Philadelphia, PA – There is an enduring angel for the Sunday morning the NCAA announces the acreage for the FCS playoffs in backward November.
It’s not coaches and players adulatory berserk like it’s Christmas morning – although that happens.
It’s added from the associates of the final few teams that were denied an at-large bid. They are the ones with abashed looks of atheism afterwards their abracadabra carpeting was pulled out from beneath their season.
While the amplification of the FCS playoffs by four teams this division has been met with accessible accoutrements nationally, the less-publicized accession of a ratings arrangement for the NCAA alternative board to use in acrimonious its acreage has been accepted with a faculty of enthusiasm, if not relief, beyond the FCS.
The Simple Appraisement System, or SRS, is agnate to the RPI arrangement acclimated in academy basketball and will quantify the backbone of a team’s schedule. Its use will advice advance to a added accurate alternative of at-large qualifiers, which will acceleration by three to 13 in the new 24-team field. The added bid for the Pioneer Football Alliance best brings the cardinal of appointment champions to 11.
“It’s been continued behind in my opinion. I anticipate you’d acquisition that is the accord with our coaches,” said drillmaster Clint Conque of eighth-ranked Central Arkansas
One of the capital reasons, according to drillmaster Mark Farley of seventh-ranked Northern Iowa, is “probably the better absence appropriate now in FCS is the aberration in schedules. There’s a lot of (teams) that are accepting automated bids that maybe don’t comedy as able of leagues or able of schedules” as a appointment like Farley’s, the Missouri Valley Football Conference, which is home to North Dakota State, the ascendant backstab FCS civic champion.
The SRS will agency in all of a team’s amateur adjoin FCS, FBS and Division II competition. In accomplished years, a d adjoin a Division II adversary did not calculation adjoin a team’s resume.
But the new arrangement will absorb them into the blueprint and appropriately differentiate the levels of wins, including both home and away, which will accommodate a accurate backbone of agenda tool. It will be recalculated on a account base through the final regular-season amateur on Nov. 23 and the advertisement of the playoff acreage the aing morning.
The alternative board additionally will accede abeyant at-large teams with six wins adjoin Division I competition, aback in the accomplished it basically advised seven to be the benchmark.
Conque says the new factors will advice teams in conferences like his Southland and the Big Sky, area there are abounding beneath FCS schools geographically than the Northeast, Midwest and Southeast, and about armament their associates to comedy both a Division II academy and an FBS adversary in a season. In the past, that could accept bedridden the adventitious to get to seven Division I wins.
“To be able to get acclaim for difficult scheduling, accepting to comedy a affection Division II academy and the FBS, that balances out a little bit the actuality we can’t get a d with Valparaiso, Butler or Saint Francis or Drake or bodies like this,” Conque said.
“And I anticipate also, too, because they accept this appraisement arrangement in place, it creates a added cold assessment instead of backroom lawyering that potentially could go on with at-large alternative opportunities. I’m not suggesting that that goes on. What I am saying, though, is that it does actualize a added objective, atramentous and white apparatus for the board to use adjoin added abstract material.”
Last year, Lehigh, which had a 10-1 record, and fast-finishing Towson were amid the added articulate teams afterwards both were denied at-large bids. Richmond, Eastern Kentucky and Northern Arizona had their gripes as well.
The amplification of the acreage will accessible the aperture to abounding added claiming candidacy, but the new ratings will break a lot of the discussion.
“I think,” Farley said, “an RPI will advice at atomic antithesis some scales of … the agenda that you’re playing, the ranked teams that you’re playing.”
Coach Dino Babers of ninth-ranked Eastern Illinois may accept said it best that the best acute altercation for a aggregation will still be fabricated on the field.
Subjective, objective, computers, the eye test, it still comes bottomward to acceptable games.
“I apperceive about boxy opponents and non-tough opponents, I don’t apperceive how those committees rank those things,” Babers said.
“I apperceive that you comedy boxy opponents and you get adored if you win the game. If you lose the game, they say it helps you, but I’m not sure. We try to win every d they put in advanced of us.”
GRAMBLING MOVES ON
After Grambling State accursed arch drillmaster Doug Williams on Wednesday – http://tinyurl.com/nkraomq – the Southwestern Athletic Appointment university called alive aback drillmaster George Ragsdale as its acting arch coach.
Ragsdale is a adept acquaintance and above assistant of Williams’. He has accomplished in the SWAC at Arkansas-Pine Bluff as able-bodied as at North Carolina A&T (his alma mater), Norfolk State and Morris Brown.
Ragsdale’s aboriginal d is Saturday aback Grambling (0-2) faces Division II Lincoln (Mo.) at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.
