Wednesday, November 30, 2011

As the Carousel Turns-2011 Volume 3

It's time for the most up to date events surrounding the Coaching Carousel that tipped off its spin this week! More information is incoming from all over the country, so let's take a look at the ongoings from around the world of college football...

No changes are anticipated at Maryland, but there are loud grumblings with the failures that have escorted Randy Edsell through his first season in College Park. Several voices want him gone now, but he is likely to get one more season before any fires are lit to oust him. He will be on a short leash in 2012.

Penn State
Rumors abound that the Nittany Lions are seeking a coach from the ranks of the SEC. The lates rumor circled the head of Misissppi State coach Dan Mullen, who appeared to be very upset that this information made it into public hands, calling the rumor "irresponsible". Where there is smoke, there is fire, as Mississippi State is putting together a candidate list just in case Mullen does bolt, which centers around Louisiana-Lafayette Coach Mark Hudspeth. That being said, Hudspeth pulled himself out of consideration for the Mississippi job just two days ago.
Other Candidates: Harvard Coach Tim Murphy, Northwestern Coach Pat Fitzgerald, Boise State Coach Chris Petersen, Iowa State Coach Paul Rhodes

Ohio State
With Urban Meyer firmly entrenched as the new Buckeyes Head Coach, Meyer has made some quick moves on defense, retaining Luke Fickell, and also hiring former Buckeye and NFL LB Mike Vrabel. Moves will come quickly in Columbus.

Texas A&M
There were conversations going on in the athletic complex today at College Station in regards to Coach Mike Sherman. Sherman may very well not be safe, and many feel that the Aggies would be better off with new leadership heading into their debut with the SEC next fall. Coming off of a loss to Texas last week, Sherman would be especially vulnerable to a firing if he were to fall in a bowl game. His position as of tonight is tenuous at best.

Word out of Lawrence is that Kansas is moving ahead with their search quickly, and it may have centered around Florida State assistant Mark Stoops. It is unknown at this time whether or not he has interviewed, but it seems as if the operation is full steam ahead, with him being their primary target at this hour.
Other Candidates: Troy Calhoun, Air Force; Dave Christensen, Wyoming; Nolan Cromwell, Rams WR Coach; Dave Doeren, Northern Illinois; Sonny Dykes, Louisiana Tech; Larry Fedora, Southern Miss; June Jones, SMU; Dirk Koetter, Jacksonville Jaguars OC; Kevin Sumlin, Houston

Nothing new out of Birmingham at this hour, but Oregon Secondary Coach John Neal appears to be the frontrunner. Neal has strong ties to the school, and was a former assistant with the Blazers under former coach Watson Brown. Our source tells us that the unstable nature of this program (no new stadium, talk of shutting down the program) has scared away most major candidates, and many coaches are avoiding this job like the plague.
Other Candidates: Jeff Monken, Georgia Southern; Paul Petrino, Illinois OC; Jason Phillips, Houston OC

George O'Leary has made major staff changes, releasing his DC and others, but he still remains onboard. The staff changes were a way to save himself for another season, but the four years remaining on his contract probably saved him more than anything. It will all be on O'Leary to get the Knights back to the top of the conference next fall, or he may not get any more time past 2012.

Larry Porter made a major mess out of what was already a major mess, and it could take years to clean up, if it ever can be. Major candidates appear to be shunning the Tigers for better opportunities, and it appears unlikely that they can nab anyone from the top pf their list (Hugh Freeze, Hudspeth). Stay tuned.
Other Candidates: Clint Conque, Central Arkansas; Randy Fitchner, Steelers QB Coach; Ross Huesman, Chattanooga; Houston Nutt

Dead Pool swimmer David Bailiff has been thrown a last minute life raft at the 11th hour to save his job. Bailiff will likely be given only one more season to turn Rice into a winner. The Owls did improve somewhat this season, so it all falls in 2012.

The Miners administration have also given Mike Price one more season to straighten out their football program, as UTEP fell one win short of bowl qualifying this season.

Every day we hear that the Green Wave are close to making a hire, only for the deal to fall apart. The current candidates are Oklahoma State OC Todd Monken and New Orleans Saints WR Coach Curtis Johnson. A deal has been imminent for several days running, making this job a running joke. One piec of good news is that Tulane has been approved for the contruction of an on campus stadium, which would move them out of the cavernous Super Dome.
Other Candidates: Manny Diaz, Texas DC; Mark Hudspeth, UL-Lafayette; Jeff Jagodzinsky; Steed Lobotzke, Wake Forest OC; Todd Monken, Oklahoma State OC

The Zips job was offered to none other than Jim Tressel, but Tressel turned them down, offering instead to act as a conusltant to help them find their man. What Akron was even thinking is beyond me, as Tressel brings nothing but baggage and problems with the NCAA. The search has now seemingly narrowed down to Wayne State (MI) head coach Paul Winters, but the Warriors are currently entrenched in D2 playoff games. Others mentioned have been UCLA interim coach Mike Johnson and UConn QB Coach Joe Moorhead.
Other Candidates: Matt Campbell, Toledo OC; Trent Miles, Indiana State

Colorado State
It is largely thought that Steve Fairchild will be fired at CSU after the Rams complete their season this weekend at home against Wyoming. With a loss, the Rams will have finished at 3-9 for the season.

Oregon State
Mike Riley is still standing, and is refusing to make any changes to his staff for 2012. Word is that without immediate improvement next fall, Riley will be out after next season.

Washington State
AD Bill Moos didn't waste a minute, hiring Mike Leach today. Leach was signed to a 5 year deal worth 2.5 million dollars per season today. Leach will have a pool of $1.8 million to hire assistants, and WSU is already working on improving football facilities on campus. This may be the home run hire of the year.

Los Angeles billionaire Casey Wasserman has taken over the UCLA coaching search entirely, according to many sources in LA this week. It has been reported that Wasserman, who donated $50 million to UCLA Medical Center's eye clinic, has cracked open his immense checkbook and will reportedly pay for the next head coach, his staff, and to upgrade UCLA's football facilities. His first target? Boise State coach Chris Petersen, who has been the primary want from day one dating back to September this time around. Before you laugh, consider these factors. First, Petersen's son has special needs, and his doctor in Boise has recently located to UCLA Medical Center, where Petersen's son was seen last week. Second, Petersen is no fan of the Big East flirtations, and prefers not to join the far flung conference. Third, Petersen is rumored to not like the new Boise State school president. Fourth, the graduation of Kellen Moore and many other stars takes place this off season. The second target would apparently be Houston Coach Kevin Sumlin, with Cincinnati Bengals OC Jay Gruden climbing the list.
Other Candidates: Mike Belotti; Tom Cable, Seahawks OL Coach; Herman Edwards; Vic Fangio, 49ers DC; June Jones, SMU; Mike McIntyre, San Jose State; DeWayne Walker, New Mexico State

Arizona State
With Dennis Erickson out, the search has seemingly focused on three current candidates for ASU. Housont Coach Kevin Sumlin, SMU Coach June Jones, and Chicago Bears OC Mike Martz are currently the top three candidates in Tempe. Martz appears to be the favorite, as it has been rumored that Sumlin is waiting to see how things shake out at UCLA with Chris Petersen before making a move.
Other Candidates: Ron English, Eastern Michigan; Larry Fedora, Southern Miss; Mark Helfrich, Oregon OC

The focus on this job came down to Alabama DC Kirby Smart today, as it was reported that the Rebeles had come to an agreement with Smart, only to have that news immediately retracted. The Rebels have had problems locking anyone into this job, as UL-Lafayette Coach Mark Hudspeth pulled out after being mentioned as a favorite just two days ago. Arkansas State Coach Hugh Freeze and Southern Mississippi Coach Larry Fedora appear to be the other candidates for the job.
Other Candidates: Gus Malzahn, Auburn OC; Kevin Sumlin, Houston

Florida Atlantic
The Owls have been jilted twice in the last week, first by Mike Leach, and then by Mike Stoops, as the job was offered and nixed by both. Look for the search to turn to former Miami Coach Randy Shannon, who may be very interested indeed. Also mentioned are Terry Bowden of North Alabama, Florida State RB Coach Eddie Gran, and Houston OC Jason Phillips.
Other Candidates: Mentioned Above

With Zook out of the picture, expect the Illini to focus on someone with strong midwestern roots who will know how to attack the Chicago area high schools. No real names have surfaced as frontrunners yet.
Candidates Mentioned: Tim Beckman, Toledo; Paul Chryst, Wisconsin OC; Larry Fedora, Southern Miss; Butch Jones, Cincinnati; Todd Monken, Oklahoma State OC; Kevin Sumlin, Houston; Willie Taggert, Western Kentucky; Kirby Wilson, Steelers RB Coach

North Carolina
Expect some movement to a new regime, as Everett Withers seemed to slide towards the end of the season as the schedule got increasingly more difficult. As of today , the search seemed to focus on Vanderbilt Coach James Franklin, but Vandy was busy trying to come up with an extension to lock Franklin down.
Other Candidates: George Edwards, Bills DC; Skip Holtz, South Florida; Gus Malzahn, Auburn OC; Chuck Pagano, Ravens DC; Paul Rhodes, Iowa State

The Minutemen made a change as they leave their FCS foothold to join the FBS and the MAC in 2012. Kevin Wilson was released after three consecutive seasons of either finishing 6-5 or 5-6.
Candidates: Mike Bajakian, Cincinnati OC; Don Brown, UConn DC; Ben Albert, Temple LB Coach; Bill McGovern, Boston College DC; Mark Whipple, Browns QB Coach; Jack Bicknell, Jr., Giants OL Coach
Brown and Whipple are former UMass head coaches who moved on to other jobs.

