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GLIAC deserved more than one team in NCAA football playoffs

By BRIAN LESTER

So let me get this straight. The Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference gets just one team into the postseason.

Ashland went undefeated and earned the No. 2 seed out of Super Region 4. The Eagles definitely deserved a bid and will be a legit contender for a title.

Six other teams had 7-3 records in the GLIAC, which was as balanced as ever this season as eight teams finished with winning records. Wayne State, the 2011 national runner-up, finished 5-5.

Saginaw Valley State, which played in the postseason last year, edged rival Grand Valley State 55-52 on Saturday and should have received a bid to the playoffs.

You could easily argue that the GLIAC deserved a third team in the playoffs. I’d put my money on Grand Valley State, Michigan Tech, Hillsdale over any non-GLIAC team in the playoffs any day of the week.

Heck, I bet Ohio Dominican, the University of Findlay and Ferris State would at least have a fighting chance to win a playoff game because of the competition those teams face each week.

From top to bottom, life in the GLIAC is tough. Teams are forced to beat each other up on Saturday afternoons, which means their records might not look as good as teams that play against weaker competition.

Four teams in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference had winning conference records. The two playoff teams out of the RMAC were unbeaten Colorado State-Pueblo and Chadron State.

Only four teams had winning records in the Lone Star State Conference as well. Midwestern State and West Texas A&M will represent that league in the playoffs.

And then we turn to the Great Lakes Valley Conference, the worst excuse for a football conference in the nation.

Four teams ended up with winning records in conference play. Indianapolis earned a playoff bid out of the league.

The GLVC should not have been eligible for a playoff berth. Indy only lost twice and isn’t a bad team, but we need to remember that when the Greyhounds were in the GLIAC, they were average at best.

If Indy had stayed in the GLIAC this season rather than join the GLVC, its season would have been over on Saturday.

I also know that because the GLIAC has a history of postseason success, and because it is, without a doubt, one of the toughest conferences in the country, it deserved to see more than one of its teams earn a trip to the playoffs.

Maybe it’s time the NCAA looks at adding two more playoff bids for each of the four regions. I understand there is always going to be a good team or two that gets left out no matter what, but by adding a couple of more berths, at least the GLIAC won’t have to deal with getting screwed over like it did this year.

Follow me on Twitter @BLester1993 or send me an email at brianlester@thecourier.com.