Saturday, November 14, 2009

FCS Playoff Watch #2 2009

FCS Playoff Watch 2009 #1
FCS Playoff Watch 2009 #2
FCS Playoff Watch 2009 #3: Midweek Update and Predictions
FCS Afternoon: Countdown to the 2009 Playoffs
FCS Playoffs 2009: Bracket Projection
FCS Bracket Announced: Comment and Predictions

This will be a weekly feature until selection day. Comments, corrections, and (constructive) criticism are most welcome. Be mindful of the rules of engagement at this blog. I will post a mid-week update with a full seeding discussion after the release of the polls and the GPI.

Seeds (2): Montana; Southern Illinois

Locks (9): Appalachian State; Eastern Illinois; Elon; Holy Cross; New Hampshire; Richmond; South Carolina State; Villanova; William & Mary

In the Hunt (6): Eastern Washington; McNeese State; Montana State; Northern Iowa; South Dakota State; Stephen F. Austin

Livin’ on a Prayer (9): Butler; Central Connecticut State; Colgate; Florida A&M; Lafayette; Liberty; Prairie View A&M; Weber State; Texas State

Off the Board (8): Delaware; Eastern Kentucky; Illinois State; Massachusetts; Missouri State; Northern Arizona; Southeastern Louisiana; Tennessee Tech

Auto Bid Conferences

Big Sky Conference

Montana (10-0; 7-0)

Montana took care of business this week by posting a 38-10 margin over Northern Colorado – precisely the sort of scoreline that we SHOULD have seen last week. This win also garners them the Big Sky auto-bid. It also clinches a #3 or #4 seed; the basic standard this year is going to be one-loss champions from the top four conferences.
Status: Seed

Eastern Washington (7-3; 5-2)

Eastern’s win was nothing more than should be expected in playing Southern Utah, a perennial FCS whipping boy. Next week is crunch time. A win at Northern Arizona would leave them at 8-3, with computer numbers probably strong enough to take an at-large bid, although a loss by another at-large contender would be required for comfort. A loss would leave them praying that the committee takes a 7-4 team.
Status: In The Hunt

Montana State (7-3; 5-2)

Montana State heads into their yearly grudge match with Montana with a simple prospect in front of them. Win, and reach seven DI wins and an 8-3 record, and likely receive one of the final at-large bids handed out. Lose and stay home.
Status: In the Hunt

Weber State (6-4; 6-2)

Weber State managed moral victories against FBS opponents Wyoming and Colorado State earlier in the season. They need a real one against Cal Poly on Saturday to keep themselves in the playoff hunt. They are the strongest 4-loss team in the FCS, so do not be surprised to see them in the field should other events proceed favorably for them.
Status: Livin’ on a Prayer

Northern Arizona (5-5; 4-3)

The loss to Weber State leaves Northern Arizona unable to reach seven DI wins.
Status: Off the Board

Key games this week:

Montana at Montana State
Montana wants the best seed possible, while Montana State needs a win to stay alive.

Eastern Washington at Northern Arizona
Eastern needs to win to take an at-large bid.

Cal Poly at Weber State
Weber State keeps its chances alive with a win.

Colonial Athletic Association

Villanova (9-1; 6-1)

With its expected win at Towson, and the loss by New Hampshire, Villanova is now in the driver’s seat for the CAA auto-bid and the #1 seed, as they defeated the two other one-loss CAA teams, Richmond and William & Mary. Should they underestimate a tough Delaware team on Saturday it could all go pear-shaped for them.
Status: Lock

Richmond (9-1; 7-1)

Like Villanova, Richmond were in taking care of business mode on Saturday, but face a tough final opponent in William and Mary. Win, and they keep their hopes of a CAA auto-bid and seed alive. Lose, and they will have to settle for an at-large bid, and, hopefully, a first-round match at home.
Status: Lock

William & Mary (9-1; 6-1)

