Skip to main content

My FCS Top 25, 9/24/2012

My vote for the FCS Top 25 for the week ending 9/22/2012 follows below the flip.


1: North Dakota State Bison
2: Montana State Bobcats
3: James Madison Dukes
4: Youngstown State Penguins
5: Eastern Washington Eagles
6: The Citadel Bulldogs
7: Stony Brook Seawolves
8: Wofford Terriers
9: Lehigh Mountain Hawks
10: Northern Iowa Panthers
11: Old Dominion Monarchs
12: Illinois State Redbirds
13: Central Arkansas Bears
14: Georgia Southern Eagles
15: Towson Tigers
16: Appalachian State Mountaineers
17: Sam Houston State Bearkats
18: Delaware Fightin' Blue Hens
19: Albany Great Danes
20: Cal Poly Mustangs
21: New Hampshire Wildcats
22: Harvard Crimson
23: Monmouth Hawks
24: Tennessee State Tigers
25: Lafayette Leopards
  • Most significant win: I don't mind eating some crow.  All season I hadn't been ranking Old Dominion because I wasn't sold on their schedule.  Finally, last weekend, I relented, putting them in at No. 25 - mostly due to a lack of other options.  Down by 21 to New Hampshire, I thought that my pick of the Monarchs was justified - until QB Taylor Heinicke and the Monarch offense came all the way back and registered an improbable 64-61 comeback victory.  Aside from the fact that there were many, many Monarch basketball games last year that didn't hit that point total, and aside from the fact that new Hampshire's defense is, um, suspect, I finally gave the Monarchs some respect in the poll this week.  They're not in the Top 10 yet, but with another win they likely will be.
  • Last week, I was crooning about The Citadel's offensive performance.  This week, though, it's all QB Taylor Heinicke, all the time.   Talk about eye-popping: Heinicke completed 55-of-79 passes for 730 yards and five touchdowns, while adding 65 yards rushing and another score.  The 730 yards was a NCAA Division I record for passing and was within five yards of the NCAA all-division mark of 736. He actually eclipsed the D-I record for passing yards set by Houston's David Klingler, who piled up 716 yards against Arizona State in 1990, and his 791 yards of total offense snapped the FCS record of Jackson State's Robert Kent, set in 2001 against Alabama State with 668 yards. 
  • How good was his performance?  Due to the volume of media requests, Old Dominion had to hold a Monday press conference to accommodate them all.  Doubtless Conference USA, the Monarchs home after this season, couldn't be more pleased - Heinicke is only a sophomore, and will be representing their conference for the next two years.
  • And one more thought: to say that he's got the inside track for the Walter Payton award, the Heisman Trophy of the FCS, has got to be an understatement.  His nearest competition for passing yards is 600 yards short - Eastern Illinois QB Jimmy Garropolo.  His nearest competition for touchdowns is 5 touchdowns short - North Dakota QB Markus Hendrickson.  He does sit below Eastern Kentucky QB T.J. Pryor in terms of passing effeciency, but you have to believe, barring an injury or a meltdown, he is going to be in the mix in every single quarterback category that matters.
  • Most Significant Loss: I wasn't the only one to make them plummet, but Sam Houston State's 24-20 loss to Central Arkansas seems to spell long-term trouble for the Bearkats.  RB Tim Flanders, who got 96 yards in the first half against the Bears, ended with just 125 yards in the end - and makes it seem like the other teams of the Southland might be starting to figure out the offense that ran to an undefeated record through the regular season and through most of the playoffs last year.
  • There's another problem for last year's playoff darlings, too.  Assuming they won't get past Texas A&M at the end of the season, and given that their only win on the season, against Division II (and future Southland member) Incarnate Word, does not count as a Division I win, in order to get into the "safe zone" for at-large consideration - which I define as 8 wins, 7 Division I wins- the Bearkats will essentially need to sweep through every other game on their schedule to qualify.  Did I mention only two of those games were at ome?
  • On the other side of that coin, while it's always a fools' errand to predict the Southland in September, you have to like Central Arkansas' outlook at this point in the season.  If they can go on the road to Nacogdoches, Texas and knock off Stephen F. Austin this weekend, they'll have a 2-0 headstart on the rest of the league and really put the pressure on the rest of the league to keep up.
  • Forgotten Team: Tennessee State.  I know you all probably thought that I would put Lafayette here, but I'd argue that nobody around Bethlehem is forgetting about the Leopards and their surprising 3-0 start.  Instead, the 4-0 Tigers of the OVC have inserted themselves into the conversation for the Top 25 by knocking out a team that is arguably the class of the MEAC this year, Bethune-Cookman, in convincing 21-14 fashion.  The Tigers have been winning ugly, with stifling pass defense, currently ranked No. 9 in the country, and special teams play - the win against the Wildcats featured a blocked field goal by DB David Fitzpatrick returned for a touchdown.  I love winning ugly, and they belong in anyone's Top 25.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

