Tag:FCS
Posted on: September 2, 2011 5:12 pm
Edited on: September 2, 2011 5:15 pm
 

PODCAST: Three studs, three duds from Thursday

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Here's the podcast I recorded with Adam Aizer earlier today, looking at the three studs and three duds of Thursday. I picked four studs. I can't do anything right.

Click here to listen in a new window, or listen in the embedded player below.

I should have given extra kudos to Vick Ballard, by the way, mainly because of his name. One, it sounds like the name of a 265-pound running back, the type of guy who really has no business trying to run a 40-yard dash or wearing a form-fitting uniform. It's almost a disappointment that he's an average-sized tailback. And two, because I feel like America needs more young men named Vic, or Vick, or Victor. That's the kind of man that ends up owning an auto care shop -- or at the very least a non-ironic, grease-stained mechanic shirt with that name stitched onto the breast. Vic won't screw you over on that muffler repair. Vic does an honest day's work.

I digress.

Past all that, we talk Wisconsin and Russell Wilson a little more, and also Jordan Jefferson and LSU. I suppose I'm more on Adam Aizer's side than is evident in our answers to the question, in that I never thought this was LSU's year to begin with, but the odds of a win over Oregon are sufficiently lower now with Jarrett Lee under center than with Jefferson that it's fair to say that Jefferson's suspension is costing LSU the shot at the title (rather than, say, costing them the title outright).

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Posted on: July 13, 2011 4:41 pm
Edited on: July 13, 2011 4:56 pm
 

Walter Payton Award watch list announced

Posted by Tom Fornelli

We don't pay much attention to FCS schools on the Eye On College Football blog, but given the fact that we've been posting the watch lists from all of FBS' major awards, it only makes sense we post the Walter Payton Award watch list as well. If you aren't sure what the Walter Payton Award is, it's the trophy given to the most outstanding college football player in the FCS. In other words, it's the FCS Heisman Trophy. So it deserves some attention, especially when you consider that previous winners in the award's 25-year history include such names as Steve McNair, Brian Westbrook, Tony Romo and Brian Finneran.

Oh, and it's named after Walter Payton, and as a guy who has spent his entire life living in Chicago, if you put Walter Payton's name on anything, I'm going to give it some love.

So here are the 20 candidates for the 2011 Walter Payton Award:



Last year's winner was Jeremy Moses of Stephen F. Austin. All in all, the 20-player list includes six finalists from last season: Appalachian State's DeAndre Presley, Colgate's Nate Eachus, Montana State's DeNarius McGhee, Jackson State's Casey Therriault, Liberty's Mike Brown and Wofford's Eric Breitenstein.
Posted on: May 4, 2011 4:47 pm
 

Huskies name Price starting quarterback

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Steve Sarkisian and the Washington Huskies aren't waiting around to make their choice on Jake Locker's replacement.

That choice: sophomore Keith Price, who beat out redshirt freshman Nick Montana in spring camp for the starting quarterback job according to the team's newly released depth chart. Sarkisian:
"Based on his entire body of work this spring, Keith Price has earned the right to be our starting quarterback. Keith worked extremely hard this spring and has developed into a team leader. I am also pleased with the progress of Nick Montana, who will continue to push Keith and make us a better football team."
Though the timing of the announcement is maybe unexpected -- Sarkisian added that the quarterback competition would extend into the fall, even if it would take a huge pratfall by Price, it seems, for him to lose the job -- that Price emerged as the winner isn't. Price won the backup job to Locker last year and performed well enough for a freshman, completing better than half his 37 passes and throwing a pair of touchdowns vs. no interceptions.

Price's spring game performance likely only further cemented his hold on the job, as he went 20-for-28 for 212 yards and three scores. Montana wasn't bad -- 9 of 20, 146 yards, two touchdowns -- but likely needed Price to be worse.

No doubt Montana will, as Sarkisian said, continue to push for playing time. But with plenty of other questions still to answer before their 2011 season opens against reigning FCS champions Eastern Washington -- make note of all the "OR"'s in the Huskie depth chart, and that quarterback isn't one of them -- the Huskies will be more than glad to have one this big behin them.

Posted on: February 9, 2011 6:55 pm
 

Nate Montana to transfer to Montana?

