recordwise against West Alabama (5-5, 3-4 GSC).  West Florida travels to Mississippi College (4-6, 3-4 GSC) and West Georgia visits North Greenville (3-7, 2-5 GSC).  Delta State is expected to receive a bid.  Expect all three ranked teams to win.  Do not expect these teams to move up or down in the rankings significantly, even with a loss.
  7. CIAA.  Virginia Union is idle but should be in safely in the field.  Fayetteville State and Chowan will face off in the CIAA Championship game.  This game should have little to no impact on the final playoff rankings.
  8. Tie Breaker.  By virtue of Fort Valley State's victory in the opening game of the season, FVSU should have the advantage if Tuskegee and Fort Valley State are back-to-back in the final standings.  That means that if somehow Tuskegee finishes #7 and Fort Valley State finishes #8, based upon history, the committee will flip these two teams because Fort Valley has defeated Tuskegee head-to-head this season.

By deciding to be idle this week, instead of playing an eleventh game, the Fort Valley State Wildcats, unfortunately, do not control their own destiny for the NCAA Division II playoffs.  Just like the rest of us, they will be scoreboard watching and hoping for the best.  Regardless of the outcomes of everyone else on Saturday, Wildcat nation will be tuned into at 5:30 pm ET to see who’s in and who’s out.  Will 2022 be an historic season for the SIAC as the conference seeks to get two, if not three teams in the playoffs and/or see conference member Benedict receive a number one seed.  It will come to a culmination on Sunday evening.

About A.D. Drew

In addition to covering the SIAC for, Drew is a member of the Black College Sports Network, co-host of the BCSN SportsWrap podcast, a producer and frequent guest co-host of Dr. Cavil's Inside the HBCU Sports Lab with Michael Washington and Charles Bishop, and a producer of Thee Pregame Show with Bishop and Neely.  Drew is also an executive board member of the HBCU-Pro Sports Media Association and the Black College World Series