ASU running back Luther Ewards looks for room to run earlier this season against Benedict. The rams are looking for room to advance in the Super Region poll, where they are stuck at No. 7.
ALBANY --- Uh oh.
With one week to go in the 2011 season, the Rams are still on the outside of the playoff picture looking in, according to Monday’s latest NCAA Super Region Two Poll.
For the second straight week, the Rams are ranked seventh — one away from the top six spots which get automatic bids into the NCAA Division II playoffs.
ASU was ranked No. 6 just two weeks ago, but West Alabama’s upset of North Alabama on Oct. 27 moved West Alabama into the Top 6 and kicked the Rams out.
For the past few weeks, ASU coach Mike White has consistently said if his team just continues to win games, the Rams will find themselves in the playoffs.
If the Rams (8-2) win Saturday’s SIAC Championship game against Miles, they may be able to jump either No. 5 North Alabama (7-2) or No. 6 Valdosta State (6-3), who play each other Saturday.
The only movement in the Top 6 was North Greenville (8-2) moving from No. 4 to No. 3 and West Alabama (7-3) moving from No. 3 to No. 4. West Alabama dropped just one spot because of Saturday’s 36-34 loss to No. 1 Delta State (9-1). Mars Hill (7-2) remained at No. 2.
g RAMS RISING IN D-II POLL: Albany State moved up five spots to No. 16 in the latest AFCA Division II Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, which was released Monday.
It’s the highest ranking for the Rams in over a month. They were in the Top 13 for the first five weeks of the season until an Oct. 8 loss to Lane dropped ASU out of the Top 25.
The Rams have slowly been moving back up the national rankings since the shocking defeat. ASU’s highest ranking this season was No. 6 when the Rams were 2-0 after wins against Savannah State and Wingate, but the Rams then fell outside of the Top 10 with a loss to Valdosta State in the third game of the season.
RAMS SELECTED TO HBCU BOWL: The HBCU All-Star Bowl announced the 2011 East and West rosters on Monday, and three Rams will suit up for the West team in the third annual game on Dec. 18 in the Georgia Dome.
Representing ASU will be quarterback Stanley Jennings, defensive back Rashad McRae and safety Jamarkus Gaskins.
The bowl features the top senior players from the CIAA, SIAC, MEAC and SWAC. There will be 21 SIAC players in the game, while the MEAC had the most representatives with 40.
Players will spend a week in Atlanta going through NFL-like combine testing and practice. Scouts from every NFL team and several from Canada attended last year’s combine. In 2010, three players from the HBCU All-Star Bowl were drafted, and 32 signed free agent agreements with NFL teams.
BACK TO THE SIDELINES: Rams offensive coordinator Uyl Joyner was an emotional, vocal leader when he was quarterback at ASU a decade ago.
Not much has changed for Joyner, who is in his first year as offensive coordinator of the Rams.
Like he has done several times this season, he bolted from the press box to the sidelines when his offense faltered early in Saturday’s game against Fort Valley State, which the Rams won, 38-29.
And like the other games this season where he has made a similar move, his offense responded.
“I just know I have to come down because I’m about to go crazy up in that box,” Joyner said. “I have to come down and try to fire those guys up.”
The Rams had just 23 total yards and no points in the first quarter but came alive with Joyner on the sidelines, finishing with 454 yards and 38 points.
“It brings a little life to us,” ASU quarterback Jennings said about his coach coming to the sidelines. “He is that type of coach, and he was that type of player that gets everybody fired up.”
SOUTHWEST GEORGIA PREP STARS SUIT UP FOR FORT VALLEY: Three former Southwest Georgia high school football players were wearing the Blue and Gold of Fort Valley State on Saturday.
Sophomore Micah Baisden from Dougherty, freshman Sedric Rowe from Westover and freshman Joel Claiborne from Americus-Sumter play for the Wildcats.
Baisden, a 5-foot-8 fullback, is the only one of the three who has seen playing time this season. Rowe is a 6-foot defensive back, and Claiborne is a 5-9, 270-pound offensive lineman.
None of the three played in Saturday’s game.