College Sports Madness-2019 Top 44 Countdown

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Re: College Sports Madness-2019 Top 44 Countdown

Post by codecat » Tue Aug 20, 2019 8:30 am

#10 Elon FCS Football-2019 Preview (Phoenix)
#2 CAA
https://www.collegesportsmadness.com/article/17726

Finished 2018 #19 in the Stats, not in the Hero, and #18 in CSM. They are starting 2019 ranked #21 in the Stats, #12 in Hero, and #10 here.
During his two seasons with Elon, Coach Curt Cignetti took the Phoenix to the playoffs. He left for James Madison during the offseason, but the program promoted defensive coordinator Tony Trisciani and that should lead to a very smooth coaching transition. Elon beat teams like Furman, New Hampshire and James Madison early last season, but injuries caught up to them by the time November rolled around. That led to three straight losses to end the campaign, including a 19-7 defeat at the hands of Wofford in the playoffs.

The Bottom Line:
Elon has a very difficult schedule. They start the season with a trip to North Carolina A&T, a team that has played very well in the MEAC recently. The following week The Citadel, a borderline top 25 team, comes to town. Elon then spends the next weeks on the road in their CAA opener against Richmond and their final non-conference matchup at Wake Forest. And the next games are against James Madison, New Hampshire and Delaware. Elon should be favored in most of those games, but if injuries should strike again, Elon could struggle with that difficult schedule of games.


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Re: College Sports Madness-2019 Top 44 Countdown

Post by codecat » Wed Aug 21, 2019 8:10 am

#9 Nicholls FCS Football-2019 Preview (Colonels)
#1 Southland
https://www.collegesportsmadness.com/article/17732

Finished 2018 #14 in both Stats and Hero and #12 in CSM, and finished well on both sides of the ball. They start 2019 at #12 in Stats, #13 in Hero, and #9 here.
Nicholls has quickly turned into a consistent program in the Southland Conference. They have reached the playoffs two years in a row and knocked off San Diego in the first round last season before falling at Eastern Washington in the second round. As Coach Tim Rebowe enters his fifth season leading the program, Nicholls is in a great spot to continue their success.

The Bottom Line:
Nicholls has not been particularly consistent. There have been some questionable losses over the last couple of seasons. However, the team has also proven that they can beat anybody on any given day. The non-conference slate is tough with trips to Kansas State, Texas State and Prairie View A&M. Getting an FBS win over Texas State is certainly a possibility and would be a great resume building victory for the Colonels. The big Southland game comes on October 19th at Sam Houston State.


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Re: College Sports Madness-2019 Top 44 Countdown

Post by codecat » Thu Aug 22, 2019 8:27 am

#8 South Dakota State FCS Football-2019 Preview (JackRabbits)
#2 Missouri Valley
https://www.collegesportsmadness.com/article/17736

Finished 2018 at #3 in Stats and CSM, #2 in Hero, and start 2019 at #3 in the Stats, #5 in Hero, and #8 here.
South Dakota State has been to seven straight playoffs and has reached the semifinals in the last two seasons. Last year the Jackrabbits cruised past Duquesne and Kennesaw State before running into North Dakota in the semifinals. Now SDSU will look to take the next step and reach the championship game.

The Bottom Line:
If Gibbs can live up to his potential, the Jackrabbits will compete for a conference title. Of course in order for that to happen, SDSU will have to get past North Dakota State. The Jackrabbits host their rivals on October 26th. That may be the key game for South Dakota State fans, but there are plenty of other big conference games, including a potential trap game the week before at Indiana State. Even if there are a couple stumbles along the way, this is a South Dakota State team that has the potential to make another very deep playoff run.


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Re: College Sports Madness-2019 Top 44 Countdown

Post by Cledus » Thu Aug 22, 2019 9:13 am

codecat wrote:
Wed Aug 21, 2019 8:10 am
#9 Nicholls FCS Football-2019 Preview (Colonels)
#1 Southland
https://www.collegesportsmadness.com/article/17732

Finished 2018 #14 in both Stats and Hero and #12 in CSM, and finished well on both sides of the ball. They start 2019 at #12 in Stats, #13 in Hero, and #9 here.
Nicholls has quickly turned into a consistent program in the Southland Conference. They have reached the playoffs two years in a row and knocked off San Diego in the first round last season before falling at Eastern Washington in the second round. As Coach Tim Rebowe enters his fifth season leading the program, Nicholls is in a great spot to continue their success.