Northern Michigan (D2)
OC Chris Ostrowski has been named head coach replacing Bernie Anderson. A new DC will need to be hired as well.

South Dakota Mines
A finalist list is expected in the next 5 to 7 days.

Ferris State
The Bulldogs are making a change, as Jeff Pierce is out.

Weber State
As was reported earlier in the week, look for the Wildcats to make a play for Paul Wulff at this time. Also look for a request to interview Eastern Washington's Beau Baldwin.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

2011 All-Bilo D2 LB of the Year

At this time, I am pleased to announce the finalists for the 2011 All-Bilo D2 LB of the Year! The ten finalists are as follows:

Prince Simunyu, Brevard
Apollo Stretch, Newberry
Cory Whitfield, Texas A&M Commerce
Jordan Campbell, New Mexico Highlands
Darius Wilson, Central State
Daron Jones, Lincoln (PA)
Corey Jones, Lane
Courtney Daniels, Fort Valley State
Fred Williams, North Carolina-Pembroke
Shawn Loiseau, Merrimack

I am pleased to announce that the winner of the 2011 All-Bilo Linebacker of the Year D2 is...

Jordan Campbell, New Mexico Highlands
Jordan had a huge season for the Cowboys in which he collected 110 tackles, 28.5 TFLs, and 2 picks on the season. Campbell added 5 sacks, 5 pass break ups, 5 QB hurries, and recovered a fumble. Congrats to Jordan and to New Mexico Highlands! All-Bilo D2 DL of the Year Award

We continue the All-Bilo Post Season Awards season today with our Defensive positional players of the year for the D2 level. At this time I am proud to announce the finalists for the All-Bilo D2 finalists for Defensive Lineman of the Year. The finalists are as follows:

Roderick Benman, West Texas A&M
Barrington Morrison, Clarion
Randy Colling, Gannon
James Celian, West Virginia Wesleyan
Connor Wright, Colorado Mesa
David Bass, Missouri Western State
Howard Jones, Shepherd
Tim Green, Lincoln (PA)
Brett Moss, Kutztown

At this time, I am pleased to announce that the winner of the 2011 All-Bilo D2 DL of the Year Award is....

Brett Moss, Kutzown
Brett was a monster for the PSAC champion Bears this season, racking up 18.5 sacks and 25 total TFLs on the season. Moss also totalled 39 solo tackles with another 27 assists on the season, while forcing 4 fumbles on the year as well.
Congratulations to Brett and to the Kutztown Bears!

Monday, November 28, 2011

As the Carousel Turns 2011-Update

Sources are confirming for us tonight that Los Angeles billionaire Casey Wasserman is going to foot the bill for UCLA's new head coach and for the staff as well. Wasserman, one of LA's power brokers, is not denying this story tonight, which means that UCLA's days of hiring on the cheap and not going after their main target may be over. Mike Leach would be considered as the lead candidate as he met with middle men in October during an LA book signing. It can only be assumed that those middle men were representative of Wasserman and his interests.

I spoke to senior members of the Weber State administration today, and any list of candidates that is floating about is premature. There is no list as of yet of candidates that Weber State intends to interview. When I asked if Paul Wulff would be considered (former Big Sky ties as HC at Eastern Washington) if he was indeed cut loose at Washington State, I was told that it was probable that Weber State would contact him. Washington State will have an announcement at 12 noon PST tomorrow (Tuesday) to announce Wulff's fate.

I also spoke with the Eastern Illinois administration today, where I was given a final 4 list of candidates who have or will interview in the coming days. The list includes Mark Hutson, the current interim coach at Tulane, Jeff Choate, Special Teams Coordinator at Boise State, Randall McCray, Special Teams/LB Coach at Pittsburgh, and Dino Babers, Outside Receivers Coach at Baylor. There was no clear favorite amongst the 4 candidates, and the Panthers expect to have an announcement on or around December 8. When asked if there were any possible late additions to this group, I was told there would not be unless any of the current candidates declined an interview, or dropped out for any purpose, and that was no expected to be the case.

I spoke with the administration at Southeastern Louisiana today. There are no current candidates to replace fired coach Mike Lucas as of yet, but the search committee was scheduled to meet tomorrow (Tuesday) afternoon. I expect to hear from the school tomorrow after that meeting has commenced.

According to our main source, former Kentucky, New Mexico State, and Southeastern Louisiana coach Hal Mumme has surfaced as a candidate at D2 Incarnate Word. The Cardinals have committed fully to the program, and according to our source, many feel that Mike Santiago got a raw deal because the school wanted to go with a bigger name to take the school to the next level. Mumme is currently the coach at D3 McMurry.

Fordham has an opening, and names our source has sent us are former Nebraska intern Joe Moglia and current Stony Brook head man Chuck Friore. Friore is currently headed to the 2nd round of the FCS Playoffs after defeating Albany 31-28 in the 1st round to give Stony Brook their first ever FCS post season win. I will be speaking with the Fordham administration tomorrow.

Richmond has an opening as well, and I currently await a call back from their AD. One major name that has been handed to us by our source is John Shoop, currently the OC at North Carolina. Shoop has long term interest in the Richmond job, which would be great to stop the rotating door that this job has become. With a rabid fan base and major administrative support, Richmond is one of the better jobs in FCS football.

Columbia is working on replacing fired coach Norries Wilson, but a rumor reported by the Roar Lions Roar blog that Jim Margraff of Johns Hopkins being the lead candidate appear to be false. Our source has worked many times with Margraff, and we are told that he is a Hopkins lifer and will likely retire there. I spoke with several administrative people at Columbia today, and will do so again tomorrow.

According to our guy, nobody wants the UAB job. After making a dozen or so calls to his sources, the only name that appeared was John Neal, secondary coach at Oregon who has SEC ties. Certainly not a sexy hire, Neal has area roots, which could bode well, as he worked there under Watson Brown. Some feel that this is a negative fact, as Watson Brown seems to be a lightning rod name in split camps.

It would seem that June Junes is a primary candidate at both Arizona State and UCLA. Our source tells us that Jones would want to bring his entire staff with him to either location. The only reason that Jones did not wind up at UCLA in 2007 is because UCLA insisted on keeping DeWayne Walker on as DC, which wound up killing the deal. There will be no such issues this time around.

More information tomorrow, As the Carousel Turns!

Updated at 11PM PST

Emerging names at this hour are as follows:

Tulane: Saints WR Coach Curtis Johnson
UCLA: Mike Martz, Chris Petersen, Kevin Sumlin
Ole Miss: Mark Hudspeth, Hugh Freeze
SE Louisiana: Ricky Bustle (will confirm this tomorrow)
Akron: Wayne State (MI) HC Paul Winters, Jim Tressel, Luke Fickell

As the Coaching Carousel Turns 2011-Volume 2

Today was Dooms Day for many coaches across the landscape. Many of these fired coaches were featured in our Swimming in the Dead Pool articles at throughout the year, so we're still batting at a very high average of predicting who will be out at year's end. That being said, let's take a look at the latest developments.

Paul Wulff was finally cut lose at Washington State today after a seriously disasterous tenure with the Cougars. It is firmly believed that the Cougars are in the market to send some serious cash on their next candidate, as they are also spending big money on fixing up their facilities. They appear to be interested in Mike Leach as of now, but if they went the same route as when they hired Wulff, Eastern Washington coach Beau Baldwin, Montana coach Robin Pflugrad, and Montana State coach Rob Ashe could all be attractive candidates. Wyoming coach Dave Christensen could also be a target.

Rick Neuheisel will be done at UCLA after the Bruins finish up the season in the Pac-12 title game, in which they'll be huge underdogs to Oregon. It is widely believed that Neuheisel has already been notified, but a final meeting is scheduled to happen in Eugene on Friday night immediately after the game. Early known candidates are Mike Leach and Cincinnati coach Butch Jones. Others that should be considered (my list, not theirs) would be Willie Taggert of Western Kentucky, Jim Svaboda of Central Missouri, Pflugrad of Montana, and Ashe of Montana State.

Larry Porter has taken an early exit after just two seasons at Memphis. Porter's departure comes on the heels of rumors that he had absolutely not a clue as to how to run not just a football team, but an organization at large, and he was in over his head from day one. Memphis appears ready to make amends for the debacle that was Porter by really looking deeply into the candidates. Those considered are Arkansas State coach Hugh Freeze, and UL-Lafayette head man Mark Hudspeth, both who are finishing up their first seasons at their respective schools.

Neil Callaway, a Dead Pool candidate from day one this season, has resigned at UAB. The replacement hire is going to be the most important hire made by the Blazers, as they are literally trying to save this program from the chopping block. No candidates have been mentioned as of yet.

