Tag Archives: NCAA Football

The State Of Mississippi Announces Its Return

11281346 MSU vs Ole Miss

(Photo Credit to Lauren Wood / DJournal.com)

Saturday was a long time coming for Mississippi State and Ole Miss.

For years the two programs from the state of Mississippi were down, or at the very best, underachieving. That all changed on Saturday, October 4 when #12 Mississippi State defeated #6 Texas A&M and #11 Ole Miss beat #3 Alabama.

The Bulldogs were very good in the 90’s under Jackie Sherrill, but fell on hard times in his last years and the subsequent tenure under Sylvester Croom. Croom had only one bowl game appearance in 5 years before Dan Mullen took over 2009. However, Mullen has not had that breakout season, though he has 4 bowl appearances (3-1 record) in his first 5 season. That will surely be a fifth bowl appearance in 2014 barring a historic collapse.

The Rebels were an average team in the 90’s and early 2000’s under Tommy Tuberville and David Cutcliffe, respectively. Cutcliffe went 10-3 in 2003 with a Cotton Bowl victory over Oklahoma State, but followed that up with a 4-7 campaign in 2004 and was fired. Cutcliffe has done well for himself by resurrecting a long dormant Duke program.

After Cutcliffe was fired, Ed Orgeron was brought in, but failed to do better than 4 wins in only three years. He was replaced by Houston Nutt who immediately brought the Rebels back-to-back Cotton Bowl wins following the 2008 and 2009 seasons. Nutt went 4-8 in 2010 and 2-10 in 2011.

Enter Hugh Freeze in 2012 who improved the Rebels to 7-6 and then to 8-5 in 2013 with some wonderful recruiting classes.

Both teams are now 5-0 in 2014, but this should not be a surprise with both men building their program in methodical ways. Freeze has done so with wonderful recruiting classes and solid coaching. Mullen took longer to get to this point, but the Bulldogs’ are not as quick to pull the trigger and it takes time to revive a program, especially in a conference as tough as the SEC.

As great as these wins were for both programs, the real test is to see how they respond especially with their moves up the rankings. The Bulldogs and Rebels are BOTH at #3 in the AP Poll.  And they will each have another big next weekend. #3 Mississippi State takes on #2 Auburn (5-0, 2-0) at home while #3 Ole Miss travels to #14 Texas A&M (5-1, 2-1).

Both teams have a similar schedule to end the year.

The Bulldogs schedule is Auburn, at Kentucky, Arkansas, UT-Martin, at Alabama, Vanderbilt, and at Ole Miss.

The Rebels remaining schedule is at Texas A&M, Tennessee, at LSU, Auburn, Presbyterian, at Arkansas, Mississippi State.

The nod probably goes to the Bulldogs because they draw Vanderbilt and UT-Martin while the Rebels have Tennessee and Presbyterian in their two easiest games. It should be said that no team has an “easy” schedule per se because the SEC is is a buzz saw, especially the SEC West.

Of course, how could the Egg Bowl be ignored for all the tantalizing possibilities it presents now? It could be a door into the SEC Championship, which only the Bulldogs have appeared in. It could even be a door into the College Football Playoff if they win the SEC West and the SEC Title. That all is conjecture and both teams have 6 more games before they even reach the Egg Bowl. But is sure is fun to think about what could be at stake.

One thing that will be interesting to see is how these two coaches and programs do in 2015 and beyond. We have seen the Rebels have two good seasons in the past and then sink to the bottom of the SEC West. The Bulldogs have done the same. Still, there is no reason to think that these programs will not continue their success, barring any catastrophic event or sequence of events.

North Central Crushes Millikin In Conference Opener

The North Central College Cardinals had little trouble getting past Millikin on Saturday night in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin (CCIW) opener for both teams. The Cardinals crushed the Big Blue 47-13 with a big second quarter.

The Cardinals took their first drive of the game 73 yards in 13 plays to take the early lead. Tyler Dicken threw a 6 yard touchdown pass to Peter Sorenson to cap the drive.

Millikin added a 36 yard field goal late in the first quarter from Chayce Volpert to make it 7-3. However, that would be as close as they would get. North Central started to drive late in the first quarter and ended it with Dicken’s 6 yard touchdown pass to Demarco Tillman.

A fumble by Nick Pippin gave the Cardinals the ball at the Millikin 47 yard line and they turned it into Dicken’s third touchdown pass of the night. He threw a 15 yarder to Ryan Kuhl to make it 20-3 after the extra point was blocked by Andy Roth. North Central then tried an onside kick and recovered, but were stopped on fourth and one to give the ball back to Millikin.

Millikin turned that into a field goal from 43 yards out off of Volpert’s leg. North Central answered back with a 37 yard field goal of their own to make it 23-6 late in the first half.

Millikin had a chance to score late in the first half, but a fumble derailed their opportunity and the would run out the clock and trail 23-6 at the break.

The Cardinals started the second half with a punt that ended up at their own 44 yard line. Millikin drove to the Cardinals’ 13 yard line, but Pippin was picked off by P.J. Crotty at the ten to end the threat. It would not take long for the Cardinals to put the game out of reach.

Dylan Warden came in and completed a 5 yard pass to Sorenson to move the sticks. On the next play, Warden hit Sorenson on a bomb for the 80 yard touchdown and the 30-6 lead.

NCC extended the lead further on the next drive as Dicken came back in and threw his fourth touchdown of the night. This one went to Kolton Kuczynski from two yards out and the Cardinals led 37-6.

The Millikin’s next play would be Pippin’s pass getting taken back to the house for a 40 yard interception return by Justin Stuursma. Stuursma was not done with the big plays, as the next Millikin drive ended when he recovered the fumble.

North Central added a 31 yard field goal midway through the fourth quarter to make it a 47-6 game before Millikin scored a very late and small consolation touchdown. Pippin hit Tucker Schwengel for the 3 yard touchdown pass to reach the final of 47-13.

Nick Pippin went 23 of 45 for 179 yards with 1 touchdown and two interceptions. He also carried the ball 11 times for 50 yards. Justin Brooks also had 50 yards, but did so on 8 carries. Isaiah Townsend was the top receiver for the Big Blue with 5 catches for 62 yards.

