Just like each of the last three seasons, Tarleton State entered its season finale in control of its own playoff destiny on Saturday.
And, just like in the last three finales, the Texans came up short against West Texas A&M, the only school Tarleton has not defeated in head coach Sam McElroy’s four seasons at the helm. McElroy is 30-12 during that span.
The Texans were No. 6 in the NCAA Division II’s Super Region Four entering Saturday’s 51-0 blowout loss in Canyon, but was replaced by Nebraska-Omaha. If the Texans would have won on Saturday - and possibly if they had lost in a closer game - they would likely be making plans for an opening-round playoff game at Pittsburg State in Kansas.
Abilene Christian is the No. 1 team in the region, followed by Northwest Missourie at No. 2. They each have first round byes. ACU hosts the winner of No. 4 WTAMU and No. 5 Central Washington in the second round, while NWMSU hosts either No. 3 Pittsburg State or Neb-Omaha. The opening round contests will all be played on Saturday.