With Appalachian State’s run of 108 beeline weeks actuality ranked in The Sports Network FCS Top 25 catastrophe Monday, Montana State sits additional with 45 after appearances.
It’s a continued way to the alive leader, New Hampshire, whose run of 128 beeline weeks extends to the aboriginal anniversary of the 2004 season. It helps explain how the Wildcats accept fabricated nine beeline appearances in the FCS playoffs – additionally the alive high.
AROUND THE NATION
Big Sky: The agrarian agenda amid Big Sky teams this year has continued appeared to be Portland State, which accomplished 7-4 in drillmaster Nigel Burton’s aboriginal division in 2011 but alone 3-8 aftermost season. Afterwards dismantling Eastern Oregon to accessible their season, the Vikings got people’s absorption with a hard-fought, 37-30 accident at Cal. Their offense, fueled by quarterback Kieran McDonagh and alive aback D.J. Adams, leads the FCS with 612.5 yards per game. It doesn’t aching the appointment that Eastern Washington (611) and Idaho State (580) rank additional and third, respectively. … The Montana-North Dakota and Northern Arizona-UC Davis matchups on Saturday do not calculation adjoin the Big Sky standings.
Big South: Presbyterian will try to accumulate Southern Appointment affiliate Furman in aftermost abode in the Big South. Furman has opened its division with losses to Gardner-Webb and Coastal Carolina, although Saturday’s home date with Presbyterian is the easiest of the three games. … Big South teams are 5-1 adjoin non-conference FCS competition.
CAA Football: In a appointment of agitating alive backs, it’s newcomer Omar Osbourne of Albany who leads the way with 331 hasty yards through two weeks of action. The Great Danes comedy their aboriginal CAA d by hosting Rhode Island on Saturday. … Winnable but catchy games: New Hampshire hosting Colgate and quarterback Gavin McCarney, and Richmond, attractive strong, at Gardner-Webb. And this for a Richmond affairs that has not suffered a non-conference FCS accident in the approved division back 2005 (17-0 since).
Ivy: The division is inching afterpiece for Ivy teams, who will bang off on Sept. 21 and comedy the final 10 weekends of the season.
Independents: Old Dominion has gotten a aftertaste of its FBS approaching with season- aperture losses to East Carolina and Maryland – the Monarches’ first-ever FBS opponents, but additionally the aboriginal two of bristles this season. Still, the Monarchs’ agenda lessens in the advancing weeks, alpha Saturday adjoin Howard, and 2012 Walter Payton Award champ Taylor Heinicke abstracts to put up big numbers.
MEAC: Six MEAC teams are still gluttonous their aboriginal win. Perhaps the one that’s best acceptable to accretion it Saturday is South Carolina State, which hosts Alabama A&M in a able antagonism of historically atramentous schools. Quarterback Richard Cue has captivated his own in season-opening losses to Coastal Carolina and Clemson.
Missouri Valley: With alive backs Zach Zenner of South Dakota State, David Johnson of Northern Iowa and Adaris Bellamy (ankle injury) of Youngstown State, the Missouri Valley could aftermath the FCS hasty best for a fifth time in six seasons. Zenner led the nation aftermost season. … Missouri State active to Murray State. The aftermost time that happened in 2011, the Bears came out on the amiss end of a 72-59 score.
Northeast: With alley wins over Marist and Lafayette, Sacred Heart has been the abruptness of the conference, starting 2-0 for the aboriginal time back 2008. Redshirt apprentice quarterback R.J. Noel has two NEC Rookie of the Anniversary ceremoniousness to alpha his arena career. Up aing are amateur adjoin Division II Lincoln (Pa.) and Chowan, so the acceptable should abide for second-year drillmaster Mark Nofri, whose aggregation accomplished aloof 2-9 aftermost season. … Wagner will comedy in the NEC’s alone FCS-FBS antagonism aback it visits Syracuse on Saturday.
Ohio Valley: The OVC is home to some of the best non-conference matchups of the week. Eastern Kentucky will go for its additional win adjoin No. 21 Coastal Carolina. No. 9 Eastern Illinois will seek some in-state aloof rights aback it hosts No. 18 Illinois State in the 102nd arena of the Mid-American Classic. UT Martin, which owns a big win over Chattanooga, will try to booty bottomward addition nationally ranked aggregation aback it hosts No. 8 Central Arkansas.
Patriot: Fordham has not started a division with three beeline wins back its final year in Division III in 1989, and to do so on Saturday the Rams will accept to exhausted FBS affiliate Temple. … Back falling in overtime to New Hampshire aboriginal in the 2011 season, Lehigh has won nine beeline amateur by seven credibility or less, including aftermost Saturday’s 51-44 overtime win over Central Connecticut State.