The Bottom Line:
Nicholls has not been particularly consistent. There have been some questionable losses over the last couple of seasons. However, the team has also proven that they can beat anybody on any given day. The non-conference slate is tough with trips to Kansas State, Texas State and Prairie View A&M. Getting an FBS win over Texas State is certainly a possibility and would be a great resume building victory for the Colonels. The big Southland game comes on October 19th at Sam Houston State.
Fifteen years ago, it seemed like McNeese and Nicholls were some of the consistent top dogs in FCS. They sure have fallen hard.



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Re: College Sports Madness-2019 Top 44 Countdown

Post by codecat » Fri Aug 23, 2019 8:37 am

#7 Wofford FCS Football-2019 Preview (Terriers)
#1 SoCon
https://www.collegesportsmadness.com/article/17739

Finished 2018 #13 in Stats, Hero at #24, #9 in CSM, and starting 2019 #9 in Stats, #8 in Hero, and #7 in here.
Wofford transitioned to the Coach Josh Conklin era without missing a beat. Coach Conklin was a former assistant with the Terriers, but replacing a coach like Mike Ayers, who has been the head coach at Wofford since 1988, was never going to be too simple. The team finished tied atop the SoCon standings and beat Elon in the first round of the playoffs before falling 13-10 to Kennesaw State in the second round. They will look to make a deeper playoff run in 2019.

The Bottom Line:
Wofford is going to come out of the gate swinging. The offense is so experienced that it will not take any time at all for the unit to be firing on all cylinders. However, the toughest games on the schedule come at the end of the season, starting on October 26th with a home date against Chattanooga. After that there are trips to Clemson and Mercer before the two games that could decide the Southern Conference champions. On November 16th, the Terriers host Furman and a week later they head to The Citadel. If Wofford can stay healthy and fill a couple holes on defense, they should be eyeing another conference title and a deeper playoff run in 2019.


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Re: College Sports Madness-2019 Top 44 Countdown

Post by codecat » Sat Aug 24, 2019 9:07 am

#6 UC Davis FCS Football-2019 Preview (Aggies)
#3 Big Sky
https://www.collegesportsmadness.com/article/17742

Finished 2018 at #7 in Stats and CSM, #6 in Hero, and are starting 2019 at #5 in Stats, #3 in Hero, and #6 here.
Year two of the Coach Dan Hawkins era went very well for UC Davis. The Aggies were 5-6 in 2017 and then went 10-3 last year. That included a share of the Big Sky title and a nice playoff run. UC Davis slipped past a tough Northern Iowa team in the second round and then met up with conference foe Eastern Washington in the quarterfinals. The Aggies took a lead with just over one minute remaining, but could not hold on. That was a tough way to end the season, but UC Davis will get another shot at it in 2019.

The Bottom Line:
UC Davis plays a fun and interesting non-conference slate. It starts with a tough trip to California and continues with another road affair at Pioneer League favorite San Diego. After that the Aggies host Lehigh before heading to North Dakota State. Big Sky play begins with Montana, but the conference schedule could have been much worse. The Aggies do not play Eastern Washington or playoff hopefuls Northern Arizona and Idaho State.


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Re: College Sports Madness-2019 Top 44 Countdown

Post by codecat » Sun Aug 25, 2019 8:42 am

#5 Weber State FCS Football-2019 Preview (Wildcats)
#2 Big Sky
https://www.collegesportsmadness.com/article/17745

Finished 2018 #6 im Stats, #13 in Hero, #5 in CSM, and are starting 2019 at #8 in Stats, #11 in Hero, and #5 here.
Weber State has now made the playoffs three times in a row. The last two years Coach Jay Hill has led them to the quarterfinals of the playoffs. Last season the Wildcats entered the playoffs as the #2 overall seed and were upset at home by Maine. That was a tough way to end the campaign, but Weber State has cemented their status as a consistent and serious competitor in the playoffs.

