Western clinches playoff berth

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The Western Courier playoff coverage begins this Saturday. Follow our main accounts, @WesternCourier and @WCourierSports for coverage, and editors @CodyRivera33 and @NickStewartWIU for live #GameDay updates.

Nicholas Stewart, Editor-in-chief

 

INDIANAPOLIS – On Sunday Nov. 22, the NCAA Division I Football Championship Committee selected the field of 24 teams that will play in the 2015 playoffs.

For the first time since 2010, Western Illinois clinched a spot in the bracket, even with a 6-5 record. The Leathernecks secured their sixth win with an upset over No. 5 South Dakota State making the team eligible for the playoffs. Western is the only 6-5 team part of the bracket.

According to Mark Wilson, Director of Athletics at Tennessee Tech and NCAA FCS Committee Chair, Western deserved a spot due to its schedule and recorded wins.

“Western Illinois had a great season, even though they only won six games,” Wilson said. “It’s a tough, tough conference and we looked at the strength of their schedule and we felt that they earned the right to be in the playoffs.”

Western’s notable wins included two major upsets – last Saturday’s win over No. 5 SDSU and at No. 12 UNI back on Oct. 17. Western also took down No. 25 Eastern Illinois in the season opener with a convincing 33-5 victory.

Western joins four other schools from the Missouri Valley Football Conference – Illinois State, North Dakota State, South Dakota State and University of Northern Iowa.    

Western’s playoff journey begins Saturday Nov. 28 at University of Dayton. Kickoff is set for 11 a.m. The winner of the Dayton vs. Western game will then take on the second-seed Illinois State in Round 2 on Dec. 5.

The full 2015 FCS Playoff Bracket can be seen below.

2015 NCAA Division I Football Selections Bracket