UNA’s chances of making the Division II football playoffs took a major hit with last Thursday’s 38-23 loss to West Georgia.
Just two weeks ago, the Lions appeared to have an excellent shot of advancing to the postseason if they continued to take care of business. But back-to-back losses to Valdosta State and West Georgia have almost eliminated the Lions from playoff contention.
The first regional rankings were released Tuesday and the Lions were not among the 10 teams ranked in Super Region Two. The regional rankings are used to determine which teams are selected for the Division II playoffs. The top six teams in each of the four regions make the 24-team field, with the top two teams in each region receiving a first-round bye.
Miles College, which UNA defeated in its season opener, is the No. 1 team in the region, followed by Mars Hill, West Alabama, Valdosta State, Carson-Newman and Fort Valley State. Lenior-Rhyne, Wingate, Newberry and Albany State round out the region rankings.
Certainly it is still possible for UNA to jump into the top six and make the playoffs, but a lot of things would have to happen. Those things certainly include beating Tarleton State and West Alabama in the final two games. Right now, that’s all UNA can worry about. If they could win those final two then a 7-3 record with victories over Miles and West Alabama would look pretty strong.
As coach Bobby Wallace said after Tuesday’s practice, ‘There’s still a lot of football to be played.” The fact that UNA is even mentioned with the possibility of making the playoffs this season is amazing because of the number of injuries the Lions have suffered and the number of freshmen they have played.
For now, the Lions are using the week off to get their legs back and let some injuries heal. The final home game is next Saturday against Tarleton that and that’s the only game this team needs to be concerned with now. The playoff stuff always works itself out. While the situation does not look good for UNA right now, things can change in a hurry.
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