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Running FCS thread

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Cosmo, Oct 28, 2011.

  1. Cosmo

    Cosmo Well-Known Member

    Mock me if you like, but I think we have enough of a sub-cult of FCS fans and people who cover the level to sustain a thread, and the talk would just get lost in the main CFB thread ... anyhoo, what I'm watching this week:

    * Georgia Southern at App State. Wofford ran for 397 against App State and the Terriers don't have half the athletes that Georgia Southern does. And how crazy is it that you take your Payton-Award candidate quarterback and move him to corner halfway through the season. Haven't seen Jamal Jackson play yet, but he must be something else. I somehow think that App wins some sort of 48-42 type game, though the people in WNC seem to be ready for the end of the App dynasty.

    * Northern Iowa at North Dakota State. Really curious to see just how good NDSU is. The Bison haven't really beaten anyone (no, Minnesota doesn't count), and Northern Iowa comes to town with a quarterback in Tirrell Rennie who doesn't turn the ball over. The Fargodome should be a rockin. I've got NDSU in a close one.

    * James Madison at Old Dominion. For a third-year program, ODU has taken a lot of big leaps this year. Great offense in ODU vs. a great defense in JMU, which probably needs this one more.

    Meanwhile, out west, defending national champion Eastern Washington started 0-4 but has run off four straight wins to put itself back in the playoff mix. The Eags' game at Cal Poly in a few weeks looks really dangerous, though.
  2. Mystery Meat II

    Mystery Meat II Well-Known Member

    I'm rather stunned about how well ODU has performed. I figured they'd be lucky to get two CAA wins (of course, I also figured Towson would be the most obvious one). Gaudy records against generally outmatched competition in their first two years didn't give me a lot of confidence that they'd be anything better than 5-6 (2-6) this season. But here we are. And with a true freshman quarterback thrust into the starting role after the only starter the program has even known gets hurt, at that.

    That said, I don't think ODU gets in the playoffs unless they finish 8-3, which means two wins in its final three games. JMU might still be the best team in the conference, one-point loss to Maine notwithstanding. Figuring JMU wins by 14, and now the Monarchs have to sweep Richmond and William and Mary, both of which are talented teams that had the misfortune to play in the most balanced CAA ever this year. Even presuming both teams are out of playoff contention by this point, I'd be shocked if they won both.

    That puts them at 7-4, behind Maine, Towson, JMU, New Hampshire and possibly Delaware/William & Mary. If the CAA gets five schools, they're boned. If it gets six, the Hens and Tribe beat ODU, so that gets them more consideration. If ODU doesn't win Saturday, I don't see them making the playoffs.
  3. JackReacher

    JackReacher Well-Known Member

    I miss covering CAA football. I also wanted to get up to see JMU's new digs this year, but don't think that's gonna happen.
  4. Cosmo

    Cosmo Well-Known Member

    Meat -- W&M and Delaware are both done in regards to the playoffs. Neither can get to 7 DI wins since they both beat DIIs earlier this season.

    I agree on ODU. Because they beat weaklings Campbell and Georgia State in the non-conference, the Monarchs have to get to at least 8-3. JMU and UNH will both probably get in at 7-4.
  5. Mystery Meat II

    Mystery Meat II Well-Known Member

    Cosmo: Forgot they had both played D-IIs, so yeah, they can't get to 7. Richmond can still get to seven but they'd have to win out. But if they do that and ODU goes 1-2 in that stretch, Richmond gets in before ODU.

    Interesting that for as well-balanced and strong as the CAA is this season, they may only have five teams eligible for the playoffs and at most will have six (UMass obviously not eligible, though they could have made it seven otherwise).

    ODU's early success is skewing the image of what a startup program should do. Was reading a mid-season FCS update a couple of weeks ago and they identified Texas-San Antonio as a disappointment. Granted, the expectations should be much higher for them because they'll be in the WAC next season, but first-year programs aren't supposed to win most of their games. ODU didn't schedule the way they did in the first year because they thought they'd be a 9-2 team.