Tyler Dicken had an excellent game for the Cardinals even if his numbers were not eye-popping. He went 14 of 26 for 147 yards with 4 touchdowns and an interception. Dylan Warden went 4 for 4 with 88 yards and a touchdown in his drive during the third quarter. Warden contributed 30 yards on 6 carries as well.

Ryan Kent ran for 107 yards on 19 carries while Matt Randolph had 7 rushes for 40 yards. Peter Sorenson had 8 catches for 156 yards and 2 touchdowns. Ryan Kuhl was the second leading receiver with 3 catches for 34 yards and a touchdown.

Millikin (2-2, 0-1) will play at home next week against Illinois Wesleyan (2-2, 0-1). North Central (3-1, 1-0) goes on the road to face North Park (0-4, 0-1) in Chicago.

North Central lost last week to UW-Stevens Point and fell from number 5 to number 13. The Cardinals are expected to emerge from the game next week at North Park with a 2-0 record in CCIW play.

How Do FCS Teams Fare Against FBS Teams?

As another college football season is well underway, one question that comes to mind is how FCS teams have fared against FBS competition. We will look at this through the lens of betting, but also include the straight up records for the FCS teams.

The time frame covers game from the beginning of the 2013 season and all lines were taken from Vegas Insider’s “Consensus Six” lines.

Let’s begin with the fact that only one FCS team has played host to an FBS team. That was this past weekend when Army traveled to Yale. Yale won in overtime 49-43 in an exciting and wild game. Yale did so as 14.5 point underdog and at +450 on the money line.

 

2013 Season

2013 saw 111 games between FCS and FBS teams with 16 FCS teams emerging victorious (14%).

In those 111 games, 6 FCS teams were favored over FBS competition (5%). All six of those games were won by FCS opponents.

The average spread of the games was +27.8 points for the FCS teams. The average money line was +23555 for FCS teams. The average money line for FBS teams was -70904.

For those wondering what the ROI would have been in 2013 if they bet EVERY FCS, it would have actually yielded a profit. A $100 wager on the 111 games would have cost $11,100. The return would have been $17,953. That is an ROI of 61.74%.

As many remember, that was anchored by the massive upset by Georgia Southern over the Florida Gators. Georgia Southern was +8700 on the money line and were 28.5 point underdogs.

Of course, not everyone can stomach to put $100 on an FCS team that many times, so let’s take a look at how the FCS teams did against the spread.

FCS teams covered a total of 52 times for a win percentage of 46.8. The overall record was 52-56-3 against the spread. Not a bad record considering how “inferior” the FCS teams allegedly are.

2013 was an excellent season for FCS teams, but how have they done thus far in 2014?

 

2014 Season

There have been 95 games between FCS and FBS teams. So far, 7 FCS teams (7.4%) have won their game.

Two FCS teams (2.1%) were favored by Vegas to win their games. Only BethuneCookman against Florida International on August 30th won. Neither team covered.

The average spread for the FCS teams in 2014 has been +26.6. The average money line for the FCS teams has been +16,666. The average money line for the FBS teams is -41,232.

For those who saw the success of betting FCS teams on the money in 2013, this year has been very bad for them. An outlay of $9,500 would yield a return of $3,503 for an ROI of -63.13%.

How have FCS teams against the spread? FCS teams have covered 44 of the 95 games (46.3%). The overall record of FCS teams against the spread is 44-49-2.

Conclusion

The total outlay for betting FCS teams on the money line would be $20,600 through week 5 of the 2014 college football season. The return would be $21,456, which is an ROI of 4.16%.

FCS teams are 96-105-5 for a winning percentage of 46.6%. That is far below the percentage needed to turn a profit.

Yes, that is a profit of $856 if one bets only the money line, but that is hardly worth the outlay of $20,600. Most seasoned bettors would agree that picking and choosing your spots is a far better alternative. That would be a better idea, especially when a team like North Dakota State is constantly defeating FBS teams.

2013-14 Bowl Season: Ranking the Bowls 1 to 35

The regular season is just about complete (Army and Navy have to play on December 14 before it is considered over) and the bowl schedule is out. The bowl season will start on Saturday, December 21 and end on Monday, January 6, 2014. I will rank all 35 bowl games from 1 to 35 in descending order. Here are the rankings:

35. St. Petersburg Bowl: East Carolina Pirates (9-3) vs. Ohio Bobcats (7-5) – This game will showcase East Carolina’s high flying passing attack. This game also has the potential for a shootout.

34. Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: Buffalo Bulls (8-4) vs. San Diego State Aztecs (7-5) – It was a tumultuous start to the season for the Aztecs as they started 0-3. They finished the season 7-2 and 4 games went into overtime (3-1 in those games). If you watch this game, keep an eye out for Buffalo Bulls linebacker Khalil Mack. He is rocketing up the NFL Draft boards and will be a menace all game.

33. Heart of Dallas Bowl: UNLV Rebels (7-5) vs. North Texas Mean Green (8-4) – UNLV has not played in a bowl game since 2000 and North Texas hasn’t played in a bowl game since 2004. North Texas sports a stingy defense giving up 18.1 points a game, 9th best in the nation.

32. Armed Forces Bowl: Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (8-4) vs. Navy Midshipmen (7-4) – This is just the 6th bowl game in the history of Middle Tennessee football, but 4th since 2006 under coach Rick Stockstill. This will be the 10 bowl game in the last 11 seasons for Navy (3-6 in the previous 9 games). Expect a balanced offense from Middle Tennessee and a whole lot of rushing from Navy.

31. Liberty Bowl: Rice Owls (10-3) vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs (6-6) – We have the C-USA Champs in Rice and Mississippi State who needed a win over arch-rival Ole Miss to get here. I am expecting a defensive battle in this one.

30. Texas Bowl: Syracuse Orange (6-6) vs. Minnesota Golden Gophers (8-4) – For most, this game probably isn’t their cup of tea. I like this matchup as I see this being a defensive game and hopefully Minnesota Coach Jerry Kill can be back in time to finish this season with this bowl game.

29. Belk Bowl: Cincinnati Bearcats (9-3) vs. North Carolina Tar Heels (6-6) – This game could probably be higher. This game will come down to whether or not North Carolina can move the ball against Cincinnati’s defense.

28. GoDaddy Bowl: Arkansas State Red Wolves (7-5) vs. Ball State Cardinals (10-2) – This game could easily be higher because I think this game has the ability to provide a lot of points. Ball State averages over 40 points a game while Arkansas State is averaging just under 30 points per game (29.7).

