With a posse of experienced players returning from a Southland Conference co-championship team, Central Arkansas seems to have plenty of firepower for another return to the NCAA FCS playoffs.
It’s the time of year when most college football coaches talk cautiously about their chances for success during the coming season.
Not Ed Lamb.
Instead of downplaying Southern Utah’s prospects — and trying to minimize the pressure on his players and himself — Lamb speaks optimistically about his expectations for the Thunderbirds.
Alabama A&M has advanced to the SWAC Championship Game six times since the event debuted in 1999, the same year the Bulldogs moved up from the SIAC to Division I and joined the Football Championship Subdivision league. A&M is a longshot to make this season’s title game, which is moving to Houston’s Reliant Stadium after being played 14 times at Birmingham’s Legion Field. The Bulldogs graduated 23 seniors from last year’s 7-4 team.
Inside the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision record book, there is a section entitled “Annual Most-Improved Teams.”
The greatest 1-year jumps are listed in order of most games improved, as are the teams from 2011 that righted the ship in quick fashion.
With the FCS playoffs set to expand this year from 20 to 24 teams (and teams needing only six Division I wins instead of seven), the USD football team – 1-10 a year ago – isn’t ready to declare itself ready to make one of those historic jumps.
At least not yet.
We’re less than a week away from the kickoff of the Division I football season, a perfect time to explore a topic near and dear to the hearts of anyone who covers or watches Championship Subdivision football: Which FCS teams have the best chance to spring upsets against FBS competition?
Who says football training camp is dull? At the University of Richmond, coach Danny Rocco has seen five things that could help make the Spiders an FCS playoff team.
Rob Ambrose was there for the climb. Of the endless stairs to the old press box at Memorial Stadium. Of the program’s path to relevance. Of the ball as it thundered off Dave Teggart’s foot and ran like a current through the Tampa night, eventually landing all of them in Glendale, the Fiesta Bowl, the BCS.
Rob Ambrose was there for it all, from the early days when his office was a trailer, all the way to the end when he went to work at the palatial Burton Family Complex that houses UConn football today.
“I have a lot of memories,” Ambrose was saying on the other end of the phone the other day, “and they’re all good.”
Ambrose, once the offensive coordinator under Randy Edsall at UConn, is coaching The Enemy now. He’s gone home again, back to his alma mater, Towson State, which just happens to be UConn’s opponent in the season opener next week at Rentschler Field.
East Tennessee State associate athletic director for communications Mike White and his staff first hatched the idea last spring.
Hoping to convince a group of Southern Conference school administrators to allow ETSU to return to the league it left behind in 2005, White’s wordsmiths created a David Letterman-style Top 10 list of reasons to re-embrace the Buccaneers.
Numero uno on that list: “Because Chattanooga needs somebody to really hate.”
Winston-Salem State and N.C. A&T have one of the best college rivalries in the state. But in football, it’s on hold, possibly dead.
Administrators and coaches at WSSU have made no secret about their desire to play A&T in Greensboro, Charlotte or anywhere else.
But as a Football Championship Subdivision program, A&T doesn’t benefit from scheduling a Division II program such as WSSU, despite the prospects for large crowds and big gates.
The James Madison football team will open the 2013 season ranked in the top 25 of two national polls. In the Football Championship Subdivision Poll Coaches’ Poll, the Dukes are ranked 15th. In the Sports Network Poll, they are ranked 19th.
Former Newark High standout quarterback Taylor Reynolds is currently a redshirt freshman cornerback at James Madison.
A starting linebacker at North Dakota State was given a suspended 10-day jail sentence on Monday after pleading guilty to resisting a police officer in connection with an early-morning brawl outside a downtown Fargo restaurant.
State court records show Travis Beck, 21, was also placed on unsupervised probation for a year.
What a difference a year makes.
Coming off a 2-9 season, Villanova was picked to finish eighth in the 11-team Colonial Athletic Association for 2012. The Wildcats had but two players on the preseason all-conference team.
Fast-forward to the present and coach Andy Talley’s squad heads into the 2013 season as the Football Championship Subdivision’s fifth-ranked team and the top pick in the CAA, having received 11 of 22 first-place votes. In addition, six Wildcats were tabbed as preseason all-conference selections.
The past few seasons have been somewhat of a disaster for the Nicholls State University football program.
Nicholls hasn’t won a Southland Conference game in two full seasons, and the Colonels haven’t beaten a Football Championship Subdivision foe since Nov. 13, 2010.
But with another football season looming, the Colonels believe a turnaround is imminent.
After 16 years in the Northeast Conference (NEC) — and five titles — the Hawks are moving to the Big South Conference next year. In the meantime, the Hawks are playing a 12- game, independent schedule this fall. As they get ready to join their new conference in 2014, there is excitement and anticipation for the 2013 season to unfold.
Callahan sees a lot of positives for the Hawks this season despite the challenges that it creates.
The four-man quarterback battle at Cal Poly is over … for the moment.
Junior Vince Moraga was tabbed by Mustang head coach Tim Walsh on Monday as the starter for the football team’s season opener August 31 against the University of San Diego.