    Funny thing about UTSA: They'll be transitioning to FBS in 2012, their first year in the WAC, and they'll still have Northwestern Oklahoma State, Georgia State and South Alabama on the schedule. The 2013 non-WAC schedule is Oklahoma State, Houston, Virginia, Arizona and Rice, and they don't have an FBS team on the slate going forward. So they'd better get really good really quickly.
  6. Bubbler

    Bubbler Well-Known Member

    I think NDSU beats Northern Iowa. Haven't seen NDSU in the flesh yet, but Rennie can be contained by a good defense -- and the Bison have a really good defense.

    How many bids does the MVFC get this year? NDSU and UNI are locks. Indiana State and Illinois State are vying for that third bid. Both have three losses. Indiana State has a far better schedule and beat a FBS school (Western Kentucky, FBS in name, not in talent), but lost to Illinois State head-to-head last week.

    Indiana State (NDSU) and Illinois State (UNI) still have to play one more power team. I don't know if either can make the field with four losses.
  7. Mystery Meat II

    Mystery Meat II Well-Known Member

    With 20 teams in the tournament and 10 auto bids, that leaves you ... carry the 6 ... square the square root ... solve for x ... 10(?) at-large bids.

    CAA will get at least three and probably four of those bids, depending on how Old Dominion and Richmond finish. SoCon gets two for sure, possibly three and maaaaybe four if Samford finishes strong. Big Sky may get three, but who that third team is is anyone's guess.

    Besides the auto bid and lock at-large team, MVFC probably has one more team between Illinois State, Indiana State and possibly Youngstown State, since to get to seven wins they're going to have to beat North Dakota State and/or Northern Iowa. By the way, does Youngstown State no longer use Chilly Willy as its mascot?

    FCS tournament projections here. ODU-Norfolk State would be the Hampton Roads dream come true.
  8. micropolitan guy

    micropolitan guy Well-Known Member

    ODU has done better than expected. It's in the best recruiting area for high school football in Virginia, and it's probably by far the easiest public school in the CAA to be admitted to (W&M and the CAA privates probably couldn't even consider 3/4 of their players), it has a nice fan base, and it could promise transfers and freshmen immediate playing time.

    Under new rule changes, the APR requirement to be eligible for postseason play will increase from 900 to 930 in four years. The minimum GPA will increase from 2.0 to 2.3 for incoming freshmen and to 2.5 for incoming JC transfers. This should make it somewhat tougher for ODU.
  9. Cosmo

    Cosmo Well-Known Member

    I've got ISU Red winning out, including a win over UNI at home in the finale.

    I've got ISU Blue winning out, including a hangover-aided win over the Bison in Terre Haute next week.

    I think four from the MVC get in, with UNI and the ISUs all at 8-3. The odd team out this year will be the second-place OVC team. The fact that Jacksonville State is only 25th in the GPI despite being in the mid-teens in most polls is damning for Murray State, even if the Racers get to 8-3.
  10. Mystery Meat II

    Mystery Meat II Well-Known Member

    Perhaps. But they don't really have very many JC players this year, and now that the program has been established, I can't imagine they'll go the JC route very often going forward.

    ODU's first-year APR isn't great at 896. But that only accounts for the first year, which saw a lot of walk-ons. I would imagine that will change as the walk-ons are filtered out and the team is comprised mainly of scholarship players.
  11. dixiehack

    dixiehack Well-Known Member

    Doesn't South Alabama go Sun Belt next year?
  12. Bubbler

    Bubbler Well-Known Member

    Unless Indiana State plays very, very well, they likely don't beat NDSU. Bad matchup for them. There could be a hangover effect for the Bison, but I also wonder what effect the bye week has on Indiana State. Of course, Shakir Bell can always rip off about 100 yards in two plays, so there's that.

    I could see Illinois State winning its finale, especially if UNI has nothing to play for. Illinois State defense is pretty good too.
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