There is a distinct line between Bobby Petrino the football coach, and Bobby Petrino the person. This season, the Missouri State Bears got a good look at Petrino the coach, and because of that, are headed to the FCS playoffs.

The playoff field was announced on Sunday, but it’s been a week in the making for the former Arkansas and Louisville coach. Last week, Missouri State scored 21 unanswered points in the second and third quarters and enjoyed a 21-10 victory over visiting Youngstown State to clinch a share of the Missouri Valley Football Conference title.

The Bears did it in a year of a slimmed down playoff field. This year’s NCAA championship field will include just 16 teams, instead of the traditional 24, with only 6 at-large bids up for grabs.

Petrino inherited a Missouri State program that was 1-10 last season and picked ninth in the MVFC preseason poll.

“We got leadership from our players and our assistant coaches, and we got a share of that conference championship which feels really good,” Petrino said.

It has been a season of historic achievements. The Bears matched the 1989 and 1990 MSU conference championship teams with their best MVFC record in a season at 5-1 and picked up five league wins for the first time since 2013.