Bearcats Advance to #6 in Final Regular Season Top 25

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University's football team is 10-0 at the end of the regular season for the first time since 1997. The undefeated Bearcats have moved up four spots in this week's Top 25 and are now #6 in the poll of coaches, sports information directors and media representatives.

Willamette, which won the Northwest Conference championship with a 6-0 record, will host Occidental College in the first round of the NCAA Division III Playoffs at McCulloch Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 22. Game time is set for 12 p.m. (PST). Occidental, ranked #13 this week with a 9-0 overall record, won the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) title at 6-0.

This week's Top 25 started with Mount Union College (Ohio), 10-0, at #1 with 625 points and all 25 first place votes. North Central College (Ill.), 10-0, is ranked #2 with 587 points. Millsaps College (Miss.) holds the #3 position with 553 points.

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater (9-1), the defending NCAA Division III national champion, is ranked #4 after receiving 545 points in the poll. The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor is #5 with a 9-1 record and 495 points. Willamette follows at #6 with 481 points.

Rounding out the Top 10 are Wesley College (Del.) at #7, Hardin-Simmons University (Texas) at #8, the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point at #9 and Otterbein College (Ohio) at #10. Wesley is 8-1 with 472 points, Hardin-Simmons is 9-1 with 441 points, UW-Stevens Point owns a 9-1 record and received 426 points, and Otterbein is 9-1 and has 372 points in this week's poll.

Tommy Grove leads Willamette's defense with 88 total tackles.

Tommy Grove leads Willamette's defense with 88 total tackles.