Bulldogs Are Headed To The NCAA Football Championship

Bulldogs Are Headed To The  NCAA Football Championship

INDIANAPOLIS, IND. -- Butler will be heading to the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) Playoffs for the first time in school history.  The Pioneer Football League announced Tuesday (Nov. 19) that the Bulldogs won the league's final ranking tiebreaker and will receive the league's automatic qualifying bid to the upcoming NCAA Division I Football Championship.

"First and foremost you're excited for the team and the players and the staff to have one more opportunity to play together," said Butler head coach Jeff Voris.  "It's been such a great season and such a great group of guys, I'm just excited that they get to keep playing.

Butler will be making its second Division I postseason appearance, but its first in the NCAA Championship.  The Bulldogs represented the PFL at the 2009 Gridiron Classic, where they defeated Northeast Conference champ Central Connecticut State.  This year's PFL co-championship was Butler's second straight and third in five seasons.

"First I want to congratulate both Butler and Marist on their championships," said PFL commissioner Patty Viverito. "It speaks to the high quality of play in the league this season that we had to use all of our tiebreakers to determine our automatic qualifier. We look forward to Butler carrying the PFL flag into the Division I Football Championship for the first appearance by a league member."

Butler and Marist both finished the 2013 PFL campaign with 7-1 league records and the two teams did not face each other during the regular season.  The league proceeded through its tiebreaker formula with the tie unbroken until the final rankings tiebreaker, which required use of each of the seven rankings/ratings used in the College Sporting News' Gridiron Power Index as well as the NCAA's Simple Rating System (SRS), if released publicly prior to selection weekend.  Butler finished ahead of Marist in 5 of the 7 rating systems and therefore the SRS, which was not publicly available at the time of this release, was not a determining factor.  Butler is the first team to receive the PFL's automatic bid to the NCAA Championship.

"We're humbled for the opportunity and excited for this chance to participate in the national championship," added Voris.

The complete 24-team field for the 2013 Division I Football Championship will be announced at 11:30 a.m. EST, Sunday on ESPNU.