LIVINGSTON, Ala. - West Alabama earned the No. 1 seed in the final NCAA Division II Super Region Two poll, and by virtue, will enjoy an opening week bye in the 2017 NCAA Division II Football Championship Playoffs.
The Tigers (9-2) will host a second-round game against the winner of the Bowie State-Delta State game on Saturday, Nov. 25 at Tiger Stadium. No. 5 DSU (8-3) and No. 4 Bowie State (9-1) will play Saturday, Nov. 18 in Bowie, Maryland.
"I am so proud for our players and staff," UWA head coach Brett Gilliland said. "When we came back home four years ago there were some things we felt like were important to change the culture of the program.
"There are a lot of ways to win, but we wanted an atmosphere where we played for each other and not just for ourselves as individuals," Gilliland said. "That is hard for most players to buy into, but our coaches believed in it and the players kept buying in and connecting with one another. To see their bond has been remarkable."
West Alabama, champions of the Gulf South Conference, is one of four GSC teams to make the playoff field. West Florida and West Georgia join the Tigers and Delta State in the bracket.
"To have four GSC teams in a 28-team field speaks to the strength of our conference," Gilliland said. "We know how strong this league is, but to have four of the seven (in the region) from the same league is a little surprising."
In addition to Bowie State hosting Delta State, other first-round games include No. 7 West Georgia (8-3) at No. 2 Virginia State (9-0) and No. 6 West Florida (7-3) at No. 3 Wingate (9-1).
Kickoff for the second-round game at Tiger Stadium will be at noon central time.