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2019 FBS Versus FCS Games

Army is facing two FCS opponents in 2019 just as they did in 2018, 2016, 2015, and 2014. Will they fall into the FCS over FBS upset trap this year? (Photo courtesy of Army’s Athletic Department)

2019 FBS Versus FCS Games

The 2019 college football season starts in four weeks and the first few weeks present what are typically tune up games for the larger programs in Divison I. Below is a list of all 114 of the 2019 FBS versus FCS games by week.

Weekly Breakdown

WeekDatesGamesFCS Wins
18/29 – 8/31401
29/6 – 9/7281
39/14201
49/219
59/284
610/50
710/121
810/191
910/260
1011/21
1111/90
1211/164
1311/236

Notes

While it is not uncommon to see FCS teams play multiple FBS opponents during the same season, it is far more uncommon for FBS teams to play two or more FCS teams due to bowl eligibility concerns. Only one of the two wins over an FCS opponent will count towards bowl eligibility. Effectively, 7 wins are needed for FBS teams who play two FCS teams (although this may not always be the case due to 5 win teams and bowl game scenarios).

This season, five FBS teams (Army, East Carolina, Florida, Liberty, and Virginia Tech) will play two FCS teams. Army, Florida, and Liberty all played two FCS opponents in 2018 as well. 27 FCS teams will play two FBS opponents during 2019. Below are the five FBS teams facing two FCS opponents this year.

Army – Morgan State (9/21), VMI (11/16)

East Carolina – Gardner-Webb (9/7), William & Mary (9/21)

Florida – UT Martin (9/7), Towson (9/28)

Liberty – Hampton (9/21), Maine (10/19)

Virginia Tech – Furman (9/14), Rhode Island (10/12)

FCS Upsets

There has been an average of approximately 9 FCS over FBS wins per season since 2010. 2013 marked the high point as 16 FCS teams defeated FBS opponents. Below is a chart showing the number of FCS wins as well as those wins as a percentage of FBS versus FCS games since 2010.

Below are the FCS versus FBS games by week. All times listed below are Eastern.

Week 1 (40 Games)

DateTime AwayHomeScore
8/297 PMWagnerConnecticut21-24
8/297 PMAlbanyCentral Michigan21-38
8/297 PMMorgan StateBowling Green3-46
8/297 PMRobert MorrisBuffalo10-38
8/297:30 PMGardner-WebbCharlotte28-49
8/297:30 PMC. ArkansasW. Kentucky35-28
8/297:30 PMFlorida A&MCentral Florida0-62
8/298 PMAlabama StateUAB19-24
8/299 PMS Dakota StateMinnesota21-28
8/2910 PMN. ColoradoSan Jose State18-35
8/3112 PMHowardMaryland0-79
8/3112 PMNorthern Iowa Iowa State26-29 (3 OT)
8/3112 PMIndiana StateKansas17-24
8/312 PMJames MadisonWest Virginia13-20
8/312 PMRhode IslandOhio20-41
8/313 PME WashingtonWashington14-47
8/313 PMBucknellTemple12-56
8/313:30 PMHoly CrossNavy7-45
8/313:30 PMIdahoPenn State7-79
8/313:30 PMEast Tenn. StateApp. State7-42
8/313:30 PMColgateAir Force7-48
8/314 PMPortland StateArkansas13-20
8/314 PMMontana StateTexas Tech10-45
8/316 PMIncarnate WordUT-San Antonio7-35
8/316 PMCampbellTroy14-43
8/316 PMSam Houston StateNew Mexico31-39
8/316:30 PMUC DavisCalifornia13-27
8/316:30 PMVMIMarshall17-56
8/317 PMNorfolk StateOld Dominion21-24
8/317 PMAlcorn StateSouthern Miss.10-38
8/317 PMNichollsKansas State14-49
8/317 PMStephen F. AustinBaylor17-56
8/317 PMIllinois StateNorthern Illinois10-24
8/317 PMMonmouthW. Michigan13-48
8/317:30 PMAbil. ChristianNorth Texas31-51
8/318 PMHouston BaptistUTEP34-36
8/318 PMArk.-Pine BluffTCU7-39
8/318 PMGramblingUL Monroe9-31
8/319 PMWeber StateSan Diego State0-6
8/3110 PMSouthern UtahUNLV23-56

Week 2 (28 Games)

DateTimeAwayHomeScore
9/68 PMWilliam & MaryVirginia17-52
9/610 PMSacramento StateArizona State7-19
9/712 PMSouthernMemphis24-55
9/712 PMKennesaw StateKent State23-26 (1 OT)
9/712 PMCharleston South.South Carolina10-72
9/712:30 PMWestern CarolinaN Car. State0-41
9/72 PMFordhamBall State29-57
9/72:30 PMTennessee TechMiami (OH)17-48
9/73:30 PMGramblingLouisiana Tech14-20
9/73:30 PMRichmondBoston College13-45
9/73:30 PMEastern IllinoisIndiana0-52
9/73:30 PMSouthern IllinoisMassachusetts45-20
9/74 PMMurray StateGeorgia17-63
9/74 PMWestern IllinoisColorado State13-38
9/75 PMNorthern ColoradoWash. State17-59
9/76 PMN Carolina A&TDuke13-45
9/76 PMMaineGeo. Southern18-26
9/76 PMGardner-WebbEast Carolina9-48
9/77 PMFurmanGeorgia State42-48
9/77 PMJackson StateSouth Alabama14-37
9/77 PMTennessee StateMid. Tennessee26-45
9/77 PMEastern KentuckyLouisville0-42
9/77 PMSouth DakotaOklahoma14-70
9/77 PMMcNeeseOklahoma State14-56
9/77:30 PMUT-MartinFlorida0-45
9/77:30 PMStony BrookUtah State7-62
9/78 PMPrairie ViewHouston17-37
9/710:45 PMNorthern ArizonaArizona41-65

Week 3 (20 Games)

DateTimeAwayHomeScore
9/1412 PMChattanoogaTennessee0-45
9/1412 PMFurmanVirginia Tech17-24
9/1412:30 PMThe CitadelGeorgia Tech27-24 (1 OT)
9/142 PMNorfolk StateCoastal Carolina7-46
9/144 PMSE LouisianaOle Miss29-40
9/144 PMBethune-CookmanMiami (FL)0-63
9/144:15 PMIdaho StateUtah0-31
9/144:15 PMCal PolyOregon State7-45
9/145 PMIdahoWyoming16-21
9/146 PMSouth Car. StateSouth Florida16-55
9/146 PMWeber StateNevada13-19
9/147 PMNew HampshireFlorida Int’l17-30
9/147 PMMurray StateToledo0-45
9/147 PMLamarTexas A&M3-62
9/147:30 PMNorthwestern St.LSU14-65
9/147:30 PMSE Missouri StateMissouri0-50
9/147:30 PMTexas SouthernLouisiana6-77
9/148 PMMissouri StateTulane6-58
9/1410:15 PMPortland StateBoise State10-45
9/1410:45 PMMontanaOregon3-35