William & Mary took down New Hampshire on Saturday in a thriller which lived up to the hype. Like Richmond, they are still in the running for the CAA auto-bid and a seed, while losing will still yield an at-large bid.
Status: Lock

New Hampshire (8-2; 5-2)

New Hampshire’s loss to William & Mary now means that their final game of the season against Maine is essentially irrelevant. To everyone outside of Maine and New Hampshire that is. TURN EM’ BLACK AND BLUE BEARS!
Status: Lock

Delaware (6-4; 4-3) and Massachusetts (5-5; 3-4)

With their losses, both teams are unable to reach seven DI wins.
Status: Off the board

Key games this week:

Delaware at Villanova
Villanova clinches the auto-bid and a seed with a win.

William & Mary at Richmond
Both teams could still take the auto-bid with a win, and could, potentially, represent a second seeded CAA team. On paper, the best matchup in the FCS this week.

Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference

South Carolina State (7-0; 9-1)

The Bulldogs clinched the MEAC auto-bid with their win on Saturday. Computer numbers are not strong enough to contend for a seed.
Status: Lock

Florida A&M (7-3; 5-2)

The disastrous loss at Hampton has cooked Florida A&M’s chances, and they will be one of the first minimally qualifying teams to go off the selection board.
Status: Livin’ on a Prayer

Missouri Valley Football Conference

Southern Illinois (9-1; 8-0)
WOO HOO SALUKIS! Southern Illinois completed a perfect conference season on Saturday, and should receive the #2 overall seed should they take down hapless SEMO next Saturday. Numbers are so strong that, even with a loss, they have a better resume than Appalachian State or a third CAA team, so a seed is safe.
Status: Seed

South Dakota State (7-3; 6-1)

South Dakota State narrowly failed to take down FBS Minnesota on Saturday, so they must wait until the final game of their season to clinch what they hope will be their first FCS playoff berth. The only thing standing in their way is 1-9 Western Illinois. Brace yourself for dancing Jackrabbits!
Status: In the Hunt

Northern Iowa (7-3; 5-2)

The win against Western Illinois on Saturday took Northern Iowa one step closer to a playoff berth that looked like a formality at the beginning of the season. Winning at Illinois State would get them there, although not by the route that they would have chosen.
Status: In the Hunt

Missouri State (6-5; 4-4) and Illinois State (5-5; 4-3)

With their losses on Saturday, both teams are unable to reach seven DI wins.
Status: Off the Board

Key games this week:

SEMO at Southern Illinois
The Salukis clinch a likely #2 seed with a win.

South Dakota State at Western Illinois
Jackrabbits dance with a win.

Northern Iowa at Illinois State
Panthers dance with a win.

Ohio Valley Conference

Eastern Illinois (8-2; 6-1)

With their win against Tennessee-Martin on Saturday, Eastern Illinois clinched the OVC auto-bid, given the postseason ineligibility of Jacksonville State. Computer numbers are not strong enough for seeding consideration.
Status: Lock

Eastern Kentucky (5-5; 5-2)
and Tennessee Tech (5-5; 4-3)

With their losses on Saturday, both teams are unable to either reach seven DI wins, or take the OVC auto-bid.
Status: Off the Board

Patriot League

Holy Cross (9-1; 5-0)

Holy Cross held on to win on Saturday in their game against Lafayette, and clinched the Patriot League auto-bid. Computer numbers are not strong enough for seeding consideration.
Status: Lock

Lafayette (8-2; 4-1)

Lafayette is not COMPLETELY out of it. The bubble is soft enough this year that it is very possible that a 9-2 Patriot League team could receive an at-large bid. Be successful in THE RIVALRY. And start praying.
Status: Livin’ on a Prayer

Colgate (9-2; 4-2)
The regular season is over for Colgate, as is their entire season in all likelihood, given their poor computer numbers. An at-large bid remains a remote possibility should Lafayette lose on Saturday and other stars align perfectly.
Status: Livin’ on a Prayer

Key game this week:

