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ASU NOTEBOOK: Rams drop to No. 7 in crucial Super Region poll

Photo by John Millikan

Photo by John Millikan

ALBANY -- Despite thumping Benedict in Saturday's Homecoming game and putting together their first three-game winning streak of the season, the Albany State Rams find themselves on the outside of the Division II playoff picture, according to the recent NCAA Super Region Two Poll.

The Rams dropped one spot to No. 7 in the weekly rankings, which is significant because the top six teams advance to the NCAA Division II playoffs.

Luckily for coach Mike White and ASU, the season isn't over yet.

"Everything will work itself out if we keep winning," White said. "I think I've been saying that every week. We just have to keep winning."

West Alabama upset North Alabama on Saturday, moving West Alabama from No. 7 to No. 3 and North Alabama from No. 2 to No. 4. It was that 31-26 win for West Alabama that inevitably kicked the Rams out of the Top 6.

Three straight wins against Morehouse, Clark Atlanta and Benedict have the Rams back on track after losing a stunner to Lane, but that loss to the sub.-500 Dragons -- along with a narrow loss to Valdosta State -- proved to be costly in the Super Region rankings.

"(Dropping to No. 7) didn't surprise me," White said. "After looking at it, that's the way it had to work out with the tough loss we had against Lane and the head-to-head record with Valdosta State."

If the Rams (7-2) win their regular-season finale Saturday against Fort Valley State, they will play Nov. 12 in the inaugural SIAC Championship game against Miles. A pair of wins in those games should vault the Rams back into the playoff picture, given the fact that several Top 6 teams play each other during the final two weeks of the season.

No. 1 Delta State plays No. 3 West Alabama on Saturday and No. 4 North Alabama plays No. 6 Valdosta State on Nov. 12, meaning that two Top 6 teams are guaranteed to lose.

Mars Hill moved from No. 4 to No. 2 after defeating Tusculum College, 47-37, while North Greenville held on to its No. 5 spot after defeating Catawba, 25-7.

RAMS UP TO NO. 21 IN DIVISION II POLL: ASU dropped out of the AFCA Division II Coaches' Top 25 Poll after losing to Lane on Oct. 8, but the Rams have since been moving back up in the rankings.

The Rams are ranked No. 21 in the most recent poll, one spot better than last week. The Rams are ranked higher than three teams that topped them in the crucial Super Region Two Poll.

Valdosta State dropped out of the Top 25 after being ranked No. 17 last week, Mars Hill is tied for 25th after being unranked last week and North Greenville remains unranked.

Delta State remains the top-ranked team, followed by Pittsburg St. (Kan.), Northwest Missouri St., Colorado St.-Pueblo and Midwestern St. (Texas).

FIVE RAMS HONORED BY SIAC: Though no Rams received SIAC Player of the Week awards, five were named honorable mentions for their performances in Saturday's game against Benedict.

Those named honorable mentions were quarterback Stanley Jennings, linebacker Demonte Queen, running back Nathan Hoyte, offensive lineman Hakeem Lassiter and kicker Brandon Hamilton.