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Notre Dame has a bit of a logjam at quarterback next season, with Dayne Crist expected to battle Tommy Rees for the starting job in 2011. Behind those two there are also Andrew Hendrix, Luke Massa, Everett Golson and Nate Montana. That's a whole lot of quarterbacks for a limited supply of reps, so it wouldn't be all that surprising to see one of them leave South Bend.

And it appears that the one on the way out would be Montana, son of former Notre Dame quarterback and NFL Hall of Famer Joe Montana. According to the Montana student newspaper (via the Chicago Tribune) Joe Montana was at Montana on Tuesday to talk to the school's coaches. It seems that Joe is doing some ground work to see if there'd be any interest in having his son transfer to the FCS powerhouse.
Joe's son, Nate Montana, 21, currently is a backup quarterback at Notre Dame. On Wednesday, [Montana head coach Robin] Pflugrad neither confirmed nor denied that the meeting surrounded Nate Montana's possible transfer to UM.
"(Montana) has four kids and we talked about them all," Pflugrad said of the meeting, adding that he is aware of Nate's situation at Notre Dame but declined to comment further.
If Montana did transfer, it'd be the perfect situation for him. First of all, since he'd be transferring from an FBS school to an FCS school, he wouldn't have to sit out a year. Secondly, Montana is just not going to get a chance at Notre Dame, so there isn't much reason to stay if he wants to play football. Finally, his name is Nate Montana and he'd be playing for Montana.

If your name is Johnny Connecticut you don't play for Massachusetts.
Posted on: January 19, 2011 5:29 pm
Edited on: January 19, 2011 5:30 pm
 

Headset Reset: Welcome to the Pac-12 and Big Ten

Posted by Adam Jacobi

"Headset Reset " is the College Football Blog's series reviewing the 22 new head coaches in the FBS and what they'll need to accomplish in their new jobs to succeed. In this edition: the four new head coaches in the Pac-12 and Big Ten.

DAVID SHAW, Stanford

Why him? Shaw represents a reaffirmation of the Jim Harbaugh regime, which rose from doormat to Pac-10 power with Shaw as offensive coordinator. Stanford AD Bob Bowlsby didn't get Boise State head coach Chris Petersen during negotiations after Harbaugh's departure, but Bowlsby's bona fides in football coach hiring are pretty solid. By hiring Shaw (and interviewing two other in-house candidates), Stanford has told its fans, "it ain't broke, and we're not fixin'."  By 2014, Shaw will need to: perpetuate Stanford's recent successes. Harbaugh isn't the first coach to win at Stanford, and he's also not the first coach to bolt for greener pastures at the first opportunity. So being that Stanford's main opposition in the Pac-12 North is Oregon and four programs with a light history of success (and let's ignore Stanford's time in that role since 40 years ago), there's an opportunity for the Cardinal to assert some authority.  Chances Shaw gets what he needs? Pretty good. Stanford's athletic department has a surprising amount of money, and with Oregon and Nike trying to start an arms race with the rest of the Pac-12, Stanford is one of the few schools that can probably keep up -- as long as it still wants to, anyway.

JON EMBREE, Colorado

Why him? Well, let's just not ask Bill McCartney that question. Past that, Embree was hired because he's a former Buffalo, and it would take a Colorado man to take this job and not flee the first time the Buffaloes put together seven wins in a season. By 2014, Embree will need to: get his team competitive with USC -- or whoever else is atop the Pac-12 South. There's no indication that Colorado's better or even as good as the rest of the division it's entering. CU can thank Dan Hawkins in some respects for that, but really, Colorado football hasn't been relevant for almost 15 years (yes, CU went to two consecutive Big XII Championships ... and lost them by a hilarious combined score of 112-6). Continued sub-mediocrity won't fly, especially as the Buffaloes try to acclimate themselves to a new conference without the strong tradition of success the Big XII had. Chances Embree gets what he needs? Not great. Colorado has struggled with keeping its football program relevant ever since the shared title year of 1990, even with some apparently decent head coaching hires. The move from the Big XII North to the Pac-12 South won't help lighten the Buffaloes' burden any, either. Colorado's struggles could very well be an institutional problem, not a coaching problem, and if that's the case it's probably easy to see how the Jon Embree Era will end in Boulder.