The Bottom Line:
Weber State is playing a schedule that will make them earn a spot among the best in the FCS. They play two FBS teams in San Diego State and Nevada and also play Cal Poly in what is technically a non-conference game. Their last non-conference game is against Northern Iowa in what could prove to be a very important contest for both teams, and their respective conferences when it comes to conference strength of schedule. Perhaps the toughest conference games are on the road too, most notably on October 26th at UC Davis and November 16th at Montana.


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Re: College Sports Madness-2019 Top 44 Countdown

Post by codecat » Mon Aug 26, 2019 7:47 am

#4 Jacksonville State FCS Football-2019 Preview (Gamecocks)
#1 Ohio Valley
https://www.collegesportsmadness.com/article/17748

Finished 2018 ranked #10 in Stats, unranked in Hero, #13 in CSM, and are starting 2019 at #6 in both the Stats and Hero polls, and #4 here.
By Jacksonville State standards, the 2018 campaign was a bit disappointing. The Gamecocks entered the playoffs with three losses. In the previous four seasons under Coach John Grass, Jacksonville State had just one regular season loss in each campaign. And their impressive 36 game conference win streak came to an end at the hands of Southeast Missouri. The good news is that this might be the most talented team Coach Grass has had, and that includes a squad that went to the national championship game.
...
The Bottom Line:
If Jacksonville State can avoid mistakes, they will make huge strides in 2019. Turnovers were a massive problem last year and that led to many of their losses. The year of experience across the board should help in that regard. This team should cruise through the Ohio Valley Conference without too many problems. Both Southeast Missouri and Eastern Kentucky come to Jacksonville and those should be the toughest teams in the conference. The more interesting contests come in non-conference games against Chattanooga and Eastern Washington. That game against the Eagles will reshape the very top of the rankings for quite some time and give us an early indication of who will be the favorites along with North Dakota State and James Madison to win it all in 2019.


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Re: College Sports Madness-2019 Top 44 Countdown

Post by Montanabob » Mon Aug 26, 2019 8:47 am

Face Facts.....
If the BSC doesn't destroy itself, we could see a record 6 teams in the playoffs.
EWU, UC Davis, Weber, Montana State, NAU, and um.


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Re: College Sports Madness-2019 Top 44 Countdown

Post by codecat » Tue Aug 27, 2019 7:54 am

#3 Eastern Washington FCS Football-2019 Preview (Eagles)
#1 Big Sky
https://www.collegesportsmadness.com/article/17751

Finished 2018 at #2 in Stats and CSM polls, #3 in Hero, and are starting 2019 ranked #4 in Stats, #7 in Hero, and #3 here.
Eastern Washington made it back to the national championship game last season. It was their first appearance since winning it all back in 2010. The Eagles stayed at home through the playoffs, knocking off Nicholls, UC Davis and Maine along the way. This time around the Eagles have the tools to do it again. There are some major pieces gone, but there is also a lot of experience on this roster and Coach Aaron Best will get the most out of them.
...
The Bottom Line:
If the defense can continue to improve, Eastern Washington will not just compete for a Big Sky title, but they will also push for a national championship. The Eagles will learn where they stand pretty early this season. Following games against Washington and Lindenwood, EWU faces off against Jacksonville State in a contest that could be a preview of a semifinal type of matchup in the playoffs. The conference slate does not include either Weber State or UC Davis. A trip to Montana on October 26th could be the toughest Big Sky game. If Eastern Washington can win that one, they could be looking at a perfect Big Sky season.


