It’s time for football playoffs! The two lower divisions of college football begin their multi-week playoff tournament this weekend. At the Division II level, two Mitten-made teams in the Ferris State Bulldogs and the Grand Valley State Lakers are participating in this year’s 28-team knockout stage.
And wouldn’t you know it, they’re in the same region.
Super Region 4
1. Grand Valley
5. Colo. Mesa
4. Texas A&M-Commerce
6. Colo. Mines
3. SW Baptist
7. Midwestern St.
2. Ferris St.
— D2football (@D2Football) November 13, 2016
Now the Lakers finished off another undefeated regular season with a perfect 11-0 season and sit atop the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference after 11 weeks of play. They were one of five teams in the D2 top 25 to finish the regular season without a blemish on the schedule. And in doing so, they have earned themselves a bye into the second round, where they will await the winner of the match-up between the Mavericks of Colorado Mesa and the Lions of Texas A&M-Commerce. GVSU will be vying for their fifth national title and their first since 2006. Last year, they got to the national semifinals
Meanwhile, Ferris State is back in the dance for a third straight season with a 9-2 record overall after finishing the previous two years with identical 11-1 records. It’s easily the best segment of Ferris football ever, now they just need to get over the hump. The Bulldogs however are just 1-2 in the D2 playoffs over the last two seasons. They were one-and-done in 2014 against fellow conference foe Ohio Dominican. Then last year, they defeated the aforementioned Lions of Texas A&M-Commerce before falling to Grand Valley State in the second round. This year, Ferris’ quest begins Saturday at home against Midwestern State (8-2).
A pair of victories from Ferris and a win next weekend from Grand Valley would set up a rematch of an October 8 game between the Bulldogs and Lakers, resulting in a 35-23 victory out in Allendale.
For a complete look at the 28-team Division II football bracket, click here. All 12 games played this Saturday, November 19 will take place at noon local time. Joining Grand Valley on the couch this weekend awaiting their second-round opponent is a perennial power and long-time nemesis of GVSU, the Bearcats of Northwest Missouri State, who has a D2-best five national titles and are the defending champions.