ST. LOUIS, Mo. – The Pioneer Football League (PFL) announced Tuesday that Butler has won the league’s final ranking tiebreaker and will receive the league’s automatic qualifier to the NCAA Division I Football Championship. As a result, Marist’s season has come to an end.
“I wish Butler the best of luck in the NCAA Tournament,” Marist Director of Athletics Tim Murray said. “I’m saddened and disappointed for our players and coaches because we had an outstanding year. The last thing I’d want is for this outcome to tarnish the great season we had.”
Both Butler and Marist finished the PFL season with 7-1 records to earn regular season co-championships. The Bulldogs and Red Foxes did not face each other in the regular season, and with the teams having the same record against common opponents, the tie remained until the final rankings tiebreaker. This required use of the seven rankings/ratings used in the College Sporting News’ Gridiron Power Index (GPI) in addition to the NCAA’s Simple Rating System (SRS), if the latter was released publicly prior to selection weekend.
Butler finished ahead of Marist in five of the seven GPI components. As a result, the SRS – which is not publically available at this time – is not be a determining factor.
The PFL has released a statement concerning its recent revision in the league’s tiebreaker policy:
“Ideally a tie among two worthy teams would be broken by on-field results, either head-to-head competition or, in a next best scenario, differing results against common opponents. In the case of the tie between Butler and Marist, this was not possible. The league instead needed to rely on one or more rating systems or a coin flip. Debate of the options resulted in the PFL athletics directors voting unanimously to use a combination of eight published rating systems collectively rather than any single rating system, including the NCAA SRS which was unavailable for scrutiny during the season and will not be shared publicly until after the championship bracket is released on Sunday, Nov. 24.”
Marist’s season ends at 8-3 overall. The Red Foxes had their highest win total in their 36 years as a varsity program, and had their highest league win total in five years of PFL play after being picked in this year’s preseason poll to finish sixth. The Red Foxes won eight of their final nine games, and set a school record by scoring 378 points.
“Congratulations to Butler for representing the Pioneer Football League in the FCS championship,” Marist head coach Jim Parady said. “I’m disappointed about the results of the rankings. I would have liked the opportunity to put this team in the FCS championship to see what we could’ve accomplished. This was a historic season for Marist football with a varsity record eight wins and winning the league’s co-championship.”
Senior quarterback Chuckie Looney (Ocala, Fla.) ends his career as the program’s single-season and career record holder in completions, attempts, passing yards and passing touchdowns. Fifth-year senior defensive end Terrence Fede (Nyack, N.Y.) concludes his career as the program’s single-season and career record holder in sacks.