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Re: College Sports Madness-2019 Top 44 Countdown

Post by codecat » Wed Aug 28, 2019 8:09 am

#2 James Madison FCS Football-2019 Preview (Dukes)
#1 CAA
https://www.collegesportsmadness.com/article/17754

Finished 2018 at #9 in Stats #8 in Hero, #10 in CSM, and are starting out 2019 at #2 in both the Stats and CSM polls, and #1 in Hero.
After winning the national championship in 2016 and reaching the finals in 2017, the Dukes fell in the second round of the playoffs last season. With Coach Curt Cignetti taking over the program after Mike Houston left for East Carolina, there could be some questions about where the program is headed. However, with most of the key pieces returning on both sides of the ball, the Dukes should return to the top of FCS pecking order.
...
The Bottom Line:
James Madison starts the 2019 season at West Virginia. That is a game that an experienced Dukes squad can win against a rebuilding Mountaineers squad. As always, the CAA slate will be difficult too. A trip to Elon to start conference play could be the toughest conference game of them all. Home dates against Towson and New Hampshire later on could prove difficult too, but James Madison should be able to take care of business at home. If the Dukes can stay at home throughout the playoffs, they will be in a great spot to return to Frisco for the national championship game.


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Re: College Sports Madness-2019 Top 44 Countdown

Post by Cledus » Wed Aug 28, 2019 9:00 am

I'm sure the suspense is killing NDSU right now.



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Re: College Sports Madness-2019 Top 44 Countdown

Post by codecat » Thu Aug 29, 2019 8:52 am

#1 North Dakota State FCS Football-2019 Preview (Bison)
#1 Missouri Valley
https://www.collegesportsmadness.com/article/17757

Finished 2018 #1 in all three polls, and are staring 2019 at #1 in the Stats and CSM polls, and at #2 in Hero.
The Bison just keeps dominating the FCS. And until proven otherwise, North Dakota State is the team to beat. Once again the program must replace their head coach, this time as Chris Klieman heads to Kansas State. The Bison promoted Matt Entz to head coach after he spent the last five seasons as the defensive coordinator under Klieman.
...
The Bottom Line:
Cleary NDSU has some big holes to fill. That is often the case with this program though and they will reload with upperclassmen who have been sitting behind the talented departed starters and a few younger players who have the skills to make an immediate impact. The schedule has some interesting early contests against North Dakota, Delaware and UC Davis. In September the Bison will still be working out some kinks and those may not be easy games. The conference slate starts tough too with a trip to Illinois State and a home date with Northern Iowa. North Dakota State may not be perfect this season, but by the time the playoffs roll around, this team will be ready to make a push for another national championship.


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Re: College Sports Madness-2019 Top 44 Countdown

Post by codecat » Sat Aug 31, 2019 7:41 am

Here is a summary of the College Sports Madness-Top 44 poll by conference, in count/alphabetical order.

Big Sky(7): #3-EWU/1, #5-Weber State/2, #6-UD Davis/3, #12-Montana/4, #18-Montana State/5, #32-Northern Arizona/6, #43-Idaho State/7

Missoiuri Valley-MVFC(7): #1-North Dakota St/1, #8-South Dakota St/2, #11 Illinois St/3, #13-Indiana St/4, #23-NorthernIowa/5, #31-SouthDakota/6, #38-Southern Illinois/7

Colonial Athletic Assoc-CAA(6): #2-James Madison/1, #10-Elon/2, #14-Towson/3, #17-Maine/4, #29-Delaware/5, #35-New Hampshire/6

Southern-SoCon(5): #7-Wofford/1, #16-Chattanooga/2, #19-Furman/3, #25-The Citadel/4, #36-East Tennessee State/5,

Southland(5): #9-Nichols/1, #15-Sam Houston/2, #22-Lamar/3, #28-Central Arkansas/4, #37 McNeese State/5

Ohio Valley-OVC(3): #4-Jacksonville State/1, #21-SEMO/2, #26-Eastern Kentucky/3

Big South(2): #24-Kennshaw State/1, #33-Monmouth/2

Ivy Leage(2): #20-Yale/1, #40-Princeton/2

Mid-Eastern Athletic Conf-MEAC(2): $41-North Carolina A&T/1, #44-N Carolina Central/2

Northeast-NEC(1): #34-Duquesne/1

Pioneer(1): #39-San Diego/1

Southwestern Athletic Conf-SWAC(1): #42-Alcorn State/1

Patriot League(0):

FCS Independent(1): #30-North Dakota/1


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