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Archive For The “MEAC” Category

LFN’s FCS Top 25, 9/5/2017

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LFN’s FCS Top 25, 9/5/2017

I don’t officially vote in any of the FCS Top 25 polls, but I do share who I think deserves to be in the Top 25, and this week, unsurprisingly, I think James Madison was, and still is, the No. 1 team in the nation.

Not exactly going out on a limb, am I?

If you try to pick FCS games, one of the easiest picks of last week was to take the Dukes to upset the Pirates.  Pretty much all the experts across the board thought that James Madison, even with some suspended players, was stacked enough to take over rebuilding East Carolina, and boy, did they ever.

Remember the days when FCS vs. FBS matchups were defined by the FCS teams “wilting” in the fourth quarter?  With upper-echelon FCS teams like James Madison, that myth has been debunked for a while, but it was brutally apparent in this game, when RB Cardon Johnson easily eluded East Carolina tacklers on two 80+ yard touchdown runs.

That didn’t surprise me at all this weekend.  And they’re still my No. 1 team.

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LFN’s FCS Top 25, 9/5/2017

By |

LFN’s FCS Top 25, 9/5/2017

I don’t officially vote in any of the FCS Top 25 polls, but I do share who I think deserves to be in the Top 25, and this week, unsurprisingly, I think James Madison was, and still is, the No. 1 team in the nation.

Not exactly going out on a limb, am I?

If you try to pick FCS games, one of the easiest picks of last week was to take the Dukes to upset the Pirates.  Pretty much all the experts across the board thought that James Madison, even with some suspended players, was stacked enough to take over rebuilding East Carolina, and boy, did they ever.

Remember the days when FCS vs. FBS matchups were defined by the FCS teams “wilting” in the fourth quarter?  With upper-echelon FCS teams like James Madison, that myth has been debunked for a while, but it was brutally apparent in this game, when RB Cardon Johnson easily eluded East Carolina tacklers on two 80+ yard touchdown runs.

That didn’t surprise me at all this weekend.  And they’re still my No. 1 team.

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My FCS Top 25 Vote, Week 6: 10/12/2015

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My FCS Top 25 Vote, Week 6: 10/12/2015

If you’d like, you can check out my FCS Top 25 vote below.

People around the country are starting to understand that James Madison is a pretty damn good FCS football team.

At 6-0, they bear little resemblance to the team that squeaked by 3-8 Lehigh last season.  The lowest offensive point total they put together in a game was 38 – versus Stony Brook, who could be a playoff team.  QB Vad Lee is firing on all cylinders, just showed up in Sports Illustrated’s Faces in the Crowd, and the Dukes faithful may be getting a look from College Football Gameday in a few weeks.

After they made mincemeat of Lehigh in Week 2, I knew they were good.  But I didn’t really know how good until they got into the league portion of the schedule.  They pounded Towson 51-30 last weekend, and they will in all likelihood go 7-0 after their trip to 2-4 Elon this weekend.  I’ve had them at No. 1 the past three weeks or so, and they’ve amply justified my pick.

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All Everyone Wants In The FCS Is A Shot On A Big Stage

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All Everyone Wants In The FCS Is A Shot On A Big Stage

Like many Division I football programs, Lehigh started their preparations for the upcoming Patriot Football season last Thursday.

If you had to list the desires of the football team going into the preseason, chief among them is eradicating the memory of last season, whether it was the 3-8 record or especially the final game of last year.

But what I think really gets the Lehigh players going, and in fact what gets most players going at FCS schools, is that they get a shot at something truly special.

For Lehigh players, it means they can get a shot at taking down a nationally-ranked team, James Madison, in their own house, a shot at returning a Patriot League Championship trophy to Grace Hall, a shot at turning things around against Lafayette, and a shot at winning a national championship against the best schools of their subdivision.

It’s a time of optimism for all FCS schools, but it’s the shot that truly makes it special.

And if there’s one thing I fear more about the future of college football than anything else, it’s when schools remove opportunities to give schools a shot at something special.

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USA Today Releases Finances Database, Including FCS Schools

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USA Today Releases Finances Database, Including FCS Schools

One of the best pieces of data reporting, in regards to NCAA athletics, comes from USA Today Sports and a group of lawyers and reporters.

It’s called the NCAA Athletics Spending database, which details the amount of revenue and spending that every public school makes on athletics.  (By law, every public or partial-public school needs to disclose this information.)

