Skip to main content

My FCS Top 25 Vote, Week 10, 11/9/2015

If you'd like, you can check out my FCS Top 25 vote below.

It was a crazy week no matter how you look at it, with four Top Ten teams falling from the ranks.

But none was more shocking than 3-5 Mercer upsetting 6-2 Chattanooga, 17-14.

The Bears, who only resumed football three years ago, have only offered football scholarships over the last two years, which makes the upset just that much more stunning of a team that was considered the prohibitive favorite from the SoCon this season.

Mercer's three wins came against non-scholarship Stetson, under-scholarshipped Austin Peay, and winless East Tennessee State, themselves in their first season resuming football.

The Bears' first win against a fully-funded school symbolized the craziness of last weekend's scores.

"What a great win for us," head coach Bobby Lamb said after the game.  "I can't say enough about our defense forcing four turnovers. Anytime you defend Chattanooga with QB Jacob Huesman at quarterback it's like defending against 12 because he is their running back."

Huesman got his hards, but only scored two rushing touchdowns, offset by two interceptions.

"Time and time again we kept coming and kept coming. We didn't play perfect on offense," Lamb also said.  "We didn't play perfect on defense but we made plays down the stretch when we had to and I can't be more proud of this team because so many times we have sat right here and it's been a seven-point loss, a three-point loss, a two-point loss on the last play of the game and these kids are resilient. They stepped up and believed. The coaches have done a great job of making them believe all year long."

Even more interestingly, it sets up a winner-takes-the-Socon-championship game this week between the Mocs and The Citadel.

If Chattanooga loses, and assuming they lose the following week to an angry Florida State team of the FBS, suddenly last week's prohibitive favorites to take the Socon could be entering the playoff committee at 7-4, with only six Division I wins, on a three-game losing streak, with a capper loss to Mercer to explain.

That's not exactly a position of strength in negotiating.

1: Jacksonville State Gamecocks
2: Harvard Crimson
3: North Dakota State Bison
4: McNeese State Cowboys
5: Illinois State Redbirds
6: William & Mary Tribe
7: Richmond Spiders
8: Dartmouth Big Green
9: South Dakota State Jackrabbits
10: James Madison Dukes
11: Charleston Southern Buccaneers
12: Coastal Carolina Chanticleers
13: The Citadel Bulldogs
14: Chattanooga Mocs
15: Southern Utah Thunderbirds
16: Eastern Washington Eagles
17: Northern Iowa Panthers
18: Fordham Rams
19: Portland State Vikings
20: Pennsylvania Quakers
21: Sam Houston State Bearkats
22: North Carolina A&T Aggies
23: Central Arkansas Bears
24: Colgate Raiders
25: Dayton Flyers
  1. The Weakened Big Sky.  What holds more weight - two fantastic FBS wins, or two shady FCS losses?  To me, recent performance holds important sway, which is why Portland State suffered in my poll so badly during their loss to 5-4 Northern Colorado, 35-32.  I found myself placing them behind Southern Utah and Eastern Washington (who got crushed by Northern Arizona 52-30 this weekend), having them drop a massive amount of spots.  More importantly, though, I found myself looking at the whole body of work of the Big Sky and seeing either massive inconsistency (Portland State, Northern Arizona) or surprisingly soft wins (Southern Utah, Eastern Washington).  With the exception of the Lumberjacks, I've rated Portland State, Southern Utah and Eastern Washington all season, but this was the first time I really though all of them belong below the 15 best teams in the country.  The Big Sky has no dominant team, and there's a high probability that the winner will be 8-3.
  2. What Do You Do With McNeese?  Being undefeated at this point and time in the season is quite a feat for McNeese State, even though their season-opening bid to be Fournier fodder to LSU was cancelled.  All they do is win, sure, but if you believe the Massey Ratings they don't have a Top 30 win, which includes their 27-10 win over Sam Houston State last weekend.  You have to respect their streak, but are they really a Top 4 team?  We'll probably find that answer out in the playoffs, but they are clearly a step behind Jacksonville State, Harvard, and North Dakota State at the very least.  The Cowboys are at No. 4, and are unlikely to drop in my poll assuming they can get past 4-5 Lamar in two weeks.  Will the playoff committee agree?
  3. Central Arkansas the final team?  I truly struggled finding a final team to throw in my Top 25.  9-0 Dayton, though playing a non-scholarship conference schedule I thought deserve my last spot, and current Patriot League qualifiers Colgate do, too.  That leaves No. 23 for... who?  A fourth Big Sky team?  UT-Martin?  Towson?  New Hampshire? Western Carolina?  A fourth (shudder) Ivy team?  All of these choices had flawed resumes for a wide variety of reasons, and so did Central Arkansas, but the Bears are on a three-game winning streak and seem to pointing in the right direction to getting to the magic 8-3 number for the playoffs.  It's tempting to possibly look at their season-ending game with Sam Houston State as a possible play-in game to the playoffs.  It wasn't a hugely confident pick for y Top 25, but I felt they were the most worthy of an exceedingly flawed bunch.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Fifteen Guys Who Might be Lehigh's Next Football Coach (and Five More)

If you've been following my Twitter account, you might have caught some "possibilities" as Lehigh's next head football coach like Lou Holtz, Brett Favre and Bo Pelini.  The chance that any of those three guys actually are offered and accept the Lehigh head coaching position are somewhere between zero and zero.  (The full list of my Twitter "possibilities" are all on this thread on the Lehigh Sports Forum.)

However the actual Lehigh head football coaching search is well underway, with real names and real possibilities.

I've come up with a list of fifteen possible names, some which I've heard whispered as candidates, others which might be good fits at Lehigh for a variety of reasons.

UPDATE: I have found five more names of possible head coaches that I am adding to this list below.

Who are the twenty people?  Here they are, in alphabetical order.

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.

Why the Ivy Le…

Remembering Andy Coen's Time As Head Coach As He Steps Down as Lehigh Football Head Coach To Address Health Issue

I read the announcement that head coach Andy Coen was stepping down as head football coach late Friday evening.

It was an announcement that I was expecting, to some degree. 

Those of use who have been following the program closely knew that something was amiss with Andy. 

And yet, the reason for him needing to step down was devastating.

"Life has thrown me a curveball," Coen said in the press release on Friday, December 7th, 2018. "I am in the early stages [of early onset Alzheimer's disease] and it is best for me to eliminate stress and concentrate on my health and well-being.  My wife, Laura, and my children, Molly, Nolan and Finn have supported me throughout my career and are my biggest fans.  This is a very difficult decision for all of us, but it is what is best at this time."

It was the gutting, pit-in-the-stomach diagnosis nobody wanted to be true.  Just like that, a bigger challenge than simply winning football games faces the man who has been heading …