We all know the at-large playoff berths will not be growing on trees in the 2021 spring FCS season. We also know people will complain about too much “love” for the perceived “power conferences.”
But again, the truth is that those “power conferences” have the best chance to capture at-large berths in this spring’s scenario. Who are we kidding?
FCS fans around the country don’t want to hear about the Missouri Valley Football Conference, but the MVFC has serious depth this year and will get one, if not two, of those at-large berths. The CAA is in a similar boat, as is the Big Sky Conference.
Weber State continues to flirt with a loss, but the Wildcats keep winning. Eastern Washington is the hottest riser with how it has been winning since falling to Idaho by seven. Sam Houston is a lot like Weber State … its wins keep coming, but there have been some close wins against teams that you wonder if the score should have been closer.
My top four didn’t budge because none of them were able to play a game, mostly because of postponements. But we knew this would be the case this spring.
My biggest mover was EWU, and that’s explained above. The Eagles are on a four-game winning streak, and some of the other Big Sky elite have resumes that are beginning to crumble a bit.
The CAA has had some key postponements and cancellations and that could affect the number of teams it gets to send to the postseason.
Overall, as said prior, this is a brutally tough year to rank. The inconsistency, the cancellations, and postponements … you name it … it makes this tough to evaluate.
But, I think everybody would agree that it’s better to have a tough evaluation process than to have nothing, so we move on.
DROPPED: I dropped Chattanooga because Craig Haley removed it from the poll (understandably, of course) when the Mocs dropped out. Also, Nicholls, Maine, and Gardner-Webb are out of the ballot. They all lost this past week. We will keep an eye on them going forward.
ADDED: Obviously, when you drop four, you must replace them. ETSU’s win over VMI bumped it back in and Austin Peay and Mercer’s overall records may be ugly because they combined for six fall losses (several were money games against FBS teams). And last but not least, let’s bump NEC leader Duquesne in here at 4-0 until they look like they can’t nab a playoff spot as a conference leader.
JUST OUTSIDE: This is tough. The “dropped” schools mentioned above obviously are just outside the list. It’ll be interesting to see what the Patriot League leaders do in the new few weeks, seeing as though they’ll get an automatic playoff berth. And the SWAC? It’s so tough to rank one of these schools until we see what happens with Arkansas Pine Bluff and Prairie View A&M on April 17. Until then? Sorry, can’t rank any of them.
Top 25 Ballot
5. Weber State
6. Sam Houston
10. Jacksonville State
12. UC Davis
13. Missouri State
22. Austin Peay
23. Murray State