So I love my Wildcat footballers as much as any other student here at Linfield, but did you know there’s a chance that Linfield may not get a bid for the Northwest Conference Championships?
And who would be the threat to Linfield’s winning tradition? The answer is 45 minutes away in a little town called Forest Grove. If Pacific University somehow pulls off a win over Linfield during their last game of the season on Nov. 16, it would cause a three-way tie between Pacific University, Pacific Lutheran University and Linfield College.
Now, having a three way tie between these teams doesn’t seem so bad, but Pacific’s season does seem to have a potential effect on our football team’s chances of advancing to the Division III playoffs.
According to NCAA Division III rules, each conference has their own set of rules in the event of a three-way tie for first place. In terms of who advances to the Division III playoffs, it turns out Pacific has a good chance of getting the qualifying bid if a three way tie were to happen.
So far, the Boxers are 4-1 in the Northwest Conference. Their one loss was against Pacific Lutheran where they lost by one field goal in the last minutes of the game.
So should the Wildcats be concerned? My Wildcat pride says “of course not” but we need to look at the facts.
Their win over Lewis and Clark College Nov. 1 gave the Boxers seven wins for the first time since 1972. This also gives the Boxers three conference wins for the first time since 1988.
In addition, one of Pacific’s quarterbacks, senior T.C. Campbell, has the potential to give the Wildcats a tough time in their final game of the season. Campbell was featured in an addition of Call My Play, a San Francisco based company that specializes in providing professional play-by-play commentary to highlight athletic achievements, in a section entitled “Pacific Play of the Week.”
Campbell was highlighted after he turned a 10-yard loss into an 11-yard gain, and then scrambled again to find wide receiver, Jakob Lawrence in the back of the end zone for a touchdown in the Boxers’ 21-6 win over Chicago on Oct. 26.
It seems that the Pacific football team has put themselves in the most ideal position to threaten the Wildcats’ expected NWC play off. However, we haven’t lost a game to the Boxer’s in decades. And we do have the 58 season winning momentum behind us. Let’s face it. It’s the norm for Linfield to get into the play-offs. The Wildcats have earned eight trips to the NCAA Division III Playoffs in the last twelve seasons – advancing to the quarterfinals three times.
Our Wildcats have even made it to the semifinals once and won the NCAA Division III National Championship in 2004.
It’s interesting that Pacific University actually has a chance to challenge Linfield’s winning streak norm but let’s face it, our Wildcats aren’t going to let any team in the NWC get in their way from taking their 59th straight winning season.
Camille Weber/Sports columnist