Saturday, November 17, 2007

FCS Afternoon/Evening: Countdown to the Playoffs

Consequential FCS results as they come in:

Maine 14 New Hampshire 39

With the win, New Hampshire moves to a 7-4 record with all seven of those wins coming against DI opponents. Should enough bubble teams slip up this afternoon they could sneak in to an at-large berth in the playoffs.

Massachusetts 27 Hofstra 5

With the win, Massachusetts finishes with a 9-2 record, and will likely face an ADs vote against Richmond to determine the CAA auto-bid. After starting 6-0, Hofstra finishes 7-4, but with seven DI wins they still have a chance at an at-large berth.

William & Mary 20 Richmond 31

With the win, Richmond finishes with a 9-2 record, and the CAA ADs (with the exception of those from Massachusetts and Richmond) will vote to determine who gets the CAA auto-bid.

Southern Illinois 45 Hampton 27

Hampton made it interesting early in the fourth quarter, but Southern Illinois were too much for them, and improve to 10-1 on the season and the possibility of a seed. GOOO SALOOOKIS!

Towson 13 James Madison 23

With the win, James Madison improves to 8-3 and in all likelihood has clinched an at-large berth in the playoffs.

Georgia Southern 34 Colorado State 42

Despite a valiant second half comeback, Georgia Southern has fallen to FBS Colorado State, and watched its playoff hopes slip away. At 7-4, with only 6 DI victories, Georgia Southern joins Youngstown State among top teams who will likely be left out in the cold.

Montana 41 Montana State 20

Montana pulled away in the second half, and, with the win in the rivalry game, improve to a perfect 11-0 for the regular season. They should have a seed awaiting them in the playoffs.

*Massachusetts takes the CAA auto-bid on a coin flip.*
The directors also noted that regardless of their decision, both Massachusetts and Richmond will be recognized identically as CAA co-champions; both teams are nationally ranked virtually assuring selection for the NCAA Championship and are likely first round host teams. In light of these factors, the directors concluded that the designation of the conference’s automatic qualifier merely will designate either team as the automatic qualifier or at-large team, but will not impact the evaluation of either champion by the NCAA Football Committee. Under these circumstances, the athletic directors concluded that the teams were indistinguishable and therefore the conference automatic qualifier should be determined by a coin-flip conducted by the Commissioner.

The coin-flip was conducted by CAA Commissioner Tom Yeager following the conclusion of both games. Massachusetts won the coin toss and will be the CAA’s automatic qualifier to the 2007 NCAA Football Championship.
With the final auto-bid decided, there are only a handful of games remaining left which have impact on the field.

Samford 17 Eastern Illinois 33

With the win, Eastern Illinois improve to 8-3, with all eight wins coming against DI opposition. Would the committee choose Eastern, from the OVC, over 7-4 teams like Hofstra and New Hampshire from the CAA? The latter two are objectively stronger teams, but the committee has been known to 'share the wealth' in the past.

Delaware 10 Villanova 16

Villanova came back to score 13 points in the fourth quarter to pull off a stunning upset of Delaware. Delaware is a safe bet for an at-large bid at 8-3, but their slim chances for a seed just evaporated. Villanova, at 7-4 with seven DI wins, must now enter the at-large conversation as well.

Chattanooga 17 Appalachian State 37

With this win Appalachian State improves to 9-2, and keeps its chances for a seed alive.

*Seeding Thoughts*

1. Northern Iowa leads Southern Utah 27-3 at the half, so they will be the #1 seed barring a miracle on the field or skulduggery during selection.

2. McNeese State have yet to kick off, but they should be the #2 seed with a win. I make them the #3 seed should they lose.

3. Montana has finished its season at 11-0, but played, by far, a weaker schedule than Northern Iowa and McNeese State. I make them the #3 seed with a McNeese State win, and a #2 seed with a McNeese State loss.

4. Only one of the five potential contenders for the final seed, Delaware, lost today. This leaves us to choose from Appalachian State (9-2), Massachusetts (9-2), Richmond (9-2), and Southern Illinois (10-1). Appalachian State and Southern Illinois both have wins against FBS opposition, while Massachusetts and Richmond played in a stronger conference, the CAA. One could argue endlessly, and fruitlessly, over who had the toughest schedule and the best body of wins. How to choose then? In a season where the seasons of most seeds will likely be defined by perfection, who amongst these other teams came closest to perfection? Or, put another way, which losses put the greatest blemish on the records of these four teams?

[Rankings of FCS teams reflect the latest edition of the GPI]
Appalachian State lost to #12 Wofford and #14 Georgia Southern.
Massachusetts lost to FBS Boston College, and #52 Rhode Island.
Richmond lost to FBS Vanderbilt and #51 Towson.
Southern Illinois lost to #1 Northern Iowa, and are, therefore, my #4 seed.

Weber State 16 Eastern Washington 38

With the win, Eastern Washington improves to 8-3 and probably locks up an at-large bid to the playoffs.

Southern Utah 10 Northern Iowa 48

Northern Iowa wraps up a 11-o regular season and, in all likelihood, the #1 overall seed with this win over 0-11 Southern Utah.

With McNeese State ahead 27-7 in the third quarter, it is time to wrap up this thread and announce my bracket projection.


Anonymous said...

What is the probability of watching UNH get an At Large bid? Having the strength of schedule that they had must account for a lot. The beat Hofstra, Delaware, FBS(Marshall), URI, Maine, Dartmouth, and Iona. Losing to James Madison, Richmond, UMass and Northeastern.

Profane said...

It is certainly not out of the question. Georgia Southern falling to Colorado State helped them a great deal, as did Hofstra's loss to Massachusetts. UNH fans should also pull for Weber State against Eastern Washington this evening. It could come down to a choice between two 7-4 CAA teams - Hofstra and UNH. Since UNH hammered Hofstra on the road, UNH would probably get the nod.

Anonymous said...

Villanova just beat Delaware. How does that affect the CAA?

Profane said...

The Villanova win merely puts the nails in the coffin on Delaware's slim chances of a seed. Delaware will take an at-large bid.