After a collapse to trump all others, Illinois lost 6 straight after starting the season 6-0. Today, Ron Zook is unemployed once again. The Illini coach finished with a 31-54 record during his tenure with the Illini, and was on his way out last season before getting the team to a bowl game. Illinois will bowl again this season, but the 6 game collapse was inexcusable. Again, no candidates have been mentioned as front runners.

It only took Kansas two seasons to see all that they needed to see out of Turner Gill, and the Jayhawks spent $6 million to take him out of the job on a buyout. Gill's two season were an absolute disaster at KU, which validated my point when they hired him that he was not proven enough in the first place.

After a collapse nearing the intensity of Illinois, Dennis Erickson resigned at Arizona State under pressure. Erickson was largely thought to being on his way to taking the Sun Devils to the Pac-12 title game after ASU pounded USC earlier this season, but then came a disasterous one point loss to UCLA, and the wheels came off of the wagon after that. June Jones of SMU and Kevin Sumlin of Houston are names that have emerged as likely ASU targets.

Ohio State and Urban Meyer have finally come to an official agreement to have Meyer coaching the Buckeyes in 2012, which was one of the worst kept secrets in America. Meyer will get a 7 year deal worth $40 million overall. Luke Fickell, who served as the interim coach, has been offered a spot to stay on with the new staff, but may be receiving other offers.

I will be making many calls this afternoon to lock down some facts from all of the open FBS, FCS, and D2 jobs and will report my findings back here this evening. Stay tuned, As the Carousel Turns!!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

As the Coaching Carousel Turns-Volume 1 2011

It's that time of year again when we get to start speculating on who will be going where when the coaching carousel stops turning. It had been my intention to not start the carousel series up until next week, but there is just so much already going on that we had to start up ahead of schedule this season. Let's take a good look at the latest rumors, rumblings, and goings on around the country, as we receive information from our own sources, sources on the web, and you, the fans and alumni.
As we already know, new coaches have landed at New Mexico (Bob Davie) and Arizona (Rich Rodriguez). In my opinion, both hires were home runs for those programs.
Starting with Davie at New Mexico, the Lobos crushed that hire, as Davie is everything that Mike Locksley was not. He will charm the locals, he will instill discipline, and he will eventually win to a respectable level. Don't pin everything on Notre Dame on Davie, as he was taking over for Lou Holtz, who had (as he always has) left Notre Dame on probation. Davie is a solid, seasoned coach, who after 9 years as an assistant at Texas A&M, has a solid feel for the American Southwest. Davie will recruit well, and given time, take New Mexico to another level.
Rodriguez was a grand slam at Arizona. He never would have succeeded at Michigan, as he was never supported properly from day one. There were Michigan people that hated him right out of the gate, but that won't happen in Tucson, where his high energy spread offense will be a breath of fresh air. His style fits the west coast properly, and Rodriguez will build a fearsome program, much like he had at West Virginia. Arizona could not have made a better move in a million tries. This was a brilliant hire for the Wildcats and Greg Byrne. Announcing the hire on Twitter? Pure forward thinking.

Here are the latest rumors and happenings going on as the Carousel Turns...

Florida Atlantic appears to be the frontrunner for Mike Leach, according to our well placed source. Leach is seeking out his best option to run his defense at FAU so that he can concentrate on running his Air Raid offense without any distractions. Leach has been living in Key West since being fired at Texas Tech, and would have a few offers, but he seems most comfortable with this move. Short of UCLA dumping Neuheisel for him, this appears to be a done deal.

Boston College will likely fire Frank Spaziani and his staff after this weekend's game against Miami, according to our source. We have speculated this move, as Spaziani has been in the Dead Pool most of this season. Our source informs us that we can expect BC to take a look at Temple coach Steve Addaazio, who was a finalist when the Eagles stayed in house and hired Spaziani.

Akron appears to already be in the mood to dump Rob Ianello and his staff after another disaster of a season with the Zips. Sources state that Ianello will be removed, along with his entire staff, on Monday. Our own source claims that the alumni at Akron are pushing for a move at this time, which would confirm all that we have heard.

Purdue may need more than a win this weekend against Indiana to save Danny Hope. While a loss would certainly end his tenure, rumblings out of West Lafayette are stating that Hope may be out either way. No rumors yet on potential replacements, but this may bear some watching.

We have been reporting this for some time, but Joker Phillips may be running out of time at Kentucky. High profile administrators have been backing off of support for Phillips like he has contracted the plague, and finding public support from anyone of power in Lexington is about as easy as finding a living, breathing unicorn. Phillips may not survive to get one more season with the Wildcats.

We reported on Twitter that several sources had stated that Arizona State head coach Dennis Erickson has already told his staff that he will not coach the Sun Devils next fall. He has publicly stated in the last two days that he is not going anywhere, but sources are now telling us that he will only stay through the bowl game, and that he will walk away after that. That is, if the alumni don't push for a move sooner, which they very well might after falling to Arizona last weekend.

Weber State is making a run for Eastern Washington coach Beau Baldwin. Baldwin is coming off of a rather disappointing season at EWU after winning the 2010 national championship, meaning that he may be more available to WSU due to conventional thinking in Ogden. Baldwin has never coached outside the State of Washington, having also been the head guy at Central Washington.

The name we are hearing from our source in regards to the Columbia job is Penn Defensive Coordinator Ray Priore, who is the brother of Stony Brook head man Chuck Priore. Priore has been the DC for some time at Penn, and has solid knowledge of the Ivy League, making him an attractive fit for the Lions.

South Dakota has fired Ed Meierkort and his staff as they prepare to make the move to the Missouri Valley Conference with the folding of the Great West Conference. Now word yet on potential replacements.

Texas Southern and Richmond will not be staying with their respective interim coaches, but will interview them for those openings, meaning that they stand a snowball's chance in hell of retaining their jobs.

Now word yet on potential replacements at UMass for fired coach Kevin Morris, as the Minutemen transition to the FBS and the MAC in 2012. We will report on movement as reports become available, and I fully expect to speak with the UMass athletic department on Monday.

Mike Lucas is out at Southeast Louisiana.

No word yet on the Fordham opening, but I will be speaking to them on Monday as well.

There are four openings on the D2 level, including Incarnate Word, Missouri Southern, Eastern New Mexico, and South Dakota Mines, and there will be more moves coming. I will update as we receive info on those jobs as well.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011 All-Bilo D2 TE of the Year 2011

Our D2 TE of the Year Award is upon us, and like the WR award, it is based on the highest average score based on six statistical categories for receivers. Here are our ten finalists for the All-Bilo 2011 D2 TE of the Year:

Tore Hurst, Washburn
Brian Leonhardt, Bemidji State
Bryce Davis, Central Oklahoma
Ryan Shelley, Southeastern Oklahoma
David Pawelek, Colorado Mines
Eric Watts, Brevard
Joe Don Duncan, Dixie State
Jaryd Brown, Findlay
David Cannon, Central Missouri
Nick Stutts, Lenoir-Rhyne

And the winner of our All-Bilo D2 TE of the Year Award is...Joe Don Duncan, Dixie State!

Joe Don caught 64 passes for 949 yards and 9 TDs in 2011. He averaged 6.4 receptions per game, while averaging 14.83 catches per game for 94.9 yards per contest. Joe Don was the only TE in the country to score over 3000 points in this years group of finalists.
Congratulations to Joe Don for a fantastic season! All-Bilo D2 WR of the Year

It is the time of year where we happily crunch all manner of statistical performances from the season that was and name our players of the year at every skill position. We start this season with the top performers of Division 2 College Football, as theirs was the first regular season to come to completion. Our WR of the Year was the player who scored the highest average based on six statistical categories from the WR position. We released a list of overall finalists last week, which we have carved down to the final ten. They are as follows:

Trey McVay, Northeastern State
Trevor Kennedy, Mercyhurst
Isaiah Voegeli, Merrimack
Jon Meadows, West Virginia Wesleyan
Mar'Quone Edmonds, Indianapolis
Troy Burrell, Wayne State (MI)
Thomas Mayo, California (PA)
Jamar Howard, Central Missouri
Ryan Forney, Indianapolis
Charles Gilbert, Concordia-St. Paul
Landon Zerkel, Missouri Southern

Without further delay, it is our pleasure to announce the winner of our All-Bilo D2 WR of the Year. As only one of two players who scored above 5000 points, we are pleased to announce that our winner is...Trey McVay, Northeastern State

Trey completed a stellar season in which he caught 79 passes for 1473 yards and 15 scores. He averaged 7.18 catches per game, while averaging 18.65 yards per catch. He was good for 133.91 yards per game on the season. Congratulations to Trey for an amazing season!

FCS 2011 Playoffs At a Glance

We projected the playoffs on Saturday night, and I am happy to say that we only missed on one projection, which was Illinois State falling out of the group due to their last game loss to Northern Iowa. Eastern Kentucky, who we projected as one of several schools fighting for the final two spots, made it in to the field, taking their place. Let's take a look at how the field shakes out...

First Round, Saturday 11/26

Stony Brook (8-3) vs. Albany (8-3)
Stony Brook won the Big South title with a win over Liberty last weekend. Players to watch include the dual rushing threat of Brock Jackolski and Miguel Maysonet, both All-Bilo Big South 1st teamers. Albany, winners of the Northeast Conference, has won 8 of their last 9 games, and is anchored on offense QB Dan DiLella (24 TD passes), RB Drew Smith (1052 yards rushing, 9 scores), and WR Ryan Kirchner (9 TD receptions). Despite the balance of the Great Danes, if the defense does not find a way to stop the SeaWolves run game, they may be dead in the water.
I pick: Stony Brook...The red hot SeaWolves should slow the tempo and let their defense make up the difference. Stack up to stop Jackolski and Maysonet, get burned by QB Kyle Essington, who is sneaky good.