How The Ivy League Is Able To Break the NCAA's Scholarship Limits and Still Consider Themselves FCS

By now you've seen the results.  In 2018, the Ivy League has taken the FCS by storm. Perhaps it was Penn's 30-10 defeat of Lehigh a couple of weeks ago .  Or maybe it was Princeton's 50-9 drubbing of another team that made the FCS Playoffs last year, Monmouth.  Or maybe it was Yale's shockingly dominant 35-14 win over nationally-ranked Maine last weekend. The Ivy League has gone an astounding 12-4 so far in out-of-conference play, many of those wins coming against the Patriot League. But it's not just against the Patriot League where the Ivy League has excelled.  Every Ivy League school has at least one out-of-conference victory, which is remarkable since it is only three games into their football season.  The four losses - Rhode Island over Harvard, Holy Cross over Yale, Delaware over Cornell, and Cal Poly over Brown - were either close losses that could have gone either way or expected blowouts of teams picked to be at the bottom of the Ivy League. W

Made-Up Midseason Grades for Lehigh Football

 We are now officially midway through the 2023 Lehigh football season.  The Mountain Hawks sit at 1-5 overall, and 0-1 in the Patriot League. I thought I'd go ahead and make up some midseason grades, and set some "fan goals" for the second half. The 2023 Mountain Hawks were picked to finish fifth in the seven team Patriot League.  In order to meet or exceed that expectation, they'll probably have to go at least 3-2 the rest of the way in conference play.  Their remaining games are vs. Georgetown, at Bucknell, vs. Holy Cross, at Colgate, and vs. Lafayette in The Rivalry. Can they do it? Culture Changing: B+ .  I was there in the Bronx last week after the tough 38-35 defeat to Fordham, and there wasn't a single player emerging from the locker room that looked like they didn't care.  Every face was glum.  They didn't even seem sad.  More frustrated and angry. That may seem normal, considering the agonizing way the Mountain Hawks lost, but it was a marked chan

Mud

I was trying to figure out the worst Lehigh/Colgate game I have ever witnessed. My history goes way back with Lehigh, of course, and I really had to rack my brain.  What loss to Colgate that I had witnessed was worse than this one?   I wasn't at Andy Kerr Stadium when Lehigh lost 61-28 in 1997 to a Colgate team that would win the Patriot League title - as a matter of fact, I'm fairly certain I didn't even find out about the score of the game until that night on ESPN, since the game wasn't televised where I was living at the time.  The win set a Colgate school record for points scored vs. Lehigh - one that still stands today.  QB Phil Stambaugh and RB Rabih Abdullah, both Lehigh football legends today, fumbled the very first exchange, and the game snowballed from there after Colgate converted the gift into an early 7-0 lead. I wasn't at Andy Kerr Stadium when Lehigh lost 21-7 in 2007 , but I remember following the game on TV, when an injured QB Sedale Threatt was red