Folks, after four years … it's time to redo how we 'do this'. The FCS is like any other athletic entity. It is time the teams that play in the tough conferences get the benefit of the doubt, and the teams that don't? Earn it.
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We have now seen this trend for at least four seasons. Sam Houston State has lost 207-33 the past four years when the Bearkats have faced the big boys. This is a column not hell-bent to diminish SHSU, but a column to point out that teams like Western Illinois and Weber State should have been seeded and had a first-round bye — and we were saying this a month ago — ahead of a Southland runner-up finisher from a less competitive conference.
It is time we begin to reward the conferences who compete at a higher level, and that begins with the Missouri Valley Football Conference. Youngstown State and Illinois State were both 6-5 this year, but faced a gauntlet schedule. Both would easily have been in the FCS Playoffs with 7 wins and both would have beaten Sam Houston State tonight too. Who are we kidding? Youngstown State went to overtime with the Bison and were the national runner up last year, and Illinois State scared the dickens out of NDSU in the regular season finale before the snow-capped final score was 20-7 NDSU.
Those two programs were left out, and Monmouth and other head-scratchers got in? We're not rewarding the body of work here folks. And why would two of the nation's top 10 teams like Weber State and Western Illinois face off in the first round? It doesn't add up.
Then there's the full FCS seeding process. Why does James Madison — the clearcut No. 1 seed after ripping 2016 apart and then doing it again this year — get Weber State in the quarterfinals and clearly the No. 3 team in the country in the semis — South Dakota State? This is prior to NDSU in Frisco, should the Dukes even survive tomorrow, which is no guarantee. NDSU was a guarantee win today and last weekend, JMU had zero guarantees after beating Stony Brook in the first round.
Folks, we'll make this nice and quick and clear — let's redo this process. It needs to happen. I'd be glad to be a part of the process. A lot of people say "you bitch about it, but you're not willing to step up and doing anything about it". Well, yes I would be glad to be a part of it. I'd be glad to be a part of the discussion because this playoff bracket is messed up. I'd be glad to bring some scathingly honest logic to it, just like we will to the HERO Sports All-American team that you will all see next week.
Let's get away from being PC and start putting the teams in the playoffs that deserve it. And let's put them in a bracket that makes sense.
Tonight reinforced it.