Archive | June, 2010

Is it September yet?

The off season is killing me.  If it weren’t for school, moving, and playing semi-pro football I would have lost it by now.  It seems like spring football was already a year ago. 

We’re all excited for the kick-off of the 2010 season, so I thought I would give a rundown of some of the games I’m most excited about in the first week.

9/4/2010:

Weber State at Boston College-  If the Wildcats can keep up the offensive attack they’ve had for the last couple of years, this could be a very interesting game.  I’m always looking out for the FCS over FBS upsets, and this one has an outside shot.

Elon at Duke-  I think the Phoenix have a great shot at taking down the Blue Devils.  Not neccesarily a earth shaking prediction, but FCS over FBS nonetheless.

Richmond at Virginia- This will be a game of interest.  While I might normally predict a Richmond win, Coach Mike London left the Spiders for UVa at the end of the 2009 season.  It will be interesting to see how these two coaches staffs approach this game.  Richmond also has former USC backup, Aaron Corp.

(Edit: Thanks to Ursus!) William and Mary at UMass- What better way to start the season than to see where two CAA teams are at?  This should be a great test for both teams.  Can’t hurt to get an early lead in the CAA standings.

What games are you guys looking forward to?

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the chronicles of the unmentioned…

CS Weekly Update: Issue #6

It’s been another two weeks since the last update and what a wonderful two weeks it has been.  You may be asking why I didn’t do the CS Weekly Update last week (honestly I’m surprised no one asked about it).  The reasoning is that I honestly wasn’t feeling all that great on Friday after my Thursday night shenanigans!

I’m going to start off this week with a summary of what happened the last two weeks not pointing to any threads but mentioning things that happened so you can go find them yourselves!  A lot of pre-season polls were released for the FCS, giving conversational topics to every fan trying to justify why their team should be ranked, or ranked higher.   There really is no way of knowing how the season will be until we see a couple games so they are quite amusing to follow.  AGS transfered servers and the new owner has taken full control.   LSAs have returned so the unmentioned can be happy, Willie has seen a lot of animals and a Tigers pitcher got screwed but lived to tell about it in a very classy way.

Now for the featured posts of the week that I will discuss it GREAT detail…

Our friend AZGrizFan played golf with a former Griz Football player yesterday.  I’m assuming that he really means golf and not some other form of whacking balls around so I am going to give him the benefit of doubt.  Hope you had fun, got some great stories and learned the insight of the new Montana head coach.  This thread also turned into a namedropping game of who has done what with whom, quite interesting if you ask me.  I did not participate in this as I didn’t want to put everyone else to shame.

Those Eastern Washington fans are up to their hopes and dream shenanigans again as witnessed in this thread.  Most of you probably don’t think anything of these types of threads because they arrive every summer to only disappear into the great darkness known as page 137.  It is quite the funny read though, seeing all the predictions that those EWU fans have.  I say bring it, and I’ll be there in person to take pictures of you taking pictures of the Griz fans celebrating yet another win in Washington’s Grizzly Stadium.

A local moderator had his eyes opened to some interesting ways of life in his drive through northern Idaho last weekend.  He was upset and rightfully so.  This created some very interesting points as to who deserves what, what is free speach, and what people have the right to do, etc.  It is a somewhat controversial topic but thought it was worth a mention… after all, Mr.T is trying to ban people once again… this time off the forums.

I asked a question last week about what people’s dream job was and what was preventing them from going after it.  Some said they already had it, some had dream jobs that were so far out there and other were on their way.  If you missed this topic, check it out and tell us your dream job. This is something I have really been focusing on lately… following my dreams and making them a reality.  Note: this was way to serious of a topic to include in this recap but what the hell… ummm… I love Bacon?

Thanks for reading yet another CS Weekly Update and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, especially the… unmentioned.  I am driving to Lake Chelan, WA for a bachelor party weekend so if I end up in jail, dead or lost… send the search party!

This has been your CS Weekly Update, Enjoy!

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Tony Moss discusses his Lindy’s FCS preview

From Tony Moss – Senior Editor/NFL Editor (The Sports Network)

First of all, thanks to my friend Chris Lynn for hooking this up. I’ve had a few email inquiries about the FCS preview I did for Lindy’s, which was recently published, and am anticipating a few more so I thought it might be efficient to address those questions here. I’ll try to encapsulate the questions people had of me.

Readers: Why is there no No. 9 listed on your national rankings?

Me: Well, there was. It was Colgate – who I have winning the Patriot League – but the No. 9 line must have gotten accidentally wiped when the magazine was laid out. It’s a shame, but typos happen unfortunately. Overall it’s a pretty impressive book in my opinion.

