Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Big South 2011 Preview
2010 Record: 8-3 (5-1), tied 1st
No player was better in this conference than QB Mike Brown was last fall. The Big South Player of the Year should have had a chance to showcase himself in the playoffs, but a sudden collapse against Coastal Carolina on the road handed the bid to the Chanticleers, and Brown and company were home for the holidays. Brown passed for 2956 yards and 23 TDs, but his 11 picks proved costly at times. He also rushed for 854 yards and 9 scores, which was good for 3rd in the conference. Chris Summers was the best WR in the league as well, having caught 76 passes for 1081 yards and an amazing 15 TDs in 11 games. It all sits with these two players to get by a challenging non-conference schedule that includes NC State, FCS playoff team Robert Morris, and always solid James Madison.
Season Opener: 9/3 @ NC State
Stony Brook Seawolves
2010 Record: 6-5 (5-1), tied 1st
Even though the Wolves finished at 6-5, it wwas still a wildly succesful campaign. SBU returns two 1000 yard rushers this fall in league 1st teamers Brock Jackolski (1029 yards, 9 TDs) and Miguel Maysonet (1128 yards, 12 TDs). They were the only 1000 yards rushers in the conference last season. The non-conference slate is brutal, as the Seawolves open against UTEP and Buffalo on the road in the first two weeks. Defensively, SBU has got to improve against the pass, as they gave up 223 yards passing per game last fall.
Season Opener: 9/3 @ UTEP
Coastal Carolina Chanticleers
2010 Record: 6-6 (5-1), tied 1st
The Chanticleers won the league by tie breaker, but then responded with a loss in the 1st round of the FCS playoffs to Western Illinois, 17-10. Aramis Hillary will be the new QB, and he is a transfer from South Carolina. The schedule is manageable, minus a trip to Georgia, and CCU could be 4-2 heading into conference play. CCU lost 4 of 5 to open last fall, making them the least likely champion ever! Most of the offensive skill players will be new, and the newcomers will have to gel quickly to make good on that 4-2 start. Andae Jacobs returns as the leading returning tackler in the Big South to lead the defense at LB.
Season Opener: 9/3 Furman
2010 Record: 4-7 (2-4), tied 4th
There is a new coach in town, as Ron Dickerson Jr., son of the former Temple Coach, is taking the reins. The change was necesary after a mess of a 4-7 season last fall saw GWU fall to a whole new low. John Rock tossed 15 picks as a sophomore last fall, so that will be area of concern number one. Juanne Blount will depended on more as a sophomore this fall, but he was not much of a threat as a freshman last fall. James Perry III returns as the top receiver. Playmakers are severely needed on a defense that gave up 132 points in their final 4 games last season.
Season Opener: 9/3 Brevard College
Virginia Military Institute
2010 Record: 3-8 (2-4), tied 4th
VMI struggled to score last fall, and averaged only 15.8 points per game, and were held to 7 points or less 7 times. Cameron Jones or Erick Kordenbeck will be at QB, but hopefully not both as it was last fall. Niether got into a rythm and they combined for 16 picks. Chaz Jones will have to do better than his 502 yards rushing from last season. AJ Gross led the league in tackles with 110 and returns at LB to run the defense.
Season Opener: 9/3 Delaware State
Charleston Southern Buccaneers
2010 Record: 3-8 (1-5), tied 6th
The Bucs think that they are doing themselves favors by taking huge paychecks for playing schools like Florida State and UCF. They are fooling themselves. You don't learn how to win by setting yourselves up for failure, and that is all that they are doing. CSU has not tasted success yet, and at this rate, they may never do so. The team is a mess, and they need to find new starters at QB, RB, and WR. They also lose lead tackler Chris Patrick, which will kill on defense. Gonna get ugly...
Season Opener: 9/3 @ UCF
Presbyterian Blue Hose
2010 Record: 2-9 (1-5), tied 6th
Why this team is playing FCS football is beyond me. Much like CSU, the Hose are diving head first, much like David Caruso's career post NYPD (and yeah, I stole that line from South Park). They were ridiculous to take games with Clemson and Wake Forest last fall, and they travel across the country to take on California this season. First of all, shame on Cal, Clemson, and Wake Forest. Secondly, go back to D2 where you were safe. This club is totally out of their element. By the way, they lost to North Greenville last season.
Season Opener: 9/3 Wofford