Alright folks. The 2017 FCS Playoffs are here, and we know we're in the 2nd round now. We've shown you the top FCS highlights, broken down the matchups, and previewed every game. It is time to get into the meat and potatoes of the results and next week's FCS 2nd round matchups. Read on:
1ST ROUND STRAIGHT DOPE: San Diego … we get it. It's time to stop dismissing you guys in the first round. You are well-coached, your kids are Ivy League type kids, academically, who didn't want to go 3,000 miles east to go to a good school.
And who cares if you have scholarships? Apparently it doesn't matter. What an incredible coaching job going on with the Toreros with Dale Lindsey.
Once again … the Toreros are the story of the FCS first round.
Next up, Weber State and Nicholls. I was wrong. And I acknowledge it. There are two versions of the apology though: I thought Weber State-Western Illinois would be a 50/50 game from day one, so that's less of an apology. I thought Weber-WIU was an FCS quarterfinal trapped in a 1st round body.
I didn't think South Dakota–Nicholls would be a tight game. So … Nicholls? We were wrong about you. Loss or not … this young Colonels team proved it belonged by taking a Walter Payton Award frontrunner in Chris Streveler to the brink. Nicholls will be back. Book it. Chase Fourcade at QB? Remember the name.
Weber State? The Wildcats have the best defense in the Big Sky Conference and the best special teams unit in the 24-team FCS Playoff field. They knocked off one of the most dangerous 1st-round threats in the FCS Playoffs in Western Illinois. The rematch with Southern Utah will be epic.
What are the other curiosities in the second round? The one that jumps off the page? Will the Southland Conference top two duo knock off the two teams it should beat? Sam Houston State now faces a South Dakota team that if you use comparative scores with? Well … the Bearkats hammered Nicholls, the Coyotes nearly went to overtime with Nicholls. Keep that in mind this week. And New Hampshire? Seriously one of the last few in that barely survived today? Traveling to Central Arkansas? UNH barely got into the FCS Playoffs and barely got past the Northeast Conference Champs today. Central Arkansas needs a decisive victory this week.
1ST-RD. RECAPS (Today's games)
Stony Brook 59, Lehigh 29 (RECAP)
San Diego 41, No. Ariz 10 (RECAP)
Kenn St. 28, Samford 17 (RECAP)
UNH. 14, CCSU 0 (RECAP)
UNI 46, Monmouth 7 (RECAP)
So. Dakota 38, Nich. 31 (RECAP)
Furman 28, Elon 27 (RECAP)
Weber St. 21, W. Illinois 19 (RECAP)[divider]
NEXT WEEK'S SCHEDULE
(all games ET on Saturday Dec. 2 on ESPN3)
No. 1. James Madison (11-0) vs. Stony Brook (10-2), 2 p.m.
2. North Dakota St. (10-1) vs. San Diego (10-2), 3:30 p.m.
3. Jacksonville St. (10-1) vs. Kennesaw St. (11-1), 2 p.m.
4. Cent. Arkansas (10-1) vs. New Hamp. (8-4), 3 p.m.
5. South Dakota St. (9-2) vs. UNI (8-4), 3 p.m.
6. Sam Houston St. (10-1) vs. So. Dakota (8-4), 3 p.m.
7. Wofford (9-2) vs. Furman (8-4), 2 p.m.
8. So. Utah (9-2) vs. Weber St. (9-3), 8 p.m.[divider]
2ND-RD STAT MATCHUPS
Weber State at Southern Utah[divider]
Now let's take a look at the first round picks — from HERO Sports FCS writers Sam Herder, Chase Kiddy, Brian McLaughlin and Jim Oxley:
FIRST ROUND PICKS