The Blitz: Regional rankings and FCS recruiting updates

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The early signing day is just around the corner, and commitments from recruits began rolling in during the last week. The final regional rankings were released with disappointing results for the Lone Star Conference and optimistic results for Hardin-Simmons.

Southland Conference

  • The next two weeks will decide the Southland Conference title, and there is zero chance it is decided before the end of the regular season. Northwestern State is currently the leader at 4-0 in conference play but play at Southeastern Louisiana this week before hosting UIW in Week 12. 

  • The Demons are the champions and will secure the automatic bid with two more wins. SLU will secure the conference title and automatic bid with two more wins. UIW needs NSU to win this weekend and then defeat the Demons in Week 12 for the conference title and automatic bid.

Southwestern Athletic Conference

Western Athletic Conference

  • Stephen F. Austin picked up a commitment from 2023 OL Jason Crowder. The Argyle native also held an offer from Charlotte.

  • The Lumberjacks also gained a commitment from 2023 DL Bryce Rushing. The Alexandria, La. product is listed at 6-foot-3, 270-pounds, and owns a 3.8-grade point average.

  • Hurst LD Bell LB Trey Wilson also committed to play for the ‘Jacks. 247 Sports has Wilson as a three-star recruit who held offers from UNLV, Jackson State, and Morgan State.

  • Abilene Christian received a commitment from 2023 DL Luke Gambs. The Wichita Falls Rider product also held offers from Central Arkansas and Harding.

  • The winner of the SFA at ACU contest on Nov. 12 will earn the WAC title. The Wildcats would secure the ASUN-WAC automatic bid with a win over SFA, while the Lumberjacks need to defeat Central Arkansas and ACU to possibly earn the automatic bid. I say possibility because of the convoluted process being used to determine the automatic bid.

Lone Star Conference

  • Angelo State has clinched its fourth LSC title and first outright conference title since 1984. The Rams have plenty to play for this weekend against Midwestern State and will secure the top seed in Super Region Four and home-field advantage with a victory. The Rams are the only LSC likely to enter the Division II playoffs this year.

American Southwest Conference

  • Mary Hardin-Baylor secured the ASC title and an automatic bid to the Division III playoffs with its win over Howard Payne last week. 

  • The Cru received the No. 3 spot in the regional rankings released on Wednesday afternoon. Hardin-Simmons is fifth in the rankings and is in a solid position to earn an at-large bid to the playoffs. The Cowboys are the first team in Region 3 that would not receive an automatic berth. For reference, HSU was the third at-large eligible team in Region 3 last year, so being the first available team bodes well for a playoff berth.

Southern Athletic Association

  • Trinity won its second consecutive SAA title with the Tigers win over Millsaps last week. The Tigers receive the SAA’s automatic bid to the playoffs and are likely to meet a team from the ASC in the opening round.

  • At No. 1 in the Region 3 rankings are the Tigers. Trinity has won 18 of its last 19 games and is on pace to host at least one round of the playoffs. 

Sooner Athletic Conference

  • Texas Wesleyan can clinch a share of its first SAC title with a win over Lyon (Ark.) on Saturday. The Rams are currently locked into a three-way tie with Arizona Christian and Ottawa (Ariz.). The Rams will win the conference title outright with a win and a loss by OUAZ. However, a loss by Arizona Christian would give OUAZ the SAC title due to its win over Texas Wesleyan in Week 4.

  • SAGU will be making its fourth appearance in the NCCAA Victory Bowl when they host Olivet Nazarene at 6 p.m. on Nov. 18. The Lions own two wins in the Victory Bowl and are seeking consecutive victories for the first time in program history. The Victory Bowl is a championship game between schools that sponsor football and are members of the National Christian College Athletic Association, and did not qualify for NCAA or NAIA football. 

Southwestern Junior College Football Conference

  • Amazingly, every team in the SWJCFC semifinals is ranked in the top 10 of the NJCAA rankings this week. No. 3 Trinity Valley is set to host No. 15 Kilgore in one semifinal, with No. 8 New Mexico Military hosting No. 9 Navarro.

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