Albany State also got into the 24-team field. The Golden Rams
(8-2) will open the playoffs at Catawba (10-1) next Saturday.
Valdosta State (9-1) will host the winner of that game on
Under rookie head coach David Dean, the Blazers are returning to
the playoffs after missing out last season for the first time in
Dean, the team's former offensive coordinator, inherited an
experienced team after Chris Hatcher left for Georgia Southern. The
Blazers didn't miss a beat, finishing second in the Gulf South
Conference behind Delta State -- the team that handed them their
Albany State coach Mike White expected a rebuilding season, but
his team proved him wrong by returning to the playoffs even though
its streak of five straight Southern Intercollegiate Athletic
Conference titles was snapped by a 40-28 loss to Tuskegee on
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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