Week 4 (9 Games)

DateTimeAwayHomeScore
9/2112 PMElonWake Forest
9/2112 PMMorgan StateArmy
9/213 PMCentral Conn. St.Eastern Michigan
9/216 PMHamptonLiberty
9/216 PMWagnerFlorida Atlantic
9/216 PMWilliam & MaryEast Carolina
9/217 PMSouthern IllinoisArkansas State
9/2110 PMSacramento StateFresno State
9/2112 AMCentral ArkansasHawaii

Week 5 (4 Games)

DateTimeAwayHomeScore
9/28TBDNichollsTexas State
9/28TBDTowsonFlorida
9/28TBDHoly CrossSyracuse
9/28TBDDelawarePittsburgh

Week 6 (No Games)

Week 7 (1 Game)

DateTimeAwayHomeScore
10/12TBDRhode IslandVirginia Tech

Week 8 (1 Game)

DateTimeAwayHomeScore
10/196 PMMaineLiberty

Week 9 (No Games)

Week 10 (1 Game)

DateTimeAwayHomeScore
11/2TBDWoffordClemson

Week 11 (No Games)

Week 12 (4 Games)

DateTimeAwayHomeScore
11/16TBDAlabama StateFlorida State
11/1612 PMVMIArmy
11/163 PMIdaho StateBYU
11/164 PMIncarnate WordNew Mexico State

Week 13 (6 Games)

DateTimeAwayHomeScore
11/23TBDMercerNorth Carolina
11/23TBDWestern CarolinaAlabama
11/23TBDSamfordAuburn
11/23TBDUT-MartinKentucky
11/23TBDEast Tennessee StateVanderbilt
11/23TBDAbilene ChristianMississippi State

Those are the 2019 FBS versus FCS games as of this writing. Any updates to dates or times will be provided as soon as they are known. Any missed changes and corrections are welcome!

Should Army Consider Joining The AAC?

Jeff Monken celebrates during the 2018 Army-Navy game. (AP Photo / Matt Rourke)

Should Army Consider Joining The AAC?

Army’s football team has posted three straight winning seasons with all three ending in bowl victories. 2017 saw the team’s first 10 win season in over 20 years when they finished 10-3. Army followed that up with an 11-2 record last season, which were the most wins in school history and finished ranked in the top 25. Most recently, Connecticut’s move back to the Big East has created a void in the American Athletic Conference. Should Army consider joining the AAC?

Let’s start by going to the past. The far past.

The Glory Days

It is of little surprise that all of Army’s national championships came around war time. With all the recruits being drafted into the Army, there was a complete arsenal on the gridiron.

Army won national championships in 1914 and 1916 going 9-0 during both season. The Cadets had a winning record each year from 1907 through 1938. Then came World War II. (The titles are not claimed by Army, but they are recognized by the NCAA).

Though the US had not formally entered into the Second World War, in 1939 and 1940 Army’s football prowess was definitely not on display. They went 3-4-2 in 1939 and 1-7-1 in 1940. However, the 1941 through 1943 seasons saw a return to winning ways as they went 5-3-1, 6-3, and 7-2-1.

The 1944 squad went 9-0 scoring 504 points and giving up 35 points. They were named national champions, a feat they would repeat in 1945 when they went 9-0 again while scoring 412 points and surrendering 46. The 1946 squad went 9-0-1 with the tie being to Notre Dame, who would be crowned AP national champions. The 1944 – 46 teams featured the overwhelming duo of Doc Blanchard (1945 Heisman) and Glenn Davis (1946 Heisman).

Army would have several more strong seasons in the late 1940s and Pete Dawkins would take home the Heisman in 1958 after an 8-0-1 campaign. There were a few good seasons sprinkled in the next several decades, but the Cadets have not reached those heights again.

Prelude to Conference USA

Army was not a remarkable team in the 1980s. They went 8-3-1 and 9-3 with back-to-back bowl wins in 1984 and 1985. They went 9-3 again in 1988 with a Sun Bowl loss to Alabama. Other than the 1988 season, the Cadets basically hung around .500 between 1986 and 1995 having between 4 and 6 wins each year.

In 1996, Army achieved a 10-2 record with the an Independence Bowl loss to Auburn. It was their first 10 win season in school history and they finished in the top 25 polls for the first time 1958. Army struck while the iron was hot because in March 1997 they decided to join Conference USA (possible paywall) beginning with the 1998 season.

The Conference USA Disaster

The 1997 season was Army’s last season as an independent before they went into a conference for the first time. They went 4-7, but that was actually the highlight of their time as part of Conference USA.

The Cadets time on the field in C-USA between 1998 through 2004 was abysmal. They never won more than two conference games and never won more than three total games in a season. Their totals for C-USA were:

Overall record: 13-67

C-USA record: 9-41

Their low point was the 2003 season in which they went 0-13 overall and 0-8 in Conference USA. The 2003 season was the first time in NCAA history that a program finished with an 0-13 mark. Todd Berry was head coach for the first six games before being fired and replaced by John Mumford. Berry was at the helm for three and a half seasons in which he decided the wishbone offense was no longer needed at Army. Ouch.

Back To Independent Status

For their final C-USA season, Army hired Bobby Ross to bring them back to a respectable level. Ross lasted only three seasons going 9-25, but had to undo what Berry did. When Army left C-USA, they cited scheduling flexibility as the main reason for their departure. Eight conference games, plus the obligatory Navy and Air Force games left only one or (now) two games they could schedule as they saw fit.

Ross was succeeded by his protégé Stan Brock who went 3-9 in two seasons. He was fired and replaced by Rich Ellerson who led the Cadets to their first bowl game in 2010 since the ten win 1996 campaign. Army soon went back to their losing ways going 3-9, 2-10, and 3-9 in Ellerson’s final three seasons.

Monken’s Momentum

When Army hired Jeff Monken in December 2013 to lead the program, it seemed like a good fit. Monken led Georgia Southern to three consecutive FCS Playoff Semifinal appearances using the triple-option offense that is employed by service academies. It took two seasons of 4-8 and 2-10 before it all came together in Monken’s third season.

Army went 8-5 in 2016 capping off the season with an overtime victory against North Texas in the Heart of Dallas Bowl. In 2017, Army went 10-3 with a 42-35 win over San Diego State in the Armed Forces Bowl. The best was yet to come as 2018 saw Army go 11-2 with an obliteration of Houston, 70-14, in the Armed Forces Bowl.

Monken was rewarded for the 2018 season by being named the Coach of the Year. He also signed a contract extension with Army through the 2024 season.

The future is bright and Monken has signaled his intent to stick around so… Should Army consider joining the AAC or another conference?