27. Little Caesars Bowl: Pittsburgh Panthers (6-6) vs. Bowling Green Falcons (10-3) – Bowling Green will return to the site of their big upset victory over Northern Illinois in the MAC Championship game. Pittsburgh will look to avoid a 2nd straight 6-7 season under Paul Chryst. I would expect the defenses to be prominent in this game.

26. Hawaii Bowl: Boise State Broncos (8-4) vs. Oregon State Beavers (6-6) – Boise State will be without Chris Petersen for this game as he has moved on to the University of Washington. Oregon State underachieved this year and if they can contain Jay Ajayi and the Boise State rushing attack, they will have a chance to win.

25. Pinstripe Bowl: Rutgers Scarlet Knights (6-6) vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (8-4) – The real appeal to this game is Notre Dame playing in the New York area. I would expect a defensive battle, but this game appears to favor Notre Dame.

24. New Mexico Bowl: Washington State Cougars (6-6) vs. Colorado State Rams (7-6) – These two teams will kickoff the bowl season and features two programs on the rise. I think this game should be a high scoring one.

23. Military Bowl: Marshall Thundering Herd (9-4) vs. Maryland Terrapins (7-5) – This isn’t the most attractive matchup, but there are some things to like. Marshall has an explosive offense, but Maryland can also score points. I think this will a high scoring affair in Annapolis.

22. Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl: Michigan Wolverines (7-5) vs. Kansas State Wildcats (7-5) – This game shows the tale of two halves of the season for both teams. Kansas State started 2-4 before winning 5 of their last 6. Michigan started 6-1 before losing 4 of their last 5. My gut feeling for this game is that this will be a defensive game, but a shootout is not out of the question.

21. New Orleans Bowl: Tulane Green Wave (7-5) vs. Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns (8-4) – I considered putting this game higher because both teams are close to New Orleans and that will make for a festive atmosphere. This is Tulane’s first bowl game since the 2002 Hawaii Bowl (a game they won 36-28 over Hawaii). UL-Lafayette is playing in this game for the 3rd straight season and they won the previous two.

20. Music City Bowl: Ole Miss Rebels (7-5) vs. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (7-5) – This game features the SEC vs the ACC. Both teams are coming into this game off losses to their in-state rivals. I will be watching this game to see how Ole Miss does against the triple option offense of Georgia Tech. If Ole Miss can contain it, they will have a big chance to win.

19. Holiday Bowl: Arizona State Sun Devils (10-3) vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders (7-5) – I personally think this will be a high scoring game. Arizona State has averaged 41 points a game and Texas Tech has scored just over 31 points a game. Arizona State comes into this game off the crushing loss at home in the Pac-12 title game. Texas Tech hopes to reverse a 5 game losing streak. Expect fireworks in this bowl game.

18. Alamo Bowl: Oregon Ducks (10-2) vs. Texas Longhorns (8-4) – Oregon players got their wish to not end up in another Rose Bowl, so they will spend their bowl stay in San Antonio, Texas. They will face Texas and Mack Brown, who may or may not be coaching his last game as the head coach of the Longhorns. It will be interesting to see how each team comes out and plays.

17. Sun Bowl: Virginia Tech Hokies (8-4) vs. UCLA Bruins (9-3) – It has been a very quiet season for Virginia Tech, but their defense has played well this season. UCLA will bring Brett Hundley and their spread offense. That is the matchup I will be watching.

16. Gator Bowl: Nebraska Cornhuskers (8-4) vs. Georgia Bulldogs (8-4) – The reason I have this game listed at #16 is because we saw this game last year and the starting quarterbacks issue. Georgia’s Aaron Murray will not play due to a torn ACL and Nebraska’s Taylor Martinez is in doubt of playing in the game. Ultimately, this should be a good game.

15. Poinsettia Bowl: Utah State Aggies (8-5) vs. Northern Illinois Huskies (12-1) – This is a game of contrasting styles. The Huskies high powered spread offense led by Jordan Lynch will go head-to-head against the tough Utah State defense. It will be fun to watch this game from a matchup standpoint.

14. Fight Hunger Bowl: BYU Cougars (8-4) vs. Washington Huskies (8-4) – Washington is going for the most wins in a season since 2000 when they won 11 games. BYU is going for their 5th straight bowl victory and 7 of their last 8. What will have the biggest impact is that Steve Sarkisian will not be coaching the Huskies in this bowl game. Marques Tuiasosopo will coach Washington in the Fight Hunger Bowl. With 3 weeks for both teams to prepare, I see a game in the 20’s for each team.

13. Compass Bowl: Vanderbilt Commodores (8-4) vs. Houston Cougars (8-4) – This is a sneaky good matchup. Both teams have improved on defense as the season went on and this is should not be a high scoring game. I look forward to seeing how the SEC vs AAC matchup plays out.

12. Outback Bowl: Iowa Hawkeyes (8-4) vs. LSU Tigers (9-3) – This game lost some of its luster when Zach Mettenberger tore his ACL in LSU’s season finale against Arkansas. This is still a good matchup between run based Iowa and LSU’s defense which has had issues throughout the season. This will also matchup Iowa’s stingy defense against LSU’s vertical passing philosophy.

11. Russell Athletic Bowl: Miami (FL) Hurricanes (9-3) vs. Louisville Cardinals (11-1) – This should be a good game between two former Big East rivals. Louisville had BCS aspirations, but fell short in their quest. The Hurricanes are playing in their first bowl game since the 2010 Sun Bowl after 2 years of a self-imposed bowl ban. I think this will be a defensive battle between these two teams.

10. Las Vegas Bowl: Fresno State Bulldogs (11-1) vs. USC Trojans (9-4) – This should be a good matchup between Fresno State and USC. How will Derek Carr face against the Trojans’ defense? USC will not have Ed Orgeron on the sideline as he resigned immediately after they hired Steve Sarkisian. Clay Helton will be the Trojans’ head coach for the bowl game and we will see how that affects them.

9. Chick-Fil-A Bowl: Duke Blue Devils (10-3) vs. Texas A&M Aggies (8-4) – The job that David Cutcliffe has done been nothing short of magnificent. This season was Duke’s 1st 10 win season ever in football. Texas A&M took a slight step back this season, but the real matchup will be between John Manziel and the Aggie offense against Duke’s defense.

