The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

EIU Football not chosen for playoffs

Despite an 8-3 record over Division I teams, the Panthers were not selected by FCS committee
Junior+linebacker+Elijawah+Tolbert+%281%29%2C+looks+around+the+field+after+the+last+play+of+the+game+at+Lantz+Arena+Saturday+afternoon%2C+Oct+7%2C+2023%2C+on+Eastern+Illinois+University+Campus+in+Charleston%2C+Ill
TYRIQ JOHNSON
Junior linebacker Elijawah Tolbert (1), looks around the field after the last play of the game at Lantz Arena Saturday afternoon, Oct 7, 2023, on Eastern Illinois University Campus in Charleston, Ill

Eastern’s football team was just short of extending their season in the Football Championship Subdivison (FCS) playoffs.

Eastern was the first of the four teams out, meaning the Panthers were the first team not chosen by the FCS committee.

“While we are disappointed that we were not selected I am very proud of our players and coaches,” Panthers’ Head Coach Chris Wilkerson said. “We had one of the best regular season turnarounds in FCS football this fall.”

Eastern and the University of Tennessee-Martin were the only two teams that did not make the FCS playoffs with eight Division I wins.

Since the FCS bracket expanded to 24 teams in 2013, six teams that have won at least eight Division I games and did not make the playoffs:

– 2023 – Eastern Illinois (8-3) … all D1 schedule

– 2023 – UT Martin (8-3) … all D1 schedule

– 2022 – Florida A&M (9-2) … had one win over a non-D1, so were 8-2 vs D1

– 2018 – Monmouth (8-3) … all D1 schedule

– 2017 – McNeese (9-2) … had one win over a non-D1 … so were 8-2 vs D1

– 2017 – Austin Peay (8-4) … had three losses to FBS schools … were 8-1 vs D1 but one was a win over Morehead

The Panthers finished their season with an 8-3 overall record. The three teams the Panthers lost to were Bowling Green (week two), UT-Martin (week six), and Southeast Missouri (week seven).

Eastern ended their regular season on a four-game winning streak.

“We will start our preparation for next fall with our heads held high and a chip on our shoulder,” Wilkerson said. “Brick by brick we will continue to restore our tradition rich program.

Zaria Flippin can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].

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Zaria Flippin
Zaria Flippin, Sports Editor
Zaria Flippin is a junior sports media relations major. This is her first year at The News.

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