Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Lehigh can still be worked up.
Maybe Eastern Kentucky, too.
Albany? Well, seriously, the Great Danes never stood a chance in a year of the
The big dog conferences of the FCS.
Cinderella hardly stood a chance in the FCS playoffs, although you have to love
the effort Saturday night out of Northeast Conference champion Wagner as it
stood toe-to-toe with No. 2-seeded Eastern Washington before falling and how
Stony Brook from the Big South made advancing tough on third-seeded Montana
But EWU and Montana State are, well, from the Big Sky Conference, and that says
a lot this time of the season.
Of the eight teams in next weekend's national quarterfinals, seven are from the
four power conferences: the Big Sky with Eastern Washington and Montana State;
the Missouri Valley Football Conference with defending national champion North
Dakota State and Illinois State; the Southern Conference with Georgia Southern
and Wofford; and CAA Football with Old Dominion.
It's not as though the other team, Sam Houston State, is an interloper. The
Southland Conference power played in the national title game last season and
was ranked No. 1 in the preseason.
The Elite Eight are just that - the best teams.
It's great to think next year's expanded playoff bracket of 24 teams will give
more opportunities outside the power conferences, but perhaps the three extra
at-large bids should be going to the biggest dogs.
FCS PLAYOFF ROUNDUP
A recap of the second-round playoff games can be found at
STOCK RISING, STOCK FALLING
Rising: Old Dominion sophomore quarterback Taylor Heinicke is on the verge of
FCS history - again, that is. He has 4,655 passing yards through 12 games and
against Georgia Southern next weekend should pass 1994 Walter Payton Award
winner Steve McNair of Alcorn State for the single-season record of 4,863
He also figures to hit the 5,000-yard plateau.
Falling: To lose three straight home playoff games for the first time is bad
enough, but it's especially excruciating for Appalachian State that it lost to
Illinois State, 38-37, when Sam Martin's extra point attempt was blocked to end
BELCHER MURDER-SUICIDE STUNS MAINE
University of Maine football coach Jack Cosgrove reacted with disbelief
Saturday after his former player, Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher,
killed himself at the NFL team's facility, shortly after killing his
According to Kansas City police, the 25-year-old Belcher shot his girlfriend,
22-year-old Kasandra M. Perkins, multiple times after the two had been engaged
in an argument at home. She was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead.
Minutes after the first shooting, police said, Belcher drove to the Chiefs'
training facility at Arrowhead Stadium and spoke with team personnel, including
head coach Romeo Crennel and general manager Scott Pioli, before taking his own
life with a gunshot.
Belcher, from West Babylon, N.Y., played at Maine from 2005-08. Cosgrove says
Jovan was a "tremendous student-athlete."
He added, "His move to the NFL was in keeping with his dreams. This is an
indescribably horrible tragedy. At this difficult time, our thoughts and
prayers are with Jovan, Kasandra and their families."
As a senior co-captain in 2008, Belcher was named the CAA Football Preseason
Defensive Player of the Year and named to the Preseason All-CAA Team. In 44
career games, he had 293 tackles, 44 tackles for loss and 18 sacks.
He graduated from Maine in December 2008 with a bachelor's degree in child
development and family relations.
Belcher was in his fourth year with the Chiefs after signing as an undrafted
free agent. He started 10 of the 11 games he played this season, registering 38
Jackson State and Arkansas-Pine Bluff will decide the final conference title
when they meet for the SWAC championship next weekend in Birmingham, Ala. On
Saturday, Pioneer Football League preseason favorite San Diego earned a share
of the title with Butler and Drake.
The conference preseason favorite with the actual champion(s):
Big Sky - Preseason: Montana State; Champions: Cal Poly, Eastern Washington and
Big South - Preseason: Stony Brook; Champions: Coastal Carolina, Liberty and
CAA - Preseason: Towson; Champions: New Hampshire, Richmond, Towson and
Ivy - Preseason: Harvard; Champion: Penn
MEAC - Preseason: Norfolk State; Champion: Bethune-Cookman
Missouri Valley - Preseason: North Dakota State; Champion: North Dakota State
Northeast - Preseason: Albany; Champions: Albany and Wagner
OVC - Preseason: Eastern Kentucky; Champion: Eastern Illinois
Patriot - Preseason: Lehigh; Champion: Colgate
PFL - Preseason: San Diego; Champions: Butler, Drake and San Diego
Southern - Preseason: Georgia Southern; Champions: Appalachian State, Georgia
Southern and Wofford
Southland - Preseason: Sam Houston State; Champions: Central Arkansas and Sam
SWAC - Preseason: Grambling; Champion: Arkansas-Pine Bluff or Jackson State
Wofford fullback Eric Breitenstein, Old Dominion quarterback Taylor Heinicke
and Stony Brook running back Miguel Maysonet have been invited to the
announcement of the 26th Walter Payton Award on Dec. 17 at the FCS Awards
Banquet and Presentation in Philadelphia.
Information on the Payton, Buck Buchanan, Jerry Rice and Eddie Robinson awards
can be found at http://tinyurl.com/yhv6oh8.
This Weekend's Record: 10-0 (1.000)
Season Record: 575-184 (.758)
All Times ET
Wofford (9-3) at X-No. 1 seed North Dakota State (11-1). The Bison have
surrendered 16 points in their last four playoff games. Crazy.
Game of the Week: No. 5 seed Georgia Southern (9-3) at X-No. 4 seed Old
Dominion (11-1). It's hard to be a defensive coordinator in this matchup.
X-Sam Houston State (9-3) at No. 3 seed Montana State (11-1). It's a rematch
from last year's quarterfinals, and the visiting Bearkats have more overall
Illinois State (9-3) at X-No. 2 seed Eastern Washington (10-2), 6 p.m.. The
Eagles better find their run game.
Dec. 8 at Birmingham, Ala.
X-Jackson State (7-4) vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff (9-2), 2 p.m. Jackson State had
three 100-yard rushers in the regular-season meeting and lost because of
fumbles. This time, the Tigers hold onto the ball.
The Sports Network