Defending national champion Northwest Missouri State (9-1) has been named the No. 3 seed in Super Region 4 and will host sixth-seeded Missouri Western (8-3) in the first round of the NCAA football playoffs set to begin Nov. 20. It will be a noon kickoff from Bearcat Stadium.
The winner will advance to take on second-seeded Texas A&M-Kingsville (10-1) in Kingsville, Texas, Nov. 27. Kingsville beat Northwest 16-7 in Maryville in the season opener for both teams back on Sept. 2.
The Lone Star and MIAA conferences both qualified three teams in the six-team regional bracket. The other first-round match pits fifth-seeded West Texas A&M (8-3) against fourth-seeded Central Missouri (9-2). The winner will travel to Abilene, Texas, to face top-seeded Abilene Christian (11-0).
Northwest has earned its 15th NCAA playoff appearance and its 13th in the last 15 years. The Bearcats have advanced to the national championship game in each of the last five seasons.
Northwest beat Missouri Western 42-0 in Maryville back on Oct. 2. It was the Bearcats’ first shut out of the Griffons in the series’ 30 meetings. Northwest has won the last seven meetings with Missouri Western and leads the all-time series 20-10. The teams have never met in the postseason.
With 29 wins in his previous 12 playoff appearances, Northwest head coach Mel Tjeerdsma is the winningest Division II coach in postseason history. He’s 11-1 in opening-round games and 17-3 at home.
Season ticket holders can purchase tickets and claim their season seats beginning at 8 a.m. Monday and lasting through 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. Any unclaimed seats will be released for sale to the general public beginning 8 a.m. Wednesday and lasting through 4:30 p.m. Friday.
Fans can purchase tickets in person at the Student Services Center in the Administration Building, by calling 660-562-1212 or by going online at www.nwmissouri.edu/tickets/playoffs.htm (season ticket holders) or at www.northwestbearcats.com (general public). Ticket prices are $15 reserved seating for all ages and $10 for standing room only.