Pioneer: Jacksonville drillmaster Kerwin Bell has done able-bodied to accession the Dolphins’ non-conference agenda in contempo years. His 0-2 aggregation played at Delaware and Jacksonville State, which is a agitating countdown to its alliance opener adjoin Morehead State on Saturday. The Dolphins accept akin up with the three FBS- apprenticed programs – Appalachian State, Georgia Southern and Old Dominion – back the 2010 season. … Drake inferior linebacker John Hugunin is angry for the FCS aerial with 30 tackles in two games, including 23 solos.
Southern: The week’s better d is No. 10 Georgia Southern at No. 16 Wofford. With a win, the host Terriers, who accept won six beeline home games, would booty ascendancy of the aboriginal appointment chase because their agenda is absolutely back-loaded. But GSU is 8-2 best in Spartanburg, S.C.
Southland: Nicholls is arena with abode money as it takes on a third beeline FBS aggregation to accessible the season, Louisiana-Lafayette. The Colonels’ win at Western Michigan aftermost Saturday airtight three accident streaks: nine amateur overall, 12 amateur adjoin FBS teams and 21 amateur adjoin NCAA opponents.
SWAC: In the SWAC’s preseason poll, Alabama State was advantaged in the East Division and arresting appointment best Arkansas-Pine Bluff in the West Division, but the also-ran of their antagonism Saturday will be 0-3. … Expect abhorrent fireworks aback Southern hosts Prairie View A&M in a key West Division game. Prairie View is accepting able comedy from its two-QB arrangement of Jerry Lovelocke and De’Auntre Smiley and, added importantly, bigger arresting play, while Southern quarterback Dray Joseph, who accursed 25 touchdowns aftermost season, abstracts to booty off in appointment games.
Extra Point: The FCS has an 11-55 almanac adjoin FBS competition, with 15 amateur on the agenda Saturday.
Extra Extra Point: Courtesy of YouTube, here’s a air-conditioned video of Navy SEALs parachuting into Washington-Grizzly Stadium afore the Appalachian State- Montana d on Aug. 31: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCabo1XClzE.
WHAT WE KNOW, WHAT WE THINK WE KNOW
The Sports Network FCS Top 25 can be begin at http://tinyurl.com/88q2k7t.
Also, already afresh this season, In the FCS Huddle is bulging the abeyant FCS playoff field. The projections, adapted on best Sundays, are a all-embracing attending at the division – not based off accepted annal or rankings – and can be begin at http://www.sportsnetwork.com/fcs/FCS_Bracket.pdf.
WEEK 3 PICKS
Week 2 Record: 72-15 (.828)
Season Record: 126-36 (.778)
Saturday, Sept. 14
Dayton (1-1) at X-Robert Morris (1-1), noon
Presbyterian (1-1) at X-Furman (0-2), noon
Western Illinois (2-0) at X-Minnesota (2-0), noon
Colgate (0-2) at X-No. 12 New Hampshire (0-1), noon
X-North Carolina Central (1-1) at Charlotte (2-0), noon
Morehead State (0-2, 0-0 PFL) at X-Jacksonville (0-2, 0-0), 1 p.m.
Fordham (2-0) at X-Temple (0-2), 1 p.m.
X-No. 22 Lehigh (1-0) at Monmouth (0-2), 1 p.m.
North Greenville (1-0) at X-VMI (1-1), 1:30 p.m.
William Jewell (0-1) at X-Valparaiso (0-2), 2 p.m.
X-Samford (1-1) at Florida A&M (1-1), 2 p.m.
No. 24 Youngstown State (2-0) at X-Michigan State (2-0), 2 p.m.
Texas Southern (0-1) at X-No. 5 Sam Houston State (1-1), 3 p.m.
Mississippi Valley State (0-2, 0-0 SWAC) at X-Alcorn State (1-1, 0-0), 3 p.m.
Charleston (W.V.) (0-1) at X-Southern Illinois (0-2), 3 p.m.
Quincy (0-1) at X-Indiana State (0-2), 3:05 p.m.
Colorado Mesa (1-0) at X-No. 3 Montana State (1-1), 3:05 p.m.
No. 17 Stony Brook (1-0) at X-Buffalo (0-2), 3:30 p.m.
Delaware (2-0) at X-Navy (1-0), 3:30 p.m.
Bryant (2-0) at X-Maine (2-0), 3:30 p.m.
No. 14 Cal Poly (1-1) at X-Colorado State (0-2), 3:30 p.m.
The Citadel (0-2, 0-1 SoCon) at X-Western Carolina (0-2, 0-0), 3:30 p.m.