A Complicated Puzzle

The answer to the “should Army consider joining the AAC” question is nuanced. Some will point to fellow service academies Air Force and Navy successes in conference play. Others will point to keeping Army and Navy together as their rivalry is deeply intertwined with the fabric of college football. Perhaps Army’s own previous conference history, albeit short and disastrous, provide clues.

Let’s start with how Navy and Air Force have fared in their respective conference. Navy is simple as they have been in the American Athletic Conference for only four seasons. In that time, Navy has been co-champions of the AAC West twice, played in one AAC championship game (lost 34-10 to Temple in 2016), and had three winning seasons. 2018 was very poor at 3-10, but there were some close games as well. The jury is still out on Navy’s decision to go to the AAC despite some differing opinions (possible paywall).

Air Force has a much longer history of being in a conference. They were part of the Western Athletic Conference from 1980 until 1998 and then joined the Mountain West in 1999. In the 39 years since having a conference affiliation, Air Force has gone to 23 bowl games and have had consistent success since Troy Calhoun took over in 2007.

Part of Air Force’s success has been their geography. Even in the WAC, they were still relatively close to their opponents. Navy has the oddity of being the now second most eastern team in the AAC, yet were somehow placed in the west division where they still reside. Still, they have shown success in their brief AAC tenure.

Potential Destination

If Army were to consider joining a conference the one that makes the most sense is the American Athletic Conference. They would be situated close to Connecticut, Navy, and Temple. The AAC might have to re-draw their divisions and the absence of Connecticut actually makes this interesting.

Had UConn remained, instead of having Navy be part of the “west” they could change the divisions to north and south. The north would have been comprised of Army, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Navy, Temple, and East Carolina. The south would have included Central Florida, Houston, Memphis, SMU, Tulane, Tulsa, and South Florida.

Without UConn in the mix, it becomes murkier. The east cluster of Army, Cincinnati, East Carolina, Navy, and Temple is clear. The west cluster is Houston, Memphis, SMU, Tulane, and Tulsa. Then, there are the two Florida schools in UCF and USF. Here, they could just split UCF to the east and USF to the west. In this scenario, there are balanced divisions, though somewhat awkwardly.

(Ideally the two Florida teams would be in the same division, but unless the AAC is going to go the super-expansion route to 14 teams this partition will do. Besides, it stays in line with conference’s confusing geography philosophy).

Another problem is the Army-Navy game tends to be played all by itself with the potential of the entire college football audience watching. Being part of a conference would cause this to be played during November (or earlier) because it could impact the conference championship game. While it would be amazing for the winner of Army-Navy to determine the AAC one or possibly two title representatives, is it worth foregoing the spotlight of being the sole football game on TV in December?

One work around: Allow Army-Navy to keep it’s preferred time slot as a non-conference game. The AAC would probably agree to this and it would not impact the regular season title race. However, it would eliminate another week of flexibility from Army’s schedule. Speaking of scheduling…

A third problem is that Army clearly likes their scheduling flexibility and it has been favorable for them. It is not a mistake that Army’s last three seasons have been the best in over two decades. They had five home games in 2016, six in 2017, and six in 2018 while 2016 and 2018 both saw an additional game within the state of New York (at Buffalo both times). Also factor in the neutral site game against Navy, which gives Army 7 or 8 home/neutral site games that are relatively close to West Point.

Army gets complete control over 10 games a season, which allows them to play a few big teams for paychecks while still playing a few FCS opponents to get closer to bowl eligibility. Mix in several group of 5 teams who are beatable along with fellow independents and Army has a recipe for at least 6 to 7 wins each season as long as they are competitive.

Summary

Army’s short stint in Conference USA was a terrible mistake as they moved to a more restrictive schedule while moving away from the wishbone offense. That led to a terrible product on the field as they were not competitive at all.

Army’s return to independent status did not bear fruit until the last three seasons with Jeff Monken at the helm. Army has seen their best success in decades thanks to Monken’s leadership. Now let’s answer the question posed in the article’s title.

Should Army Consider Joining The AAC?

Absolutely they should consider it. They are stable with the proper offensive scheme (as opposed to their C-USA time) and their head coach, who clearly has the right ideas for the program. They would be a good geographical fit for the American Athletic Conference while preserving their annual rivalry tilt against Navy.

Should Army Join The AAC?

This is tougher to answer, but no they should not. They clearly value scheduling flexibility and if the likes of Massachusetts and smaller group of 5 teams continue to schedule Army, why deviate it from a successful formula? Going to a conference automatically removes 8 games from their scheduling control and with Air Force in the rotation, the Cadets will only have 3 games of their choosing. They will have additional AAC TV revenue, but will it cover the additional travel expenses? If not, Army might need to schedule more Power 5 teams potentially leaving them short of bowl eligibility.

For now, Army should remain as an Independent. This could all change in a few years when conference realignment kicks off again (or sooner if UConn proves to be the domino).

FBS and FCS Changes For 2019 Season

Merrimack College is moving up from Division II to Division I and will compete at the FCS level in football (photo courtesy of Merrimack College).

FBS and FCS Changes For The 2019 Season

The college football season does not kickoff until August 24, but that won’t stop us from getting excited. We will start by detailing the FBS and FCS changes for the 2019 season.

Overtime Rule Changes

We start with a general rule change regarding overtime. The change this season is that teams will go for two instead of starting at the 25 yard line commencing with the fifth overtime. Four overtime periods will be played as they previously were with each team getting the ball. Previously, teams played as many overtimes as necessary with each team getting a possession until one team failed to match the other team in points for that overtime period. In addition, the third and fourth overtimes will still require the teams to go for a two-point conversion.

Another note: a two-minute break has been mandated after the second and fourth overtimes. At least we will have a chance to catch our collective breath.

FBS Changes

Amazingly, there are very few changes in terms of team movements. The one note is that Liberty will be bowl eligible in 2019 after moving up from FCS in 2018. The Flames will remain an Independent team and will once again play New Mexico State twice this season as they did in 2018.

FCS Changes

The plethora of changes to detail will take place at the FCS level. The overtime rules discussed above will apply here as well.

General Schedule Quirk

Thanks to the NCAA’s draconian bylaws, the 2019 season allows for a 12 game regular season at the FCS level instead of the usual 11. Why? Simply due to the calendar. 14 Saturdays between Labor Day weekend and the last Saturday in November (see bylaw 17.10.3 on page 272) allow for the 12 games to be played.

This last time this occurred was in 2013 and will happen again in 2024. For FCS fans, the likelihood of a permanent 12 game regular season are zero after the NCAA rejected a proposal back in 2017.

Conference Changes – Up From Division II

We start with the two teams moving up from Division II into FCS competition.

Merrimack College is moving from the Division II Northeast-10 Conference to the FCS Northeast Conference. The Warriors will become full Division I members starting with the 2023-24 academic year. They won’t be playing a full Northeast Conference schedule this season, but hope to do so in 2020. As part of the transition, the Warriors are ineligible for the NEC title and FCS playoffs this season.

