Warhawks No. 2 seed entering playoffs
Whitewater (10-0) hosts Heartland Conference champion Franklin (Ind.) in a first-round game at noon Saturday. The winner plays DePauw University (Ind.) or Trine University (10-0) winner on Saturday, Nov. 27.
The Warhawks would play home games until a potential showdown in the fourth round with North Central (Ill.), which got a No. 1 seed and is placed across the bracket from five-time Stagg Bowl opponent Mount Union, the other No. 1 seed.
Whitewater coach Lance Leipold was judicious in his reaction to the top-ranked Warhawks not being a No. 1 seed.
“I have to choose my words wisely,” Leipold said. “Otherwise, I will get reprimanded.’’
Leipold admitted he didn’t see it coming.
“The only explanation I get is it’s the criteria and the formula the (NCAA playoff) committee uses.” said Leipold.
Leipold said he thinks Whitewater’s nonconference schedule was a factor.
“An inability to schedule NAIA teams in nonconference games comes back to hurt us in this situation,” Leipold said.
Leipold said there is nothing Whitewater can do except get ready to play.
“We have to play the hand we’ve been dealt,” Leipold said. “Nobody is going to feel sorry for us.’’
Whitewater has reached
the national championship game—Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl—the last five years and captured titles in 2007 and 2009.
The Warhawks are making their sixth consecutive appearance in the NCAA III playoffs. UW-W has won six straight WIAC titles, rolling up a 25-game winning streak overall. That is the longest win streak in any division of the NCAA—one ahead of Boise State’s string of 24 straight.
The Warhawks also have won 20 consecutive games in Perkins Stadium and 12 straight outside the WIAC. Whitewater’s last loss was at the 2008 Stagg Bowl to Mount Union College.