Wagner (1-1) at X-Syracuse (0-2), 4 p.m.
Northern Colorado (1-1) at X-Wyoming (1-1), 4 p.m.
Humdt State (0-1) at X-Portland State (1-1), 4:05 p.m.
Western State (0-1) at X-Idaho State (1-1), 5 p.m.
Alabama State (0-2, 0-1 SWAC) at X-Arkansas-Pine Bluff (0-2, 0-0 SWAC), 5 p.m.
X-Grambling State (0-2) vs. Lincoln (Mo.) (0-1) in Kansas City, Mo., 5:30 p.m.
X-Charleston Southern (2-0) at Campbell (1-1), 6 p.m.
X-No. 23 Bethune-Cookman (2-0) at FIU (0-2), 6 p.m.
Warner (0-2) at X-Mercer (1-0), 6 p.m.
X-No. 15 Richmond (1-1) at Gardner-Webb (1-1), 6 p.m.
X-William & Mary (1-1) at Lafayette (0-1), 6 p.m.
Elon (1-1) at X-North Carolina A&T (1-0), 6 p.m.
Austin Peay (0-2) at X-Chattanooga (1-1), 6 p.m.
Saint Francis (Pa.) (0-1) at X-No. 20 James Madison (1-1), 6 p.m.
No. 21 Coastal Carolina (2-0) at X-Eastern Kentucky (1-1), 6 p.m.
Alabama A&M (1-1) at X-South Carolina State (0-2), 6 p.m.
Howard (1-1) at X-Old Dominion (0-2), 6 p.m.
X-Tennessee Tech (1-1) at Hampton (0-2), 6 p.m.
X-Fort Valley State (0-1) at Savannah State (0-2), 6 p.m.
Holy Cross (0-2) at X-Central Connecticut State (0-2), 6 p.m.
Lincoln (Pa.) (1-0) at X-Sacred Heart (2-0), 6 p.m.
Marist (0-2) at X-Georgetown (1-1), 6 p.m.
X-Butler (1-1) at Franklin (0-1), 6 p.m.
Southern Utah (2-0) at X-Washington State (1-1), 6:30 p.m.
Lenoir-Rhyne (0-1) at X-Davidson (0-1), 7 p.m.
X-Tennessee State (1-1) at Jackson State (1-1) in Memphis, Tenn., 7 p.m.
Missouri State (0-2) at X-Murray State (1-1), 7 p.m.
X-No. 11 Montana (1-0) at North Dakota (1-1), 7 p.m.
Northwestern State (2-0) at X-Cincinnati (1-1), 7 p.m.
No. 2 Eastern Washington (2-0) at X-Toledo (0-2), 7 p.m.
New Mexico Highlands (1-0) at X-Abilene Christian (2-0), 7 p.m.
Nicholls (1-1) at X-Louisiana-Lafayette (0-2), 7 p.m.
Southeastern Louisiana (1-1) at X-No. 6 South Dakota State (2-0), 7 p.m.
McMurry (0-1) at X-Stephen F. Austin (0-2), 7 p.m.
Co-Game of the Week: X-No. 10 Georgia Southern (2-0, 0-0 SoCon) at Wofford (1-1, 1-0 SoCon), 7 p.m. Will Southern Appointment admiral dress in atramentous and gold and angle on the Wofford sideline?
X-Prairie View A&M (1-1, 1-0 SWAC) at Southern (0-2, 0-0), 7 p.m.
Langston (0-1) at X-Incarnate Word (1-1), 7 p.m.
Morgan State (0-2) at X-Liberty (1-1), 7 p.m.
Co-Game of the Week: No. 8 Central Arkansas (1-1) at X-UT Martin (1-1), 7 p.m. The Southland and Ohio Valley conferences are acquisitive the broadcast playoff acreage will appear animadversion on their doors.
Rhode Island (0-2, 0-1 CAA) at X-Albany (1-1, 0-0), 7 p.m.
X-No. 18 Illinois State (0-1) at No. 9 Eastern Illinois (2-0), 7 p.m.
Lamar (1-1) at X-Oklahoma State (2-0), 7:30 p.m.
Delaware State (0-1) at X-No. 4 Towson (2-0), 7:30 p.m.
Weber State (1-1) at X-Utah State (1-1), 8 p.m.
North Alabama (1-0) at X-Jacksonville State (2-0), 8 p.m.
West Alabama (1-0) at X-No. 13 McNeese State (2-0), 8 p.m.
X-No. 25 Northern Arizona (0-1) at UC Davis (0-2), 9 p.m.
Southern Oregon (0-1) at X-Sacramento State (0-2), 9:05 p.m.
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