Archive | FCS News

It’s the Waiting that will kill you

9 months 23 days. 15 days. 138 days. These to me represent what is coming up in life that is importat. Each day is different and has a different meaning. From a wedding, to the Start of Football, to the end of my project(with a hope of a contract extension) there is a lot to look forward to in the next several months in my life. But I am here to focus on that most holiest of seasons-Football. I have lived, breathed, and bled(and cried some tears) Panther Purple and gold for 8 years now. From the highest of highs(San Marcos, Texas, Oklahoma City) to the lowest of lows Chattanooga a week after San Marcos, 2007 quarter finals, and yet every year it seems the Panthers take my hopes up to the high that this finally may be the year and every year have dashed them jsut the same. So why my friends do we subject ourselves to such punishment. Why do we have all but one of our teams end the year on a loss? Why do we come back year after year where only ONE of our teams will have its dream at the end of the year. One world, happiness. We as human creatures are naturally positive(well except D1B) and love the happy feelings so much that we subject ourselves to constant heartbreak in order to feel that one year of happinesxs whne our team finally puts it all together and gets that shiny piece of hardwar that vaults our team to the pinnacle of FCS.

Good luck to all the players out there this year, GO FCS!

 

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Hot enough for ya?

Welcome back, folks; hope the heat hasn’t put a damper on your summer! Unfortunately the Miami Heat were on fire and crushed the younger but still talented Thunder in 5, giving one of the most polarizing figures in the NBA his first title. The Olympics are coming up from London. There are a few athletes from the FCS world competing, but for me personally I would love nothing more than to see a US-Iran match-up in ANYTHING. Or how about North Korea-South Korea, or Isreal-Iran. How would the Geo-political world react to such an event? Anyway just 50 days left till the good season starts, sorry for not writing went through a job change recently so had to adjust, but I promise I won’t be so flaky, anyway stay cool and don’t be dumb.

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Hello……Is anyone there

“You’re it until you die or I find someone better”
Well here goes Its wednesday may 23,2012 99 days until we can stop talking about our kids/playing elimination games/counting down the days until the greatest season known to mankind. I am open to doing this blog governed by the people, for the people, and written by me. I am open to suggestions on what you want to see more of, what you want to see less of etc. During the season I will be posting at least once a week(primarily during the week after the polls come out) which will be my opinons and our observations on the State that is FCS football.
During the off-season unless I see something I really want to blog about you want hear to much out of me.
As we are nearing the end of the spring season and starting our summer of waiting, the news out of most places will be pretty minimal, however the biggest news of the off-season has got to be the Montana Scandal. As a Panther fan one HAS to wonder how that game would of played out if those responsible had been disciplined properly, and one has to wonder if the AD and Coach Pflu are thinking a semi-final loss to SHSU was worth losing their jobs over. What can you say hind sight is 20/20.

Also in the news is the ever present conference re-alingment has started to trickle down to the FCS ranks, with several FCS schools being the mention of moving up(or in some cases a move down to the Sun Belt, etc) This begs the question, is FCS football sustaniable in today’s money-hungry world? I honestly believe it is, while i think of the likes of Montana, NDSU, Deleware, App State, etc will eventually move up I think those schools who aren’t their states no.1 or no.2 programs(GSU, UNI, Wofford) will stay in FCS land as either there isn’t the support in the state or the money to make the move to a sub-BCS conference.

Well kids that’s all for today! Let me know what you did like and didn’t like, but if you think you can do better, volunteer next time.

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Hurry up to wait…

Now that the two teams have been decided for the 2011 NCAA FCS National Championship Game, through the glorious playoff system, it seems like one question is still lingering.

Why did the Subdivision committee decide to hustle through the playoffs, only to have the title game three weeks after the semifinals are decided?

Should they have given all of the teams involved in the playoffs a week off before play commenced? Would there have been a different outcome with the games? Shoulda, woulda, coulda comes into play here it seems. But there are always going to be glitches with things, even with the Championship Subdivision we all love. One big one being the title game being played on the same day as the Cotton Bowl (with one of the biggest fan base teams playing in it).

This post of mine is just to start up chatter, but it’s not like there isn’t plenty of that already. Sometimes you just have to put your thoughts down and see where it goes.

And remember, even though I’m as big of an Ohio State fan you’ll find, there’s no BS in the FCS!

