We've gotten several emails asking us what teams have to do to make the playoffs. Here is what we have come up with. It is inexact, we know, but it should be pretty close to accurate.
The only teams that are locked in are Central Washington and Northwest Missouri. If Central Washington wins they will remain the top seed, but a CWU loss and NWMSU win would probably put the Bearcats atop the regional rankings. A loss by Northwest Missouri would put them anywhere from #2 to #4.
It does not appear that Washburn and Angelo State have a shot to crack the top 6 even if they win Saturday.
Now for the other teams in this week's regional rankings.
Tarleton State - Win and they are in, and should be no lower than the #3 seed, possibly #2. If the Texans lose, they need Central Missouri, Missouri Western and/or Texas A&M-Kingsville to lose.
Abilene Christian - Win and they are in anywhere from #2 (if NWMSU and Tarleton lose) to #4 (if both win). If Abilene Christian loses, they need two of the following - Missouri Western, Central Missouri, Texas A&M-Kingsville - to lose.
Missouri Western - Win and they are in anywhere from #3 (if Tarleton and Abilene Christian lose) to #5. If the Griffons lose, they need Central Missouri and Texas A&M-Kingsville to lose and they could slip into the #6 slot, but it would be close.
Central Missouri - Win and they too are in - as high as #4 (if Tarleton and Missouri Western lose) or as low as #6. A loss and they are likely out, as they lost to both Missouri Western and Washburn earlier this year.
Midwestern State - The final team to control their destiny with a win, the Mustangs could find themselves as high as #3 (if Tarleton loses) or as low as #6. Our calculations have Central Missouri, Missouri Western and Midwestern State very closely grouped. If they lose, the Mustangs would need Missouri Western, Central Missouri and Texas A&M-Kingsville to lose and it still might not be enough.
Texas A&M-Kingsville - The only team that needs a win and some help to get into the playoffs. If the Javelinas win it could vault them to #4 (if Tarleton, Missouri Western and Central Missouri all lose) - but it could also have them at #7 (if all three win). Basically, the Javelinas need a win and a loss by any of the three teams mentioned above to get in. A loss will almost certainly knock them out of the playoffs and maybe as far down as the #9 position.
Makes for an exciting final weekend doesn't it?