This weekend, the Bulldogs will be hosting a playoff game on Top Taggart Field for the second consecutive year after an undefeated regular season.
While this is great news for Ferris football fans and a testament to the incredible 2015 season thus far, it is also a slap in the face.
Head Coach Tony Annese and the rest of the FSU football squad are deserving of a week off after another lossless season. Last year the Dawgs earned a first-round bye week before hosting a game in the NCAA Div. 2 Playoffs, and it seems glaringly obvious that they should have been awarded that same luxury again this season.
The Bulldogs were named the No. 2 seed in their region. Joining the Dawgs in that same region are familiar GLIAC foes Ashland and Grand Valley State, who are seeded at No. 3 and No. 6 respectively.
The lone team ranked ahead of the Bulldogs is Midwestern State (Texas), who will benefit from a first-round bye. This decision is a blatant screw job by the brains behind this bracket.
According to D2football.com, Midwestern St. is ranked No. 11 in the nation, yet somehow claimed the top seed in a GLIAC-heavy region despite trailing in the same poll to Ferris State, Ashland, Colorado State-Pueblo and Ferris’ first-round opponent Texas A&M-Commerce.
How did the Mustangs of Midwestern St. earn such a prestigious seeding and a weeklong siesta despite being ranked behind four of the teams in their own region?
Seemingly the only distinction between the teams was many of them—including Ferris State—only played 10 games this season, but Midwestern St. played a full schedule of 11.
However, the kicker is, the Mustangs actually lost that lone additional game to Texas A&M-Commerce back in October.
It seems that the Bulldogs bye week to start the season this year is coming back to bite them, as it would’ve presumably been a victory. McKendree (Illinois), who the Bulldogs dominated in a 75-14 contest to start their undefeated 2014 campaign, was also scheduled to play the Bulldogs in Big Rapids to start this season.
Yet the Bearcats of McKendree opted out of a rematch in 2015, deciding that another potential walloping blemish so early in the year may be detrimental to the rest of their season.
Perhaps had the Bulldogs played their season home-opener against McKendree as scheduled and won the game handily, they would’ve been listed as the top seed in the region and received a first-round bye week in the playoffs to rest up for their next opponent.
Of course, the past is unchangeable, and Ferris must play with the hand that they were dealt which is admittedly not a bad hand to move forward with. They still get to host a team traveling from halfway across the country in the playoffs.
The stage is set for the Bulldogs to make a run into the postseason.
Now we as fans just need to show up to cheer them on.