November 10th, 2022 3:00pm
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 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.
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.
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 ncaa.com 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 d2football.com, 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.