Readers: Why did you even write this preview? Don’t you cover the NFL?

Me: Yes, I do. My friend Otto Fad, who normally writes the Lindy’s FCS preview, had a conflict this year and contacted me looking for a potential replacement. We were between FCS Coordinators at The Sports Network, and so I volunteered my services. Though I haven’t covered FCS full-time since 2004, the thought at Lindy’s was apparently that I was a professional, with a body of work on the subject, and that I would take the assignment seriously and do a credible job. I definitely did the former, whether I achieved the latter is not up to me to decide, though I think Lindy’s liked what I turned in.

Readers: How did you select your Top 25/conference standings?

Me: I used the same method as when I made predictions while covering the FCS beat. I drew up all of the conference predictions first, then contacted every conference SID in FCS (except the SWAC, who didn’t have one at that moment) to get their feedback before I finalized them. I always involved the conference SIDs in the process when I covered the beat because I felt they would give me an objective portrayal of where their teams stood. I made a few changes to my conference predicted order of finish based on their thoughts. I also enlisted their help in coming up with a group of top players.

From there, I devised the Top 25, which seems to have elicited some discussion questioning my sanity. That’s a bit surprising to me, since 13 of my Top 17 were 2009 playoff teams, three others in that group (9-2 Colgate, 7-4 Montana State, and 7-4 Texas State) were close, and the other was Prairie View, which won the SWAC and whose only loss was to a FBS team. The ’09 playoff teams I didn’t have in “the playoff zone” in my Top 25 were No. 22 New Hampshire (lost seven of eight all-conference picks in a league we all know is really competitive), No. 24 Holy Cross (lost the QB and 80 percent of their o-line) and unranked Weber State (who I simply felt might have lost some ground after losing eight first- or second-team All-Big Sky choices from a 7-5 team that had a bad first-round playoff loss).

The point for me with the Top 25 exercise has always been to vaguely predict what the poll will look like heading into the playoffs (before regional bracketing knocks some really good teams out early and skews the final rankings a bit), not to mirror The Sports Network preseason poll or any others. I think the way I did it is more useful than a traditional “power ranking,” since the race to the playoffs is such a meaningful goal for much of the sub-division. Am I saying that Colgate will be better than William & Mary? Not necessarily, but I am willing to wager based on experience that the champion of the Patriot League is going to be ranked higher, entering the playoffs, than the third-place team in the CAA. Maybe that will turn out to be incorrect, but it’s the nature of predictions.

The only predicted conf. champ with an automatic NCAA bid in the expanded bracket that I didn’t include in my preseason Top 25 was my NEC pick, Robert Morris, although RMU finished ’09 on a five-game win streak in the NEC and outscored opponents 110-36 in those games.

Readers: Why did you pick Villanova’s Matt Szczur as your national player of the year when he’s uncertain to return?

Me: I weighed it, discussed with Coach Talley and Villanova Assistant AD Dean Kenefick as well as my editor at Lindy’s, and determined that it was worth the risk to include a guy that played so well when it mattered last season. If Szczur decides to sign a MLB contract, which would seem to be about 50-50, I think reasonable people will understand why his name appears in the book. I detailed the situation in the feature I wrote as part of the preview. I really hope he comes back, he’s fun to watch.

Readers: Why did you pick Aaron Corp as your newcomer of the year when he is uncertain to start at Richmond?

Me: Please note that my deadline came before Richmond’s spring practice, so I was flying blind a little bit there. My judgment was that Corp didn’t transfer from USC to be a No. 2 at Richmond, but of course we’ll have to see how it shakes out. For the record, my second choice was Bo Levi Mitchell from Eastern Washington, and had he been confirmed as the starter before my deadline, there’s a good chance I would have picked him over Corp.

Readers: What do you make of the criticism of your Lindy’s work on various Internet forums?

Me: It takes me back to when I covered the beat :-) The reality is that the four-page spread of 2010 FCS predictions amounts to no more than someone’s take, and forums like this one exist to debate the same topics that are in Lindy’s or any other magazine.

The goal is to be objective and reasonable given the data you have in front of you, and if people want to say I’m off base, then that’s fine. It comes with the territory. I would add that some of the most ardent criticism of me (not on the CS board) comes with an agenda that is pretty easy to size up if you look hard enough. Overall though, it’s clear that there are many more FCS fans who are educated about the sub-division from a national standpoint than there were six years ago, and that’s great to see.

If you have any more questions about my Lindy’s preview, our FCS or NFL coverage, or just want to say hey, please feel free to drop me a line at tmoss@sportsnetwork.com.

Tony Moss
Senior Editor/NFL Editor
The Sports Network

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