For the 20th time in school history the University of North Alabama football team will have a chance to compete for the NCAA Division II Football National Championship as the Lions received a bid to host Newberry in the first round of the 2015 Division II Playoffs.
UNA will host the Wolves at noon on Saturday, November 21 at Braly Municipal Stadium.
"It's good to be playing someone different," said UNA Head Football Coach Bobby Wallace. "It's a little bit more like playoffs because you are playing someone you haven't played before. We sort of avoided being on the same side of the bracket with the other Gulf South Conference teams like we have had to face in the past. The down side is we have to work a little harder as coaches because we don't know a lot about Newberry. It will be a big challenge and very interesting to see how we do."
The selection makes UNA and Northwest Missouri State the only football programs in Division II history to have received 20 post-season bids.
UNA completed its regular season Saturday with a 52-14 win over West Alabama to push its record to 8-2 overall. Newberry brings a 7-4 record to Florence. UNA has an all-time 2-0 record against Newberry and defeated the Wolves 38-20 in a 2006 Division II Playoff game in Florence.
"We were not really surprised with how the brackets fell," Wallace said. "Newberry is who everyone assumed would be the seventh seed. We know they are a good football team. They beat Florida Tech the first game of the year."
North Alabama has advanced to the NCAA playoffs in 11 of the last 13 seasons, including the last three years. UNA has an all-time 31-16 record in the Division II Playoffs and those 31 wins are the second most by any program in Division II history. The Lions have a 23-7 home record in the playoffs.
West Georgia heads the list of other teams selected in Super Region 2 as the No. 1 seed. the Wolves receive a first round bye and will face the winner of battle between fourth seeded Valdosta State and fifth seeded Carson-Newman in the second round.
Catawba is the No. 3 seed and will host Tuskegee, with the winner of that game advancing to meet the winner of the UNA-Newberry contest.