8. AdvoCare V100 Bowl: Arizona Wildcats (7-5) vs. Boston College (7-5) – A matchup of two 7-5 teams at #8?! Yes this game is at #8 because of the two running backs. Arizona will feature Ka’Deem Carey who has rushed for 1,755 yards this year. Boston College’s Andre Williams has 2,102 yards this season. I look forward to seeing these two running backs in action.

7. Fiesta Bowl: Central Florida Knights (11-1) vs. Baylor Bears (11-1) – This game probably does not have appeal to many people, but I like this matchup. Neither of these teams has played in a BCS game. This will be a good matchup of Baylor’s offense against Central Florida’s defense.

6. Sugar Bowl: Oklahoma Sooners (10-2) vs. Alabama Crimson Tide (11-1) – I have this game placed at 6 mainly because I don’t trust Bob Stoops to show up in a big game. Stoops has won just 1 BCS game since 2003 out of 6 appearances. There is the possibility that Alabama reverts back to their 2009 Sugar Bowl performance. After losing the 2008 SEC Championship to Florida, Alabama got blitzed in the 2009 Sugar Bowl by undefeated Utah, 31-17. Interesting possibilities here.

5. Orange Bowl: Clemson Tigers (10-2) vs. Ohio State Buckeyes (12-1) – Last time Clemson played in this game in 2011 they were blown out of the building by West Virginia, 70-33. Of course, Ohio State is coming into this game off the loss to Michigan State. Will they come out and play or will they play flat? How will Tajh Boyd fare against the Ohio State defense? A lot of intrigue surrounds this game.

4. AT&T Cotton Bowl: Oklahoma State Cowboys (10-2) vs. Missouri Tigers (11-2) – There are some good story lines here. Former Big 12 teams face off and both teams are coming off loses in games that could have clinched their respective conference titles. How will those teams respond?

3. Capital One Bowl: Wisconsin Badgers (9-3) vs. South Carolina Gamecocks (10-2) – Arguably the best non-BCS bowl this year, we have the SEC matched up against a Big 10 team. South Carolina is playing their 3rd straight bowl game in the state of Florida (2 wins), while Wisconsin is playing their first non-BCS bowl since 2009. The played in three straight Rose Bowl games prior to this year and lost all three. Will the Big 10 get the better of the SEC in this game?

2. Rose Bowl: Stanford Cardinal (11-2) vs. Michigan State Spartans (12-1) – What a matchup we have here. If you like a lot of rushes and stringent defenses, this game is for you. Stanford makes their 2nd straight Rose Bowl appearance (won in 2013 vs. Wisconsin, 20-14). Meanwhile, Michigan State plays in the first Rose Bowl since 1988.

1. BCS National Championship Game: Florida State Seminoles (13-0) vs. Auburn Tigers (12-1) – Was there any doubt about this? The dominant Seminoles will take on the high powered rushing attack of Auburn and the 7 straight National Championships by the SEC. There are other story lines such as Florida State playing in the first BCS National Championship game (1998 Fiesta Bowl, a game they lost 23-16 to Tennessee) and now play in the last BCS Title game before the move to the 4 team playoff.

 

I have always enjoyed the bowl games, especially as more and more bowl games have been added. I will be honest though, when I first saw the bowl schedule I felt it was underwhelming. After I dug a little deeper, this slate of games looks a lot better. There are some good matchups outside of the BCS games and quite a few should provide good entertainment in the form of shootouts.

2013 FCS Playoffs – 2nd Round Wrap Up

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

Furman (8-5) at #1 North Dakota State (11-0)

It was a slow start for the 2-time defending FCS Champions, but North Dakota State eventually pulled away for a 38-7 win over Furman. The game was scoreless until North Dakota State quarterback Brock Jensen hit Zach Vraa for a 52 yard touchdown. Furman responded with Marcus Anderson’s 1 yard touchdown run. Sam Ojuri made it 17-7 less than three minutes into the 3rd quarter and it was over from there.

Brock Jensen went 15 for 25 with 249 yards and 2 touchdowns passing for North Dakota State. Jensen added 86 yards and a touchdown on the ground. North Dakota State will face the winner between Coastal Carolina and #8 Montana.

Coastal Carolina (11-2) at #8 Montana (10-2)

It was cold and frigid in Missoula, Montana, but that did not stop Coastal Carolina from beating Montana 42-35. Both teams traded touchdowns in a 1st quarter that ended 14-14. The 2nd quarter is where Coastal Carolina separated themselves from Montana. Alex Ross found Nicollo Mastromatteo twice as Coastal Carolina took a 35-14 lead at halftime. Montana tried to mount a comeback by cutting the lead to 42-35. Unfortunately for Montana it would be enough as Coastal Carolina ran out the clock on their season.

As you would imagine, there were some big stats put up. Montana’s Jordan Johnson threw for 388 yards and 4 touchdowns. Montana receivers Jamaal Jones and Ellis Henderson both had over 100 yards receiving. For Coastal Carolina, Alex Ross and Lorenzo Taliaferro both had over 100 yards rushing.

Coastal Carolina will now face #1 North Dakota State in the quarterfinals next week.

New Hampshire (8-4) at #5 Maine (10-2)

A rematch between Colonial Athletic foes had the same result as in the regular season: a New Hampshire win. This time New Hampshire won 41-27. The teams traded field goals and touchdowns throughout the first half as New Hampshire held a 20-17 lead. The 3rd quarter saw New Hampshire with a touchdown via Sean Goldrich to Justin Mello to extend the lead to 27-17, but Maine got a field goal later in the quarter to make the score 27-20. In the 4th quarter, New Hampshire running back Chris Setian had two rushing touchdowns to put the game out of reach.

Sean Goldrich threw for 291 yards and 3 touchdowns for New Hampshire. Marcus Wasilewski had 299 yards and 2 touchdowns for Maine in the losing effort.

New Hampshire will face the winner of Sam Houston State and #4 Southeastern Louisiana.

Sam Houston State (9-4) at #4 Southeastern Louisiana (10-2)

The first half of this game was the tale of two quarters. Sam Houston State dominated the first quarter with 2 rushing touchdowns and an interception returned for a touchdown. They led 21-7 after the first quarter. The 2nd quarter belonged to Southeastern Louisiana as they outscored Sam Houston State 17-0 and took a 24-21 lead into halftime.