Tennessee Tech (7-3) vs. Central Arkansas (8-3)
This is the first appearance for both teams in the FCS playoffs. The Eagles of Tech are coached by veteran Watson Brown. Brown stated on today's conference call that pass happy teams present an issue for his defense, as the only pass happy teams that they have played against both resulted in losses (Murray State and Tennessee State). The Eagles are solid in their own right with RB Dontey Gay, who rushed for 1009 yards and 15 TDs during the season. WR Tim Benford (58-826-5) was named the OVC Offensive MVP today. If the Eagles can control the pace, they have a solid shot.
UCA comes out flying with QB Nathan Dick, who has passed for 28 TDs on the season. Jesse Grandy and Dominique Croom are two very athletic receivers for the Bears, and will be hell for the Eagles to defend.
Tech scored 34.1 points per game on the season, but they gave up 24.5. UCA scores an average of 33.7 per game, but gives up 28.9. Look for a high scoring affair.
I pick: Tennessee Tech...When it's this close, the home team gets the edge. Look for the defense to be minimalized, but Tech only wins by slowing things down, making Gay the most important guy on the field.

Old Dominion (9-2) vs. Norfolk State (9-2)
It took the ODU program very little time to evolve into a playoff team, as the program has been around just a few short years. The Monarchs are going to come out strong against their regional neighbors, as Tyler Heinicke will come out slinging the ball around. Heinicke passed for 1770 yards with 15 TDs to just 1 pick on the season. Don't discount the Monarch run game, as Angus Harper rushed for 3 scores against William & Mary and has 9 for the season. Five different receivers caught at least 30 passes this season.
For Norfolk State, it's all about defense. The Spartans gave up only an average of 265.1 yards per game, and gave up only 21 TDs in 11 games this fall. NSU held 8 opponents to 14 points or less on the season. Chris Walley also gets the job done at QB, passing for 209 yards per game with 17 TDs to just 4 picks on the season. Walley also added another 5 rushing scores on the year.
I pick: Old Dominion...The MEAC has not been a power player in the FCS playoffs, and the Colonial is as tough as it gets from top to bottom. A tougher level of competition will probably have seasoned ODU more for this moment, but the Spartans will not let the game go easily.

Eastern Kentucky (7-4) vs. James Madison (7-4)
EKU is one of the most succesful programs in FCS history, but they have struggled in recent years to secure their dominance of the Ohio Valley Conference. TJ Pryor is solid at QB for the Colonels, passing for 18 scores, but he also tossed 7 picks in 11 games this fall. Tyron Goard is the man at WR, as he caught 11 of Pryors scoring strikes this fall. The key will be the run game with RB Matt Denham having rushed for 1445 yards and 9 scores on the season. The other key will be stopping the JMU run, and keying up DB Kevin Hamlin (4 picks) in on the QB.
For the Dukes, they have experience here as well, but they have issues as well. They were one of the last teams to make the bracket, as they finished 5th in the Colonial. They have virtually no passing game to speak of, but they run the ball incredibly well with Dae'Quan Scott (1166 yards rushing, 12 TDs, 5.9 yards per carry, 106 yards per game) and Jordan Anderson(5.3 yards per carry). Freshman Drew Marlowe led the team with 4 picks, and will be ball hawking Pryor. The edge rush of DJ Bryant and Pat Williams on defense, along with the tackling ability of LBs Stephon Robertson and Lamar Middleton could make all of the difference.
I pick: James Madison...I like the road upset here. JMU has the tools on defense to slow EKU down, but the run game must work out for the Dukes to survive this huge test. A passing game would be nice if they could muster one as well.

Round 2
Analysis for the second round will be provided next Monday. Here is the slate for the games on December 3rd:
Sam Houston State vs. Albany/Stony Brook
New Hampshire at Montana State
Wofford at Northern Iowa
Montana vs. Tennessee Tech/Central Arkansas
Georgia Southern vs. Old dominion/Norfolk State
Maine at Appalachian State
Lehigh at Towson
North Dakota State vs. James Madison/Eastern Kentucky

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Final 2011 FCS Playoff Projections

With the FCS selection committee meeting in Indianapolis tomorrow, I will now project my playoff slots as to how I think that they should shake out when the bids are announced tomorrow afternoon. I will start with the auto bids by conference, and then I will move on to my at large bids. Here we go...

Auto Bids
Big Sky: Montana
Big South: Stony Brook
Colonial: Towson
MEAC: Norfolk State
Missouri Valley: North Dakota State
Northeast: Albany
Ohio Valley: Tennessee Tech
Patriot League: Lehigh
Southern: Georgia Southern
Southland: Sam Houston State

At-Large Bids
Montana State
The Bobcats fell today in the season finale against archrival Montana. That being said, they have been in our top 10 most of the season. Their two losses came against Utah and Montana. Consider this a lock.

The Bears are in slid shape to move on to the postseason based on their having won 8 games, with one of their 3 losses coming against FBS Pittsburgh. They also lost to New Hampshire today, and lost earlier to CAA Champ Towson.

Old Dominion
The Monarchs had a fairly weak non-conference slate this season, but faired very well in CAA play, and finished 9-2. ODU should very well get a bid, as anyone that finishes 9-2 in this league has had a fantastic season.

New Hampshire
The Wildcats likely played their way in today with a win over Maine to finish 8-3 on the season. UNH is effectively the kind of team that can make a scary run at this point.

Northern Iowa
The Panthers were a lock regardless of what happened against Illinois State today, and UNI pulled out a sloppy win today to cement the spot. The Panthers are one of the most dangerous teams in the At-Large category.

While the Terriers are not finishing the regular season as strongly as one would like, They are still more than deserving of this bid. The Terriers are the kind of team that can be sneaky at this point.

Appalachian State
Not the best season by Mountaineer standards, but not a terrible one by any means. ASU will not sneak up on anyone, and is still the kind of team that can make a quality run.

Central Arkansas
The Bears finshed 8-3, with two losses coming to FCS opponents. UCA definately deserves a shot to play, and I would be shocked if they were turned away for a team with a lesser record.

The Final Two Spots
There is a huge field to choose from for the final two spots, as some schools that needed wins to be locks did not get them today. Furman could have locked in, but blew a 22-7 lead against FBS Florida, thus getting bounced from the field.
The candidates for these two spots are: James Madison, Delaware, South Carolina State, Bethune-Cookman, Illinois State, Duquesne, Eastern Kentucky, Jacksonville State.
If I had choose two from this group, I would likely go with James Madison and Illinois State, with Delaware and Eastern Kentucky being my group B for these spots.
Tomorrow, we'll have a complete bracket, and we'll evaluate the teams on Monday.

Friday, November 18, 2011 All-Bilo D2 RB of the Year Award

Last night, I released the finalist list for our D2 RB of the Year Award. It included 26 RBs and all 160 schools were considered. This morning, we compiled the final ten list for the award. The final ten are as follows:

Jonas Randolph, Mars Hill
Joe Glendening, Hillsdale
Rashaad Slowley, Southern Connectcut State
Daronte McNeil, Elizabeth City State
Travis Daniels, North Carolina-Pembroke
David Carter, Morehouse
Richard Haley, Minnesota-Crookston
Lyndon Rowells, Humboldt State
Jordan Roberts, Charleston
Nicholas Cooper, Winston-Salem State

After all numbers were averaged, we are proud to announce that we have a winner. The winner of our All-Bilo D2 RB of the Year Award is...

Jonas Randolph, Mars Hill

Congratulations to Jonas, and to the Mars Hill program. To read the full report on Jonas, please visit today! All-Bilo D2 QB of the Year Award

It is with great pleasure that we name our first award winner of the 2011 college football season! With the regular season completed, I am pleased to announce first of all, the ten QBs considered for our D2 All-Bilo QB of the Year Award. The original list of finalists contained 24 finalists, and was whittled down to just ten last night. They are as follows:

Clay Garcia, Colorado Mines
Tommy Corwin, Central Missouri
Dane Simoneau, Washburn
Mitch Gale, Abilene Christian
Cody Haffly, Wingate
Chris Mills, Indianapolis
Luke Charles, North Carolina-Pembroke
Dustin Vaughn, West Texas A&M
Peter Lalich, California (PA)
Adam Neugebauer, West Virginia Wesleyan

It is my great pleasure to announce that the winner of the 2011 All Bilo D2 QB of the Year Award winner is...

Adam Neugebauer, West Virginia Wesleyan

For a full report on Adam, please visit! Congratulations to Adam, and to West Virginia Wesleyan!

Coming up, our D2 All-Bilo RB of the Year winner!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

All Bilo D2 RB of the Year 2011 Finalists

Here is our list of finalists for our All Bilo 2011 RB of  the Year award, which is given to the best RB in D2 based on a compiled average of statitistical production for the season. Congratulations to all of these great players that made this season's list. The award will be announced tomorrow!

