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.

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