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Archive For The “North Dakota State” Category

LFN’s FCS Top 25, 10/17/2017

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LFN’s FCS Top 25, 10/17/2017

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 25And my No. 1 and No. 2, James Madison and North Dakota State, amply proved their worth again in tough conference matchups where they ended up victorious.

It wasn’t as easy as the 30-8 final score might indicate, but James Madison finally solved the Villanova defense in the fourth quarter just when the Wildcats were threatening to tie the game.  The Dukes’ remarkable winning streak just keeps rolling along – since losing to Colgate in the FCS playoffs in 2015, defending FCS National Champions James Madison has gone 20-1, their only loss coming to a North Carolina team last year that played in a bowl game.

North Dakota State’s 27-24 win, however, against the runner-up in last years’ FCS Championship game, Youngstown State, was a prizefight won in overtime when PK Cam Pedersen booted a 36 yard field goal to beat Bo Pelini’s Penguins’ on the road at the Ice Castle, Stambaugh Stadium.  Since November of 2015, Youngstown State has lost exactly two home games – both of them, now, to North Dakota State.

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LFN’s FCS Top 25, 9/12/2017

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LFN’s FCS Top 25, 9/12/2017

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 for the second straight week – hold on to your hats – I think James Madison was, and still is, the No. 1 team in the nation.

I know, right?  Crazy.

Truth be known, the top layer of FCS teams did little to move themselves much.  When teams like New Hampshire were beating FBS teams and teams like Villanova were taking FCS teams to the wire, much of the Top 10 proved they were Top 10 worthy teams.
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My Vote for the FCS Top 25, 10/18/2016

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My Vote for the FCS Top 25, 10/18/2016

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

So this is the week that North Dakota State falls.

They fell in a thrilling defensive battle at home to South Dakota State in the game for the “Dakota Marker”.

It was a great game, filled with drama and showed that the Jackrabbits are worthy of everyone’s attention this week. In fact, South Dakota State’s effective, time-consuming drive was in many ways pulling from North Dakota State’s own trademark last-second comebacks, pulling together a drive for the ages, daring them to stop them yet consistently converting 3rd and 4th downs to set up the chance to win.

But then, therein lies the tricky part.  Where to rank the Bison, and where to rank the Jackrabbits?
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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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Six Possible FCS Wins Over FBS Teams, 2016 Edition

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Six Possible FCS Wins Over FBS Teams, 2016 Edition

(Photo Credit: The Oregonian)Even though Lehigh isn’t taking on any FBS teams this season, it’s not too early to take a look at the 2016 college football schedule and look at some of the games that pit FCS teams vs. FBS teams and look for potential ups…

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How Relegation And Promotion Can Work In FCS and FBS

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How Relegation And Promotion Can Work In FCS and FBS

To many sportswriters who have followed English Premier League soccer in any capacity, the holy grail is promotion and relegation.

United States sports leagues, for a wide variety of reasons, do not allow its teams or franchises the ability to get “promoted” to the top flights of their professional leagues.  That’s largely to protect the teams at the bottom, which can stink as much as they’d like, but will still share in the profits of the league.

In the EPL, however, the teams that finish in the bottom are “relegated” to the “Championship” division, and the teams that finish on top get “promoted” to the EPL.

Many sportswriters have tried, and failed, to devise a promotion/relegation system for a variety of pro sports.  But I think where it could best work is in the worlds of FCS and FBS football.

Hear me out.
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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 5: 10/5/2015

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My FCS Top 25 Vote, Week 5: 10/5/2015

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

This week was a huge one in the Missouri Valley conference, as two battles between ranked teams took place.

While North Dakota State beating South Dakota State might not have been surprising, the relative ease of which the Bison dispatched the Jackrabbits was, a 28-7 game that really wasn’t all that close.

And Illinois State, in a true “show-me” game, at least to me, really did show that they are as advertised, beating Northern Iowa 21-13.  While controversial RB Marshaun Coprich did play for the Redbirds, his 143 yards and 2 touchdowns were instrumental in their key conference win.

These two wins cleared a logjam in my Top 10 and established two clear frontrunners in the Missouri Valley race.

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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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