Texas A&M Commerce (13-1) and West Florida (11-3) both won their semifinal games on Saturday to punch their ticket to the NCAA title game. Five-seed Texas A&M Commerce beat seven-seed Harding 31-17, and six-seed West Florida took down top seed Indiana University Pennsylvania.
Both teams have had interesting journeys this season. Texas A&M Commerce, led by fifth-year head coach Colby Carthel, has won their last nine games in a row and bring in a defense that has allowed 10 points or less six times already this year, and they have a high powered offense as well, with a quarterback that leads the country in both passing touchdowns and yards.
Amazingly, the West Florida program, led by head coach Pete Shinnick, is in just their second year of play. Shinnick was hired to help build the program from the ground up in 2014, the staff put together the team’s first recruiting class in 2015 and they went on to finish their first year of competition last year at 5-6. This season, they started off 5-3, and then rattled off six straight wins. Counting their regular season finale, and their four playoff games, Shinnick’s squad has knocked off five straight ranked teams to become the fastest Division II team in college football history to go from inception to national title game.
A win by either team would bring home the school’s first national football title.
The national title game will take place at 6pm EST in Kansas City at Children’s Mercy Park.