Posted: Nov 17, 2019
SEGUIN, Texas -- Texas Lutheran's 2019 football season officially came to a close Sunday when the team did not receive an at-large bid to the NCAA Division III Football Championship.
TLU (8-2 overall) finished second in the American Southwest Conference with an 8-1 league record. Those eight wins in ASC play are a new TLU record. The second-place finish is TLU's best showing in the ASC.
TLU's signature win of 2019 was its 38-27 road victory over then-No. 6 Hardin-Simmons on Oct. 5.
Since Carl Gustafson took over as head coach, TLU has produced 6-4, 7-3 and 8-2 records in successive years. The Bulldogs finished third in the ASC in 2017, third in the ASC in 2018, and now second in the league in 2019.
TLU's two losses this year came to Hendrix College (Ark.), in TLU's first game of the year, and to No. 2/No. 1 Mary Hardin-Baylor in TLU's ninth game of the season.
The Bulldogs needed a lot of help Saturday from other teams around the nation to be considered for one of the five Pool C "at-large" bids.
Among the five teams that D3football.com projected last week as the five teams that would receive the Pool C bids, all five of those teams won their final games.
Plus No. 4-ranked University of Wisconsin at Whitewater lost its first game of the year and lost its conference's automatic bid. University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh knocked off the Warhawks and claimed the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference's automatic bid.
UW-Whitewater took one of the five Pool C bids. The other four at-large bids went to: Wesley (Del.), Redlands (Calif.), Wartburg (Iowa), and North Central (Ill.). Each of those five teams has just one loss.
Not one two-loss team received an at-large bid.
Susquehanna (Pa.), at 9-1 and ranked fourth in the last South Region rankings, was left out of the NCAA post-season.
TLU was eighth in the final South Region rankings, released last week before the final games of the regular season.
The Bulldogs advanced to the 2014 NCAA Division III playoffs as a Pool B selection. TLU played in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference that season and had a 9-1 regular-season record. The SCAC did not have an automatic bid to the NCAA post-season in 2014.
TLU defeated McMurry 57-14 on Saturday at Bulldog Stadium. The game was the final collegiate contest for 14 Bulldog seniors.