Archive | November, 2009

2nd Round picks

Rob Weiss, FCS Update

As an early teaser, here are my 2nd round picks.


Richmond over App St

New Hampshire over Villanova

Southern Illinois over William and Mary

Montana over Stephen F Austin


All games should be close. Home team wins 3 out of 4.

Montana over Richmond

New Hampshire over Southern Illinois


Montana champion.


Oh how things can change in a week. It’s all about matchups.

More thoughts coming in the next few days.


1st round Recap

Rob Weiss, FCS Update

Holy Cross  28   at (2) Villanova  38

The Holy Cross offense got rolling a little more than I expected in this game. The game went back and forth as the teams traded scores until knotted at 14. At that poitn Villanova took over a bit and drove the score to 28-14. In the 3rd quarter the teams traded TDs. In the 4th quarter the Crusaders comeback bid came up short as the only mustered 7 points to Villanova’s 3. Holy Cross played 2 quarters of even football with Villanova, but the 2nd quarter blanking of the HC offense was too much to overcome. The Crusaders’ QB, Dominic Randolph went 31 of 51 for 347 yards, 3 TDs, and 0 INTs.

South Carolina State  13  @ Appalachian State  20

South Carolina State gave App St a scare for the 2nd year in a row. In a game filled with turnovers, SCSU snapped a FG attempt past the kicker and it was returned for a TD. SCSU had one last chance, but needed to go 93 yards in 53 seconds. both QB’s threw 3 INTs in a game where each team scored a defensive TD off of a turnover.

Weber State 0  @ William and Mary  38

As I predicted, this was a one-sided matchup featuring one of the best teams in the country against the last team in. Cameron Higgins of Weber State was 21/40 with 4 INTs. W&M played a well balanced offensive game in the rout.

Elon 13  @ (4) Richmond 16

Elon was down most of the game, but a late 4th quarter push put a scare into the Spider fans. The Phoenix came up short when a 48 yard game-tying FG attempt was no where near the mark. Interesting stat of the game: Richmond threw 3 INTs, Elon: none. Elon actually finished the game +3 in the turnover margin. Spider QB Eric Ward finished with 276 all purpose yards. Scott Riddle of Elon threw for 307 and 1 TD.

Eastern Illinois 7 @ (3) Southern Illinois 48

 Southern Illinois scored 48 unanswered points in one of SIU’s best first round performances in years.


South Dakota State 48 @ (1) Montana 61

In what could be called the biggest comeback in FCS playoff history the Griz scored 41 unanswered points to beat the Jacks in the first round at Washington-Griz Stadium.


New Hampshire 49  @ McNeese State 13

In one of my more controversial picks, I stated that I felt that New Hampshire was the clear favorite in this game. After following FCS football all across the nation (even the MEAC, haha) this was the result I was expecting. I have no regional biases, just the games I watch and the things I read.

 Eastern Washington 33 at Stephen F. Austin 44

My one flaw for the day. I guess I should’ve referenced the Weber State-EWU game for an idea of how EWU would perform against the SFA passing attack. Lumberjack QB, Jeremy Moses went 43 of 57 for 432 yards and 4 TDs. Only issue was his 3 INTs. But even with 3 INTs SFA was never too nervous. They lead by 11 or more for the entire 2nd half with leads as great as 25. EWU’s Matt Nichols was 43 of 76 for 461 yards, 3 TDs and 1 INT. 133 passing attempts kept this game going forever. Both teams had one RB go over 100 yards. EWU’s Taiwan Jones ran for 118 and an average of 7.8 while SFA’s Vincent Pervis ran for 125 and also averaged 7.8 per carry.

So 7-1 on the day. Not too shabby. 🙂


1st Round Playoff Breakdown

Rob Weiss, FCS Update

South Dakota State at (1) Montana

This is a match-up of two teams I’m pretty familiar with. Both teams have played up and down this year.

