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Chargers football up in the national poll, but down in the regional rankings


From the Hillsdale College athletics Web site

In the fluid world of Division II football rankings, the Hillsdale College football team moved both up and down in a pair of polls released Monday afternoon.

The Chargers are now ranked 20th in the nation, according to the latest AFCA Division II Top 25 poll. It is the team’s highest ranking of the season, and represents a move up of two spots from last week.

But, more importantly for playoff prospects, the Chargers dropped from third to sixth in the latest Super Region 3 rankings, also released Monday afternoon. The top six teams in each of the four regions around the country all qualify for the Division II playoffs.

A main reason Hillsdale dropped in the regional rankings was Ferris State’s 1-9 overall record after Saturday’s 59-14 win by the Chargers. Strength of schedule is mainly determined by an opponents’ won-loss record, and a team with a poor record will drag down another team’s regional ranking.

Minnesota State-Mankato sits atop the Super Region 3 rankings with a 10-0 record. Minnesota-Duluth, the defending Division II national champions is second, followed by No. 3 Grand Valley State, No. 4 Nebraska-Kearney and No. 5 Saginaw Valley State.

If the playoffs were to start today, that means the Chargers would play at Grand Valley State in the first round of the playoffs. The top two seeds in each region get first-round byes, with the 3-6 and 4-5 teams playing one another on Nov. 14.

Regional rankings are determined by a mathematical formula that takes into consideration factors like won-loss record, strength of schedule, opponents’ strength of schedule, and record vs. teams above .500.

Hillsdale is 8-2 on the season and is on a four-game winning streak. The Chargers host Tiffin University at 1 p.m. Saturday in the regular season finale.

If Hillsdale wins, its strength of schedule likely wouldn’t be helped much, because of the Dragons’ current 0-10 record. Saginaw Valley State plays 1-9 Ferris State this week, while Grand Valley State hosts 6-4 Wayne State, giving the Lakers the edge among the three GLIAC playoff contenders when it comes to opponents’ strength of schedule rating for this weekend’s games.

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About rjwalters

I am what you think I am — a journalist. Actually when I was hired at my current job, which by the way is Sports Editor of the Hillsdale Daily News in Hillsdale, Mich., I applied for a position titled "Wordsmith", so at my best I'll call myself a writer attempting to be a wordsmith extraordinaire.

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