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Are playoffs possible for YSU?



Published: Wed, November 7, 2012 @ 12:09 a.m.

photo

Youngstown State’s senior guard Lamar Mady (55) watches as teammate Jamaine Cook finishes off a run during Saturday’s win over South Dakota. Mady believes the Penguins have a good chance of making the playoff s if they finish 7-4.

YSU football needs to win out to have a chance

By Joe Scalzo

scalzo@vindy.com

Youngstown

Now that Youngstown State is coming off a W, the P word is back.

The Penguins need two wins to become playoff-eligible, and while there’s no guarantee that seven wins would be enough, they’d have a shot.

“That’s a question that I don’t know [the answer to],” YSU coach Eric Wolford said, when asked about his team’s postseason chances. “I know that we need to take care of business this week and that’s our only focus.

“I know media people like to talk about the past a lot and like to talk about the future. That’s why you guys get paid the big bucks. But I get concerned about Tuesday’s practice and I know that if we do what we’re capable of, we can be in control of our own destiny. I’ll leave it at that.”

This weekend, the Penguins (5-4, 2-4) travel to play a Western Illinois team that has lost four straight and has been outscored 82-3 over the past two weeks.

A win sets up a possible playoff-eliminator with Indiana State on Nov. 17 at Stambaugh Stadium. The Sycamores (7-3, 5-2 Missouri Valley) lost to Illinois State last week, snapping a five-game winning streak that included this season’s only win over North Dakota State. Indiana State, which has a bye this week, would almost certainly qualify with a victory over YSU.

If the Penguins won out, their season-opening win over Pitt could loom large with the playoff committee.

Since the FCS playoffs were expanded to 16 teams in 1986, 31 four-loss teams have made it to the postseason. In 2010, the first year with 20 playoff teams, three Missouri Valley teams advanced with 7-4 records.

When asked if he thought a 7-4 record would be enough, senior guard Lamar Mady said, “I think it is, but politics and statistics and all that kind of stuff come into play. We’ll just have to see. We really put ourselves in a bind having to depend on other stuff. We’ll do the best we can but I think 7-4 can get us in there.”

Considering the conference’s clout — the MVFC is dominating the Gridiron Power Index, a key playoff indicator — YSU could slip in as the league’s fourth playoff team, joining North Dakota State, South Dakota State and Illinois State. YSU lost to all three teams, all on the road.

The MVFC has only had four teams qualify for the playoffs once, in 2003, but the Colonial Athletic Association (which ranks sixth in the GPI) has had four or more in each of the last five years.

“We all know what’s at stake for us,” said senior DT Aronde Stanton. “We know if we end up losing this game, our season will be over next week.

“Last year we had a chance if we had been 7-4 to get in, a good chance, so we’re kind of holding our hats on that. But like I said, we got to take it week by week and focus on Western Illinois this week and when we get to next week, we’ll focus on that and see if it falls into place for us.”

Position change

Redshirt freshman QB Dante Nania tweeted that he will be moving to safety in the spring. (“Pretty excited,” he wrote.) That means freshman Nick Wargo (who is redshirting this season) will be the third QB next year. Nania (6-0, 205) played linebacker in high school and was a standout wrestler.


Comments

1YtownSports(216 comments)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

The answer is "no." Even if they win out, they would still finish behind Indiana State in the league standings. I don't think a 4-4 league record and a 5th place finish would be worthy of a playoff spot. They blew it in October.

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2busyman(239 comments)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

The only way for YSU to make the playoffs is to move to the Colonial Conference. It might be a better fit. Fans would not have to travel that far. I thinnk Ed M has the right ideal. Time to move up to the MAC and see if they can play there.

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3Nonsocialist(710 comments)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

7-4 = IN. If a any 7-4 is in, it should be the one that beat Pitt (who went to 3OT with #3 ND), ISUb, UNI, and Albany.

The question for me is, can they get to 7-4?

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4arod(259 comments)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

Do the fans really want to suffer the embarrassment if they go, I say NO and WOLF MUST GO!!!

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5bgreene(131 comments)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

Ed M. is right. Move to the MAC would be nice but I am not sure the MAC wants them at this point since the most recent additions have been outside the MAC's original geographic area. Kent and Akron would most likely nix the idea because of proximity but it would be nice to have the rivalries in-state. Something needs to happen to get YSU moving along the road of improvement.

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6mrblue(968 comments)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

Not a chance. Not quite good enough Couldn't win the big games.

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7hangonsloopy(6 comments)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

Since Wolf's arrival, except for notable wins over NDSU and Pitt, YSU has been unable to put together complete games or complete seasons. It's hard to believe that the team I saw manhandle Pitt is now struggling to make the playoffs.

As for the MAC, YSU is a natural fit and it makes perfect sense therefore it will never happen. Previous applications for admission have been met with approval by all members except Akron and Kent State.

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