For Montana the key is going to be QB play. They have switched QBs on and off and need to have the right chemistry on Saturday. I had the opportunity to watch the Griz against UC-Davis, Northern Arizona, Weber State, and Northern Colorado. The offense and defense were both all over the place. The UC-Davis game was a low scoring game that was tied in the 4th quarter, but the NAU game was an OT shootout. The team clicked on both sides of the ball against Weber State.

South Dakota State could’ve helped themselves with a win over Minnesota. The Jacks had the ball in a tie game with 5 minutes left but fumbled it on their own 20 yd line to give the game away.

I’ve seen the Jacks twice this year. Their games against Northern Iowa and Cal Poly were fairly similar with the exception of the result. SDSU should not have lost the Cal Poly game, but injury to a QB can really change your chemistry.

I see this game as a toss-up with the edge to the home team, but if the Griz are clicking, this could be a blow out.

Montana Grizzlies 31  South Dakota State Jackrabbits 27


Eastern Washington @ Stephen F. Austin

I have not had the opportunity to watch either of these teams this year.

Stephen F. Austin saw their offensive success through a huge passing game, while Eastern Washington has been a little more balanced than in the past.

If Eastern Washington can pull off the defensive gameplan that Texas State used against SFA, it could be a long day for the Lumberjacks.

Eastern Washington Eagles 35  Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks 28


Elon @ (4) Richmond

Both of these teams have lacked some consistency this year. Richmond struggled in some games they should have won easily and blew their game against Villanova. Elon didn’t show up for their big games against Wake Forest and Appalachian State.

I had the opportunity to watch Richmond a few times this year. They had issues in their game against a poor VMI team.  The team struggled to get any rhythm going. In their game against Villanova they let the Wildcats score with about a minute left, then drove down for a chip shot FG that was wide left from the right hash. Now the team has a path that could run them through Missoula instead of a home path to Chatty. (A semifinal match-up against Montana would make for an interesting game). 

Elon has had a great passing game this year. Their SoS was very poor and their performance against Appalachian State has a lot of people wondering.

Richmond Spiders 24  Elon Phoenix 21


South Carolina State @ (4) Appalachian State

A rematch of last years first round leaves many of us wondering if we’ll see a similar game. The MEAC champ went into Boone last year and really hung around.

I don’t think that will be the case this year. Last year the Mountaineers had an unhealthy Armanti Edwards and were not clicking. This App State team is scary to me. They seem to be clicking at the right time and have great chemistry.

South Carolina State’s only loss is to South Carolina. They won’t be a pushover, but I’m just not sure they have enough.

Appalachian State Mountaineers 38  South Carolina State Bulldogs  28


Eastern Illinois @ (3) Southern Illinois

This will be one of those lopsided first round match-ups.

The Panthers limped their way into the field, needing an EKU loss to get the autobid.

The Salukis have beat every team put in front of them after a near loss to FBS Marshall.

Look for EIU QB Jake Christensen to have a long day. SIU will pound the ball on the EIU offense and waltz into the second round.

Southern Illinois Salukis 38  Eastern Illinois 17


Weber State at William and Mary

This also has the makings of a lopsided match-up. Weber State struggled against tough competition and William and Mary was a FG away from being seeded in this years field.

After seeing William and Mary blow the Villanova game, they have been clicking ever since.

William and Mary Tribe 24   Weber State Wildcats 14


Holy Cross at (2) Villanova

This game is basically over before it begins. As long as the ‘Nova pass defense shows up, this one will be over quickly.

Holy Cross relies on it’s passing attack and struggled against a couple opponents. Villanova played one of the hardest schedules in the country and came through with only one loss.

Villanova Wildcats 31   Holy Cross Crusaders 14


New Hampshire at McNeese State

If New Hampshire had any kind of facilities and home crowd they would be at home. Their team deserves to be at home almost every year but gets stuck taking flights across the country. New Hampshire is the clear favorite in this road match-up.

