Wartburg (8-2) will play at No. 14 Illinois Wesleyan (9-1) in the first round of the NCAA Division III Football Playoffs at noon Saturday.
The Knights received the Iowa Conference’s automatic bid while the Titans received an at-large bid after finishing as runners-up to No. 4 North Central (10-0) in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin.
The winner will play the winner of No. 6 Bethel (10-0) and St. Scholastica (9-1) in the second round next Saturday.
The teams have a common opponent in Carthage (1-9), who Wartburg beat 27-10 on Sept. 21 and Illinois Wesleyan beat 31-10 on Oct. 19.
Wartburg and Illinois Wesleyan have never met in football.
An Iowa Conference team has lost to a CCIW team in the first round of the playoffs each of the last three years, including Coe’s 27-24 loss to Elmhurst last year, Dubuque’s 59-13 defeat at the hands of North Central in 2011 and Coe’s 31-21 loss to Wheaton in 2010.
The Knights last made the playoffs in 2010, when they lost 28-20 to Bethel at home. This is Wartburg’s 10th appearance in the playoffs, where they have a 5-8 all-time record.
Look for a full preview of the tournament on The Circuit in the coming days.
Click on the bracket for a printable version.