The second team moving up from Division II to FCS is Long Island University. They too are moving from the NE-10 to the NEC. LIU is merging the LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds and LIU Post Pioneers to become the LIU Sharks. The Pioneers were part of the Division II level while the Blackbirds were already at the Division I level, but did not sponsor football. The Sharks will be competing with a 7 game conference schedule in 2019. LIU will be eligible for the NEC title.

Moving Down To Division II

Savannah State will be departing the FCS to drop down to Division II as announced in late 2017. The Tigers were a member of the MEAC since 2010 and now re-join the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC). The Tigers were a member of the SIAC from 1969 through 1999 before becoming a then Division 1-AA (now FCS) Independent. The MEAC will have 9 football teams in 2019.

Moving From FCS Independent Status

Two teams are moving from an FCS Independent to the Big South. Those schools are the Hampton Pirates and North Alabama Lions. The Big South will have 8 teams this season.

Hampton left the MEAC after the 2017 season after joining the conference in 1995. The Pirates played as an FCS Independent in 2018 in their transition year to the Big South. They played 10 games (Tennessee State game was cancelled due to Hurricane Florence) and went 7-3. The Pirates are eligible for both the Big South title and the FCS Playoffs.

Meanwhile, North Alabama moved up from Division II for the 2018 season. After a 7-3 season in 2018, the Lions will face a full slate of FCS teams for the first time including 7 games against Big South foes. The Lions are not eligible for the Big South title and are ineligible for the FCS Playoffs until 2022 when their transition to Division I is complete.

Stuck In Indepedence

North Dakota is in their final season as an FCS Independent on their way to becoming a Missouri Valley Football Conference member. North Dakota has left the Big Sky Conference, but maintains the previously scheduled Big Sky matchups. The games will count in the conference standings for the Fighting Hawks’ opponents. UND will not be eligible for the Big Sky title, but can still be selected as an at-large team for the FCS Playoffs.

Future Moves

The Big South is full of changes this year and next. 2019 will mark the final year for Presbyterian as a football member of the conference. They will be an Independent in 2020 and then become a member of the Pioneer Football League starting in 2021. Presbyterian joined the Big South in 2009.

Dixie State, currently a Division II member, will move up to Division I starting in 2020. They will compete as an FCS Independent in 2020 while their other sports will compete in the Western Athletic Conference. Dixie State is part of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Association and currently has no plans for joining an FCS football conference. The Trailblazers will not be eligible for the FCS Playoffs until 2024 due to the transition.

Augustana announced their intention to transition to Division I in December 2018. They currently reside in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference, but have not discussed a Division I conference to join. It is assumed they will join the Summit League, however, that conference does not offer football. In that case, the Vikings will then have to decide whether they want offer scholarship football or not. This, in turn, will help decided if they land in a conference such as the Pioneer Football League (non-scholarship) or the more geographically appropriate Missouri Valley Football Conference.

More FCS football conjecture can be found here.

Edit: Thanks to the folks on Twitter, both Tarleton State and West Texas A&M have considered moving to the FCS. Tarleton State’s feasibility move can be found here with the Southland Conference explicitly mentioned. West Texas A&M released a bullish statement after working with Collegiate Consulting and they are opening a new football stadium for the 2019 season.

Staying Put

Much to the delight of Stetson fans and alumni, the Hatters are staying put at the Division 1 level. Despite an examination into dropping to Division II or Division III, there will be no change for Stetson’s affiliation at this time. Stetson currently plays in the Pioneer Football League at the FCS level after bringing back the team starting with the 2013 season.

That covers the FBS and FCS changes for the 2019 season and we look forward to the start of the season as well as more content in the next few months!

2013 Division 3 Football Playoffs – Round of 16 Wrap Up

Note: As you read through this post, please be aware that I list the matchup of next week’s games in every other recap.

 

Wittenberg (10-1) at Mount Union (11-0)

An entertaining first half that saw Mount Union take a 21-14 lead into halftime, gave way to a blow out victory in favor of Mount Union, 56-21. Wittenberg actually had the leads of 7-0 and 14-7 before Mount Union went ahead for good with 27 seconds left in the 1st half. Mount Union quarterback Kevin Burke had 326 yards and 5 touchdowns through the air while adding another 83 yards and 1 touchdown on the ground. Mount Union ended up with 601 yards of total offense and will face the Ithaca-Wesley winner.

Ithaca (9-2) at Wesley (9-2)

Wesley College used a suffocating run defense to beat Ithaca 23-15 in their Round of 16 clash. Wesley held Ithaca to NEGATIVE 50 yards rushing on the day. Ithaca completely abandoned the run in the 2nd half only attempting 2 rushes. The final score does not indicate how comfortable of a win this was for Wesley. Jamar Baynard led Wesley’s rushing attack with 103 yards and 2 touchdowns. Vito Boffoli had 9 catches for 103 yards and a touchdown for Ithaca in the loss. Wesley will now face Mount Union in the National Quarterfinals next Saturday.

UW-Platteville (10-1) at North Central (IL) (11-0)

North Central used a monster 1st quarter to get a 21-3 lead and did not look back on their way to an impressive 52-24 win against UW-Platteville. Ryan Kent had 257 yards and 4 touchdowns rushing for North Central as he enjoyed a red-letter-day. John Kelly had 249 yards passing and 2 touchdowns for Platteville as he had some trouble again the NCC defense. North Central will now face either Wartburg or Bethel (MN) in the quarterfinals.

Wartburg (9-2) at Bethel (MN) (11-0)

This entertaining battle came down to the 4th quarter. After a scoreless 1st quarter, both teams exchanged touchdowns before Bethel quarterback Erik Peterson hit Jared Schultz for an 80 yard touchdown as Bethel took a 14-7 lead into halftime. Wartburg tied the game on their first possession of the 3rd quarter before we got to the wild 4th quarter. Bethel hit a field goal early in the 4th and then on the next ensuing offensive play for Wartburg, they got a 73 yard touchdown reception. However, Wartburg’s extra point was blocked and returned for 2 points by Bethel’s Matt Mehlhorn. Wartburg still retained the lead at 20-19. With Bethel getting the ball back, quarterback Tom Keefe found Jared Schultz for a 56 yard touchdown pass. With 3 minutes left in the game, Wartburg drove down and tied the game at 27 on Brandon Domeyer’s 5 yard touchdown run. Bethel then took the ball right down for another score to give them a 34-27 lead. Wartburg mounted one last comeback attempt and eventually got down to the Bethel 13 yard line, but were unable to get a touchdown as the clock expired.

Bethel had 2 quarterbacks play in the game and both were impressive. Erik Peterson went 15 of 22 for 239 yards and a touchdown while Tom Keefe went 9 of 12 for 148 yards and 2 touchdown. Wartburg’s Logan Schrader had 347 yards and 2 touchdowns in the game. Bethel will face North Central (IL) next week in the quarterfinals.

