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Archive For The “Missouri Valley” Category

My FCS Top 25, 9/27/2016

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My FCS Top 25, 9/27/2016

You didn’t ask for them, but here’s my pick for this week’s FCS Top 25.

(Photo Credit: Elon Athletics)

Let’s see, are there any other teams I can curse into losses this week?

Last time I was here, I was extolling the virtues of William and Mary and Stony Brook in this space.  This week?  Um, not so much.

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My FCS Top 25, 9/20/2016

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My FCS Top 25, 9/20/2016

You didn’t ask for them, but here’s my pick for this week’s FCS Top 25.

Photo Credit: New York Newsday

Stony Brook WR Ray Bolden catches a pass a sideline pass and takes it in for a touchdown against Richmond on Sept. 17, 2016. Photo Credit: Daniel De Mato

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My FCS Top 25, 9/13/2016

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My FCS Top 25, 9/13/2016

You didn’t ask for them, but here’s my pick for this week’s FCS Top 25.

Photo Credit: Chicago Tribune

Illinois State kicker Sean Slattery, right, celebrates with quarterback Koty Thelen after scoring the game-winning field goal as Northwestern running back Justin Jackson, left, reacts.  (Nam Y. Yuh/AP)

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My FCS Top 25, 9/5/2016

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My FCS Top 25, 9/5/2016
You didn’t ask for them – nobody is – but here’s my pick for this week’s FCS Top 25.

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The Patriot League vs. The World: Comparing All The FCS Recruiting Classes

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The Patriot League vs. The World: Comparing All The FCS Recruiting Classes

For the last few years, “the commitee” and I have compiled the Patsy Ratings, an attempt to evaluate the incoming football classes of the Patriot League.

It’s clearly “for entertainment purposes only,” an effort to try to take a look at whether a schools’ recruiting needs are met, whether they’ve secured the playing services of a lot of recognized talent, and whether some of their measurables look good.

However, I frequently find myself wanting the Patsy Ratings to do more.  For example, how did the Patriot League as a whole do in comparison to other FCS schools?  Did the Mountain Hawks crush their FCS competition?  Or was the actual picture different?
Without, say, an equivalent James Madison Football Nation willing to make these Patsy-like evaluations of the incoming classes of other FCS schools, there was no real good way to make that type of comparison.
However, my curiosity got the better of me.  “There must be a way,” I thought, “to at least be able to see how the different schools stack up against other schools in different conferences, even if it’s not as good or as thorough as the Patsies.”

I found out that there was.

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My FCS Top 25 Vote, Week 9, 11/3/2015

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My FCS Top 25 Vote, Week 9, 11/3/2015

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

Pity Dartmouth.

The Big Green and Harvard, whom I’ve had in my Top 25 all season, played a game last Friday that was as great as a game between Top 25 teams can be.

For 3 1/2 quarters, Dartmouth controlled the game, up 13-0 and the Big Green’s defense, somewhat surprisingly, completely smothering Harvard’s potent offense.

Then, in the span of about six and a half, Harvard, amazingly, pulled out the win.

One touchdown pass to WR Seitu Smith, one Dartmouth fumble and another touchdown throw from QB Scott Hosch to RB Justice Shelton-Mosley, and Harvard took their first lead of the game with 36 seconds left in the game.

It was a great game to watch, and amply showed that both teams were worthy of Top 25 status, but it is impossible, as a neutral fan, to not feel for the Big Green, who had them right there.

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My FCS Top 25 Vote, Week 8, 10/26/2015

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My FCS Top 25 Vote, Week 8, 10/26/2015

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

The story of the week in James Madison after their loss to Richmond wasn’t the fact that College Football Gameday was there, nor was it about their big CAA conference loss, which took them out of the drivers’ seat for the CAA title and conference autobid.

It was the fact that their superstar quarterback, QB Vad Lee, sustained an injury that would require surgery and take him out for the remained of the season.

The play didn’t look like much.  The Dukes, who were already down by two touchdowns, saw Lee simply try to make something happen on a routine 2 yard run left.  A shoestring tackle by Richmond’s linebacker wasn’t particularly dirty, though in retrospect it looked like his foot was tackled awkwardly.

A play afterwards, Lee remained in, and collapsed after hucking a deep pass, and his incredible career at JMU was done.

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My FCS Top 25 Vote, Week 7, 10/19/2015

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My FCS Top 25 Vote, Week 7, 10/19/2015

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

Last week, I said people around the country are starting to understand that James Madison is a pretty damn good FCS football team.

Apparently, someone at College Football Gameday was also paying attention to the Dukes as well.

At 7-0, James Madison University was chosen as the site for ESPN’s pregame show College Football Gameday, to highlight their game versus another Top 25 school, Richmond.

It’s not the first time College Football Gameday has elected to cover an FCS school.  The nationwide program has already made a couple stops in Fargo, North Dakota to cover the North Dakota State Bison, and last year the hot rumor was that Gameday was going to cover Lehigh vs. Lafayette‘s 150th celebration at Yankee Stadium, but ultimately decided to go with Harvard vs. Yale, as “The Game” was for an Ivy League championship and “The Rivalry” ended up being for pride.

Harrisonburg, Virginia I’m sure will be a great host for Gameday.  It’s also worth mentioning Dukes fans, and possibly their athletics reps, will be doing a great job showcasing Bridgeforth Stadium and their “FBS-ready” program.  Already some have taken to the papers to talk a little about an FBS move.

And why not?  I don’t blame them.  As much as I like the Dukes in FCS, I can very much see their team end up in the FBS eventually, ideally as a travel partner/rival to Old Dominion in Conference USA.

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My FCS Top 25 Vote, Week 4: 9/28/2015

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My FCS Top 25 Vote, Week 4: 9/28/2015

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

I don’t ordinarily do do two things with my poll that I actually did this week:

1. I usually don’t demote a team completely out of the Top 25 if they’re a Top 5 team and they lose.

2. I usually don’t demote a team from the No. 1 slot if they win their game.

But that’s exactly what I did, after I looked at my poll with a fresh new set of eyes after some of the more interesting outcomes from the weekend.

I’d been meaning to demote Villanova for some time, not only due to their sort-of lackluster performance over the beginning of the season, but for their seemingly lackluster play going back to last season when Sam Houston upset them in the FCS Round of 8 last season.  I was looking for a dominant performance against the worst team on their schedule, Penn, and instead the Quakers upset the Wildcats 24-13.

You could argue that they were getting things done with defense.  You could have said that with the loss of their Walter Payton Award-nominated quaterback, QB John Robertson, they’d suffer.  But the team that lost this past Thursday, simply, wasn’t a Top 25 team in my opinion.  The confluence of all these factors had me dip them out of the Top 25 entirely.

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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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