Skip to main content

My FCS Top 25 Vote, Week 9, 11/3/2015

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

Pity Dartmouth.

The Big Green and Harvard, whom I've had in my Top 25 all season, played a game last Friday that was as great as a game between Top 25 teams can be.

For 3 1/2 quarters, Dartmouth controlled the game, up 13-0 and the Big Green's defense, somewhat surprisingly, completely smothering Harvard's potent offense.

Then, in the span of about six and a half, Harvard, amazingly, pulled out the win.

One touchdown pass to WR Seitu Smith, one Dartmouth fumble and another touchdown throw from QB Scott Hosch to RB Justice Shelton-Mosley, and Harvard took their first lead of the game with 36 seconds left in the game.

It was a great game to watch, and amply showed that both teams were worthy of Top 25 status, but it is impossible, as a neutral fan, to not feel for the Big Green, who had them right there.

It feels like every week I beat the drum for the Ivy League's relative worth in the FCS landscape.  It shouldn't have to be like that.

Though the game on national television last Friday was great, and anyone would have enjoyed it, I certainly understand why a fan of a school looking for an FCS playoff bid might not want to spend precious time watching it.

That's because the Ivy League elects not to participate in the FCS playoffs, a fact that I've gone over for years.  The Ivy League should participate, because not participating is hypocritical, discriminatory, and senseless.

But that doesn't mean that when asked to rank a Top 25 that you should leave them out, if you're being honest with yourself.

I feel like the Ivy League should join the 20th century and join the FCS playoffs, which, as I discovered years ago, is not actually in violation of the 1945 Ivy League agreement that is the basis of the league.  The actual text makes an exception for "NCAA Championships", a fact that the Ivy League Presidents choose to disgracefully ignore.

But the fact that the Ivy League presidents can't seem to figure out how to read their own 1945 agreement doesn't mean I should exclude them from my ballot.

1: Illinois State Redbirds
2: Jacksonville State Gamecocks
3: Harvard Crimson
4: Richmond Spiders
5: Chattanooga Mocs
6: Portland State Vikings
7: North Dakota State Bison
8: McNeese State Cowboys
9: William & Mary Tribe
10: James Madison Dukes
11: Eastern Washington Eagles
12: Coastal Carolina Chanticleers
13: Dartmouth Big Green
14: South Dakota State Jackrabbits
15: Southern Utah Thunderbirds
16: Sam Houston State Bearkats
17: Charleston Southern Buccaneers
18: Fordham Rams
19: The Citadel Bulldogs
20: Northern Iowa Panthers
21: Pennsylvania Quakers
22: North Carolina A&T Aggies
23: Eastern Illinois Panthers
24: Colgate Raiders
25: Western Illinois Leathernecks
  1. Bucs! Bucs! Bucs!.  Charleston Southern, at 7-1, upset Coastal Carolina last week, and went up in my rankings.  Just not above the team they beat last weekend.  Why?  Because sometimes, when the gap is too great, I can't bridge them.  I couldn't put them in front of the second-best team in the Southland, Sam Houston State, or the Big Sky title contender Southern Utah.  I did, however, put them above a team they beat earlier in the season: The Citadel.  The Bucs seem destined to climb in my poll as long as they keep winning (and others lose around them), but I'd like to see one more convincing win, like a stomping of Liberty in two weeks, to really have them as a Top 16 team and a potential seed in the FCS Playoffs.
  2. James Madison at 10?  What do you do with a team that's lost its best player yet come agonizingly close to beating the two best teams in their conference?  With their backup QB, the Dukes put up more than 40 points on both Richmond and William and Mary but lost both games.  Not sure if I'm biased because I've watched JMU in action and been impressed with the Spiders and Tribe as well, but I felt like they were all strong Top Ten candidates, especially with Eastern Washington continuing to look less impressive against lesser competition.  It could change in the last few weeks, but I think the Dukes at 10 is still justified.
  3. Four-Loss Panthers Back In Top 20?  To me, there was no more justified return to the Top 25 than Northern Iowa, who is 4-4 but has played one of the most brutal schedules in the nation, barely losing to Iowa State, North Dakota State, Illinois State and Western Illinois.  Compared to a team like 4-4 Indiana State, who isn't in my Top 25, the schedules aren't even close.  The Panthers have faced all teams that are either FBS or have spent some period of time in the Top 25 - they have earned their place.

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 …

#TheRivalry Flashback: November 21st, 1987: Lehigh 17, Lafayette 10

Since becoming an undergrad at Lehigh back in the late 1980s, I first heard about the historic nature of the football team and "The Rivalry" through the stories that fellow students would share.

I did not attend the final meeting between Lehigh and Lafayette at Taylor Stadium, which was the final time a football game would be played there.

Those that did attend said that was that it was cold.

"I remember it being one of the coldest games ever," Mark Redmann recollected, "with strong Northwesterly winds and the temperature hovering around 20.  By the end of the game, the stands were half empty because most of the fans just couldn't take the cold.

"Fortunately, several of my fraternity brothers snuck in flasks to help fend off the chill."

Dominick Bragalone Goes Into Monster Mode As Lehigh Is One Win Away From Title

It has been a most unusual season for Lehigh.

Starting the year off at 0-5 and getting swept in their out-of-conference schedule, the Mountain Hawks were in danger of having their season go off the rails.

But two things have come together over the last five football games that have put Lehigh on the brink of back-to-back championships.

The first is the late blooming of the Lehigh defense, which kept battling every week since the low point of the September 30th loss to Wagner to do the job in four of their five Patriot League conference games. 

The second is the development of junior RB Dominick Bragalone into a bellcow running back, a back who has to be in the conversation for Patriot League offensive player of the year.

In five Patriot League games, Bragalone has run for 863 yards in 5 games, rushing for 11 touchdowns and adding two more receiving touchdowns as well. 

The South Williamsport, PA native certainly wasn't unknown before this week - after all, as a freshman and a sop…