As one of two upsets I picked, this is the only game I feel will be a clear cut winner. New Hampshire beat some tough opponents and also went on the road to get a FBS win. McNeese has a good team and a great enviroment, but that won’t stop the Wildcats.

New Hampshire Wildcats 24  McNeese State Cowboys 14


With expected 2nd round matchups, my current pick for national champion is Appalachian State. Armanti Edwards is the only QB in FCS football that can single handedly win games. If he is truly healthy, and stays healthy, he’ll get his 3rd national championship.



First draft of final playoff predictions

Rob Weiss, FCS Update

So many bubble teams lost. Here’s the first attempt….may change before selection.

1 Villanova vs. Holy Cross

SC State vs. William and Mary

Appalachian State vs. New Hampshire

4. Richmond vs. Elon

2 . Southern Illinois vs. Eastern Illinois

McNeese State vs. Weber State

South Dakota State vs. Eastern Washington

3. Montana vs. Stephen F Austin


Playoff Predictions 11/18

Rob Weiss, FCS Update

Not much has changed since last week. If the right teams win on Saturday, the bracket should be a pretty easy pick for the committee. The bracket will release at 3pm EST on ESPNNews if my info is correct.


Big Sky: Montana – locked up            CAA: Villanova – Still have to play Delaware, and will be in the playoffs either way         MEAC: South Carolina State – locked up       MVFC: Southern Illinois– locked up       OVC: Eastern Illinois  – locked up        Patriot: Holy Cross – locked up    SoCon: Appalachian State – locked up       Southland: Stephen F. Austin – locked up with a win over winless Northwestern State

At-large bids:

New Hampshire(2nd CAA) – at 9-2 or 8-3,     Richmond(3rd CAA) – 9-2 at worst,     William and Mary(4th CAA) – 9-2 at worst    , Eastern Washington (2nd Big Sky) in for sure with a win and a loss by Montana State     , Elon(2nd SoCon) – in with a win over Samford,     South Dakota State (2nd MVFC) in with a win over Western Illinois,      Northern Iowa (3rd MVFC) in with a win over Illinois State,  McNeese State(2nd Southland) in with a win over Central Arkansas,

Last Four In:

 Elon, McNeese State, Northern Iowa, Eastern Washington

Last Four out:

Liberty, Weber State, Montana State, Delaware


Eastern Illinois @ (1) Southern Illinois 
Elon @ McNeese State

Eastern Washington @ South Dakota State     
William and Mary @ (4) Appalachian State

New Hampshire @Northern Iowa
Stephen F Austin @ (2)Montana

Richmond @ South Carolina State
Holy Cross @ (3)Villanova


Bracket Analysis:

The bracket gets harder and harder as seeds change and the balance of east to west changes.

Eastern Illinois to Southern Illinois seems like a no brainer. Has happened many times in the past 10 years. 

Elon at McNeese is a bit of a stretch. Might change before my final bracket on Sunday.

Eastern Washington at South Dakota State makes sense to me. 2nd place team from the MVFC with good attendance gets another Western team.

William and Mary to Boone looks doable.

UNH @ UNI? Why not? The two have met in the playoffs 4 out of the last 5 years. Sorry Panther and Wildcat fans.

SFA to Missoula. SLC traditionally gets sent to the Griz. Especially when Cal Poly isn’t in. McNeese would bid more money so the NCAA sticks SFA on the road.

Richmond at SC State? SC State should be at home, whether or not they are remains to be seen. Especially with their AD pushing for the Heritage Bowl.

Holy Cross to Nova should be the matchup.


If this were the bracket, my quarter predictions would be:


Elon @ (1) Southern Illinois

South Dakota State at (4) Appalachian State

New Hampshire @ (2) Montana

Richmond @ (3) Villanova



(4) Appalachian State @ (1) Southern Illinois

New Hampshire @ Richmond



Appalachian State vs. Richmond



Appalachian State


Appalachian State appears to be clicking at just the right time. I feel like Armanti Edwards is one of the few quarterbacks in FCS football that can really take over a game. There are some good quarterbacks, but Armanti may be the only one who can single handedly win games.