The 3rd quarter saw a measly safety recorded by Sam Houston State to cut the deficit to one point, 24-23. Early in the 4th quarter, Brian Bell scored a 2 yard rushing touchdown and Sam Houston State took a 29-24 lead after failing to convert the 2 point conversion. Southeastern Louisiana had one last chance late in the 4th quarter to get the win. With 36 seconds left Bryan Bennett hit Jeff Smiley for the 1 yard touchdown pass. Southeastern Louisiana failed on the 2 point conversion, but held on for a 30-29 victory over their Southland Conference foe.

Southeastern Louisiana will face New Hampshire in the quarterfinals.

South Dakota State (9-4) at #3 Eastern Washington (10-2)

A close contest in the first half gave way to a big Eastern Washington victory by the score of 41-17. South Dakota State took an early 7-0 lead thanks to Austin Sumner’s 14 yard touchdown pass to Reginald Gandy. Eastern Washington responded with Vernon Adams’ 22 yard touchdown pass to Zach Gehring. Both teams exchanged touchdowns in the 2nd quarter as they went to half tied at 14.

The 2nd half was dominated by Eastern Washington. Vernon Adams had 3 touchdown passes as Eastern Washington outscored South Dakota State 27-3 in the 2nd half. Vernon Adams had 217 yards passing and 5 touchdowns. Quincy Forte ran for 202 yards and touchdown on the ground for Eastern Washington. South Dakota State’s Austin Sumner threw for 315 yards in the loss.

Eastern Washington will face the winner of Jacksonville State and McNeese State.

Jacksonville State (10-3) at #6 McNeese State (10-2)

This game was dominated by Jacksonville State from the start as they upset McNeese State 31-10. DaMarcus James had two touchdowns in the 2nd quarter as Jacksonville State led 21-0 at halftime. DaMarcus James added another touchdown to give him a total of three for the game. For the game DaMarcus James had 127 yards on 24 carries along with those 3 touchdowns.

It was a very solid defensive performance by Jacksonville State. They allowed 301 yards of total defense, but only 46 rushing yards. They also held McNeese State to 1 for 16 on 3rd down conversions.

For their victory, Jacksonville State will face #3 Eastern Washington in the quarterfinals.

Fordham (12-1) at #7 Towson (10-2)

An entertaining game in the 1st half gave way to Towson domination in the 2nd half as they beat Fordham 48-28. Fordham’s quarterback Michael Nebrich threw 3 first half touchdowns. Peter Athens threw 2 first half touchdowns for Towson. In the 2nd half, Towson’s running game took over. Terrance West had 2 rushing touchdowns and Darius Victor added another for Towson.

Michael Nebrich threw 394 yards and 4 touchdowns for Fordham. Dan Light caught 13 passes for 122 yards and Sam Ajala had 8 receptions for 120 yards and 2 touchdowns, both of them in the loss. Towson quarterback Peter Athens went 13 for 15 for 301 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Towson will play either Tennessee State or #2 Eastern Illinois next week.

Tennessee State (10-3) at #2 Eastern Illinois (11-1)

This game was decided early on as Eastern Illinois raced out to a 16-0 lead by the end of the first and then held a 37-0 lead at halftime. Eastern Illinois used their rushing attack as they amassed 313 yards on the ground. Shepard Little had 184 yards on the ground and 2 touchdowns. Eastern Illinois ended up with 553 yards of total offense. Eastern Illinois held Tennessee State to 45 yards rushing.

Eastern Illinois will face #7 Towson in the quarterfinals next week.

 

Quarterfinal Matchups

Coastal Carolina (12-2) at #1 North Dakota State (12-0) – This game will be played on Saturday, December 14 at 12 P.M. Eastern Time on ESPN. The winner of this game will play the winner of the New Hampshire at #4 Southeastern Louisiana on December 20 or 21.

New Hampshire (9-4) at #4 Southeastern Louisiana (11-2) – This game will be played on Saturday, December 14 at 7 P.M. Eastern Time on ESPN3. The winner of this game will play the winner of the Coastal Carolina at #1 North Dakota State on December 20 or 21.

Jacksonville State (11-3) at #3 Eastern Washington (11-2) – This game will be played on Saturday, December 14 at 4 P.M. Eastern Time on ESPN3. The winner of this game will play the winner of the #7 Towson at #2 Eastern Illinois on December 20 or 21.

#7 Towson (12-1) at #2 Eastern Illinois (12-1) – This game will be played on Friday, December 13 at 8 P.M. Eastern Time on ESPN2. The winner of this game will play the winner of Jacksonville State at #3 Eastern Washington on December 20 or 21.

 

Quarterfinals Predictions

I went 5-3 in 1st Round and did the same for the 2nd Round. I missed Coastal Carolina, Jacksonville State, and Towson in the 2nd Round. Here are my Quarterfinal picks:

– Coastal Carolina (12-2) at #1 North Dakota State (12-0) – The big news for this game is that North Dakota State Head Coach Craig Bohl will take the same position at Wyoming. Bohl will stay on for the duration of the FCS Playoffs and that is great news for Bison fans. I like North Dakota State to prevail here, but it will be close. 31-28 Bison will beat Coastal Carolina to play in the semifinals.

– New Hampshire (9-4) at #4 Southeastern Louisiana (11-2) – I expect a shootout here between these teams. New Hampshire was impressive beating Maine for the 2nd time while Southeastern Louisiana needed a last minute touchdown to beat Sam Houston State. I will go with New Hampshire in a high scoring affair 45-41.

– Jacksonville State (11-3) at #3 Eastern Washington (11-2) – This game is tough for me to call. The forecast as of this writing is about 30 degrees with a chance of a snow shower. I think this game will be close throughout, but I will go with Vernon Adams and Eastern Washington here, 30-24.

– #7 Towson (12-1) at #2 Eastern Illinois (12-1) – I like Eastern Illinois here at home by a couple of touchdowns. This should be entertaining throughout on Friday Night and I like Eastern Illinois to win 48-34.

 

Be sure to enjoy the quarterfinals action of the FCS Playoffs. Check back next week for quarterfinals  recaps and predictions for the Semifinals.