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Q & A with TSN’s Craig Haley

Some of you may have noticed the thread a week or so ago asking you what questions you would like to ask TSN’s Craig Haley about the FCS.  I gathered up some of those questions and asked Craig and he delightfully answered them to give us more of  an insight into the FCS.  Thanks Craig for taking the time to answer these questions.

What was with the lack of coverage of the biggest story from week 2, the JMU upset of Virginia Tech?
Craig: Indeed, we could have done more. I’m offering the reason, not an excuse. Our two writers (Craig Haley and Andrew Gaddess) were on the road that day. The story was on our FBS pages, however. The JMU win would have led our FCS review column, but the No. 1 team in the nation (Montana) lost later that day. Whichever way we went, it was going to leave half the readers unhappy.

What is your opinion on the MEAC’s struggles in the playoffs over the years?
Craig: The MEAC has been behind other conference in the level of talent. Without enough of it, you’re not going to go far in the playoffs, especially when you don’t draw home games. I think South Carolina State can win a playoff game this season.

Thoughts on publishing an FCS magazine?
Craig: Sorry to disappoint, but not in this economic climate. It takes a lot of resources and staff to do it right.

Where do you see the division in 5 years? 10 years?
Craig: I can see more regional television coverage. Some of the conferences are making it happen as technology (like internet broadcasting) expands so quickly. I think a lot of fans who want to have their school move up to the FBS will realize we have it pretty good on the FCS level.

What, if any, unusual experiences have you had to date in dealing with Coaches, AD’s, SID’s or Conference officials??
Craig: Nothing big comes to mind. Most of the people on the FCS level are terrific people and accessible. One conference media relations director had a terrific story a few months ago about his days as an SID a couple years ago. He had to umpire a conference baseball game and his one student intern was a player on the school’s team. It all happened at the last minute. The SID had to update the visiting team’s statistics between innnings and the student intern (on the home team) had to update the visitor’s information when he was in his dugout. All in a day’s work.

Now that you’ve had a chance to view other teams from other conferences, what are some of biggest differences between “A” conference and “B” conference, etc?
Craig: Resources at the schools. That’s what makes conferences like CAA Football, the Big Sky, Southern, MVFC bigger and better than some of the smaller conferences. Even within conferences, there are differences. Within the CAA, schools like Richmond and James Madison have more resources than New Hampshire and Maine.

Why are the Ivies ducking the playoffs? They say academics, however, the basketball team misses way more class time than the football team participating in the playoffs for a couple of weeks.
Craig: It’s an archaic rule mandated by the school presidents. They say they don’t want football players missing classes. That is a hollow reason. The first round of the playoffs are over Thanksgiving and the Ivy champion wouldn’t miss class time. Even if the Ivy champion advances to the second weekend of the players, it would only be a plus for the school. No person within the football programs support the presidents’ rule.

How can the Griz beat a team that runs the option?
Craig: Maybe schedule a Cal Poly or an option team in the first game. Seriously because then the Griz could work on defending it all preseason. It takes a lot of preparation and experience. I saw Rutgers struggle with defending option teams for years and eventually got over it. Montana can do the same.

I took this time to also ask a couple questions that I (Chris Lynn) had about the FCS and the support us fans can provide to help increase the exposure of the FCS.

What would it take to make the FCS more successful in the media and revenue opportunities?
Craig: Certainly more television exposure. Networks need to discover the talent on the FCS level, and it starts on the regional and conference level. High-profile upsets and great games help, and Appalachian State-Montana and Montana-Villanova drew strong ratings for ESPN last year. Most sports aren’t revenue generators for the schools. It would help as the NCAA pushes the great product of FCS even more.

What is the importance of fan sites such as ChampionshipSubdivision.com and eGriz.com to FCS Football?
Craig: The sites are terrific. They give the fans a forum and a chance to promote so many schools. There should be camaradarie on these sites, not division.

Throwing the polls out of the thought process, who do you feel is the most well-rounded team in the FCS this year?
Craig: It’s hard to argue with Villanova. To have all that veteran talent returning from a national championship squad, it’s hard to argue against the Wildcats. And that’s why voters have them ranked No. 1.

What can I (Chris Lynn) do or continue to do to help increase the exposure/success of the FCS?
Craig: I like items like topic of the week or game of the week. Maybe putting more news items on the sites. Getting fans involved from some conferences that haven’t participated as much as others would help.

Thanks again Craig for taking the time to answer these questions with your busy schedule and thanks for doing what you do to cover the FCS.

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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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