Daronte McNeil, Elizabeth City State
Nicholas Cooper, Winston-Salem State
Travis Daniels, North Carolina-Pembroke
Mark Johnson, Southern Arkansas
Joe Glendening, Hillsdale
Monterae Williams, Findlay
Mike Noffsinger, Ohio Dominican
Josh Rener, Wayne State (MI)
Lyndon Rowells, Humboldt State
Matt Willis, West Alabama
Michael Hill, Missouri Western State
Justin Cooper, Washburn
James Franklin, Northwest Missouri State
Rashaad Slowley, Southern Connecticut State
Richard Haley, Minnesota-Crookston
Chris Smith, Upper Iowa
Rayon Simmons, Winona State
Josh Murray, Mary
Bryce Hawthorne, Wayne State (NE)
Franklin Quiteh, Bloomsburg
Eddie Mateo, Bloomsburg
Dan Palmer, Colorado Mines
Jonas Randolph, Mars Hill
Nate Inman, Carson-Newman
David Carter, Morehouse
Jordan Roberts, Charleston

D2 All Bilo QB of the Year Finalists

Here is our list of D2 finalists for our first ever All Bilo QB of the Year Award for the D2 level. This award is given to the QB who finished the season with the best collective passing statistical complelation. It is an individual award, so team records do not sway the award. It is based on statisitical compilation, and we do not individually nominate those on the list. Here is the list of finalists for 2011:

Chris Mills, Indianapolis
Jonathon Jennings, Saginaw Valley State
Heath Parling, Grand Valley State
Kameron Smith, Winston-Salem State
Luke Charles, North Carolina-Pembroke
Johnny Deaton, Northeastern State
Willy Korn, North Greenville
Tyler Vanderzee, East Central
Mike Proulx, Humboldt State
Lee Chapple, North Alabama
Mitch Gale, Abilene Christian
Nick Stephens, Tarleton State
Dustin Vaughn, West Texas A&M
Tommy Corbin, Central Missouri
Dane Simoneau, Washburn
Bryant Johnson, Bentley
Ryan Osieki, New Haven
Peter Lalich, California (PA)
Zach Zulli, Shippensburg
Kevin Morton, Kutztown
Clay Garcia, Colorado Mines
Cody Haffly, Wingate
Stanley Jennings, Albany State
Adam Neugebauer, West Virginia Wesleyan
The award will be announced tomorrow for the All Bilo QB of the Year Award. Good luck to all of the student athletes named on this list and to their schools!

FCS Playoffs...20 That Should Be In

Here we go with yet another look at how the FCS playoffs should shake out. We use our PRS rankings and conference standings to gauge the 20 team field, and we look at which games this weekend should effect the field overall. Let's take a look!

Big Sky: Montana or Montana State
Big South: Liberty or Stony Brook
Colonial: Towson
MEAC: Norfolk State
Missouri Valley: North Dakota State
Northeast: Albany
Ohio Valley: Tennessee Tech
Patriot League: Lehigh
Southern: Georgia Southern
Southland: Sam Houston State*
* Regular Season PRS FCS Champion

As you can see, 8 of 10 spots have been locked up, but the Big Sky, traditionally a power spot, and the Big South will be decided this weekend with two wars on top. Montana State has the edge coming into their tilt with Montana, as they are ranked 3rd in the PRS. Montana would be top ten if they had not played an ill advised late season game against D2 Western Oregon, which essentially gets the Grizzlies zero credit in the PRS rankings.
Last season, Liberty seemed to be cruising to the FCS playoffs before a late season stumble sent them into a three way tie for the conference title, which Liberty lost out to Coastal Carolina on the breaker. Liberty has much to prove in this game against streaking Stony Brook, as the Sea Wolves have won 7 straight since a 1 point loss to Brown back in September. Stony Brook looks primed to steal the game and the bid behind one of the best rushing attacks in the country.
Sam Houston State is our regular season PRS FCS Champion, regardless of a win or loss this weekend. They have accumulated 2471 points, and now boast a 452 point lead on the Bison of North Dakota State.
Let's take a look at the hard part now, which is filling the remaining 10 bids in our at-large section!

At-Large Bids
1. Montana State/Montana Loser
This is as automatic and no-brainer as the sun rising and setting in the sky. The Big Sky is a power conference, and that makes this as easy to pick as can be.
2. Old Dominion
The Monarchs have seriously earned this spot. They are 9-2 and rank #6 in our PRS rankings. Their only losses were to Delaware and Towson, both being quality losses. The non-conference schedule could be argued, as they have out of conference wins against Campbell, Georgia State, and a weakened Hampton. Will finish in a tie for 2nd in the Colonial.
3. Northern Iowa
The Panthers will finish 2nd in the Missouri Valley behind North Dakota State, and are currently ranked 10th in our PRS rankings. The Panthers lost only to NDSU in conference play, with their other loss coming by 1 point to FBS Iowa State. No major stand out out of conference wins, as they have defeated Stephen F. Austin (down year) and Southern Utah. That being said, still a lock that I would bet the farm on for receiving the bid.
4. Maine
The Bears are ranked 11th in our PRS rankings, and they deserve a solid shot at an at-large bid as the third member of the powerful CAA to grab a bid. With one game left at New Hampshire, Maine's only two losses were to CAA Champ Towson and FBS Pittsburgh. Maine has a win over FCS playoff potential participant Albany, and beat Bryant as well in non-conference play. A loss to UNH could upset things, but we'll cross that bridge this weekend.
5. Central Arkansas
I figure that we'll hear it on this one, but here we go!. The Bears are a strong football team at 8-3. Their losses came against FBS members Louisiana Tech and Arkansas State, and FCS #1 Sam Houston State, meaning that only two of their losses actualyy really count at the end of the day. The only drawback is that their wins came mostly in SLC play and against D2 Henderson State. If I had to take a flyer on a shocker for an at-large, it would be UCA.
6. New Hampshire
The Wildcats are a solid football team and rank 19th in the PRS FCS Rankings. An upset win over Maine this weekend would likely lock this spot up, with a loss really outting them on the fringe. Their three losses were a mixed bag with great (FBS Toledo), solid (Towson), and kind of bad (William & Mary). Really crushed FCS Playoff auto-bid member Lehigh (48-21), making UNH an intriguing entry. That being said, UNH is only 3-2 in their last 5 games. Still an in for me.
7. Appalachian State
This is not your typical season for Jerry Moore's Mountaineers, but ASU is still having a solid season by the gauge of most everyone else. Losses came against Virginia Tech, Wofford, and Furman, which were all decent losses. Out of conference wins were fairly weak as they came against North Carolina A&T and Savannah State. ASU ranks 21st in the PRS Rankings, and they are 4-1 in their last five games.
8. Illinois State
The Redbirds have been a quiet group this season, but they are a solid program on the rise. ISU is 5-0 in their last 5 games, with all three losses coming early to Eastern Illinois (really bad), Youngsotwn State (respectable), and North Dakota State (quality). ISU has one last hurdle, as they take on Northern Iowa thhis weekend. An upset would cement ISU in the playoff picture.
9. Wofford
The Terriers sneak in as the 3rd SoCon member, as the SoCon always calls for three bids, and should. Wofford has three quality losses to Clemson, Furman, and Georgia Southern, while they defeated App. State. They have one game left at upset minded Chattanooga which if lost, could change this picture a bit.
10. Wide Open
This spot is a bit close to call for me. There are a few teams that all could stake a claim this weekend with big wins. The list includes Bethune-Cookman, Florida A&M, James Madison, Delaware, South Carolina State, Indiana State, Youngstown State, Eastern Kentucky, Jacksonville State, and Furman. There is also some push for some one bid leagues to break the mold in Duquesne and Georgetown, both in our PRS Top 25. Portland State also makes a case, but has two wins against D2 or NAIA opponents.

We will be assessing the bids when they release this Sunday, and will break down the field for you on Monday afternoon. Good luck to your school as we push on for the FCS National Championship!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

FBS, FCS, and Final D2 Rankings Now Posted

Our Week 11 FBS, FCS, and D2 rankings are now posted at for viewing! This top ten Playoffs start next Saturday! We'll have a full breakdown of the D2 brackets later this afternoon available for viewing.
In the meantime, here is a top ten breakdown of all three polls!

1. Oklahoma State
The Cowboys smashed Texas Tech 66-6, as they coasted to a 41-0 halftime lead over the Red Raiders. OSU appears to be coasting into a final showdown on December 3rd with archrival Oklahoma.

2. Houston
The Cougars are the last non-AQ school to be undefeated this season after Boise State fell to TCU. The Cougars are not ranked in the top ten in most other polls, but the numbers have been accumalting inin our system. UH, like Oklahoma State, topped 300 points last week in a 73-17 thrashing of Tulane.

3. Stanford
The Cardinal got blasted by Oregon, but had such strong numbers, that the loss of points actually did not crush them as much as one would have thought. It shocked us as well when the Cardinal did not fall further, but we only calculate the formula, we don't slot the teams. Stanford still looks very strong for a Fiesta Bowl bid.

4. LSU
This one creates a ton of controversy. The Tigers are still unbeaten, but have only played 9 games this fall. They will still climb if they win out. Don't forget that the SEC title game is still an opportunity to gain more points, so LSU is still very much alive for our title.

