Week 12: Colonial Championship Game! UMass’ last stand.

I am going to take this opportunity to apologize because I was unaware that Central Arkansas was still in transition from Division II and is still not eligible for the playoffs.  That means that my potential brackets for the playoffs have been messed up from the beginning.

So to make this easier on me and you since I have been quite busy lately, I direct you to the ever cognizant Bruce Dowd from College Sporting News and his playoff explanations and predicitions.  It’s a very well written in depth article and should answer any questions people have.  Another plug I’ll put in is for the new FCS Bracketology site.  A simple yet fantastic site that is update weekly based on all the goings on in FCS.

Now, on to the game of the week!  JMU (8-1, 6-0) is poised to make history this weekend in many forms.  They are trying to win seven conference games for the first time ever, win the automatic bid for the first time ever, and take down a top 15 team for the fifth time in a season which would also be a first.

Of course they have a formidable foe to get through in order to accomplish these feats.  The Tribe of William & Mary (7-2, 5-1) have shot up the ranks by winning five straight conference games and can swipe the automatic bid from the Dukes if they can win this one.  They have been averaging 34 points a game and have relied mostly on the pass, something that has hurt the Dukes’ defense this year.  Luckily for JMU, they are playing at home where the defense has been stout, allowing only 15 points a game.  The Tribe have never faced a defense like that and there’s something else they’ve never faced:

SCOTTY MCGEE!  YOU. ARE. RIDICULOUS!!!

SCOTTY MCGEE! YOU. ARE. RIDICULOUS!!!

Yes sir.  The Devin Hester of DI-AA.  McGee has four return touchdowns this season which is a school record.  Something tells me the Tribe will get cocky at some point and send the ball his way but as NC Central, App State, Richmond and Delaware will all tell you: DON’T KICK TO HIM!

In other CAA news, UMass is pretty much gone after its shocking 21-20 defeat at home to Maine.

Liam Coen sits dejected as he watches the game and most likely the season end for his Minutemen.

Liam Coen sits dejected as he watches the game and most likely the season end for his Minutemen.

The Minutemen have one last shot to impress the committee by upsetting New Hampshire in Durham this weekend but they will still be a longshot.  This is shocking considering UMass has one of the most lethal passing offenses in the country.  In the end it seems that their defense did them in and they will miss the playoffs.  It’s too bad that one of the best aerial displays won’t be around in the postseason but I’d be lying if I said I was not relieved to know this.

All photos courtesy of College Sporting News.

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That Win over VCU Seems like a Decade Ago

Well they at least entertained us for the first half of the season but the dream is now all but gone. The men’s basketball team dropped it’s fourth consecutive game against ODU on Wednesday, 72-52 to fall to 11-15 overall and 4-12 in the conference.

It was fun while it lasted (six weeks) but we’re back to reality now and the only shot we have at a tourney birth is an unlikely run through the CAA tournament. While improbable, it’s not impossible as we’ve seen in the past in other conference tourneys (NC State’s run to the final in last year’s ACC and Syracuse winning it all in the 06 Big East). At least it’s fun to dream.

In their defense, the JMU men have been crippled by injuries over the last month having lost three starters at one point. No team survives that usually. It was nice to see them show signs of life finally though. Keener seems to know what he is doing and I think the pieces are starting to fall into place. If they stay healthy next year, they will definitely compete.

For those interested, JMU is involved in Bracket Buster’s Weekend with a 2 pm home game against Morehead State. Don’t ask me why or how this is part of Bracket Busters but it is so there’s that.

Also I have to put a plug in for my hometown Tar Heels: great win last night with the stomping of NC State, especially with the fact that the overrated Dookies lost to Miami hahah!! I cannot wait for March 8th. Ty Lawson is back and he is going to put a hurtin on the Devils.

JMU Football v. Towson and other CAA Showdowns

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I can’t believe it is the end of the regular season already but time flies when you’re having fun.

For all you JMU’ers, here’s the link to JMU v. Towson (1:30 pm Saturday) via http://www.jmusports.com : http://www.jmusports.com/ViewArticle.dbml?SPSID=71029&SPID=8113&DB_OEM_ID=14400&ATCLID=1310618

I can also sum it up: JMU (7-3, 5-2) needs to win this game and win it big to impress the selection committee. Although our losses to Richmond and Delaware were close and respectable, the committee has never really respected us (see last year at Youngstown St.). This means we can’t goof off against the Tigers (3-7, 1-6). They have a terrific QB in Sean Schaeffer who is very capable of beating any team deep so pressure needs to be put on him quickly. GO DUKES!

 

Maine at New Hampshire (12 pm, Cowell Stadium , Durham , NH ) – If the Wildcats (6-4, 3-4) are going to want any love from the selection committee, they will have to take out their frustrations on Maine (4-6, 3-4).  UNH benefits from having Ricky Santos whom everybody adores so they have an advantage there. Their problem is those glaring four conference losses. It will take a woodshed beating and a miracle for UNH to see the postseason.

 Brian Mandeville of Northeastern catches the winning TD vs. Hofstra on 11/10/2007

Northeastern at Rhode Island (12 pm, Meade Stadium, Kingston, RI) – A game with no playoff implications but one that is intriguing due to both teams playing much better in recent weeks. The Rams (2-8, 1-6) are still on a high after upsetting UMass two weeks ago but are also looking to rebound from a 35-0 pounding they took from Maine last week.  The Huskies (3-7, 2-5) meanwhile continue their late season surge as they look to finish 2007 on a three game winning streak having already spoiled the seasons of New Hampshire and Hofstra.

 

William & Mary at Richmond (12 pm, UR Stadium, Richmond, VA) – The Spiders (8-2, 6-1) control their own destiny as they’ve already won the CAA South and are looking now to get style points as they face the Tribe (4-6, 2-5). W&M is coming off a 55-34 defeat to JMU last week but continued to show that it can put up points with the best of them. While Richmond doesn’t need this game, it won’t want to look sluggish as it could affect their placement in the postseason. Look for All American candidate RB Tim Hightower to get most of the load this weekend.

 

Massachusetts at Hofstra (12 pm, Shuart Stadium , Hempstead , NY) – UMass (8-2, 6-1) has locked up the CAA North and now is fighting to get a top four seed in the playoffs. The Pride (7-3, 4-3) meanwhile are fighting for their playoff lives and their slim chance of football past this weekend rests on their two offensive weapons in QB Brian Savage and RB Kareem Huggins. Meanwhile, Liam Coen, the Minutemen’s newest all time leading passer will look to build upon his record setting day last week by closing out his junior year with a strong victory.

 

Delaware at Villanova (3:30 pm, Villanova Stadium, Villanova, PA) – With how well the Blue Hens (8-2, 5-2) have played this year, they may actually have to sweat it out if they don’t get a victory here on Saturday. Their tough loss at home to Richmond last week prevented them from a CAA South title and they know now that a win in Villanova is crucial. They’ll be facing a Wildcats (6-4, 4-3) team that knows if it could pull a victory out, it will throw a huge wrench into the playoff situation by becoming a 5-3 CAA squad and creating quite a problem for the selection committee.

SELECTION SHOW REMINDER: 

A quick note: For those of you that get ESPNU, make sure to tune in at 3:30 pm on Sunday November 18th for the FCS Selection Show. It doesn’t quite get the hype of the NCAA March Madness Selection Show but for all of us FCS followers, we know what the real selection show is! 

Good luck to all the teams. Next blog will probably happen right after the selection show.