Cardinals ranked in AFCA top 25 for the first time since 2013

SVSU was ranked 25th in the American Football Coaches Association Division II Coaches’ Poll.

This is the first time the Cardinals have been ranked in the top 25 since December of 2013.

Eric Brookhouse, the director of athletic communications, said there’s a lot that goes into consideration when ranking the teams.

“Factors such as record, strength of schedule and sometimes point differentials are items that go into the rankings,” he said. “The AFCA rankings serve as the official rankings for Division II, and that is a good indicator since the ranking committee is made-up of Division II coaches who are AFCA members.”

This is only an early ranking, and there is more to work toward throughout the season.

“Most coaches will tell you that early rankings don’t matter a ton, but if you are ranked and ranked highly at the end of the season it means you are having a great year,” Brookhouse said. “What is most important is advancing for the NCAA Division II Playoffs and making a run, which is what everybody shoots for.”

Brookhouse said it is difficult to qualify for postseason football.

“The NCAA postseason is very difficult to qualify for, and there is very little room for error throughout the season if you want to be playing postseason football,” he said. “It’s very rare that you see teams with more than two losses playing in the postseason.”

Head coach Ryan Brady said it’s cool for the students who have been in the program a few years to be ranked because they haven’t been previously but said he believes the focus shouldn’t be on the ranking.

“I told them we haven’t done anything yet,” he said last week. “We’re 3-0 and our focus has got to be on ourselves and being at the best we can be every day and if we continue to have that focus, then, we can continue to do some really good things.”

The Cards lost Saturday to Wayne State, bringing the record to 3-1. Brady said the team was ranked at 25 because of last year’s season and the current one.

“We were kind of just on the outside looking in coming into this year, and then obviously getting up to a 3-0 start,” he said. “Compile that with what they’ve done the previous year. It’s put us in a position where we’ve cracked the top 25.”

SVSU will benefit from receiving the ranking by gaining more recognition throughout the nation.

“It’s neat for Saginaw Valley to be starting to gain national recognition,” Brady said. “Right now, we’ve got a lot of energy and excitement going on in our program, and this just adds to that.”

According to Brady, while this is good for SVSU, the football team still needs to continue working hard.

“It’s good for recruiting, and it’s good for everybody. For us, though, our focus has got to be on getting ready to beat Wayne State. So, we’re just going about our business and trying to focus on what we can control, and that’s coming out and trying to win the day.”

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