UW-Oshkosh earns at-large berth in DIII playoffs

UW-Oshkosh will face Washington University (St. Louis, MO.) on Nov. 19 at Titan Stadium in Oshkosh.
UW-Oshkosh will face Washington University (St. Louis, MO.) on Nov. 19 at Titan Stadium in Oshkosh.

Oshkosh, Wis. (UW-Oshkosh) — UW-Oshkosh will appear in the NCAA Division III Football Championship for the second consecutive year and third time overall following its selection to the 32-team tournament on Sunday (Nov. 13).

UW-Oshkosh, ranked fourth in the country by D3football.com, will host Washington University in St. Louis (Mo.) on Saturday (Nov. 19). Kickoff for the first meeting between the teams is set for noon at J. J. Keller Field at Titan Stadium.

A total of 25 teams earned automatic bids into the NCAA postseason field by winning conference championships. UW-Oshkosh, which finished second in the WIAC standings to UW-Whitewater, was one of seven teams among the 207 remaining eligible programs that received an at-large berth into the NCAA tournament.

UW-Oshkosh (9-1), which earned an at-large berth for the first time school history, will be making its third trip to the Division III Championship in the past five seasons.

The Titans secured the WIAC’s automatic bid in both 2012 and 2015. UW-Oshkosh reached the third round a year ago and advanced to the national semifinals in the program’s postseason debut in 2012.

Washington University (8-2) is the automatic qualifier from the Southern Athletic Association (SAA). The Bears tied Berry College (Ga.) atop the league standings with 7-1 records, but Washington University won the tiebreaker by virtue of its 34-10 victory over Berry College on Oct. 1.

The Bears are first-year members of the SAA after playing the previous 26 seasons in the University Athletic Association.

Washington University will also be making its third appearance in the NCAA postseason. The Bears, seeking their first national tournament win, suffered first-round defeats in both 1999 and 2013.

UW-Oshkosh is ranked eighth in the country with 12 points allowed per game while Washington University lists fifth nationally with 366.9 passing yards per contest.

Three WIAC teams will be competing in the same NCAA postseason for the first time. UW-Oshkosh will be joined by league champion and second-ranked UW-Whitewater (10-0) and 12th-ranked UW-Platteville (8-2), which finished third in the WIAC standings.

The winner between UW-Oshkosh and Washington University will play in the second round on Nov. 26 against the victor of a contest that features UW-Platteville visiting ninth-ranked Saint John’s University (Minn.) (9-1).

UW-Whitewater, which has won six of the last nine national titles, begins this year’s NCAA postseason at home against Lakeland University (7-3) on Saturday.

Games will also be held in the tournament on Dec. 3 and Dec. 10. The Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl, the NCAA Division III Championship game, will be played Dec. 16 in Salem, Va.

2016 NCAA Division III Football Championship Bracket