KEVIN WILSON, Indiana

Why him? This might actually be the most surprising hire of 2010, mainly because we didn't know Indiana could do something like this. The Hoosiers tabbed the vaunted Oklahoma offensive coordinator for his first head coaching gig, and they briefly had Boise State WR coach Brent Pease as the offensive coordinator. Hello, points! Problem was, Boise State's OC position opened up, and Pease went back to Boise for that gig, as would most sane coaches. This is still Indiana we're talking about. By 2014, Wilson will need to: prove that his offensive genius wasn't just "hand the ball to Adrian Peterson or DeMarco Murray and watch what happens." It likely wasn't, of course; Texas ably demonstrated this year that there's no such thing as a team too talented to get run into the ground by mediocre coaching. But still, the question remains; what's Wilson going to do when week in and week out, his players are inferior to their opponents? Chances Wilson gets what he needs? The better question here is whether Indiana gets what it needs, which is a solid football program led by a solid coach. That seems unlikely. Either Wilson fails badly in Bloomington like pretty much everyone before him, or he actually puts together a winning season, and starts getting wooed by job offers. What's going to keep Wilson in town when that starts happening? He doesn't have any prior connection to Indiana (both the school and the state itself), and his salary is only ("only") $1.2 million. As soon as he wins six games in a season up there, he's getting phone calls.

BRADY HOKE, Michigan

Why him? Michigan went back to its roots by hiring a former assistant, effectively admitting that the Rich Rodriguez dalliance was a mistake (also conveying that message: firing Rich Rodriguez) and that there was a formula to be followed. Hoke has whipped two programs into shape in short order, and he'll need to do it again at Michigan, which is just a mess. By 2014, Hoke will need to: have Michigan reloading instead of rebuilding. Michigan's biggest challengers in its new division are Nebraska and maybe Iowa or Northwestern. Hoke has no excuses for not routinely making the conference championship (or if not, being just a game out). Beating Ohio State would also be strongly recommended. Chances Hoke gets what he needs? Pretty darn good. Michigan has the resources, tradition, and expectations to get at least 10 wins a year, and now it's got a coach that can make that happen too. The common theme about the Hoke hire was that it wasn't "sexy," which means he's literally not an attractive person and/or that his teams play defense. Neither fact is a valid reason not to like this hire. Hoke wasn't Michigan's first choice, but neither was Jim Tressel at OSU. That's not to say "hiring fifth choice = national championship" is a valid strategy, but it's just extremely unlikely that there's only one right choice at a school with the inherent advantages that Michigan or any other traditional college football power would have. Jim Harbaugh probably would have succeeded at Michigan. So might Hoke. So might a cardboard cutout of Bo Schembechler (which is what the older part of Michigan's fanbase really wants in its heart of hearts anyway).

JERRY KILL, Minnesota

Why him? Aside from the obvious--that his name is literally just "Kill"--Minnesota hired a guy with 200 games of head coaching experience and a 63.5% winning percentage, all before his 50th birthday. Kill has succeeded in the MAC, where success is fleeting at best, and at a Southern Illinois program that wasn't really in good shape when he arrived. The track record's there, in other words. By 2014, Kill will need to: keep the stadium full. Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium is the newest house on the block in the Big Ten, but it's not exactly the biggest -- more like the opposite of that word. The luster of the new stadium was already wearing off by the time Tim Brewster was fired, as the team struggled to fill the stadium or do anything else of merit.  Chances Kill gets what he needs? Well, this depends solely on Kill's recruiting ability. He's been a head coach for almost 20 years, all of which came in the Midwest, so he knows the drill, and he knows the coaches. He just hasn't tried to land any big names before, and while bringing big names to Minnesota seems like a challenge, both Brewster and Glen Mason did it every now and then. So there's a chance he makes a turnaround happen.


Posted on: December 17, 2010 7:03 pm
 

UMass could announce move to MAC in January

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Earlier this month we wrote about UMass considering making the jump from the FCS to the FBS -- for what it's worth, I hate calling them that, they'll always be Division I and Division II to me -- and, in doing so, becoming a member of the MAC conference.  Well, it seems that UMass is moving along a lot quicker in their plans than Villanova is.