CS: FCS Top 25 Football Poll Week 11 (11/16/09)

Week 11 (11/16/2009)
1. Southern Illinois Salukis
2. Villanova Wildcats
3. Montana Grizzlies
4. Richmond Spiders
5. William & Mary Tribe
6. Appalachian State Mountaineers
7. South Carolina State Bulldogs
8. New Hampshire Wildcats
9. McNeese State Cowboys
10. Elon Phoenix
11. South Dakota State Jackrabbits
12. Northern Iowa Panthers
13. Eastern Illinois Panthers
14. Eastern Washington Eagles
15. Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks
16. Weber State Wildcats
17. Liberty Flames
18. Jacksonville State Gamecocks
19. Holy Cross Crusaders
20. Montana State Bobcats
21. Prairie View A&M Panthers
22. Delaware Fightin’ Blue Hens
23. Colgate Raiders
24. Pennsylvania Quakers
25. Lafayette Leopards


The Final Countdown 11/16

Rob Weiss, FCS Update

What a great time to be a FCS football fan, eh?

We’re down to one final week to decide all 16 playoff spots. 

Here’s a breakdown of last weekends action, as well as a look at the week ahead.

1. –  Montana wrapped up the Big Sky autobid with a 38-10 win over Northern Colorado. But that doesn’t mean they’ll be coasting this week. The Griz head to Bozeman to take on in-state rival Montana State. A win should lock up a top 2 seed for the Griz.

2.- Will the Big Sky get 2 teams in? There is a fight for a possible 2nd Big Sky bid into the playoffs Montana State, Weber State, and Eastern Washington are all 5-2 in Big Sky play. Montana State beat Weber State. Weber State beat Eastern Washington, and Eastern Washington beat Montana State.

Montana State and Eastern Washington can each get to 8 wins this weekend, but all three teams can only reach 7 D-I wins. Most prognosticators lean towards Eastern Washington, but realistically any of the three could end up in the field with a win.

3.- Liberty wraps up share of the Big South autobid. Liberty can move their record to 9-2 this weekend and also win the Big South outright with a win over Stony Brook. Will it be enough to get them an at-large bid?

4.- The CAA should end up with 4 playoff bids. Delaware and Massachusetts were for all purposes eliminated this weekend. That leaves Villanova, Richmond, William and Mary, and New Hampshire. 

5.- South Carolina State wrapped up the MEAC this weekend with a 37-13 win over Morgan State. By far the best team in the MEAC, but how will they compare to other playoff teams?  Florida A&M removed themselves from at-large consideration when they were shut out by Hampton 25-0.

6.-  In the MVFC, South Dakota State was in a close game with FBS Minnesota, but fell short, 16-13. The loss moved SDSU to 7-3 on the season. A win over Western Illinois this weekend would put the Jacks in the playoffs. 

7.- Southern Illinois wrapped up the 2009 MVFC title on Saturday with a 44-24 win over Missouri State. A win over Southeast Missouri State this weekend should wrap up a top 2 seed for the Salukis.

8.- Northern Iowa kept it’s playoff hopes alive with a 34-0 win over Western Illinois. The Panthers head to Illinois State this weekend with their playoff chances on the line. A loss would eliminate the Panthers from contention.

9.- Eastern Illinois wrapped up the OVC autobid this past weekend with a 49-13 win over Tennessee-Martin. The Panthers can win the OVC outright with a win over Tennessee State on Saturday.

10.- Holy Cross secured the Patriot League’s autobid with a win over Lafayette in a 28-26 shootout. Lafayette may be an outside bubble team come Sunday.

11.- Appalachian State shut down Elon on Saturday, 27-10. The Mountaineers secured the SoCon autobid with the win. Elon fell to 8-2 and will be in the playoffs with a win this weekend over Samford. A loss would put the Phoenix on the bubble.