Franklin (8-3) at UW-Whitewater (11-0)

For the 2nd week in a row, Whitewater used a strong defensive performance to continue their journey for a National Title with a 33-3 victory. Franklin only managed to get 4 yards rushing for the entire game. Matt Behrendt had an effective game throwing for 214 yards and 3 touchdowns, including 2 of those to Jake Kumerow. UW-Whitewater will take on the Hampden-Sydney at Linfield winner.

Hampden-Sydney (9-2) at Linfield (10-0)

Despite a 387 yard passing performance from Hampden-Sydney quarterback Nash Nance, Linfield won 31-21 to advance to the quarterfinals. Hampden-Sydney led 21-3 with 9:43 left in the 2nd quarter before Linfield scored 28 unanswered points to end the game. Linfield forced 2 fumbles, including one returned for a touchdown, and turned them into 14 points. Linfield will face UW-Whitewater next week.

St. John Fisher (9-2) at Hobart (10-0)

St. John Fisher held Hobart under 250 yards of total offense and held them scoreless for 59 minutes and 4 seconds in a 27-6 victory. St. John Fisher quarterback Tyler Fenti threw for 244 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also managed to complete all 18 of his passes to only 3 receivers. St. John Fisher will face the winner of the Rowan at Mary Hardin-Baylor game.

Rowan (9-2) at Mary Hardin-Baylor (11-0)

As with last week, Mary Hardin-Baylor ran their way to a big victory, this time over Rowan by a score of 59-8. Elijah Hudson had 136 yards and a touchdown, while Zach Anderson added 116 yards on the ground. Zach Anderson also threw for 168 yards and 3 touchdowns to give him a stellar day. Mary-Hardin Baylor held Rowan to 209 yards of total offense and caused 3 turnovers. Mary Hardin-Baylor will face St. John Fisher next week in the quarterfinals.

 

Quarterfinals Schedule

All quarterfinal games are to be played on December 7th.

Wesley (10-2) at Mount Union (12-0)

North Central (IL) (12-0) at Bethel (MN) (12-0)

Linfield (11-0) at Wisconsin-Whitewater (12-0)

St. John Fisher (10-2) at Mary Hardin-Baylor (12-0)

 

NFL Overtime Format Proposal

On Sunday, November 24, 2013 we saw the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers play to a 26-26 tie. We also saw this happen in 2012 between the St Louis Rams and San Francisco 49ers (finished 24-24 in Week 10). These both happened despite the new overtime rules which give each team a chance to win as long as neither team scores a touchdown. We almost saw the ultra rare two ties in a week happen until the New England Patriots hit a field goal with just over 2 minutes left in overtime to beat the Denver Broncos. The last time we had 2 ties in the same week was Week 2 in 1973.


 

What is most surprising about the overtime rules is that the NFL players do not know them. At the beginning of each overtime that is played in the regular season it is stated “we will play one (1) overtime period.” It cannot get any clearer that, but in order to avoid confusion from both players and fans alike I have an idea in where each game will end with a winner. Here is my idea:

1. Adopt the College overtime rule that both teams will get a possession regardless of whether the first team scores a touchdown or not.

2. Move the starting point back to the 50 yard line for NFL overtime games. (College overtime starts at the opponents 25 yard line).

3. Give each team one (1) timeout for each overtime period.

4. Require teams to go for 2-point conversions in overtime with no extra points allowed. (In college, teams are required to go for 2-point conversions starting with the 3rd overtime).

5. Play until you have a winner, thus eliminating ties.

The rules above are basically the college overtime rules, but there are a few modifications. If the NFL truly wants to make sure each team has a chance to win in overtime they might as well just move to the college overtime system. This way we can avoid the “I did not know an NFL game can end in a tie” debacle we saw from Donovan McNabb.

Division 3 Football Playoffs – Round of 32 Wrap Up

Note: As you read through this post, please be aware that I list the matchup of next week’s games in every other recap.

Washington & Jefferson (8-2) at Mount Union (10-0)

Mount Union raced to a 21-7 lead in the 1st quarter and never looked back. RB Bradley Mitchell ran for 181 yards on 31 carries and added a TD as Mount Union won 34-20. Mount Union is now 11-0 on the year and will face the winner of the Lebanon Valley-Wittenberg game.

Lebanon Valley (8-2) at Wittenberg (9-1)

Wittenberg QB Reed Florence threw 3 first quarter touchdowns as Wittenberg crushed Lebanon Valley 59-17 to move onto the Round of 16. Florence finished 15 of 21 for 344 yards and 6 Touchdowns on the game. Wittenberg WR Desi Kirkman had 5 catches for 188 yards and 4 touchdowns. Now Wittenberg will put that offense up against Mount Union next week.

Framingham State (9-1) at Ithaca (8-2)

Ithaca erased a 17-3 halftime deficit to keep their National Title hopes alive. Down 17-13 with 3:40 left in the 4th quarter, Ithaca QB Tom Dempsey threw a 10 yard TD pass to Vito Boffoli for the game winning score. Brian Garvey of Ithaca intercepted a pass by Framingham State late in the game to seal the victory. Ithaca will face the winner of Wesley at Johns Hopkins.

Wesley (8-2) at Johns Hopkins (10-0)

 An entertaining game from the start, Wesley held a 17-14 halftime lead until the 4th quarter when Wesley QB Joe Callahan hit WR Steve Koudossou to go up 23-14 after the missed extra point. Johns Hopkins hit a Field Goal with 10 minutes remaining to cut the lead to 23-17. With 50 seconds left in the game, Johns Hopkins QB Robbie Matey found Daniel Wodicka from 10 yards out to give JHU a 24-23 lead. With 44 seconds left, Joe Callahan led Wesley into JHU territory. With 20 seconds remaining, Joe Callahan found Steve Koudossou again, this time from 33 yards out to give Wesley the last second win, 29-24. Wesley will face Ithaca in the Round of 16 next week.

Albion (8-2) at North Central (ILL) (10-0)

North Central raced out to a 14-0 by the end of the 1st quarter and it was over from there. NCC put up 557 yards of Total offense on their way to a 63-7 thrashing of Albion. NCC QB Spencer Stanek threw 4 touchdown passes and North Central will face the Concorida-UW Platteville winner.

Concordia (WIS) (8-2) at UW-Platteville (9-1)

Behind Quarterback John Kelly’s 422 yards passing, UW-Platteville cruised to a 54-20 victory over Concordia. Andy Puccini added 117 yards and 2 touchdowns on the ground for UW-Platteville as they amassed 679 yards of total offense. QB Austin Damaschke had 325 yards of his own for Concordia, but to no avail. UW-Platteville will now face North Central College next week.