Word out of Boston is that UMass could announce its intentions to make the jump and join the MAC as early as next month.  

“We’re not going to comment on anything regarding that,’’ said UMass athletic director John McCutcheon told The Boston Globe. “But our discussions involve football only and we are still talking about making a decision sooner rather than later.’’

Of course, the move wouldn't be official until next September when the moratorium on keeping FCS teams from jumping to the FBS -- AARGH -- come to an end.  If that is what happens, then UMass will have to go through a two-year transition period before officially joining the MAC in 2013.  Which would then make the MAC the first 14-team conference in college football, that is unless Temple bolts for the Big East before then.

UMass, much like Temple, will only join the MAC in football, as both schools would prefer to stay in the more respected Atlantic 10 for basketball.
Category: NCAAF
Posted on: December 1, 2010 1:30 pm
 

UMass considering jump to FBS, MAC

Posted by Tom Fornelli

So if you had the MAC as the first conference to achieve Super-Conference status in your office pool, I have some good news for you.  The MAC, which already has 13 teams -- more than any other FBS conference -- may be on the verge of adding its 14th member.  UMass -- the University of Massachusetts -- is planning on making the jump to FBS by 2013, and according to reports, they'll be doing so as the newest member of the MAC conference.

So get ready for some Tuesday night MACtion in New England.
According to several sources, UMass would take its program, currently in the Football Championship Subdivision, to the Mid-American Conference, whose football schools include Temple, Bowling Green and Miami of Ohio.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a MAC spokesman would say only that the conference is “exploring” the possibility of adding the Minutemen for football.

UMass has also been talking to the New England Patriots about the possibility of playing several home games a season in Gillette Stadium.  The Minutemen already played New Hampshire there earlier this season in the "Colonial Clash" in front of over 32,000 fans.
Category: NCAAF
Tags: FCS, MAC, UMass
 
Posted on: September 9, 2010 3:49 pm
 

Will 9-game conference schedules affect FCS?

Posted by Adam Jacobi

One of the most immediately evident by-products of college football's switch to a 12-game regular season in the FBS is the proliferation of the FCS non-conference game as a legitimate scheduling tactic. It's been a greatly beneficial development for all programs involved: mediocre teams get a nearly automatic W en route to six wins, elite teams get glorified scrimmages to help tune up for the regular season, and FCS teams get giant payouts that are critical for investing in their programs. It's probably no coincidence that the gradual strengthening of FCS programs over the last 10 years has come as they've been readily accepted by FBS hosts for one or two games a year.

Naturally, this symbiotic relationship is something FCS programs want to preserve, as there are likely dire financial consequences if they lose their connection to the FBS. But with the Big XII going to a 9-game round robin schedule in 2011 and the Big 10 likely following suit in 2015, some FCS schools are wondering aloud if their annual beatings will come to an end:

Three Missouri Valley Football Conference teams take a step up this weekend when they go against Big Ten schools.

But those opportunities might go away in the future when the Big Ten goes to a nine-game conference schedule in coming years.

“Mathematically, that’s a possibility,” Western Illinois coach Mark Hendrickson said on Wednesday’s Valley coaches teleconference. “There may not be too many more chances for us to play those games.”

The Big Ten will have an eight-game schedule for 2011 and 2012, but there is a push to add an extra conference game. If that happens, that’s one less nonconference game to fill on schedules.

Hendrickson is technically right, as we're not about to argue the mathematical merits of "four is greater than three." But if FBS teams--especially ones in large conferences--drop one non-con game a year, it's highly unlikely that the FCS game will be the casualty. Like it or not, the SEC's comical scheduling practices have proven beyond any doubt that nobody actually cares about non-conference strength of schedule. And considering the financial consequences of an extra loss when it comes time for BCS consideration, there's far more risk than reward in making a schedule more difficult than it has to be. 

So yes, Hendrickson and other FCS athletic directors are well within reason to want FBS teams to have as many non-conference games as possible. But in reality, they shouldn't expect to see any dropoff in invitations from their FBS brethren; it's just good business.

Category: NCAAF
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com