12.- The Southland race comes down to the final weekend. Stephen F Austin and McNeese State are deadlocked in the standings, with SFA winning the head to head matchup. Both teams will be in the playoffs with a win this weekend. A loss jumbles the situation. Especially if both teams were to lose, in which case Texas State and Southeast Louisiana could come into play.


Playoff Predictions 11/11

Rob Weiss, FCS Update

Sorry for the lack of writing lately. Things have been pretty busy around here. Anyways, on to the predictions. If the season ended today, this is what I think would go down.


Big Sky: Montana – This seems obvious to me            CAA: Villanova – Still have to play Delaware, and will be in the playoffs either way         MEAC: South Carolina State – Not sure anyone in the MEAC can touch them this year          MVFC: Southern Illinois– This one is all wrapped up       OVC: Eastern Illinois  – Front runners with 2 weeks left        Patriot: Holy Cross – Entirely over-rated in a few polls, but I like HC  to win the Patriot. Game against Lafayette on Saturday could decide it.     SoCon: Appalachian State – The Mountaineers look like the championship teams again       Southland: Stephen F. Austin – This could be debated, but I feel like they are still in control.

At-large bids:

New Hampshire(2nd CAA), Richmond(3rd CAA), William and Mary(4th CAA), Eastern Washington (2nd Big Sky),Elon(2nd SoCon), South Dakota State (2nd MVFC), Northern Iowa (3rd MVFC), McNeese State(2nd Southland),

Last Four In:

 Elon, McNeese State, Northern Iowa, Eastern Washington

Last Four out:

Massachusetts, Weber State, Northern Arizona, Delaware


Stephen F Austin @ (1) Southern Illinois 
Eastern Washington @ McNeese State

Holy Cross @ New Hampshire     
William and Mary @ (4) Appalachian State

Eastern Illinois @Northern Iowa
South Dakota State @ (2)Montana

South Carolina State @ Richmond
Elon @ (3)Villanova


CS: FCS Top 25 Football Poll Week 10 (11/10/09)

Week 10 (11/10/2009)
1. Southern Illinois Salukis
2. Villanova Wildcats
3. Montana Grizzlies
4. Richmond Spiders
5. William & Mary Tribe
6. Elon Phoenix
7. New Hampshire Wildcats
8. Appalachian State Mountaineers
9. South Carolina State Bulldogs
10. McNeese State Cowboys
11. Northern Iowa Panthers
12. South Dakota State Jackrabbits
13. Eastern Illinois Panthers
14. Eastern Washington Eagles
15. Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks
16. Liberty Flames
17. Jacksonville State Gamecocks
18. Weber State Wildcats
19. Holy Cross Crusaders
20. Florida A&M Rattlers
21. Delaware Fightin’ Blue Hens
22. Lafayette Leopards
23. Texas State Bobcats
24. Northern Arizona Lumberjacks
25. Southeastern Louisiana Lions


CS: FCS Top 25 Football Poll Week 9 (11/3/09)

Week 9 (11/3/2009)
1. Richmond Spiders
2. Montana Grizzlies
3. Southern Illinois Salukis
4. Villanova Wildcats
5. William & Mary Tribe
6. Elon Phoenix
7. Appalachian State Mountaineers
8. South Dakota State Jackrabbits
9. New Hampshire Wildcats
10. South Carolina State Bulldogs
11. McNeese State Cowboys
12. Northern Iowa Panthers
13. Eastern Illinois Panthers
14. Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks
15. Eastern Washington Eagles
16. Jacksonville State Gamecocks
17. Central Arkansas Bears
18. Liberty Flames
19. Weber State Wildcats
20. Holy Cross Crusaders
21. Northern Arizona Lumberjacks
22. Delaware Fightin’ Blue Hens
23. Florida A&M Rattlers
24. Central Connecticut State Blue Devils
25. Colgate Raiders