Baker to play in NAIA football playoffs
For the first time since the 2008 season, the Baker University football team has earned a spot in the 2012 NAIA Football Championship Series.
The No. 11 seeded Wildcats will travel to Fort Wayne, Ind., to take sixth ranked University of St. Francis. The 8-2 Wildcats will face off against the 8-2 Cougars at noon, Saturday, Nov. 17, inside Bishop John D’Arcy Stadium.
With a four-game winning streak to finish regular-season competition, the University of Saint Francis is No. 6 in the final regular-season NAIA Football Coaches' Top 25, giving USF 166 consecutive Top 25 poll selections. That is the longest current streak in the NAIA.
This will be USF's 12th NAIA FCS qualification in the 15-year history of the program. USF has qualified for the NAIA FCS in 12 of the last 13 seasons and this is the Cougars' third-consecutive invitation.
USF was tri-champion of the Mid-States Football Association Mideast League, which has three teams in the NAIA Top 6. St. Xavier, tri-champion along with Marian and USF, will get the league's automatic berth in the NAIA FCS, because SXU is the highest ranked team of the three at No. 4. Marian is No. 5.
USF won its final regular-season game on Saturday, 44-7, at Lindenwood University-Belleville (Illinois). The Cougars are 2-2 against NAIA Top 25 teams this season.
Baker has also won four-straight and defeated Graceland, 40-7, last time out on Saturday afternoon on senior day.
This will also be the 12th appearance for Baker in the NAIA Football Playoff. The last time Baker appeared was Nov. 22, 2008. The Wildcats lost, 65-27, at Morningside.