Willamette is Left Out of NCAA Football Playoff Selections

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

SALEM, ORE. -- The Willamette University football team is not among the 32 teams selected for the 2009 NCAA Division III Playoffs. Twenty-three of the teams chosen for the playoffs received automatic bids by winning conference titles. Three bids went to independents or teams from conferences without an automatic berth. Just six of the teams selected received at-large bids.

Willamette finished the season with an 8-2 record, including 5-1 (2nd place) in the Northwest Conference. The Bearcats lost at Concordia College-Moorhead (Minn.) in the season opener, 24-17, and fell to undefeated Linfield College, 30-27, on Oct. 24.

Linfield, 9-0 overall, won the NWC with a 6-0 record and received the conference's automatic playoff berth. The Wildcats will host California Lutheran University, 9-1, in a first round playoff game on Nov. 21.

Willamette gave California Lutheran its only loss of the regular season, 20-13, at McCulloch Stadium on Sept. 12. CLU won the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) championship.

Despite not being selected for the NCAA Playoffs, the Bearcats scored 382 points for the second highest scoring regular season in school history, trailing only last year's 423 points. The 2008 team went 11-1 for the season, including two NCAA Playoff games, and scored 498 points overall.

Prior to 2008, the highest scoring regular season occurred in 1997, when Willamette scored 376 points before entering the NAIA Division II Playoffs. The 1997 team went 13-1 overall and reached the national championship game.

In addition to scoring 38.2 points per game, the Bearcats gained 402.8 total yards per game this season. WU held opponents to just 15.9 points and 279.2 total yards per game.

Over the past two seasons, Willamette has achieved a combined record of 19-3 (.864). The Bearcats have won eight or more games in a single season eight times in school history.

Willamette Football Teams with Eight or more Wins:
1934 (8-1)
1958 (8-1)
1960 (8-0)
1968 (9-1)
1996 (9-2)
1997 (13-1)
2008 (11-1)
2009 (8-2)

Willamette scored 382 points this year. In WU history, only the 2008 team (423 pts.) scored more in regular season play.

Willamette scored 382 points this year. In WU history, only the 2008 team (423 pts.) scored more in regular season play.