The 2019 FCS Playoffs are here and we noticed some interesting trends in the first weekend. Below you can find recaps of these "trends" as well as recaps on the first-round games we were able to staff.
[divider]MORE FCS FOOTBALL:
BRACKET CONTEST: The Fan Leaderboard After The 1st Round
Well what can we say about round one, right? It was tumultuous for sure. Hey … think the Big South is sick and tired of being downplayed as a 7th rate FCS conference? Well, Monmouth owned its opponent today and looked far from 7th rate, and Kennesaw State knocked out the SoCon champion. Touche, Big South. Not bad. We have all trashed this league for years, but for the time being … they've proven to us that not only should two teams from the Big South be "in," they also can win. Kudos to the Big South. Now it's time to grind down some of the CAA and Big Sky powers.
Also … We get into the monsters of the FCS. They all sat home this weekend … I'm guessing the players enjoyed seconds (maybe thirds?) when it came to servings of Thanksgiving dinner? And deservedly so. They earned it. Now it is on to the big boys of the FCS hierarchy.
Illinois State and Northern Iowa represented the MVFC with authority, even "hobbled" thanks to injuries. A combined nine points given up, truly a statement. Albany was a CAA team teetering on getting in, and it hammered a NEC champion that FBS Eastern Michigan couldn't and didn't — CCSU. A true statement … and of course, that also says something about Monmouth who disposed of the Great Danes back in September.
Austin Peay — who are the OVC champs for the first time since the BeeGees and Bell Bottom Jeans were popular in 1977 (Google it, Millennials) — yeah, the Governors were business like against a good Furman team and acted like they have done this all along, even though no APSU team has ever hit the 9 or 10 win mark before (which happened in the past nine days, by the way). The Govs look conditioned when it comes to big games and the postseason. Maybe a little bit of Coach Hud's postseason coaching experience is rubbing off on his team already, and I'm sure former coach Will Healy has to be grinning a tad bit right now too. Remember when this program came into mid September on a 29-game losing streak and tore down the goalposts after hammering a non-scholarship team to end that misery? It's hard to fathom now, eh?
We brought up the Big South but hey … the up-and-down nature of the Southland sure seemed "up" today with Nicholls not only beating North Dakota (an Independent who plays mostly a Big Sky sked) and SE Louisiana beating a CAA team who pushed James Madison to the limit a month-plus ago. The Southland will have three candidates playing in the second round (Central Arkansas is a seed and ate turkey this week). This conference can erase doubts seven days from today. It's up to them.
When this slate was revealed? It looked parity full. And it didn't disappoint.
Now? We get to see if these winners want to rob a seed of its throne. We shall see.[divider]
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