Lafayette at Lehigh

Southern Conference

Appalachian State (8-2; 7-0)
The more things change. . .you know the cliché. With their win at Elon on Saturday, the Mountaineers take their zillionth SOCON championship and auto-bid. With a win next Saturday against Western Carolina, they put themselves into the seeding conversation, with a likely debate over whether they are more deserving than a second team from the CAA.
Status: Lock

Elon (8-2; 6-1)
Elon were eliminated from auto-bid and seeding consideration with their loss on Saturday, but, with eight DI wins, have a safe at-large bid awaiting them even in the unlikely event of a loss on Saturday.
Status: Lock

Southland Conference

Stephen F. Austin (8-2; 5-1)
With the win at Southeastern Louisiana, the Lumberjacks are all but assured of a playoff spot; the only reason they are not moved into Lock status is that one of their wins came against a non-DI opponent. With a win against 0-10 Northwestern State next week, they take the Southland auto-bid.
Status: In the Hunt

McNeese State (8-2; 5-1)
The Cowboys can only take the Southland auto-bid should Stephen F. Austin lose on Saturday, but the good news is that a win on Saturday should give them an at-large bid given their strong computer numbers, aided by the early season victory over Appalachian State. A loss by another at-large contender would, however, be required for complete comfort. As with Stephen F. Austin, they do not move into Lock Status since one win came against a non-DI opponent.
Status: In the Hunt

Texas State (6-4; 4-2)
With the loss to McNeese State, Texas State is unable to reach seven DI wins. Should they win on Saturday, AND Stephen F. Austin and McNeese lose, we will have to research tie-breakers for the auto-bid since Texas State beat Stephen F. Austin, who beat McNeese State, who beat Texas State.
Status: Livin’ on a Prayer

Southeastern Louisiana (6-4; 4-2)
With their loss on Saturday, the Lions are unable to reach seven DI wins, and are eliminated from contention for the Southland auto-bid.
Status: Off the Board

Key games this week:

Stephen F. Austin at Northwestern State
The Lumberjacks clinch the auto-bid with a win.

Central Arkansas at McNeese State
The Cowboys need a win to stay in at-large contention.

Other At-large Contenders

Liberty (8-2; 5-0)
Liberty reached seven DI wins on Saturday, but do not expect a make-up call by the committee this year, to make up for the injustice of last year. A win against Stony Brook next week will not help their numbers much.
Status: Livin’ on a Prayer

Prairie View A&M (7-1; 7-0)
The Panthers continued their winning ways on Saturday, and posted their seventh DI win, but weak computer numbers and an incomplete schedule will likely mean that it is all for naught. But for a three point loss at New Mexico State it could have been a different story.
Status: Livin' on a Prayer

Central Connecticut State (8-2; 5-1)

A narrow win against Monmouth this week has kept the hopes of the Blue Devils alive. Emphasis on hopes. Prior losses to William & Mary and Wagner will mean a quick exit from the board. But no worries, a NEC auto-bid soon awaits.
Status: Livin’ on a Prayer

Butler (9-1; 6-1)
Butler’s chances of an at-large berth are somewhere on par with the Yankees declaring unilateral disarmament in the Baseball spending wars, especially considering their bad loss to Jacksonville on Saturday.
Status: Livin’ on a Prayer


Mark said...


I think my seeds are looking better with that Elon loss to App. State. You can call me out later but I do not see WM beating Richmond on the road. Even though I am a huge Panther fan, I think you are cutting the Salukis too short. After their win this coming Saturday that should easily put them in the drivers seat at the #1 seed, but I am also not on the committe whom seems to favor the CAA which is overrated in my eyes due to the fact that they do not play the best competition in their league each year.

Profane said...


Villanova, Richmond, and WM all have two advantages over SIU, beyond CAA membership, that I believe will give them the edge in a head-to-head comparison for the #1 seed. Unlike SIU, they have an FBS win, and unlike SIU, their schedule was entirely DI.