IUP’s four-game winning streak to end the regular season and a 9-2 record weren’t enough to propel the Crimson Hawks into the NCAA Division II football playoffs.
The 24-team playoff field, consisting of six teams in each of the four regions across the country, was announced Sunday evening. In Super Region One, Shepherd (10-0) earned the top seed, and PSAC champion Bloomsburg (10-1) nabbed the No. 2 seed as both earned first-round byes.
West Chester (10-1) earned the No. 3 seed and plays host to American International (9-2) in the opening round Saturday
PSAC West champion and No. 5 seed Slippery Rock (9-2) visits Winston-Salem State (9-1) in the other first-round game.
After starting the season 5-0, IUP lost back-to-back games to Slippery Rock and Edinboro and spent the last four weeks of the regular season trying to impress the playoff committee and prove the losses were a fluke.
IUP managed to end the season on a four-game winning streak, winning each game by at least 21 points, and the Crimson Hawks cracked the Super Region One rankings last week, appearing at No. 10.
Still, their strong finish wasn’t enough to jump into the top six teams and qualify for the playoffs for the second straight season.