5. Alabama
The Tide picked up a solid, but unimpressive win on the road at Mississippi State this week, 24-7. Alabama is still climbing as they win, but they likely will not catch up to LSU.

6. Oregon
Look who's still alive this season! The Ducks positively hammered former #1 Stanford by over three TDs, and they are looking primed to appear and host in the innaugural Pac-12 title game, giving them a strong chance to move into the Rose Bowl bid. With some strange endings, Oregon could still push higher.

7. Boise State
The dream of winning the BCS title is over, and so is a PRS title. Almost 600 points down to Oklahoma State, the Broncos don't stand a chance of catching up now after losing to TCU at home this weekend.

8. Oklahoma
The Sooners could finish top 5 by winning out, and they are the biggest spoilers going right now if they meet and unbeaten Oklahoma State team and beat them. OU is still very much alive for a BCS date, but if not, Cotton is a very nice locale for them.

9. Southern Mississippi
The Golden Eagles are quietly having a monster season, which is what we've been waiting for ever since Larry Fedora took over this club. This is the first time since we started the PRS that two CUSA schools have ever occupied the top 10 at one time. The CUSA title game is looking like a fireworks show!

10. Virginia Tech
The okies can never be counted out, but they still have a troubling contest wth Virginia on the horizon. I still believe that VT hangs on and takes on CLemson in the ACC title game. The Hokies have been hanging around the top ten quietly for most of the season.

1. Sam Houston State
Hand the regular season title to the Bearcats for 2011! Sam Houston State has one more date left, with a road trip to Texas State looming, but even with a loss in that contest (which I do not see coming), SHSU has such a huge point lead, that nobody can catch them now. Congrats to the Bearcats!

2. North Dakota State
The Bison were the only other real challengers for the crown, but they fumbled away a chance to take this race into the final weekend, falling to Youngsotwn State 27-24 last weekend. They had a huge lead on Lehigh and Montana State, and Lehigh was too far back to catch them, while Montana State could potentially bump NDSU to #3 with a win over Montana this weekend. Still a playoff lock.

3. Lehigh
The Mountain Hawks won the Patriot League with ease by crushing #17 Georgetown 34-12. Lehigh has locked up the auto bid to the FCS playoffs, and their season is complete. They will likely drop to #4 next week, as Montana State still has one game on the books.

4. Montana State
One of the hottest teams in the country the last two seasons, the BobCats could potentially move up to #2 if all the cards fall into place. The Big Sky title is on the line this weekend against archrival Montana, making that game the FCS game of the week. Huge opportunity here for MSU, but a playoff lock ether way.

5. Georgia Southern
Last season, we had to debate GSU's place in the playoffs. This season, no such conversation takes place as the Eagles have been as solid as ever. The season finale is a ridiculous contest at FBS #5 Alabama, so GSU will drop with no points gained in a loss to the Tide. Still a playoff lock as the SoCon Champ.

6. Old Dominion
The Monarchs season is over now, and they await to see where they are headed. A first ever FCS playoff birth seems a lock for this very young program. ODU will slip some as teams under them continue to gain points with one more week on the books.

7. Harvard
The Crimson will continue to climb if they can defeat Yale this week. A top five finish is not out of the question for this red hot football team. Likely clinched the Ivy title with a crushing win over Penn this weekend.

8. Norfolk State
The Spartans are the MEAC Champs, and their season is complete. They now sit and wait to see who they match up with in the FCS playoffs, and they need a break, as thir offense has not been firing on all gears this season. The defense is stellar.

9. Towson
Nobody can claim that they saw this coming. Towson can claim the CAA title with a win at struggling Rhode Island this weekend and earn the CAA's top seed in the FCS playoffs, while also making a push to lunge for the PRS top 5 to close out the season. Shocking.

10. Northern Iowa
The Panthers ran neck and neck with #2 NDSU all season, but fell two weekends ago. While NDSU appears a lock to win their season finale with Western Illinois, UNI faces a major test against MVC #3 Illinois State this weekend to close out. I still see UNI as a playoff lock.

D2 (Final Regular Season Rankings)
1. Midwestern State
Our regular season national champion are the Mustangs of Midwestern State, who powered their way to an 11-0 ranking and #1 seed in the super regional #4 bracket! QB Brandon Kelsey and RB Keidrick Jackson combined to rush for 28 TDs on the season, while Kelsey added another 16 through the air.

2. Winston-Salem State
It appears that the Rams made the right choice to drop back down to D2 from FCS play. Cameron Smith passed for 28 TDs on the season, while Nicholas Cooper rushed for 132.91 yards per game and 17 TDs. His yards per game mark was good for 9th in the nation. The Rams are the #1 seed in super regional #1.

3. New Haven
The Chargers are all the way back now, and they are all charged up after finishing 10-1 on the season. Ryan Osieki passed for 30 TDs on the season and finished with a 3/1 TD to pick ratio. Mike DeCaro rushed for 10 scores on the season, and Jason Thompson grabbed 10 TD receptions. Tom Herd is hell on defense after finishing with 10 total sacks on the year. UNH secured a 1st round bye.

4. Colorado State-Pueblo
One of the teams to watch in the D2 playoffs, and a rising star as a program. Ross Dausin only tossed 4 picks all season, and tossed 16 TDs. Jesse Lewis and JB Matthews combined to rush for 17 scores as a two headed attack at RB. Keep the ball away from DB Mark Sterling, as he defended 11 passes on the season. The ThunderWolves have a 1st round bye and are a #1 seed.

5. Nebraska-Kearney
The Lopers are a #2 seed behind the only team that they lost to all season, CSU-Pueblo. Jake Spitzilberger can make the play, but must avoid the costly pick, as he tossed 13 in 11 games this seasonw ith only 20 TD passes. Where Spitzilberger excels is in the run game, as he led the Lopers with 983 yards rushing and 14 more scores. Tommy Flanagan caught 8 TD passes on the season. Arthur Hobbs defended 21 passes, with 6 picks, 2 going for scores on defense.

6. Kutztown
The Golden Bears are the first team in our top ten to not have secured a first round bye, as they open at home against Concord. KU was the PSAC champion after surviving in a 21-14 win over Slippery Rock last weekend. Kevin Morton passed for 32 scores on the season, Robbie Frey rushed for 10 scores. Erik Frazier caught 52 passes on the season, with 7 of them coming for scores. Josh Smith caught 10 TDs of his own.

7. Northwest Missouri State
The Bearcats survived the retirement of one coach, and the death of his replacement to slam their way forward into the playoffs, where they will take on a road trip to Missouri Western this weekend. James Franklin must be stopped on the ground as he rushed for 1032 yards and 19 TDs on the season. Trevor Adams passed for 17 scores. LB Chad Kilgore averages 9.45 tackles per game on defense, and freshman DB Bryce Enyard picked off 6 passes, returning one for a score. The BEarcats must stop the pressure that Missouri Western applies up front this weekend.

8. Humboldt State
We have our first playoff snub in the Lumberjacks, who finished 9-1 on the season. The Jacks were likey snubbed due to the weakness in the Great Northwest conference more than their overall contribution to football, but nevertheless, they are home for the holidays. Mike Proulx was outstanding at QB, passing for over 2800 yards and 28 Tds to just 8 picks on the season. Lyndon Rowells was incredible, finishing with 1472 yards rushing and 14 scores, good for 9th in the nation. Dirk Dallas caught 7 TDs on the season.

9. North Greenville
The Crusaders are the rare independent who scraped their way into the playoffs on the back of an outsanding season. The Crusaders will host Albany State next Saturday to open their playoff run. UNG boasts former Clemson star recruit Willy Korn (21TDs) at QB, and RBs Teryan Rucker and Idris Anderson combined to rush for 18 TDs on the season. Jamarius Robinson is a dangerous defender in the secondary, having defended 9 passes on the season.

10. Pittsburg State
The Guerillas return to their stomping ground in the playoffs as the 3rd MIAA team in the group. Pitt State earned the first round bye this weekend. QB Zac Dickey is a proficient runner, having rushed for 801 yards and 10 scores on the season. Sophomore LB Nate Dreiling is a beast on defense, having averaged 9.3 tackles per game. Gus Toca finished 2nd in the conference with 9 sacks on the season.

Monday, November 14, 2011

PRS Rankings for FBS, FCS Due Today

Due to our work with the Wounded Warrior Foundation, the PRS rankings for FBS and FCS will be delayed until this afternoon. Final numbers are in for the FBS rankings, and we are finalizing the FCS numbers today. Thanks for bearing with us!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

FCS Playoff Projections Who's In and Who's Out Updated 11/13

With one full week of FCS college football left on the slate, lets take a look at who looks to be in the playoff picture, and who appears to be out. This is our updated version, reflecting games played on 11/12/11.

Big Sky
In: Montana State, Montana
Bubble: Portland State
The Bobcats and Grizzlies are both a lock regardless of what happens when they meet next Saturday. MSU was ranked 3rd last week (new rankings for PRS FCS released tonight) and Montana was ranked 11th. Both figure prominantly into the playoff plans. Portland State is on the bubble. They have the overall record, but two of their wins came against lower classification opponents in Willamette and Southern Oregon. That could cost them their bid, as they will not have 7 wins against FCS opponents.

