The two times Towson has advanced to the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision playoffs, the teams in 2011 and 2013 each had no more than two regular-season losses. The 2012 squad, however, was left out of the tournament despite capturing a share of the Colonial Athletic Association title because it had four setbacks on its record.
So with the current Tigers having a 6-3 overall mark and a 4-2 record in the league, would a loss at No. 12 William & Mary on Saturday cripple their playoff hopes? Coach Rob Ambrose declined to dip his toe into that water.
"Considering that you live the entire year to get judged on 11 games, I'd say it's one of the 11, and it's really, really significant," he said Monday afternoon during a conference call arranged by the CAA. "As far as anything else, we've found a way to put wins together in some of the toughest places to play against some of the toughest opponents you could possibly play by only worrying about the next play. So you get to write about it, and I'll think about it when the season's over."
Pressed further about whether the upcoming contest against the Tribe (7-2, 5-1) is a must-win scenario, Ambrose replied, "When I get up in the morning in January or whether I get up in the morning today, the next game is a must-win game. There is no such thing as anything else."
Towson is enjoying a four-game winning streak and trails CAA leaders No. 5 Richmond (7-2, 5-1) and William & Mary by just one game. Tribe coach Jimmy Layecock sounded concerned about the Tigers, but he too avoided looking into the impact of Saturday's showdown with regards to the playoff race.
"Anyone who follows it can look at all the different scenarios that obviously could play out and the different things that could happen," he said. "But I've got a lot of respect for Towson. I think they're really playing well, and we're looking at it as the most important game because it's the next game. Basically, our focus is right there. As far as other ramifications, we can't control that. All we can do is control how we prepare for Saturday."