Salukis’ playoff window closing, not shut

Salukis playoff window closing, not shut

By Tony McDaniel

Qualifying for the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs is a task with simple requirements: win your conference or seven Division I games.

SIU football sits at 5-3 on the season and fifth in the Missouri Valley Conference. With back-to-back losses to North Dakota State and Youngstown State, the Salukis are approaching crunch time to make themselves playoff eligible.

NDSU and Illinois State both sit atop the MVFC with 3-0 records. South Dakota State and Youngstown State are tied for third at 2-1. SIU is fifth with a 2-2 record in conference.

Advertisement

SIU is not mathematically eliminated from the MVFC championship race, but it is unlikely to win the standings at the end of the season. NDSU, Illinois State and potentially another one-loss team are likely to duke it out for the conference crown.

SIU’s most likely route into the playoffs is through an at-large bid.

SIU’s season opening 45-0 victory was against Taylor University, a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics team. It does not contribute to the seven-win qualification, which means the Salukis are 4-3, in the eyes of the FCS Selection Committee.

The Salukis must win three of their last four games to become playoff eligible, a task easier said than done.

The Salukis still have games against Illinois State, Indiana State and Northern Iowa. All three teams are ranked in the FCS top 25. SIU will also have to play at Missouri State, which received votes in last week’s FCS coaches’ poll.

While this is a difficult task, the Salukis have the luxury of holding their own fate.

SIU has been good at home and has not lost at Saluki Stadium this season. If the Salukis can extend their perfect home record against UNI and Indiana State, they will just need to win one of their away games.

Advertisement

Advertisement