With one week remaining in the regular season, the Valdosta State Blazers appear to be safely in the playoffs.
The second-to-last region football rankings were released on Monday, and the Blazers remained No. 2 in the Super Region 2 rankings.
The top six teams from the four super regions make up the 24-team Division II playoffs. Since the Blazers (8-1 overall, 8-1 in Division II) are No. 2 with one game left, it’s unlikely that a loss in their final game against West Alabama would knock them outside of the top six.
Albany State remained No. 1 in the Super Region 2 rankings with a 12-7 win over Fort Valley State. The Golden Rams (10-0, 9-0) finished the regular season as the only unbeaten team in the region. They likely locked up the No. 1 seed, which means a first-round bye and homefield advantage throughout the regional playoffs.
VSU stayed at No. 2 with its 31-13 win over West Georgia. VSU will certainly lock up the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye with a win at West Alabama on Thursday. Even if the Blazers lose, there’s still a chance that they’ll remain at No. 2. VSU owns the head-to-head advantage over Wingate and North Alabama, the teams ranked right behind the Blazers. It would be hard for those teams to jump VSU, even if both of them win their final games and VSU loses.
Wingate (7-2, 7-2) moved up one spot to No. 3 after Catawba lost. North Alabama (8-2, 8-2) also moved up one spot to No. 4 after coming back from a 23-3 deficit to beat West Alabama 24-23.
Delta State (7-3, 7-2) was the weekend’s biggest winner. The Statesmen jumped from No. 8 to No. 5 after coming back from an 18-0 deficit to beat Ouachita Baptist 33-27.
Morehouse (8-2, 8-2) rounds out the top six. The Maroon Tigers finished the season with a 13-3 win over Lane.
If the rankings hold, Fort Valley State (8-2, 8-2) would be the first team out of the playoffs at No. 7. The Wildcats need help to get in. Their regular season is over, after losing to Albany State.
Catawba was the biggest loser of the weekend. The Indians fell from No. 3 to No. 8 after losing to Tusculum, 54-44.
Mars Hill (5-5, 5-4) is No. 9 and Henderson State (6-4, 6-3) is No. 10.
If the playoffs started today, Albany State and VSU would receive first-round byes. Morehouse would play at Wingate, with the winner advancing to face VSU in the second round. Delta State would visit UNA, with the winner traveling to Albany State in the second round.
Super Region 2 Rankings (11/8)
1. Albany State (10-0 overall, 9-0 Division II); season over
2. Valdosta State (8-1, 8-1); at West Alabama (Thursday)
3. Wingate (7-2, 7-2); at Newberry
4. North Alabama (8-2, 8-2); at Harding
5. Delta State (7-3, 7-2); at Lambuth
6. Morehouse (8-2, 8-2); season over
7. Fort Valley State (8-2, 7-2); season over
8. Catawba (6-3, 6-3) at Lenoir-Rhyne
9. Mars Hill (5-5, 5-4); vs. Brevard
10. Henderson State (6-4, 6-3); vs. West Georgia