2013 Division 3 Football Playoffs – Quarterfinals Wrap Up

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

 Wesley (10-2) at Mount Union (12-0)

This was one entertaining and wild game, though it seemed far from that by the end of the 1st quarter. Mount Union jumped out to a 31-0 lead at the end of the 1st quarter. Wesley quarterback Joe Callahan threw 3 first quarter interceptions that were turned into 21 points for Mount Union. Wesley started making headway in the 2nd quarter, but their defense was still giving up points. Mount Union held a 48-20 lead at halftime.

In the 3rd quarter, Wesley’s defense stepped up and so did quarterback Joe Callahan. Joe Callahan threw two touchdowns as Wesley cut the lead to 48-34 after the third quarter. Early in the 4th quarter Joe Callahan found Bryce Shade to cut Mount Union’s lead to 48-41. On their ensuing drive, Mount Union finally got back on track and used a Kevin Burke touchdown pass to Sherman Wilkinson to lead 55-41. Eventually, Wesley cut the lead to 62-59 with 1:30 left, but Mount Union was able to run the clock out to hold on for the win.

Mount Union quarterback Kevin Burke accounted for 5 total touchdowns (3 passing, 2 rushing) and all 3 of his passing touchdowns were thrown to Sherman Wilkinson. Wilkinson had 135 yards on 5 catches to go along with his three receiving touchdowns. In a losing effort, Joe Callahan had a monstrous game. He threw for 633 yards and 8 passing touchdowns. Callahan also had 4 interceptions, three of which came in the 1st quarter. Wesley wide receiver Steve Koudossou had 11 catches for 273 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Mount Union will face the winner of the North Central (IL) at Bethel (MN) game in the semifinals.

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

Playing in the frigid air of Arden Hills, Minnesota, North Central took a 21-3 lead 6 seconds into the 2nd quarter and did not look back. North Central running back Ryan Kent had 109 yards on the ground while punching the ball in for a touchdown 4 times. Quarterback Spencer Stanek added 249 yards and 2 touchdowns through the air for North Central. Bethel running backs Marshall Klitzke and Jesse Phenow both had 90+ yards of rushing and a touchdown apiece on the ground.

North Central will face Mount Union in the semifinals next week.

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

Linfield had a 17-0 lead with 12:55 left in the 2nd quarter, but UW-Whitewater shut them out for the rest of the game as Whitewater won 28-17. Linfield got a quick start with a Josh Yoder 3 yard touchdown rush after just 1:39 elapsed in the 1st quarter. Linfield had a chance to score again after UW-Whitewater fumbled the kickoff, but Linfield fumbled the ball at the Whitwater 1 on 4th and goal.

With 12:55 left in the 2nd quarter Linfield quarterback Josh Yoder found Evan Petersen for a 60 yard touchdown and Linfield held a 17-0 lead. On their ensuing drive, Whitewater got great field position on the kickoff return and then quickly got to the end zone thanks to Matt Behrendt’s 19 yards touchdown pass to Tyler Huber. Whitewater added a touchdown with 4:07 left to cut the lead to 17-14 at halftime.

Whitewater added a touchdown in both the 3rd and 4th quarter to make the final score line 28-17. Whitewater quarterback Matt Behrendt threw for 275 yards and 4 touchdowns. Wide receiver Jake Kumerow had 7 receptions for 149 yards and 3 touchdowns for Whitewater. Linfield quarterback Josh Yoder ended up with 374 yards passing and a touchdown in the loss. Whitewater also held Linfield to 24 yards rushing on 40 attempts.

UW-Whitewater will take on the winner between St. John Fisher and Mary Hardin-Baylor.

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

Mary Hardin-Baylor led comfortably throughout their 45-23 victory over St. John Fisher. Mary Hardin-Baylor did not have the dominant rushing performance that you would expect (only 120 yards on 40 carries), but they did get help on defense and special teams. Brodrick Crain intercepted St. John Fisher quarterback Tyler Fenti and returned it 35 yards for a touchdown in the 1st quarter. Speaking Tyler Fenti, he had a great statistical performance throwing for 411 yards and a touchdown for St. John Fisher. St. John Fisher’s Dan Rudy had 11 catches for 167 yards as well.

Mary Hardin-Baylor will play Wisconsin-Whitewater next week in the semifinals.

 

Semifinals Schedule

Both semifinal games are to be played on December 14th at the host institutions.

North Central (IL) (13-0) at Mount Union (13-0)

Wisconsin-Whitewater (13-0) at Mary Hardin-Baylor (13-0)

2013 FBS Coaching Carousel

Every year we go through this coaching carousel in NCAA Football and this year is no exception. The earliest firing of this season happened on September 29, 2013 when Lane Kiffin was fired from USC after a 62-41 loss at Arizona State. Here is a list of all the changes that have occurred since the beginning of the College Football season:

School Outgiong Coach Date Replacement Replacement’s Previous Title Replacement’s Previous School
Boise State Chris Petersen 12/6/2013 TBD TBD TBD
Bowling Green Dave Clawson 12/9/2013 TBD TBD TBD
Connecticut Paul Pasqualoni 9/30/2013 T.J. Weist (Interim) Offensive Coordinator Connecticut
Eastern Michigan Ron English 11/8/2013 Stan Parrish (Interim) Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks Coach Eastern Michigan
Florida Atlantic Carl Pelini 10/30/2013 Brian Wright (Interim) Offensive Coordinator Florida Atlantic
Miami (OH) Don Treadwell 10/6/2013 Mike Bath (Interim) Quarterbacks and Wide Receivers Coach Miami (OH)
Miami (OH) Mike Bath (Interim) 12/3/2013 Chuck Martin Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks Coach Notre Dame
USC Lane Kiffin 9/29/2013 Ed Orgeron (Interim) Defensive Line Coach and Recruiting Coordinator USC
USC Ed Oregeron (Interim) 12/2/2013 Steve Sarkisian Head Coach Washington
Wake Forest Jim Grobe 12/2/2013 Dave Clawson Head Coach Bowling Green
Washington Steve Sarkisian 12/2/2013 Chris Petersen Head Coach Boise State
Wyoming Dave Christensen 12/1/2013 Chris Bohl Head Coach North Dakota State

Be sure to check back often as this will be updated every time a coaching change is announced!

