Some FCS programs would rather not be on the playoff bubble, while several are just happy to be in the discussion. New Hampshire is one of those programs that is used to making the playoffs, not having missed them since 2003 … so being on the bubble isn't exactly a compliment. The Wildcats want to keep the streak alive.
So let's take a look at what New Hampshire needs to do next week, and how it helped itself today:
NEW HAMPSHIRE (7-3) IN A NUTSHELL
TODAY'S RESULT: Won 16-6 at home against Elon, a team that hadn't lost to an FCS team this year.
HOW DID TODAY HELP/HURT?: It helped a ton, who are we kidding? UNH shut down an Elon team that had been piling up the clutch wins all season. The head-scratching Holy Cross loss on Sept. 16 now seems like it happened in another decade. This was an incredible performance at home by the Wildcats, who have now won 5 of their last 7, with the only losses coming to the two CAA frontrunners — James Madison and Stony Brook. They won't be seeded, but they're on the verge of an FCS playoff berth for sure.
WHAT'S NEXT?: Road trip to injury plagued Albany (3-7, 1-6 in CAA)
THE SKINNY?: UNH has all but clinched a playoff berth, but there's a lot more at stake next week if the Wildcats can knock around Albany and secure that 8th win. Let's face it, UNH has beaten an FBS team (Georgia Southern), handed Elon its first FCS loss of the year on Saturday, and has won 8 games.
IF IT MAKES PLAYOFFS, WHO COULD IT FACE?: UNH, with a win next week, likely could host a first-round playoff game and could get a team like Central Connecticut State, or maybe the Colgate/Lehigh team that emerges from the Patriot. I'd say that's your best bet.
|1991||First Round||Samford||L 13–29|
|1994||First Round||Appalachian State||L 10–17|
|2004||First Round||Georgia Southern||W 27–23|
|2005||First Round||Colgate||W 55–21|
|Quarterfinals||Northern Iowa||L 21–24|
|2006||First Round||Hampton||W 41–38|
|2007||First Round||Northern Iowa||L 35–38|
|2008||First Round||Southern Illinois||W 29–20|
|Quarterfinals||Northern Iowa||L 34–36|
|2009||First Round||McNeese State||W 49–13|
|2010||Second Round||Bethune-Cookman||W 45–20|
|2011||Second Round||Montana State||L 25–26|
|2012||Second Round||Wofford||L 7–23|
|2013||First Round||Lafayette||W 45–7|
|Second Round||Maine||W 41–27|
|Quarterfinals||SE Louisiana||W 20–17|
|Semifinals||North Dakota State||L 14–52|
|2014||Second Round||Fordham||W 44–19|
|Semifinals||Illinois State||L 18–21|
|2015||First Round||Colgate||L 20–27|
|2016||First Round||Lehigh||W 64–21|
|Second Round||James Madison||L 22–55|