Skip to main content

My Vote for the FCS Top 25, 10/18/2016

You didn't ask for them, but here's my pick for this week's FCS Top 25.

So this is the week that North Dakota State falls.

They fell in a thrilling defensive battle at home to South Dakota State in the game for the "Dakota Marker".

It was a great game, filled with drama and showed that the Jackrabbits are worthy of everyone's attention this week. In fact, South Dakota State's effective, time-consuming drive was in many ways pulling from North Dakota State's own trademark last-second comebacks, pulling together a drive for the ages, daring them to stop them yet consistently converting 3rd and 4th downs to set up the chance to win.

But then, therein lies the tricky part.  Where to rank the Bison, and where to rank the Jackrabbits?

Here's what I ended up with:

1. Eastern Washington
2. Sam Houston State
3. Jacksonville State
4. The Citadel
5. James Madison
6. Richmond
7. North Dakota State
8. Chattanooga
9. Charleston Southern
10. Montana
11. South Dakota State
12. Villanova
13. Western Illinois
14. North Carolina A&T
15. Cal Poly
16. Samford
17. Central Arkanasas
18. Youngstown State
19. Eastern Illinois
20. Tennessee State
21. Lehigh
22. Wofford
23. Albany
24. Stony Brook
25. North Dakota

* First though, you've got to see this.  It's long, but it's worth it.
* So now, why South Dakota State at No. 11 in my poll, and North Dakota State at No. 7?  The answer on my side is one of "body of work" - even with the loss to South Dakota State, the Bison's overall body of work drops them six places (which is more spots than many polls had them drop, frankly).  Similarly, on the South Dakota State side their win brought them up from my (admittedly somewhat underrated) position in my poll up to No. 11 - a step behind Montana and Charleston Southern.
* While we're on the subject of the Missouri Valley, finally I need to give some props to Youngstown State for winning the sort of "show-me" game that had them advance into my Top 20 - oddly enough in a similar, nail-biting fashion as the Jackrabbits.
* Each week is sort-of a tough time for me to figure out which Missouri Valley teams to put in my Top 25.  I really hate putting more than four teams from any conference in my Top 25 if I can help it - if there's a fifth team, the resume has to really "wow" me and most likely no more than one "oopsie" game.  2-4 Northern Iowa has a great win (Iowa State), and way too many losses (granted, they are to Eastern Washington, Montana, and Youngstown, but the South Dakota loss really stands out).  They'll need to run the table to get back in, probably, for me.
* Eastern Washington, my new No. 1, squeaked it out over Sam Houston State for me in large part due to their win over Washington State to start the year.  Though undefeated, the Bearkats have played a feather-light schedule (Oklahoma Panhandle State, anyone?) and doesn't do much to challenge themselves this weekend either when they host Texas Southern of the SWAC.  But it's worth mentioning that compared to, say, Northern Iowa's schedule, both teame have lighter schedules.
* Finally, I had a blasted time picking the No. 25 team in my poll.  Normally I like to pick an Ivy team for this spot, but Harvard's awful loss to Holy Cross (where they started their backup QB, backup RB, and backup WR1), and Princeton's feather-light schedule... I just couldn't do it.  The NEC also didn't seem to have any teams worthy of the mantle... so I finally decided on a team that most have already anointed in their Top 25s, North Dakota.
* My biggest beef with the Fightin' Hawks was their loss to Stony Brook to start the year, and then a series of Big Sky wins that didn't impress me.  But as the season has rolled on, North Dakota is on a five game winning streak with wins over some pretty good Big Sky teams in Cal Poly and Southern Utah.  Maybe I'm a late adopter, but I think they were much more worthy than any of the Ivy, SWAC or NEC teams I was looking at.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Patriot League Commit Tracker, Class of 2022

(Photo Credit: Steve Hockstein/NJ Advance Media)

With this year's early signing period in December, along with traditional signing day in February and additional signing of recruits up until May, it felt like the right time to resurrect the Patriot League Commit Tracker for the class of 2022.

This is intended to be a rolling list, updated as we go, as student-athletes going to any Patriot League school sign National Letters of Intent.

We don't know the whole story yet behind each school's recruiting class.  But this post is intended to put in one place what we know so far.

As I learn more, I will add more names to each list.

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…