Big South
In: Liberty or Stony Brook
Bubble: None
They play this weekend, and only the winner gets the bid. Stony Brook started out slowly this seson, but the schedule was brutal early on. With road trips to UTEP and Buffalo. Liberty looks strong again, but remember that they collapsed at the end of the season last year to lose the bid. Redemption time is at hand.

In: Towson, Maine, Old Dominion, New Hampshire
Bubble: James Madison, Delaware
Towson is the shocking favorite to win the CAA this fall after piling up solid wins along the way. Maine, ODU, and UNH are all basically locks, but ODU had the easiest road of any of them with wins over Campbell and Georgia State in their resume. JMU and Delaware will both need wins to be considered, and at the end of the day, there may only be a spot for one of them, if either one of them at all.

Great West
In: None
North Dakota would finish tied for first with Cal Poly, however, UND lost to Cal Poly 23-19 during the season. Cal Poly is not strong enough to merit an at large bid, and UND has wins against Black Hills State and Montana-Western. Not going to happen in the conference's final season.

Does not participate.

In: Norfolk State
Bubble: Florida A&M, Bethune-Cookman, South Carolina State
Norfolk State has won the MEAC, and their season is complete. Last season, the MEAC got two bids, and that could potentially happen again. A&M defeated SC State by 3, but plays Bethune-Cookman this weekend for what could be a spot. Bethune-Cookman lost to SC State, so a win would be highly necessary this week, in conjunction with an SC State loss. SC State is only 6-4, but two of their losses came against Indiana and Central Michigan. A second bid is not a gurantee, but it is possible.

Missouri Valley
In: North Dakota State, Northern Iowa, Illinois State
Bubble: Indiana State, Youngstown State
NDSU ran as our #1 ranked team in the PRS for most of the season before ceding that spot to Sam Houston State. They may have mailed it in last Saturday in their loss to Youngstown State, figuring that they had the spot locked up. Northern Iowa is a stable pick as the 2 seed out of the MVC, while Illinois State looks like a strong possibility as a lock as well.
Indiana State started out strong, but now sits at 6-4 and needs help. Remember, one of their losses was to Penn State. Youngstown also needs help, and needs to win this week as well, but they boast that win over NDSU as a solid chip in pitching themselves for an at large spot with 7 wins.

Patriot League
In: Lehigh
Bubble: None
It was win it or lose it when Lehigh battkled Georgetown last Saturday, as the winner got the one bid from the PL. Lehigh dominated, and Gtown is home for the holidays. The Mountain Hawks simply await their opponent.

Pioneer League
In: None
Bubble: Jacksonville
It's really not likely that JU will make it this year if they didn't go last season with a 10-1 record. The Dolphins are the only option if the FCS considers the PFL, being that Drake has wins over two lower classifications, as does San Diego. USD can get over the top by defeating Jacksonville, and has already beaten Drake, but it's not likely. JU has no wins outside of classification, but lost their two toughest games against Western Illinois and Citadel, with neither of those schools posting a winning record this season.

In: Albany
Bubble: Duquesne
Duquesne is unrealistic here, but has a solid record for mentioning. Albany has already clinched at least a share of the NEC, and they have already defeated the Dukes this season. The Great Danes are winners of 7 of their last 8 games.

Ohio Valley
In: Tennessee Tech
Bubble: Eastern Kentucky, Jacksonville State
Tech has beaten both EKU and JSU, but only plays ten games this season, and has a win over Maryville College. That being said, they are in control for the OVC auto bid, which may mean that the other two are out, which without wins this weekend, will happen anyway as they both sit at 6-4.

In: Georgia Southern, Wofford, Appalachian State
Bubble: Furman,  Samford
Samford is a real stretch here to get the at large with just 7 wins, as if Furman has seven, they are just more attractive with wins over Wofford and App. State. GSU is a certain lock as they have closed out SoCon play with one loss. Wofford is solid for an at large, as is ASU. Four bids could totally happen here, but Furman must win next weekend to be considered.

In: Sam Houston State
Bubble: Central Arkansas
The Bearcats have locked up the SLC title, and they did it with relative ease this season. UCA is on the bubbe, but they have the record to look attractive to the committee, as two of their three losses came to Louisiana Tech and Arkansas State. One win came over D2 Henderson State, but they have compensated with other wins. The Bears have won 7 straight heading into the postseason, as their regular season is complete.

Does not participate

In: None
Bubble: None
Nobody will likely qualify to be considered.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Coming on 11/13 /11

Coming up tomorrow on the Bilo College Football report and
New FCS Playoff Projections
FBS and FCS PRS Rankings

Penn State: How Power and Greed Killed a Legacy

     For decades, Penn State was the program that you looked at as the model of major college football. They were the program that won big most years, and did it the right way. They were a model of how the academic and athletic meld could work with great success.
     Joe Paterno was the model of what a college football coach should be. He was the moral compass of the college game, the man that seemed to be the poster child for ethical standards in college sports and in life in general.
     In many ways, that image was as solid as granite. Nobody ever questioned what Penn State was all about, even if you hated them, which for many years back in the day, I did, for no real reason in general. It was basically explained in the way that you just knew you didn't like lima beans. You just didn't like them. Respect, on the other hand, was unquestioned.
      Last Saturday, November 5th, 2011, everything changed. Whether or not you were a Penn State fan, if you were a college football fan in general, everything that you ever though that you knew fell through the cracks. The world stopped spinning in any way that we could possibly understand when it was announced that former long time defensive assistant, defensive coordinator, and apparent head coach in waiting, Jerry Sandusky had been arrested after a grand jury investigation found enough evidence to charge Sandusky with 40 counts all in conjunction with sexual assaults on minors dating back over 10 years, with 8 known victims.
    Jerry Sandusky had been using a charity that he founded in 1977, The Second Mile, to reel in young at risk boys that he could groom and violate for his own twisted, heinous sexual pleasures. All of those years in which it seemed that Sandusky was as upsatnding as his boss, Joe Paterno, were a lie. And it gets worse every day as new details emerge, and believe me when I say that we have not even scratched the surface of this investigation yet, and the deviant behavior could have been spread around by more parties than just Sandusky, as an ongoing journalistic investigation alleges that boys from The Second Mile charity had been pimped out by Sandusky to high profile, big money Penn State donors. It is also alleged that Penn State offered Sandusky a cover up in exchange for his immediate retirement in 1999 at the age of 55, meaning that the explanation of his being told that he was no longer Paterno's heir to the empire was probably always a lie.
     There are many people to blame for everything that has happened to defenseless children in multiple counts in this case. All of the warning signs were ignored, possibly even blatantly. Once evrything was brought to light as far as what Sandusky's behavior was, they were ignored blantantly in an absolute manner. This is not alleged. This is fact, as it was brought out in the grand jury investigation.
     After a week of careful study and assessment, I have isolated parties of blame, and what could have and should have been done in every case, by each individual. There are many villains in this tale, because as I am about to show you, power and greed were the driving forces in covering these heinous acts up. Let's take a look at who is to blame, and how this unwielding loyalty to Joe Paterno, and Paterno's own ego killed his legacy.

