FCS Round up – Week 1

While most people will choose to only pay attention to the FBS side of college football, there is another side to the sport and this side has been doing it the right way with playoffs every season and has done it successfully. That is why I will pick a few games each week to spotlight and try to keep everyone informed of what is happening on the lower level of the FCS. This week we saw 4 FCS teams go in and beat the supposedly superior FBS teams.

Towson 33
Uconn 18

This victory over the Huskies is considered the biggest win in school history for Towson and their first win over an FBS opponent. For the Tigers, they come into the season with a chip on their shoulder after being left out of the playoffs last season. This was the first time the Huskies lost to an FCS opponent since 2001, this loss is also shocking because a lot of people predicted the Huskies to be much improved this season. Towson will play at Holy Cross next weekend.

Incarnate Word 7
Central Arkansas 58

Incarnate Word is relatively new to the college football game, they started their program in 2009, and they are in their first season as an FCS team. Their first test came against a team who has made back to back trips to the playoffs. Unfortunately for Incarnate Word, they were shut out most of the game until four minutes to go in the game and scored their first and only touchdown of the game. Central Arkansas scored twice every quarter and the game was in no doubt from the start. Incarnate Word will face Sam Houston St. on 9/21, while the Bears of Central Arkansas will face Colorado next weekend.

N. Dakota St. 24
Kansas St. 21

In the one game that seemed to make the most headlines in week one, was the Bison of N. Dakota State upsetting the defending Big XII champions Kansas State at home. But for anyone who has followed FCS football, this is not the first time the Bison have done this. They have knocked off an FBS opponent each of the last four years(Kansas, Minnesota, Colorado St.). Also the Bison are defending back to back champions in the FCS. Coach Boles even commented “we have had a lot of these types of wins, but never over a program like this”. The Bison will be continuing their march towards a third straight playoff run next weekend against Ferris St.

E. Washington 49
Oregon State 46

This game drew a lot of attention nationally because Oregon State was ranked #25 in the country and figured to roll over E. Washington easily. But Vernon Adams had another idea and threw for 407 yards and rushed for 107 in this upset victory. When asked if he thought his team overlooked E. Washington, coach Riley said “I don’t, I feel it would be disrespectful to them to say that”. This will garner more national attention for Eastern Washington who has been a playoff team in the FCS and looks to return to the playoffs this season.

Houston Baptist 0
Sam Houston St. 74

The Sam Houston Bearkats are in hunt for their third straight FCS title game and they started that off with impressive fashion in winning big and by shutout. The Houston Baptist Huskies were playing their first game as a football program and will look to be joining the Southland Conference in 2014. This game just shows the nation, the Bearkats are going to be good again this year and have one goal in mind, return to Frisco for a shot at the elusive championship.

McNeese St. 53
South Florida 21

The McNeese St. Cowboys are no stranger to beating FBS caliber teams after beating three teams in the Sun Belt Conference in the past, but this victory was a step up for a team who has been a winning program at the FCS level. Quarterback Cody Stroud threw for 207 yards and two TD’s in the win. This will again add credence to the FCS being a very competitive division. McNeese will hope to stay in the conversation for a conference championship and make a deep playoff run this season.

College Football Rant

I want to apologize for the tardiness of this post. I meant to write it after the alleged National Championship game and have it ready to go a few days after the game had been played; but let’s face it…That was the most boring National Championship game ever…it was like reading the same book twice within a month. However we live in a bizarre world where the ending suddenly changed. Yes, I know I once wrote I was okay with the rematch…and I still would be…had LSU actually won.

Don’t get me wrong. LSU didn’t deserve to win that game with the way they played. However, I am left feeling empty and confused as a college football fan. We saw two teams play twice and win on each other’s turf. Are you kidding me BCS?!?!?!? Alabama doesn’t deserve to be a champion, and they didn’t deserve to be in the championship game! If this ending has to be the case then they should have them play a “rubber match” since each team one once. Alabama didn’t even win their division of the SEC. Come on….

Now, before you Alabama homers decide to jump my case, I will be the first to admit they did win the game fair and square. But let’s admit it, even to the most hardcore fan; Alabama didn’t deserve to even be there. They didn’t win their division and they didn’t win their conference. About the only thing they accomplished was beating the team that beat them earlier in the season. I’m sorry but this just makes me sick!