2013 FCS Playoffs – 1st Round Wrap Up

The 1st Round of the FCS playoffs has concluded and the day was dominated by blowouts. Here are the quick recaps of each game:

Furman (7-5) at South Carolina State (9-3)

This game was close until just past halfway in the 3rd quarter when Furman defender Jairus Hollman had a pick 6 to make the Furman lead 27-13. South Carolina State did get a touchdown back early in the 4th quarter, but a field goal by Furman kicker Ray Early put the game out of reach as Furman won by a final score of 30-20. Furman running back Tanner Skogen had 116 yards on the day. Furman will now travel to the Fargodome and take on #1 North Dakota State in the 2nd round.

Bethune-Cookman (10-2) at Coastal Carolina (10-2)

Coastal Carolina used a big 1st quarter to crush Bethune-Cookman 48-28. Coastal Carolina’s Alex Ross threw 2 touchdown passes and Mike McClure had a 39 yard fumble return to give them a 21-3 lead after the 1st quarter. Alex Ross ended up throwing for 256 yards and 4 touchdowns. Coastal Carolina will travel to Missoula and face #8 Montana next week.

Lafayette (5-6) at New Hampshire (7-4)

This game was over early as New Hampshire strolled to a 45-7 victory over Lafayette. UNH had 551 yards of total offense and were balanced (268 yards passing and 283 yards rushing). Sean Goldrich had 267 yards and 2 touchdowns for UNH. New Hampshire will go on the road and face fellow Colonial Athletic foe #5 Maine.

Southern Utah (8-4) at Sam Houston State (8-4)

Southern Utah jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the 1st quarter, but Sam Houston State outscored them 51-10 in last 46:31 of the game in a 51-20 Sam Houston State win. Timothy Flanders led the way for SHSU with 176 yards and 2 touchdowns on the ground. Keshawn Hill also added 101 yards and 2 touchdowns on 7 carries for SHSU. The stat of the game was the rushing yards for each team. Sam Houston State amassed 355 yards on the ground compared to 47 for Southern Utah. Sam Houston State will take on #4 Southeastern Louisiana in the 2nd round.

South Dakota State (8-4) at Northern Arizona (9-2)

This game turned in the 3rd quarter with the game tied at 7 apiece. South Dakota State stopped Northern Arizona running back Zach Bauman in the end zone for a safety. On the ensuing drive for South Dakota State, Zach Zenner ran for a 34 yard touchdown to put the game out of reach at 16-7. Northern Arizona could not muster any offense from running back Zach Bauman after quarterback Kyren Poe’s injury. South Dakota State won by a final score of 26-7. South Dakota State will travel to #3 Eastern Washington for the 2nd round game.

Samford (8-4) at Jacksonville State (9-3)

Jacksonville State completely dominated from start to finish as they crushed Samford 55-14. Eli Jenkins had 115 yards passing and a touchdown throwing in addition to 115 yards rushing and another touchdown. As a team, Jacksonville State had 367 yards rushing and 5 touchdowns. Defensively, Jacksonville State held Samford to 201 yards of total offense. Jacksonville State will take on #6 McNeese State on December 7.

Sacred Heart (10-2) at Fordham (11-1)

Michael Nebrich had 413 yards and 3 touchdowns through the air for Fordham as they got past Sacred Heart 37-27. Nebrich also added 38 yards and a touchdown on the ground for Fordham. Sacred Heart had 4 turnovers which hurt their chances immensely in the 10 point loss. Fordham gets to play #7 Towson in next week’s 2nd round action.

Tennessee State (9-3) at Butler (9-3)

Tennessee State’s defense shutdown Butler’s offense en route to a 31-0 victory in the 1st round. Michael German threw for 201 yards and 2 touchdowns for Tennessee State. Tennessee State picked off Butler quarterback Matt Lancaster 3 times, returning one for a touchdown. Tennessee State will face fellow Ohio Valley team #2 Eastern Illinois next week.

 

2nd Round Matchups

All games are to be played on Saturday, December 7 and can be seen on ESPN3.

–  Furman (8-5) at #1 North Dakota State (11-0) – 3:30 P.M. Eastern Time on ESPN3. The winner of this game faces the winner of the Coastal Carolina at Montana game on December 13 or 14.

Coastal Carolina (11-2) at #8 Montana (10-2) – 2 P.M. Eastern Time on ESPN3. The winner of this game faces the winner of Furman at #1 North Dakota State on December 13 or 14.

New Hampshire (8-4) at #5 Maine (10-2) – 2 P.M. Eastern Time on ESPN3. The winner of this game will face the winner of Sam Houston State at #4 Southeastern Louisiana on December 13 or 14.

Sam Houston State (9-4) at #4 Southeastern Louisiana (10-2) – 8 P.M. Eastern Time on ESPN3. The winner of this game will face the winner of New Hampshire at #5 Maine on December 13 or 14.

South Dakota State (9-4) at #3 Eastern Washington (10-2) – 4 P.M. Eastern Time on ESPN3. The winner of this game will face the winner of Jacksonville State at #6 McNeese State on December 13 or 14.

Jacksonville State (10-3) at #6 McNeese State (10-2) – 7 P.M. Eastern Time on ESPN3. The winner of this game will face the winner of South Dakota State at #3 Eastern Washington on December 13 or 14.

Fordham (12-1) at #7 Towson (10-2) – 1 P.M. Eastern Time on ESPN3. The winner of this game will face the winner of Tennessee State at #2 Eastern Illinois on December 13 or 14.

Tennessee State (10-3) at #2 Eastern Illinois (11-1) – 2 P.M. Eastern Time on ESPN3. The winner of this game will face the winner of Fordham at #7 Towson on December 13 or 14.

 

2nd Round Predictions

I went 5-3 in my 1st Round predictions I made in my FCS Playoffs Preview. I was wrong about South Carolina State, Northern Arizona, and Samford. Here are my 2nd round picks:

Furman at #1 North Dakota State – This one will be ALL North Dakota State and it won’t be close. 45-3 for the Bison as they look to make it 3 National Championships in a row.

Coastal Carolina at #8 Montana – I think this will be a high scoring affair, but I like the home team to prevail. As of this writing the temperature is expected to be in the low teens. That will favor Montana and I like them to win 52-30.

