Saturday, November 17, 2007

FCS Playoffs: Bracket Projection

The official bracket will be announced tomorrow.

Eastern Illinois (8-3, At-Large)
#1 Northern Iowa (11-0, Gateway Auto-Bid)

Delaware St. (10-1, MEAC Auto-Bid)
Delaware (8-3, At-Large)

Eastern Kentucky (9-2, OVC Auto-Bid)
#4 Southern Illinois (10-1, At-Large)

Wofford (8-3, SOCON Auto-Bid)
Richmond (9-2, At-Large)

Eastern Washington (8-3, At-Large)
#2 McNeese State (11-0, Southland Auto-Bid)

James Madison (8-3, At-Large)
Appalachian State (9-2, At-Large)

New Hampshire (7-4, At-Large)
#3 Montana (11-0, Big Sky Auto-Bid)

Fordham (8-3, Patriot Auto-Bid)
Massachusetts (9-2, CAA Auto-Bid)

Bids by conference
CAA: 5
Big Sky: 2
Gateway: 2
OVC: 2
Patriot: 1
Southland: 1

For my seeding rationale see the previous post.

At-Large Rationale:
Six of the at-large teams, Southern Illinois, Appalachian State, Richmond, James Madison, Delaware, and Eastern Washington essentially chose themselves. The seventh and eight spots were difficult to fill. Here are the two I chose:

Eastern Illinois 8-3
Eastern Illinois played entirely Division I opposition, including an FBS team and still posted an eight win season, one above the threshold of seven which is generally necessary to receive serious at-large consideration. Were it not for the losses by Hofstra and Georgia Southern today, Eastern Illinois might not have been in the picture, but, based on the selection criteria, they are the seventh best team available for selection.

New Hampshire 7-4
Only one other team, Montana State last year, has received an FCS at-large bid with a 7-4 record. This year, the final spot comes down to three CAA teams each with 7-4 records, Hofstra, New Hampshire, and Villanova. Hofstra lost to both New Hampshire and Villanova, so this leaves us with a comparison of those two teams. The two teams did not play head to head, but each posted an identical 3-3 record versus common opponents. New Hampshire, however, posted a win against FBS Marshall, giving them one more quality win than Villanova, so they get the nod.

Teams also considered:

Youngstown State 7-4
Only 6 DI wins.

Georgia Southern 7-4
Only 6 DI wins.

Elon 7-4
Only 6 DI wins.

Grambling 8-2
The Bayou Classic comes calling.

The Citadel 7-4
Only 6 DI wins.

Sam Houston State 7-4
Only 6 DI wins.

Liberty 8-3
Only 5 DI wins.

Holy Cross 7-4
Seven DI wins, weak strength of schedule.

Dayton 10-1
If you come from a weak conference, and schedule patsies out of conference, you had better be perfect. Dayton was not.

Colgate 7-4
Seven DI wins, weak strength of schedule.

Albany 8-3
The NEC is still weak enough that it will probably have to wait for an auto-bid to send its champion to the playoffs.

Alabama A&M 8-3
The loss today to Prairie View A&M probably ended the possibility of SWAC participation in the playoffs.


Anonymous said...

Who has a better chance of getting in? UNH, Villanova or Norfolk St?

Profane said...

UNH and Villanova have identical 7-4 records, including seven DI wins, and identical 3-3 records against common opponents, but UNH has an extra quality win - against an FBS opponent, Marshall. Norfolk State is 8-3, but has a much weaker Strength of Schedule, and one its wins came against Virginia State, a DII opponent. UNH has the best chance.