Monday, November 15, 2010

FCS Playoff Projections 11/15

The playoff brackets are being announced this Sunday. This will be our final chance to take a look at who will be considered, and everything is in the air right now, as there were some shake ups the last two weeks. Some schools still have dates to play this Saturday, but many have finished their season, and several bids were locked up. Let's take a look at who I feel should be playoff bound when the brackets are announced next Sunday afternoon.

Auto Bids
Big Sky
This race is still being fought out on the last weekend of the regular season. Montana State takes on Montana this weekend, and Eastern Washington takes on Idaho State. Montana State gets the bid if they beat the Grizzlies. If Montana beats Montana State, Eastern Washington gets the title due to having beaten Montana this season.
As far as playoff bids are concerned, MSU and Eastern Washington look to be in. Montana needs the win, otherwise, they are on the bubble.

Big South
Liberty dropped the ball big time when they got beat by Coastal Carolina on the road. That leaves Stony Brook in charge. If Stony Brook beats Liberty this week, they win the Big South with what would be a 7-4 overall record. Coastal Carolina wins the conference with a win and a win by Liberty. Liberty gets in with a win over Stony Brook and a Coastal Carolina loss. Only the conference winner gets in.

Delaware wins the conference with a win over reeling Villanova. Should the Hens falter, William & Mary could slip back in with a win. If UD falls to Villanova, they need a William & Mary loss to hold onto the title.

Missouri Valley
Northern Iowa has locked away the conference title in the MVC and is in the playoffs.

Robert Morris has locked away the auto bid from the NEC.

Ohio Valley
Despite Jacksonville State beating Southeast Missouri last weekend, the race is not over. Southeast holds onto the conference title with a Tennessee Tech win over JSU. If JSU beats the Eagles, the Gamecocks have won the OVC.

Lehigh has locked away the conference title.

Appalachian State has picked up their 6th consecutive conference title and auto bid.

Stephen F. Austin picks up the bid with a win this weekend over Northwestern State. A loss by the Lumberjacks would open the door for McNeese State to steal the conference crown with a win. SFA just needs to win, and the bid is theirs.

The 20 Spots

Northern Iowa, Robert Morris, Lehigh, and Appalachian State are in. That leaves 16 spots to be decided. The Big Sky, Big South, and Colonial will take up 3 more spots, leaving us with 13. The OVC and Southland champs will take up the next 2spots, leaving us with 11 open bids.
Those spots should go to the following:

The Wildcats are the last undefeated team in the nation, and our PRS has them ranked #1 accordingly. The Wildcats have never been this good before, and they could be a surprise team that could make some noise if not taken seriously.

The Dolphins lead the nation in scoring and are second in total offense. They also are 10-1 on the season, and finished with a perfect mark in the PFL. They too could do some damage.

Jacksonville State/Southeast Missouri State
Whichever team is the runner up in the OVC should be a lock. JSU spent most of the season at #1 before tripping up at Eastern Kentucky a couple of weeks ago and slide in at #4 this wee in the PRS. Southeast boasts one of the most powerful runners in the FCS in Henry Harris, and he is a showcase piece for a playoff team.

Delaware/ William & Mary
Again, the runner up in the Colonial is a lock. This should be the Tribe in this spot, as Delaware should be able to win the conference.

The Terriers ran into a brick wall in the machine that is Appalachian State in the defacto SoCon title game last weekend. That does not take away from the amazing season that the Terriers have had. Eric Breitenstein is anothe showcase player for the playoffs.

Montana State/Eastern Washington
If Montana State knocks of Montana, then this would be the EWU Eagles. Both the Bobcats and Eagles deserve to be in, and one will be by auto bid with the conference title. Again, the runner up is a lock.

North Dakota State
The Bison have stuck around all season long, and have stayed on the edge. That strange persistence should pay off, but a late loss would drop the Bison off of the list.

Florida A&M/South Carolina State
If the Rattlers could defeat Bethune-Cookman in the season finale on Saturday, they deserve a bid. If they fall, then South Carolina State would rank in a nice spot to deserve a bid.

Even with a loss to Montana State, the Grizzlies look like they could steal a spot at this point. With several teams dropping out this week, the Griz has been the benefactor.

New Hampshire/Richmond/UMass/Villanova
All four of these squads need wins to get consideration. UNH and Villanova are the best candidates to get bids with wins, but with Nova taking on Delaware, they look like a long shot right now. UNH looks like a good bet to win as they get Towson to wrap it up. Richmond has to take on William & Mary, and the Tribe is putting everything on the table this week, so again, theSpiders look like a bad bet. UMass has to travel to take on a pesky Rhode Island club, but a win would be enough to take a bid.
My projection out of this group, UNH and UMass.

Outside Looking In
Liberty, Villanova, Richmond, Cal Poly, Western Illinois, Central Connecticut State, Dayton, Chattanooga, Georgia Southern, Grambling, Old Dominion


  1. do u think ga southern will make it in wit a win

  2. Highly likely due to projections but I don't agree. I think a 10-1 Jacksonville deserves a bid over a 7 win GA Southern team.

  3. No Way. Jacksonville would not get in b/c they played absolutely no one all season. Look at Jacksonville's wins(all against weak teams). Look at Georgia Southern's schedule (win vs. (#11 at the time) Elon, win vs. #1 App. State, loss by 6 pts. to FBS Navy, loss to chattanooga who was right in the playoff picture, loss to Wofford who is definately in) All of GSU's losses were by a TD or less, and occurred with their backup redshirt-freshman QB starting. They will send the #3 SOCON team over JAX.

  4. I disagree with that assesment. Elon may have been #11 at the time, but it was not deserved. Elon never made our top 35. They were rnaked based on name and conference affiliation. Georgia Southern is not a playoff team despite beating App. State. Navy was not playing well at the time, as Ricky Dobbs had still not gotten up to speed. Chattanooga turned into a major choke at the end of the season. JU may not have played anyone, as you say, but when you crunch the numbers, they are still 10-1, and defeated everyone in their league.And last time I checked, nobody is giving extra credit to losing to good teams such as you are trying to do with the loss to Wofford argument. A loss is a loss. I don't care if you play in the SEC or the D3 is incredibly difficult to navigate any conference and go unbeaten during the conference season. I am not saying that the Dolphins would win a title by any means, but I am saying that they deserve a shot to play in this tournament. JU played a weaker schedule by virtue of the conference that they are in. If invited, I believe that they would move to a stronger league in a minute. They are well coached, have tremendous talent, especially on offense, and as good as they were this season, they may be better next season.
    I respect the Eagles of GSU, but I don't see where they would merit a bid over a 10-1 team. However, any argument about GSU may have been made moot today as GSU won, but Rhode Island beat Umass, and Chattanooga fell to Wofford, and Richmond was crushed by William & Mary. Sacramento State lost to UC-Davis,and Bethune-Cookman lost to Florida A&M, all of which probably opened doors for a Jacksonville bid.