YOUNGSTOWN - The Youngstown State University Penguins needed a win to get in to the FCS Playoffs, and some help to go along with it.
The Penguins took care of the first part with a convincing 27-6 victory over Indiana State. Now the rest is in the hands of the committee and as more than one person reiterated after the game "The Man Upstairs."
"I'm happy (we won), but I'm going to do a lot of praying tonight," senior running back Jamaine Cook said. "I think The Man Upstairs has great things in store for us. I think we will be in tomorrow, hopefully."
Saturday's victory without a doubt was the most complete game the Penguins put together this season, which can only help their cause during today's selection. The world - and the Youngstown State Penguins - will know their playoff future at 1:30 p.m. today when the FCS Selection Show airs on ESPNU.
"It was an impressive win if you ask me, 27-6," senior captain Aronde Stanton said. "So, hopefully it's enough. We will watch it (today) and hopefully we get in."
The selection process begins in Indianapolis, where a group of 11 athletic directors - including YSU's Ron Strollo - debate the merits of the teams that would receive automatic bids. The field is 20 teams, and 10 of those spots go to the 10 conference winners. When YSU is discussed, Strollo is not allowed in the room.
The committee takes into consideration wins (and who those wins come against), ratings, rankings and polls, and also have the different athletic directors weigh in on the teams that are being discussed.
YSU coach Eric Wolford made his case again after Saturday's win, citing YSU's schedule, opponents and that they do now have a 7-4 record, including wins over Pitt, Albany and now Indiana State. Also, all of the Penguins' victories have come over Division I opponents.
"I'm confident with our strength of schedule, we've played seven top 25 teams at our level of football, obviously beat a BCS team," Wolford said. "Hopefully that will be enough for the committee to take a look at us and we will keep our fingers crossed."
Receiving the automatic bid from the Missouri Valley Football Conference will be North Dakota State (10-1) and the Bison will likely pick up the top seed in the playoffs. It's also figured that South Dakota State (8-3) and Illinois State (8-3) will be in. Then sits YSU at 7-4 - and all the Penguins can do is sit and wait.
"It kind of bothers me because we know there were a few games we left out there, or we wouldn't be in this situation," Stanton said. "But it is what it is, and we put ourselves in this situation. Hopefully, the Good Lord will take care of us."