It also computes the amount that each school receives in “subsidy”, which is a combination of institutional support (a direct payment from the school to the athletic department), student fees (fees included in tuition that end up going to the athletic department), and taxpayer money.

The full database is here, which is interesting in and of itself, but I wanted to break out the database to only include those schools with FCS football programs.  That’s what I’ve done below.

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Arguments Over Bowl Payouts Makes Me Wonder Whether A MEAC/SWAC Reorg Is Better

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Arguments Over Bowl Payouts Makes Me Wonder Whether A MEAC/SWAC Reorg Is Better

I actually feel bad for the schools and athletes of the MEAC.

Last year, the players and coaches of the schools of the MEAC knew that they all had an equal chance to compete for a national championship, just like all the other schools in Division I Football Championship Subdivision, or FCS.

But with the announcement of the Celebration Bowl, a postseason bowl game which rips the MEAC’s champion away from the playoffs to face off against the winner of the SWAC, none of the talk anymore is about the athletes.

The talk on the internet around the bowl, financed and created, essentially, by ESPN, is how much money each host school could or could not bring home if they qualify for the game.

Rather than haggle over money, though, I think HBCU conferences are probably better served by doing something that probably has been needed to be done for decades – reorganizing.

The reason, oddly enough, is the bowl game.
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2014 Saw All Of Division I Football Break Into Cliques

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2014 Saw All Of Division I Football Break Into Cliques

You may remember the genius of Groucho Marx, the bespectacled Marx Brother with the grease-painted eyebrows and mustache.  One of my all-time favorite films, Horse Feathers, featured Groucho, Harpo, and Chico on the football field (actually the Rose Bowl), representing their “school” in a particularly important game.

But it’s a particular quote of his that seems to summarize Division I football perfectly, at both the FCS and FBS levels.

“I don’t want to belong to any club that will accept me as a member.”

Division I has never truly been a large tent of equal schools.  It was a division that counted as members Texas (whose athletic budget is as large as some small nations), Mississippi Valley State (whose entire athletics budget is about the size of what the University of Texas pays for socks for its athletes) and Marist (who doesn’t even spend any money on athletics scholarships for its football athletes).

But 2014 was a year of true soul-searching in athletics, where a whole lot of schools decided they didn’t want to belong to the Division I club that accepts them as members.
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Grambling Forfeit and Protest Puts Spotlight On Plight of HBCUs

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Grambling Forfeit and Protest Puts Spotlight On Plight of HBCUs

(Photo Credit: Shreveport Times via USA Today)

If you’re reading this blog, chances are you’ve enjoyed some college football at some point during this 2013 season, either in person, at an FCS school like Lehigh, or maybe on TV, watching someone like QB Johnny Manziel play in front of 100,000 stadium fans.

If you’re like most casual fans, though, you don’t think about the number of days it takes for these players to get to gameday and to compete: hot practices in the summer heat, countless hours in the weight room, the training regimen it requires.

This last week, student-athletes at a very small Division I university in Louisiana had looked around at the environment surrounding themselves in regards to their program and facilities and said: enough.

Grambling’s situation this season, which led to the strike that caused them to forfeit Jackson State’s homecoming game last weekend, is a complicated one.  It’s hard to summarize neatly in 500 words or less.

That’s because Grambling’s problems don’t begina and end in the locker room.
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My Vote for the FCS Top 25, 9/16/2013

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My Vote for the FCS Top 25, 9/16/2013

My vote for the FCS Top 25 for the week ending 9/16/2013 follows below the flip.

But first, by all means, enjoy this awesome shot of Fordham WR Sam Ajala winning the Rams’ game against a BCS school in Temple.

Want to know the margin between winning and losing?  This picture proves it.  It’s officially four and a half inches, give or take an inch.
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A 12th Game for Lehigh in 2013?

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A 12th Game for Lehigh in 2013?

(Photo Credit: Lehigh Valley Live/Brown & White)

Back in November, I released a tentative version of Lehigh’s 2013 football schedule, which included 11 games.

There’s nothing earth-shattering about that, either.  Most seasons FCS football teams play 11 regular-season games.

But thanks to a quirk in the calendar next season, 2013 offers a rare opportunity for Lehigh: to play a 12th game.

For Lehigh or other schools in the Patriot League, is it a good idea to play a 12th game?

Absolutely.
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