So who is in the FCS Playoffs if the season ended today? Who is on the bubble, by the hair of their chinny chin chins? We take a look at the bubble teams and give you a feel for what they need to do to stay in this position, or maybe even ascend to hosting a game in the first round.
SATURDAY'S FCS HEADLINES: JMU wins 20th straight, on a collision course with NDSU
FCS PLAYOFF BUBBLE – OUT: The teams that are out, barely
[divider]COMPARE: Any CFB Team | Any CFB Player[divider]
Right now it feels like there are two dozen teams in the mix for about 10 or so not-so-rock-solid spots.
NOTE: We don't consider automatic bids (Big South, NEC, Patriot, Pioneer) in any of the picks below, yet, as we see them as one-bid leagues as of this week. That may change soon for the Big South, but as of this weekend? We'll go with the group below.
IN BY A HAIR …
THE STRAIGHT DOPE: The Blue Hens were upset this weekend by Towson, and that one hurts, folks. But on the flip side this program has a solid resume, with its only two previous losses coming to Virginia Tech and defending FCS champion James Madison. It owns wins over likely playoff bound Stony Brook and Richmond last week in overtime. If Delaware can win out? Not only is it on the bubble, it may be a seed. We'll see.[divider]
EASTERN WASHINGTON (5-3)
THE STRAIGHT DOPE: EWU was off this weekend. The losses to Texas Tech and North Dakota State the first two weeks don't hurt as much as the one to Southern Utah this past weekend, but the Eagles are still in pretty good shape and look like they have a decent path to finishing 8-3. The Eags have the week off to recoup for the most critical game left on their schedule — Nov. 4 at home against Weber State.[divider]
THE STRAIGHT DOPE: Samford dropped a tough one to Chattanooga, but it also beat Southern Conference frontrunner Wofford and one of the losses is to Georgia — who looks like a pretty strong contender to take the SEC East. If Samford can bounce back the final three weeks, it may be in the mix for a first-round hosting situation. But it really needs to solidify things after today's loss to a team that is struggling.[divider]
WESTERN CAROLINA (6-3)
THE STRAIGHT DOPE: The Catamounts lost a tough one today and in the process may have elevated Furman to a possible first-round hosting position along with Wofford in the SoCon. Still, this is a program that can score some points when the back is against the wall. Winning two of the next three (there is a trip to North Carolina included, but hey, maybe?) puts WCU in the playoffs.[divider]
WESTERN ILLINOIS (5-3)
THE STRAIGHT DOPE: Western Illinois is in the Missouri Valley Football Conference, which means they could be a seeded team one week from today. You never know (break out the Tylenol). But they were knocked around this weekend so we'll place them here for the time being. The Leathernecks are solid, but are 2-3 in the Valley so they can't be called a 'lock' right now.[divider]