New Hampshire at #5 Maine – This is a rematch of the regular season game that New Hampshire won at home 24-3 on November 23. I like New Hampshire to prevail once again in another defensive battle, 20-16.

Sam Houston State at #4 Southeastern Louisiana – Another regular season rematch, this was won the first time around by Southeastern Louisiana 34-21 AT Sam Houston State. I really want to say Sam Houston State will win this, but SE Louisiana has been very good this season and I will take them to win 42-34.

South Dakota State at #3 Eastern Washington – I like Eastern Washington in this one by a big margin. I caught most of the South Dakota State-Northern Arizona game and I do not feel like SDSU will do enough to contend in this one. EWU wins 42-20 over SDSU.

Jacksonville State at #6 McNeese State – I expect a high scoring and close game throughout. I think McNeese State at home will win 45-38 and make the Quarterfinals.

Fordham at #7 Towson – Another tough one for me to call. Fordham has that single loss on the season to Lafayette and Towson lost to Villanova and Delaware, both at home. I will go with Fordham in a slight upset 30-27.

Tennessee State at #2 Eastern Illinois – The third instance of a regular season rematch in this round’s slate of games. On October 26, Eastern Illinois went on the road and beat Tennessee State 34-16. With this being at Eastern Illinois, I like a repeat of the earlier game. I like EIU 41-21 over Tennessee State.

 

Be sure to enjoy the 2nd round action of the FCS Playoffs. Check back next week for 2nd Round recaps and predictions for the Quarterfinals.

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)

 

2013 FCS Playoffs Preview

This morning the FCS Playoff bracket was revealed. 24 teams comprise the field, with the top 8 national seeds getting a bye into the 2nd round. There are 11 automatic qualifiers along with 13 at large berths. We will start with the qualifiers of each conference, the 8 national seeds, and the match-ups of the 1st Round.

 

Conference Qualifiers (Listed in order of finish)

Big Sky – Eastern Washington, Northern Arizona, Montana, Southern Utah

Big South – Coastal Carolina

Colonial Athletic – Maine, Towson, New Hampshire

Ivy League – Abstained

Mid-Eastern Athletic – Bethune-Cookman, South Carolina State

Missouri Valley – North Dakota State, South Dakota State

Northeast – Sacred Heart

Ohio Valley – Eastern Illinois, Tennessee State, Jacksonville State

Patriot League – Lafayette, Fordham

Pioneer League – Butler

Southern – Samford, Furman

Southland – Southeastern Louisiana, McNeese State, Sam Houston State

SWAC – Abstained

 

National Seeds

1. North Dakota State (11-0) winner of the Missouri Valley Conference

2. Eastern Illinois (11-1) winner of the Ohio Valley Conference

3. Eastern Washington (10-2) winner of the Big Sky Conference

4. Southeastern Louisiana (10-2) winner of the Southland Conference

5. Maine (10-2) winner of the Colonial Athletic Association

6. McNeese State (10-2) runners up in the Southland Conference

7. Towson (10-2) runners up in the Colonial Athletic Association

8. Montana (10-2) third place finishers in the Big Sky Conference

 

1st Round Matchups

Furman (7-5) at South Carolina State (9-3) – 1 P.M. Eastern Time on ESPN3. Winner faces #1 North Dakota State (11-0) on Saturday, December 7.

Bethune-Cookman (10-2) at Coastal Carolina (10-2) – 1 P.M. Eastern Time on ESPN3. Winner faces #8 Montana (10-2) on Saturday, December 7.

Lafayette (5-6) at New Hampshire (7-4) – 12 P.M. Eastern Time on ESPN3. Winner faces #5 Maine (10-2) on Saturday, December 7.

Southern Utah (8-4) at Sam Houston State (8-4) – 3 P.M. Eastern Time on ESPN3. Winner faces #4 Southeastern Louisiana (10-2) on Saturday, December 7.

South Dakota State (8-4) at Northern Arizona (9-2) – 8 P.M. Eastern Time on ESPN3. Winner faces #3 Eastern Washington (10-2) on Saturday, December 7.

Samford (8-4) at Jacksonville State (9-3) – 8 P.M. Eastern Time on ESPN3. Winner faces #6 McNeese State (10-2) on Saturday, December 7.

Sacred Heart (10-2) at Fordham (11-1) – 1 P.M. Eastern Time on ESPN3. Winner faces #7 Towson (10-2) on Saturday, December 7.

Tennessee State (9-3) at Butler (9-3) – 1 P.M. Eastern Time on ESPN3. Winner faces #2 Eastern Illinois (11-1) on Saturday, December 7.

 

1st Round Predictions

I will readily admit that I do not follow the FCS closely, but I do pay attention to the scores every week. Here are my picks for the 1st Round.

Furman at South Carolina State – I think South Carolina State will squeak out a 31-28 victory and go on to face #1 North Dakota State in the 2nd Round.

Bethune-Cookman at Coastal Carolina – This is a tough matchup for me to pick, but I think it will make for a great game. I will go with Coastal Carolina 45-41 and move on to face #8 Montana.

Lafayette at New Hampshire – This game looks to be all New Hampshire and I expect this to be a blowout. I see New Hampshire winning 45-10 and moving on to play #5 Main in the 2nd round.

Southern Utah at Sam Houston State – Another good matchup to be contested here. If this game is low scoring, it favors Southern Utah. If it high scoring, it will favor Sam Houston. I like Sam Houston State to win this game 38-30. That means they would face their conference opponent, #4 Southeastern Louisiana, for the 2nd time this year.

South Dakota State at Northern Arizona – I foresee a defensive battle here and that would suit both teams well. I like Northern Arizona to just do enough on offense to win 20-17 and move on to face #3 Eastern Washington.

Samford at Jacksonville State – This should be a competitive game from start to finish. I will go with Samford to go into Jacksonville and win 28-24. They would face #6 McNeese State in the 2nd round.

Sacred Heart at Fordham – I like Fordham to prevail here at home. Their only loss was an inexplicable 27-14 game at Lafayette. I see them winning 31-20 which will set up a 2nd round game against #7 Towson.

Tennessee State at Butler – This is a tough matchup for me to call. I can see both Tennessee State and Butler winning this game. I’ll take Tennessee State to win 27-24 and face #2 Eastern Illinois in the 2nd Round.

Enjoy all the 1st Round action of the FCS Playoffs!