I love college football more than any sport that is played…I write about it to an obsessive point. I shut myself in for 6 months during the year just for college football. I always look forward to the march towards a National Championship and this year I just feel shorted. I enjoy the season, and yes I even enjoy the bowl games. But since the BCS came into existence, nearly every year I feel there were better teams than the ones who played for the mythical “National Championship”.

This year is not any different; in fact it is the worst one yet. There were some really good match ups in the bowl games and I even got to attend two of them. It was exciting seeing teams play who normally don’t get to play each other. But you know the system is severely broken when you have two face each other for a National Championship and they played in a conference earlier in the season. I promise this isn’t going to turn into a playoff rant…but it is just too hard not to lean that way after the anti-climactic ending to what was a stellar season.

Just as a side note, I also got to attend the FCS (Division 1-AA) championship game. They had a 24 team playoff that lasted for 4 weeks (not counting layoff between semi-finals and championship). Gee! What do you know! A playoff system that actually works and doesn’t leave fans hanging at the end of the season…ok, sorry rant over.

I am not trying to beat a dead horse here, but I am really disappointed the way this season ended. I hope the “powers that be” will realize how stupid and insignificant this championship really is. There needs to be major changes, otherwise they might as well just hand the National Championship trophy to the number one team at the end of the regular season. At least then it would produce a meaningful champion. If you will recall, LSU was the only unbeaten team at the end of the year.

It is a shame to see a great regular season flushed down the toilet by this stupid “BCS” rating system.

Hopefully “these powers that be” will realize you don’t need 35 bowl games. Many of the teams in these “nothing bowls” had six and six and some six and seven seasons. Duh? The interest level was made perfectly clear…all you had to do was look at the empty seats in the stadiums and then see what kind of TV ratings they drew. End of story.

Let’s go back to where bowl games mean something. Let’s get a playoff system of some kind to determine a real National Champion. This year was a farce.

 

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Bearkats and Bison battle in Frisco

On Saturday afternoon in Frisco, TX, (just North of Dallas) we will be able to watch how a National Championship should be decided. The Football Championship Subdivision (or 1-AA for you old school types) will settle their championship on the field after a 4 round, 4 week (not counting layoff since semi-finals) playoff. And for the 4th straight year, they will crown a first time National Champion in the FCS!

The Sam Houston State Bearkats and North Dakota State Bison are each making their first trip to the “FCS” National Championship game. There is some familiarity between these two teams who have met two other times and are tied with one win each against each other and won respectively on their home field. Also both teams have an undefeated record against ranked opponents this year. As it should, this is one stat that will end for one of the schools by Saturday evening. Somebody’s gonna lose.

Even though both schools are making their first appearance in the FCS championship game, North Dakota is making its 8th National Championship appearance in school history; the previous 7 came at the Division 2 level (D2). This history shows the Bison’s know what it will take to win a championship. Been there and done that!

This will be the Bearkats 5th playoff appearance and they are poised to win a National Championship in what will most likely be a home game environment for the Bearkats. They are based in Huntsville, TX, and only about a 3 hour drive from the Pizza Hut Park in Frisco. The venue is a beautiful stadium seating over 35,000 people and is the home field for the FC Dallas soccer club.

This has been a record year for Sam Houston State. During its 96 year history the team has never been 14-0 or won an outright conference title. This has been their year as both feats were accomplished this season. One of the more obscure facts about this season is the fact their starting quarterback, Brian Bell, is a true sophomore. Needless to say he has done a marvelous job to propel them to this point.

Both of these teams are very evenly matched on paper. The only big difference is Sam Houston State likes to rely on the run a little bit more than North Dakota State. This should be a very close match up of two good teams. They both made their way here the hard way – they earned it. There is no computer ranking, coaches poll, AP poll or any other poll that decides who plays in the National Championship. You get to this game by winning the single elimination tournament. The upside of this is you won’t hear any cries about someone being shortchanged on their shot at the title (I’m looking at you BCS).

In my book this is the way championships are meant to be settled. On Saturday we will all be treated to a true National Championship game by teams who earned the right to play in the game. No complicated computer system or voting system got them there.

If you haven’t watched much or any “FCS” football this year; then now is a great time to start. This game should keep you on the edge of your seat. Trust me; these guys will leave everything on the field. This is a true National Championship game and only one team will be able to stake claim to the title. No confusion with this system – win it and you are the champion.

Kodyssportscorner.com has been blessed with press credentials to the game and I will be covering it from the press box and on the field. Stay tuned…