Blugold Football Team Gets NCAA Playoff Berth

The 19th-ranked UW-Eau Claire football team is in the NCAA Division III Championships for just the second time in school history after snagging one of seven at-large bids in the brackets today.

Eau Claire ended the year on a three-game winning streak to finish 8-2, the team’s best record since 2002’s 8-2 season. This was just the second year under head coach Todd Glaser. His team went 5-2 in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) and will join WIAC champion UW-Whitewater as the two schools from the conference to make it.

The first round opponent will be 22nd-ranked St. Norbert College. The Green Knights went 10-0 and took the Midwest Conference for an automatic berth. The team is an offensive juggernaut, scoring less than 30 points just once this season. Eau Claire is 3-4 all-time versus the Green Knights with the last matchup occurring in 1980.

The only other time the Blugolds participated in the national playoffs was in 1998, when the team also went 8-2 in the regular season. The team went three rounds deep before losing to Rowan University (NJ) 22-19. The first round saw a 28-21 victory over Central College (IA) and the second round was a 10-7 nailbiter over St. John’s University (MN).

This year’s shot at the national championship, called the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl, will start on Saturday at noon in De Pere, Wis.