Joe Paterno
    You don't need me to tell you about his record. You don't need me to tell you anything more about his age, and how everyone has felt about his impending departure to either retirement, or quite frankly, death. What you do need to know is that in all likelihood, Paterno knew everything that was going on in and around his program.
      In 2002, it was brought to Paterno's attention by then grad assistant Mike McQueary that McQueary had witnessed Sandusky sodomizing a 10 year old boy in the assistant coaches shower. That was all that Paterno should have ever needed to have heard.
     That being said, Paterno likely lied to investigators when he said that he was informed of what was only "inappropriate behavior, and horse play". What did Paterno need to hear after innapropriate, shower, Sandusky, naked, and ten year old to gauge the seriousness of the issue?
     At that point, Paterno informed his AD, Tim Curley, who as we now know, buried it with he and Gary Schultz, the former head of Finance and Business, who the Penn State University Police Department fell under. We also now know that this was not the first time that Curley and Schultz had been made aware of these kinds of issues with Sandusky, but we'll get to that later.
     Where this applies to Paterno in this particular instance, is that Paterno told Curley, and then he walked away from it. Paterno never brought it up again with anyone to the knowledge of those involved in the case. His persona in this is that he did what he should have done, and that was that. Besides, Sandusky was no longer a member of his staff, so it wasn't his problem. To quote Lee Corso, "not so fast my friend".
     It is fairly apparent now, that when Sandusky was offered his retirement in 1999, he was informed by Paterno that he was no longer the heir apparent to Paterno's job. The reason for that was likely that Paterno had been made aware of Sandusky's behavior likely as early as 1998, when Sandusky was investigated over a six week period by both University and State College Police over his involvement with the individual now known in the Grand Jury Report as Victim 1.
     There is no credible way that Paterno could ever have been completely insulated from a six week investigation into a member of his staff for something as incredulous as sexual assault on a minor. There is no credible way that Paterno could not have been included on this investigation at any time, whether or not he was questioned, as Schultz and Curley both had to have known themselves, as Schultz was running the campus police unit.
     The fact now that Paterno denies any of this is laughable at best. The only way Paterno could credibly state that he had no knowledge of Sandusky's behavior was if he suddenly claimed that he is now suffering from dimentia, and I hardly think that this is the case.
     The answer is simple. At Penn State there are two central rules, and there always have been. The first rule is to protect Paterno at all costs. The second rule is to protect Penn State at all costs. That is correct, I said that first comes Paterno, and then comes Penn State. Many believed, and they were wrong on so many counts, that there was no Penn State without Paterno. So therefore, Paterno himself came before the university. Paterno created an aura around himself over the years, and it was carefully crafted as to create this zone where nobody could question him. He entrenched himself in power so deeply that he even was instrumental in creating school policy. Not just football or athletic policy, but school political and academic policy. This is no a myth, as it is as true as the day is long.
     Paterno had more power at Penn State than anyone, including the school president. There were some in the state that believed that Paterno had just about more power than anyone in the entire state of Pennsylvania, and they probably would not have been very far off. If Joe said it, it went, and that was that. Nobody wields that kind of power without knowing absolutely everything about anything that was going on of any importance.
     In 2004, school administrators had decided that Paterno had reached his past freshness date and went to his house (one that is on University property, mind you), and asked him to resign. He kicked them out of his house, and they left, never to ask for his resignation again.
     Paterno has invested millions of dollars into the university as well, so he made sure to become an investment that kept on paying dividends to the university. He brought in huge money in donations, and Penn State had become the third highest revenue program in college football behind only Texas and Notre Dame. In short, Paterno ensured his power by becoming a cash cow, one that was invaluable to university success. That kind of financial power brings a status of invincibility.
     Paterno had come to believe that he was untouchable, and his program had become all powerful in his wake. Nothing was going to bleimish or slight his empire, and that is exactly what it was. Paterno, and those that answered to him in essence, would even bury sexual assault on children to keep his program from coming to harm.
     Paterno was foolish in believing that he could bury this burden forever. The longer that Paterno tried to bury this, the more it became likely that the bomb was going to go off. Last Saturday, it finally went off right under his ass.
     Paterno could have been the hero that so many always thought of him to be. Paterno could have dragged this case straight to the authorities as soon as he heard about it. He could have been the man that saved so many innocent kids from the depravities of Sandusky, but instead, he became Sandusky's enabler, and became a party to the enslavement of the dignity of children, yet another monster that was responsible in his very own way of their lost innocence. Paterno's greed for more success, more power, and more arrogance became his very own monster, and in the end, it destroyed everything good that Paterno had ever built.
     In the end, Paterno is a pathetic and defeated figure. His ego was so large, his hunger for power so extreme, that he even attempted to craft his own way out of this by announcing his own terms for his departure via retirement at season's end. Once again, the Corsoism "not so fast sweetheart". The Board of Trustees stepped up to the plate, and much too late, became the only heroes on the day and announced that Paterno's greed would no longer be satiated on their watch, his thirst for power forceably quenched and satiated. He was relieved of his duties by phone, because quite frankly, they could no longer take the chances that they wouldn't be kicked out of "his house".
     There was a time in the 1980's that Paterno had been offered the job as head coach of the New England Patriots on three different occasions. He didn't take the job because he "didn't want to leave college football in the hands of the Barry Switzer's and Jackie Sherrill's of the world". It turns out that in his own special way, he was probably just as bad as they were in the end.

Jerry Sandusky
     At the end of the day, Sandusky is the main villain in all of this. It was he who defiled so many children in his day. He is the true face of evil, the beast that tore out the souls of at least 8 young boys over the course of decades. He was the devil encarnate. That being said, there was no Sandusky if there were no enablers, and of those there were plenty.
     The truth is, Sandusky has probably collected way more than eight victims in his life. The average male sexual predator collects 107 victims in his lifetime. I am fairly guessing that Sandusky did not wake up one day and decide to start sexually violating young boys. It is more than likely something that goes far more in depth, and one can only hope that if there are other victims of his abuses, that they now gain the courage to come forward. They have been given the burden of protecting other children now from this undeniable bastard.
     Sandusky's behaviors with all of his victims were consistent. It started with a hand on the leg of his passengers in his cars. It included, universally, wreslting around and sweating followed by "necessary showers" with his prey.
     We all know the depraved acts now, as they are clearly painted in the grand jury report. THere is not much more than I can say than he betrayed anyone and everyone that ever came into his trust. He destroyed the bonds of decades worth of boys and men that had ever placed him on the dias of royalty that anyone associated with Penn State football gained access to.
      As was portayed in the grand jury report, Sandusky was confronted twice by the mother of victim number 1. She was the only known mother that had the guts to go after the man that she knew had violated her son. She brought the police in on the investigation in 1998. The police heard him admit his showering with her son, and he stated that he wished he were dead. do I.
      Sandusky is the monster of monsters. He will hopefully rot in prison for the rest of his miserable life. I think most of us would be just fine with that. If you are not, you had better check yourself.

Mike McQueary
     McQueary has spent his entire life in State College. He grew up there, went to high school there, played and started at QB for Penn State, and became a coach on the staff there. Those days are most certainly over.
     In 2002, McQueary walked in on Jerry Sandusky raping a 10 year old child by means of anal sex. It was not mistaken as to what he saw, and that, as well, has been clearly documented in the grand jury report. What happened next perplexes most if not all of us.
     McQueary did nothing. He did not attack Sandusky, as I know I would have done. He did not attempt to save the child from the horrors of anal rape. He simply left the room, even though he had clearly be seen by both. He called not the police, but his father. He went to daddy to tell him what to do. He was an adult. He should have known what to do. He should have taken care of the matter first personally, and then through the authorities. And even worse, after telling Paterno, not that night, but the next day, he never followed up. He never pressed the issue with anyone. He simply took whatever deal was offered to shut his miserable pussified mouth, and he walked away, becoming yet another potential enabler in Sandusky's behavior. Because McQueary did nothing that night, and never did anything from that point forward, he fell as well, and now is a villain in his own home. He bought into the greed and the power that became Penn State football, rather than doing the right thing. The worst part of all, is that from that horrible night in 2002 until just two weeks ago, he witnessed Sandusky continue to come onto the Penn State campus, and he never pressed or asked the important questions.

Graham Spanier
     Spanier was the defacto school president, but we all know that he answered to his cash cow, Joe Paterno. Spanier had no real power, and he acted as the great enabler when he refused to force Sandusky off campus. He grinned and bore the responsibility of knowing that he had a known child molestor on his campus, and he did absolutely nothing to keep Sandusky off of the Penn State campus, and likely orchastrated any deals for the purpose of a cover up by his very title.
     None of the issues that I reference above could have happened without his expressed concsent and signature at the end of the day. There is still protocol, even if Spanier was a defacto Paterno puppet. Spanier sat for 13 years....let that sink in....13 years, knowing that he had a violator in his midst, and he did nothing. Not one fucking thing to deal with this and take the responsibility with being a school president. One could argue that Spanier was insolated along with Paterno from any of this, and therefore had no knowledge. To that I say one word. IMPOSSIBLE!!!
     Nobody rises to the position of school president and doesn't know when a member of his "team" is being investigated for six weeks for something as serious as sexual assault on a minor. The fact is that Spanier was not being responsible for his ship, and it destroyed him in the end. He should be in prison, but for a douche like Spanier, a likely lifetime ban from academia may be his prison, his own personal hell. Oh, how I hope so!

Tim Curley
     Curley, the AD at Penn State, was a central figure in the cover up, and along with Gary Schultz, will likely be going to prison. He certainly looks all Midwest morals and ethics, but in truth, Curly was as evil as anyone in all of this, regardless of what he may think about himself. What he did was inexcusable.
     He had, on at least two seperate occasions, had information that placed Sandusky at the helm of a series of sexual acts of indecency performed on minors using facilities that he, again as a defact Paterno puppet, controlled as Athletic Director.
     I would state that he said that he had no knowledge od the depth as to what was going on, but that is now cemented in fact as a very deep and twisted lie, created to first protect Paterno and his program, and secondly, to protect Penn State, in essence following the PSU rules that we spoke of earlier. He got caught, and then he got popped, and last week turned himself in, along with Gary Schultz, to the state police in Harrisburg.
     Curly is every bit responsble for anything purpetrated upon those children as Sandusky was, because he absolutely buried it. He could have saved countless victims, but allowed there horror to exist. My only hope for Curly is that he gets to find out what it's like to be someone's bitch in prison, so that he knows how those kids felt everytime that his irresponsibilities allowed them to be raped by one of his employees. There is no doubt that he allowed this, and he covered it up, making him a central villain. May he rot in hell.

In The End
     The Paterno legacy is dead. It is buried in the center of campus, and it was killed by the overwhelming desire not to save children, but to save its very self.  Power, greed, and an unhealthy loyalty or fear of Paterno by his underlings led to its very demise.
      At the end of the day, absolute power corrupts absolutely. No coach, on any level or sport, should ever wield the kinds of power that these people were allowed to wield. These are the dangers that things like this can happen, and that "responsible people" lose their way through the fog pf power and greed.
     It happens everywhere, all of the time. In closing, I quote Matt Millen when he said, "if we can't protect our kids, than we are pathetic as a society". This was a massive failure on part of the people that should have been in place to make sure that none of this ever should have happened. You don't plan for it, and it's not in a book somewhere. You just don't let it happen. If it happens, you shut it down violently. Unless, of course, you subscribe to the rules of power and greed.