Skip to main content

My Vote for the FCS Top 25, 10/28/2013

My vote for the FCS Top 25 for the week ending 10/28/2013 follows below the flip.

But first, check out this great picture from Samford WR Chris Cephus after scoring a touchdown in the Bulldogs' 34-27 win over the Wofford Terriers this weekend.  (Photo Credit: Marvin Gentry/MGPhoto.com)

In the SoCon, this game was huge, but what was especially amazing was that the Bulldogs overcame four turnovers, including one interception that was returned by Wofford LB Alvin Scioneaux for a touchdown.

But with a smothering defensive effort from Bulldog LB Jaquirski Tartt (17 tackles) and a big day returning the football by RB Fabian Truss, the Bulldogs moved to 4-0 in SoCon play and put themselves in the drivers' seat in regards to qualifying for the FCS playoffs.


1: North Dakota State Bison
2: Fordham Rams
3: Eastern Illinois Panthers
4: Maine Black Bears
5: McNeese State Cowboys
6: Towson Tigers
7: Sam Houston State Bearkats
8: Coastal Carolina Chanticleers
9: Eastern Washington Eagles
10: Princeton Tigers
11: Youngstown State Penguins
12: Montana State Bobcats
13: Bethune-Cookman Wildcats
14: Samford Bulldogs
15: New Hampshire Wildcats
16: Southeastern Louisiana Lions
17: William & Mary Tribe
18: Harvard Crimson
19: Delaware Fightin' Blue Hens
20: Southern Illinois Salukis
21: Montana Grizzlies
22: Villanova Wildcats
23: Chattanooga Mocs
24: Lehigh Mountain Hawks
25: Charleston Southern Buccaneers
  • My rankings from 1-9 shouldn't be that surprising: they were all the same from last week, in the exact same order.  It was a good week for the Top 9, who, in my opinion, have truly established themselves as the top elite teams of the subdivision.  
  • Some folks might look at my ballot and think Princeton (Most Significant Win) is ranked too high as the No. 10 team in the country.  But I don't think any of those people watched Princeton's amazing 51-48 triple-overtime win against Harvard last weekend, where QB Quinn Epperly threw for 321 yards and 6 TDs, including the game-winner in the third overtime.
  • Which leads to the Great Question in terms of ranking a Top 25.  Namely: what is the reason for having a Top 25?
  • Some people approach their Top 25 ballots as a way to seed teams for the playoffs.  But to me this is extremely unfair to the best teams of the Ivy League or SWAC, who, in the NCAA's eyes, compete as FCS programs.  QB Quinn Epperly's quarterback statistics are rated against senior QB Brandon Bialkowsiki's, not QB Johnny Manziel's.
  • But a voter is perfectly within their rights to vote the way they feel.  They can feel that the Ivy League isn't a good league, and exclude them from their ballot, much like how I could turn around and not rank the teams of the SoCon if I feel those teams are in a down year.
  • Personally, I do try to pick whom I think are the best teams in all of FCS.  Yet my ballot isn't perfect, either.  
  • Jackson State, for example, is probably a fine football team, and may deserve some consideration on my ballot, but with all their victories coming against a fairly weak SWAC schedule (and tough losses to Tennessee State and Tulane) it's hard to know where to put them.  Above 8-1 Charleston Southern?  Above 6-2 Lehigh (Most Significant Loss)?  Above 6-2 Delaware?
  • Similarly, many people are forgetting that the non-scholarship Pioneer Football League has an autobid to the FCS playoffs this season - and that their conference race is actually very tight, with Butler, Dayton, Marist, Mercer and San Diego with one conference loss and realistic chances to win the autobid.
  • Might Dayton give a team problems in the playoffs?  Looking over the Flyers' schedule, you see a 28-10 loss to Youngstown State, a FCS Top 20 team for sure, and a 30-21 loss to Marist, one of the top teams of the PFL.  They've also beat Duquesne and Robert Morris, two teams in the thick of the NEC title chase.
  • Last week, they crushed Morehead State 42-14, in large part thanks to redshirt sophomore Connor Kascor's 159 yards rushing.  Are they Top 25 material?  Not sure, but I do think going 6-2 with their schedule, which doesn't have a single team D-II or lower, definitely deserves a look, and I know they're on my radar screen.
  • Ironically, if people are just ranking Top 25 teams thanks to their playoff worthiness, they should be ranking Dayton over a lot of teams in the Top 25.  If Villanova loses one more game, they'll have 5 losses, and will most likely be out of the playoff hunt.  If Dayton beats Butler this weekend, they'll have an excellent chance to qualify for the PFL autobid.
  • Finally, one interesting aspect of this weekend's games is how little they affect Lehigh's overall chances of making this year's playoffs.
  • The Mountain Hawks are in control of their own destiny: beat Holy Cross, Colgate, and Lafayette to close out the season, and they will win the Patriot League's AQ for the playoffs.  Lose any one of those games, and they will have to show a resume with wins over Princeton and New Hampshire, and losses to Fordham, Bucknell, and at least one other Patriot League team.
  • For Lehigh, the calculations are not for at-larges: it's win, and you're in.  Simple.  No need to depend on the Top 25 for positioning.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Nick Shafnisky Is Pushing Hard to Get To Play at the Next Level in Football

"Don't take anything for granted, just keep pushing."
Those are the words of QB Nick Shafnisky, told to The Whitehall-Coplay Press all the way back in 2013, about his preparation as a high school athlete.
And they seem to summarize the Whitehall, PA native perfectly, then as now.
Dubbed the "Male Athlete of the Year" by that publication, the article goes on about Shaf's many exploits at Whitehall high school - leading the Zephyr football team to a co-Lehigh Valley Conference title, becoming the first player ever in that conference to rush and pass for over 1,000 yards, and earning the league's co-MVP award as well.
He also was a member of the Zephyrs playoff basketball team, and for good measure also helped set a record for the 4x100 relay team as well.
At Whitehall, and at Lehigh, coaches pushed him, but it was his own hard work that helped make him the best athlete he could be.
This weekend, Shaf, like every eligible college football player, will be …

What Are You Doing the Night of Lehigh's 2017 Home Opener?

I have this vision.

It's the weekend of the home opener at Murray Goodman Stadium, Labor Day weekend.  It could be a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday.

And it's 6:00 PM.

In 2018, the Lehigh football team will open the season with a big celebration of the football program - at Navy, Lehigh's first game against an FBS team in over a decade.

In 2017, why not, as a one-off opportunity, try to have one Lehigh football game, the home opener, be the first-ever night game at Murray Goodman Stadium?

Will it cost money?  Yes.  Will it be easy?  Probably not.

However, is it doable?  I've got to believe the answer is "yes".


Seven Positive Thoughts About All the Patriot League Recruiting Classes

It's recruiting season.  Every incoming recruit is a Patriot League all-star, everyone is a first team all-American, everyone is undefeated.  It's all good times, a chance for kids to be admitted to some of the best Universities in the world.  In that, it's a win for everyone.

While we wait for each of the remaining recruits to be announced as a part of their recruiting classes, I thought I'd comb through all of the incoming classes of the Patriot League and tell you what sticks out to me.

This summart isn't a ratings-based system, than folks like 247Sports have in terms of measuring the number of "starred recruits" (they list Holy Cross as the "winner"), or even a hybrid-based system, like LFN's yearly Patsy Ratings (last seasons "winner": Lehigh) or HERO Sports' list of the top overall FCS recruits (which lists Lafayette as the "winner").  It's just one guy, looking at the recruit lists, and giving his opinion.