Wartburg (8-2) at Illinois Wesleyan (9-1)

Wartburg scored the first 35 points of the game en route to their 41-7 victory over Illinois Wesleyan. Wartburg used the legs of running back Brandon Domeyer who had 161 yards and 3 touchdowns on 34 rushing attempts. Wartburg will face the winner of the St. Scholastica at Bethel game.

St. Scholastica (9-1) at Bethel (10-0)

Bethel scored the first 22 points in the game as they blitzed St. Scholastica 70-13 to reach the Round of 16. Bethel QB Erik Peterson threw for 300 yards and 4 touchdowns while RB Brandon Marquardt added 115 yards on the ground and 3 touchdowns. Bethel amassed a 43-13 lead at halftime. Bethel will face Wartburg next week.

St. Norbert (8-2) at UW-Whitewater (10-0)

Perennial title contender UW-Whitewater used a stingy defense along with a balanced offense to beat St. Norbert 31-7. St. Norbert was only able to gain 169 yards of total offense, including only 74 yards passing. Whitewater QB Matt Behrendt thew for 279 yards passing and 3 touchdowns. UW-Whitewater will face either Washington U or Franklin in their next game.

Washington U (8-2) at Franklin (7-3)

In a tightly contested ballgame, Franklin used 10 4th quarter points to push past Washington U, 17-10. Mike Wood tied the game at 10-10 with 4:33 remaining, before a last minute TD Pass from Jonny West to Kendal Butler gave Franklin the victory. Franklin will now face UW-Whitewater in hopes of progressing to the quarterfinals.

Maryville (8-2) at Hampden-Sydney (8-2)

This offensive battle went back and forth throughout the entire first half. Each team traded touchdowns until Hampden-Sydney took a 35-20 lead with 2:35 left in the 2nd quarter. Maryville got a touchdown back with 9 seconds remaining in the 1st half to cut the deficit to 35-27. Midway through the 3rd quarter, Travis Fielder of Maryville got his 3rd rushing touchdown of the day and the lead was 35-34 in favor of Hampden-Sydney. Early in the 4th quarter, Hampden-Sydney QB Nash Nance threw his 5th touchdown of the game and gave Hampden-Sydney a 42-34 cushion. The game would end at that score of 42-34. They will face either Pacific-Lutheran or Linfield.

Pacific Lutheran (8-1) at Linfield (9-0)

Linfield opened up a 28-0 by halftime and never looked back. Linfield QB Josh Yoder threw for 204 yards and 3 touchdowns, while adding 2 rushing touchdowns on the ground. Dalton Ritchey threw for 299 yards and 3 touchdowns for Pacific Lutheran in a losing effort. Linfield won the game 42-21 and will take on Hampden-Sydney next week.

Gallaudet (9-1) at Hobart (9-0)

The spectacular Gallaudet season came to end on Saturday with Hobart defeating them 34-7. Both teams stuck to the ground game throughout, with only 53 yards passing total for the entire game. Hobart went up 27-0 at halftime and were on cruise control from there. Gallaudet did get a TD early in the 4th quarter thanks to a 1 yard BJ Flores score. Hobart will take on the St. John Fisher at John Carroll victor.

St. John Fisher (8-2) at John Carroll (9-1)

John Carroll got out to a 13-0 start midway through the 2nd quarter before a St. John Fisher got a TD back with 3:37 left in the 1st half. St. John Fisher had a pick 6 by Ryan Seymour to take the lead 14-13 halfway through the 3rd quarter. John Carroll got the lead back at 16-14 on a 34 yard field goal. With 6 minutes left in the game, Tyler Fenti threw a 15 yard TD pass to Nathan Nigolian to give St. John Fisher a lead they would not relinquish. St. John Fisher would add a late Field goal and win 25-16. St. John Fisher will take on Hobart next week in the Round of 16.

Endicott (8-2) at Rowan (8-2)

Rowan used a stifling defensive performance to shutout Endicott 24-0. Rowan opened the scoring in a defensive manner no less with a pick 6 from Darren Dungee. Rowan only gave up 113 yards to Endicott’s offense and totaled 3 interceptions. Rowan will now face the Redlands at Mary Hardin-Baylor winner.

Redlands (8-2) at Mary Hardin-Baylor (10-0)

Mary Hardin-Baylor rushed their way to a 35-7 win over Redlands. Running backs Zach Anderson and Elijah Hudson both had 2 rushing touchdowns for MBH. With their victory, Mary Hardin-Baylor will face Rowan next week in the Round of 16.

Round of 16 Schedule

Wittenburg (10-1) at Mount Union (11-0)

Wesley (9-2) at Ithaca (9-2)

UW-Platteville (10-1) at North Central College (11-0)

Wartburg (9-2) at Bethel (11-0)

Franklin (8-3) at UW-Whitewater (11-0)

Hampden-Sydney (9-2) at Linfield (10-0)

St. John Fisher (9-2) at Hobart (10-0)

Rowan (9-2) at Mary Hardin-Baylor (11-0)

NFC Midseason Report Card

After 8 Weeks in the NFL, here are my grades for each team in the NFC. Enjoy and feel free to comment!

NFC East

1. Dallas Cowboys (4-4) – C. The Cowboys have been average at best this season and the reason is because of their defense. They have the worst pass defense in the NFL and an average run defense (17th). Offensively, Tony Romo is doing well with the passing attack, but the running game is decimated by injuries and little production. The saving grace for Dallas is they are in the NFC East, arguably the worst division in the NFL.

2. Philadelphia Eagles (3-5) – C-. It was difficult to grade the Eagles because their offense has disappeared, but the defense has emerged. Vick is injured and out, Foles has concussion symptoms, and that leaves Matt Barkley as the current QB. Barkley is far from the QB you want running Chip Kelly’s offense. Still, the defense is starting to play well and the Eagles are only a game out of first in the NFC East. There is a lot of work that needs to be done to stop the slide in Philadelphia.

3. Washington Redskins (2-5) – D. We knew it would take time for Robert Griffin III to get used to playing, but the defense for the Redskins is what is truly ailing them. They rank 28th in pass defense and 29th in rush defense. In addition, they have given up at least 27 points in six of the seven games. A long way to go for the Redskins, but they are only a game and a half out of first.

4. New York Giants (2-6) – F. This season has been a disaster for the Giants. Eli Manning has turned the ball over constantly, the offensive line is not protecting him, and there is no running game. The defense has looked lost and gave up at least 27 points in the first six games. The last two games have been better as they Giants have won, but they were facing Minnesota and the Eagles. I am not sold on the Giants recent winning trend, but they are only two games out of first place.

NFC North

1. Green Bay Packers (5-2) – B+. The Packers have shown a lot in the first half of the season. For starters, the Packers have found a running game that has been missing for the last several seasons. In addition, the Packers continue to click on offense and defense in the last two plus games without James Jones, Randall Cobb, Jermichael Finley, and Clay Matthews. Watch out for this team in the 2nd half.

