Next three games vital as Cardinals battle for playoff spot

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The 6-2 SVSU football team is on the outside looking in of the NCAA Division II playoff picture.

The Cardinals learned where they stood Monday, Oct. 22, when NCAA officials released the regional rankings for the annual Division II tournament for the first time this season.

SVSU (3-2 GLIAC) is ranked 10th in Super Region Three, which consists of the GLIAC and three other conferences. GLIAC rivals Ferris State (8-0 overall, 6-0 GLIAC) and Grand Valley State (7-1, 4-1) are ranked first and third, respectively.

The top seven teams in each region make the tournament, in which SVSU has not appeared since 2013.

After falling to Ferris State 28-14 last Saturday in a competitive matchup at home, the Cardinals have the chance to climb the ranks as they take on Grand Valley this Saturday, Oct. 27, at home for the annual Battle of the Valleys rivalry game. Given GVSU’s position in the rankings, a Cardinal victory on Saturday could be enough to spring them into the top seven.

The Cardinals would then also have to maintain their regional ranking by outlasting both teams they face in November matchups – Northwood (2-4, 2-6) and Davenport (3-2, 6-2).

SVSU’s region also consists of the Great American Conference (GAC), the Mid America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA), and the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC). SVSU’s last playoff appearance resulted in a first-round 40-7 loss at Grand Valley.