2. Detroit Lions (5-3) – B. The Lions are becoming a dangerous team in the NFC. The last second win at home against Dallas coupled with two away wins shows that the Lions can win late and take their show on the road. My only concern is they have not beaten a really good team yet (losses at Green Bay and home to Cincinnati) and when Calvin Johnson is out, they are too predictable.

3. Chicago Bears (4-3) – C. In a reversal of the norm for Chicago, the Bears have been really good on offense and poor on defense. The loss of Jay Cutler will hurt the Bears on offense, but they have the pieces in place to help Josh McCown in Cutler’s absence. The main concern is the defense that ranks near the bottom of the NFL (27th in pass defense and 24th in rush defense). The next three games for the Bears will decide which way their season goes.

4. Minnesota Vikings (1-6) – F. For a team that made the playoffs in 2012, this kind of start is unacceptable. They have not won a game in the U.S. (their win against the Steelers was in London) and their defense is porous. Then there is the quarterback situation. Christian Ponder was not getting it done, so they threw Matt Cassel into the fire and he did not fare any better. Then the Vikings decide to pick up Josh Freeman who looked like a deer in the headlights on Monday Night Football against the Giants. How can a team with Adrian Peterson at running back look so inept on offense?

NFC South

1. New Orleans Saints (6-1) – A. This Saints team looks different from previous Saints teams. Yes, Sean Payton is back and that cannot be underscored, but the difference is the Saints have a good defense. The defense is not giving up lots of yards and points and is actually tackling. The only chink in the armor is that game at New England when they gave up a TD in the final minute. Look out for them down the stretch.

2. Carolina Panthers (4-3) – C+. Is Carolina for real? I believe they are for real when you look at their games played. The have only played one awful game (at Arizona in Week 5), but played Seattle and Buffalo tough in the first two weeks of the season. Their last three games have been impressive, albeit against Minnesota, St. Louis, and Tampa Bay, but I see a team that is building confidence, especially on offense. I am not saying they will make the playoffs, but they will be close.

3. Atlanta Falcons (2-5) – D. Yes the Falcons have been decimated by injuries, but this team has looked horrendous on defense and where is the running game? Outside of Matt Ryan and Tony Gonzalez, this team does not look good at all. The losses of Julio Jones and Roddy White have led to predictability on offense which has hurt the Falcons. This season has been a disappointment after making the NFC Championship game last year.

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-7) – F. I am not sure where to start with the Buccaneers. Greg Schiano appears to have lost the team, got into a public spat with his former QB Josh Freeman, and the offense is nowhere to be found. Injuries to Doug Martin and Mike Williams have not helped, but the offense did not look good when they weren’t injured. They are slowly sliding into Jacksonville Jaguars territory with their ineptness. Which week does Greg Schiano get fired?

NFC West

1. Seattle Seahawks (7-1) – A. We knew the Seahawks would be good, but what really makes them special is they have taken their game with them on the road. Seattle really struggled the past few seasons on the road. Even their lone loss at Indianapolis was still an impressive game. Another thing that impressed me was their ability to play well with the suspensions to their defensive secondary to start the year. Look out if they get homefield.

2. San Francisco 49ers (6-2) – B+. The 49ers struggled to start the year and Colin Kaepernick did not look comfortable. The 49ers went back to their bread and butter of the power run game and have won five in a row. With Crabtree coming back in a few weeks, this offense will get better. Yet another NFC team to watch out for.

3. Arizona Cardinals (4-4) – C. Arizona is a tough team for me to figure out. They are great at home (3-1) but struggle to take their game on the road (1-3, only win is at Tampa Bay). The defense is strong, but I feel the Cardinals need a little more on offense. Unfortunately for the Cardinals is they are in the tough NFC West.

4. St. Louis Rams (3-5) – C-. The Rams have been a bit disappointing this year after finishing 7-8-1 in 2012. Offensively, they have not had a running game and their top pick Tavon Austin has not shown the explosiveness that we saw in College. Now, Sam Bradford is out for the year and it looks like things will be getting worse on offense. The defense has been good at times this year, but they have not been consistent enough. Tough times ahead for the Rams.

Grade Letters Distribution

Below is the distribution of each letter grade given out to NFC teams.

A – 2 (New Orleans, Seattle)

B – 3 (Detroit, Green Bay, San Francisco)

C – 6 (Arizona, Carolina, Chicago, Dallas, Philadelphia, St. Louis)

D – 2 (Atlanta, Washington)

F – 3 (Minnesota, New York Giants, Tampa Bay)

AFC Midseason Report Card

After 8 Weeks in the NFL, here are my grades for each team in the AFC. Enjoy and feel free to comment!

AFC East

1. New England Patriots (6-2) – B+. The Patriots have been successful despite the offense struggling through the first half of the season. The defense has played well, but injuries to Vince Wilfork, Jerod Mayo, and Aqib Talib might hurt them in the 2nd half. I expect the Offense to get better and the defense to continue playing at the same level.

2. New York Jets (4-4) – C+. The Jets have exceeded my expectations from the start of the season, but they are lacking consistency. They have alternated wins and losses to start the season and only have one good win (vs. New England). Geno Smith has played well for a rookie and if the Jets can find some consistency they will be tough going forward.

3. Miami Dolphins (3-4) – C. The Dolphins started out 3-0 after some hype in the offseason but have now lost four games in a row and are sputtering. Ryan Tannehill has played well at times this season, but he has 9 interceptions and 32 sacks already. They need more offensive consistency to push for a possible wild card spot.

4. Buffalo Bills (3-5) – C. I think the Bills have played respectably on defense to start the year, but need to find more on offense. The injury to E.J. Manuel hurts them, but Thad Lewis has done well in replace of Manuel. They need more output from their running backs if they want to finish above .500.

AFC North

1. Cincinnati Bengals (6-2) – B+. The Bengals are really starting to become a top team with how both the offense and defense are playing. They have beaten some good teams (New England and Green Bay), but also lost a head-scratcher at Cleveland. Overall, there is a lot to like about this team going forward and they are a deep team.

2. Baltimore Ravens (3-4) – C-. The Ravens’ start was not unexpected to me, but as defending Super Bowl Champions they need to show a lot more. They are not doing enough offensively and the pass protection needs to get better. The bye week should help Ray Rice and the run game, which in turn will help the passing offense. Still a lot left to do in the 2nd half of the year if they want to make the playoffs.

3. Cleveland Browns (3-5) – C. I give the Browns a C because they have played well despite several issues. For one, there has been a QB carousel between Brandon Weeden, Brian Hoyer, and now Jason Campbell. Campbell appears to be the starter going forward and that should help solidify the offense as the season wares on. Secondly, the Browns traded their 1st Round pick from 2012 in Trent Richardson which does not appear to have had any effect (good or bad) on the offense. The defense has played well this year and will continue to keep them in games.

4. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-5) – D. The Steelers have played horrendously on offense and have virtually no running game. For a proud franchise like the Steelers, this is completely unacceptable. The defense has played well for the most part, but how long can they keep that up in a season considering they are an older group?

AFC South

1. Indianapolis Colts (5-2) – B+. Andrew Luck continues to shine as the Colts won some big games at San Francisco and beat Denver and Seattle in Indy. The trade for Richardson has not worked out well thus far from a production standpoint, but there is still time to fix that. The defense has played well, but needs to work on stopping the run. Some big games in December at Cincinnati (Week 14) and at Kansas City (Week 16) should determine how many home games Indianapolis plays in the postseason.

2. Tennessee Titans (3-4) – C+. This was a tough team for me to grade because they have lost to three really good teams (Kansas City, Seattle, and San Francisco), but have beaten decent teams (San Diego and New York Jets). For the most part, the Titans are playing good defense and Jake Locker is coming back from the injury to his hip. The Titans are a decent team and a little more offensive consistency will help them in the 2nd half.

3. Houston Texans (2-5) – F. Given the expectations and the lackluster start, the first half of the season has been a failure for the Texans. They barely beat San Diego and Tennessee to start the season and then Matt Schaub started playing poorly and the Texans lost five in a row to go into their bye week. The loss of Brian Cushing will hurt the defense and the injury to Foster will slow the offense down. Things are not looking good for the Texans after some high hopes at the start of the campaign.

4. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-8) – F. The grade might be harsh as everyone expected the Jaguars to play poorly, but the Jagaurs have been completely inept. The offensive line has blocked poorly, Blaine Gabbert looked completely lost when he was playing, and the defense is on the field way too long due to the offense. There is a long way to go for this team to be competitive this season.

AFC West

1. Kansas City Chiefs (8-0) – A+. This was probably the easiest grade to give. A team that goes from 2-14 to 8-0 the next season is a shoo-in for an A+. The defense is playing great and the players are adapting well to the offensive system. The only caveat with this team is they play some close games against opponents that are clearly inferior (Tennessee and Cleveland come to mind). Nevertheless, look out for this team in December and January.

2. Denver Broncos (7-1) – B. What? Only a “B”? Yes because everyone expected the Broncos to be good, and they have been, but their defense is not very good. The have had suspension and injuries to start the year, but that is no excuse for giving up 48 points to the Cowboys or 190 yards to Justin Blackmon (who is Jacksonville’s only receiving threat). You cannot keep falling behind and expect to win every game, especially when it is to a good team (see Indianapolis).

3. San Diego Chargers (4-3) – C+. Let’s start with the fact that Philip Rivers is playing excellent this year and the offense is clicking even with some injuries. My main issue with the Chargers is they have lost games late to Houston and Tennessee and they threw that clunker in against Oakland. Overall, they have done a decent job in the first half of the season.

4. Oakland Raiders (3-4) – C. The Raiders have looked good on defense this season, but have struggled a bit on offense. Terrelle Pryor is the best fit at QB for the Raiders and as he gets more experience, the offense will find it’s groove. They have lost to top teams (Denver, Kansas City, Indianapolis), but have do have a win against San Diego. The Raiders will be a very tough out in the 2nd half.

Grade Letters Distribution

Below is the distribution of each letter grade given out to AFC teams.

A – 1 (Kansas City)

B – 4 (Cincinnati, Denver, Indianapolis, New England)

C – 8 (Baltimore, Buffalo, Cleveland, Miami, New York Jets, Oakland, San Diego, Tennessee)

D – 1 (Pittsburgh)

F – 2 (Houston, Jacksonville)

College Football Week 9: Who’s Hot and Who’s Not

Let’s take a look at Who’s Hot and Who’s Not in College Football for Week 9:

Who’s Hot

  • Duke – With their 13-10 upset win over #14 Virginia Tech, Duke is now bowl eligible for the 2nd season in a row. It was Duke’s first win over a ranked opponent since 1994. David Cutcliffe is slowly building this team up, but I doubt anyone will take them lightly after this win.
  • Minnesota –  After opening Big 10 Conference play with two losses it looked like Minnesota would struggle again this year against Big 10 foes. Last week’s win against struggling Northwestern was probably marked with an asterisk by more than a few people. This week’s game against Nebraska was no fluke as they rode a solid defensive performance to a 34-23 win and are now 6-2 overall and 2-2 in Big 10 play.
  • Minnesota Defensive Coordinator Tracy Claeys – In the last two games without Jerry Kill, Tracy Claeys has led Minnesota to two wins. The team has looked very impressive the last two weeks, especially on defense. There is no doubt he will get some looks to take over an FBS program at season’s end.
  • Ball State – Can we get a little love for MACtion? After losing on September 14 at North Texas, the Cardinals have reeled off six straight wins including the road win at Virginia on October 5. They looked destined to be 9-1 going into the Wednesday, November 13 matchup at currently undefeated Northern Illinois.
  • Rice and Tulane – After opening 1-2, Rice has won five straight and are 4-0 in Conference USA. Tulane opened 2-2 and have won four in a row to go to 6-2 overall and 4-0 in C-USA. The November 30 game of Tulane at Rice looks like it will decide which team represents C-USA West division in the conference championship. Not bad for two teams that used to be doormats not so long ago.

 

Who’s Not

  • Northwestern – After starting 4-0, the Wildcats have dropped four games in a row, all in Big 10 play. The road does not get any easier as their remaining games are @ Nebraska, vs. Michigan, vs Michigan State, and @ Illinois. There is a strong possibility that Northwestern will go from 10 wins in 2012 to a losing record this year.
  • Iowa State’s Defense – In the first five games for the Cyclones, they gave up 149 points. In the last two against Baylor and Oklahoma State, they gave up 129 points. Iowa State has given up an average of 316.5 yards over the last two games.
  • Temple’s Defense – The Owls gave up 7 points in the first 29:14 against SMU. In the final 30:46, the Temple defense gave up 52 points and ended up losing 59-49. That is why they are 1-7 overall.
  • Penn State’s Defense – Seeing a trend yet? The Nittany Lions have given up at least 40 points in each of their last three games. 44 to Indiana, 40 to Michigan, and 63 to Ohio State.
  • New Mexico State – Yes, New Mexico State did beat Abilene Christian 34-29, but let’s look at the facts. In 2012, Abilene Christian was competing as a Division II school. In 2013, they are considered a transitional FCS team, which includes a mix of FBS, FCS, and Division II opponents. It bodes well for ACU’s future in the FCS, but the same cannot be said for New Mexico State.

NFL Betting Odds

In this link you will find the betting odds for all the NFL Football games since the start of the 2012 season. The spreadsheet will be updated weekly.

As with the NCAA Football Spreadsheet, let me know if there are any mistakes by commenting below or emailing admin@sportsenthusiasts.net.