By Myron Hosea, CSN So South Columnist
The last week of the 2009 season offered some good news and bad news for the Big South.
Heading into the games of November 21, many observers felt Liberty owned a legitimate shot at an at-large playoff berth. It would be the second for the Big South’s youthful football program and would be a great lead-in to the conference acquiring automatic qualifier status in 2010. And the Flames entered the game having not lost a league game since 2006.
So naturally, Stony Brook pulls the upset, which – yes, the bad news – ended another possibility for a playoff berth.
The good news from that same game, though, stems from the fact that another league team beat Liberty. Stony Brook was itself coming off an upset loss the week before to a different Big South team (Charleston Southern).
In short, the Big South elevated its competitive balance for the most part in 2009, raising the likelihood of quite a chase for that automatic berth in 2010.
In a battle of top defenses, Villanova edged William and Mary 14-13, and in a clash of top offenses it was Montana topping Appalachian State 24-17. The NCAA Division I Football National Championship game is now set with the top two tournament seeds, the Griz and the Wildcats facing off Friday in Chattanooga.
Prairie View A&M held off Alabama A&M in the SWAC championship game, 30-24, to win their first league title since 1964.
by Rich Mies, CSN Mapping the MIAC Columnist
After a week that featured a massive snowfall, two overtime games and a huge rally coming up short, the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference closed the second week of league play with perennial powers Gustavus and St. Thomas threatening to pull away from the pack. They are the last unbeaten teams in conference play. All nine games on the week were loaded with drama and action, and only one game was postponed due to the nasty combination of nearly a foot of new snow mixed with gale-force winds. The MIAC takes a three-week break from league play for final exams and the holidays, but resumes play January 2 with a full slate of intra-conference battles.
By Brandon Williams, CSN SWAC Attack Columnist
Not too long ago, the mere thought of the Panthers as winners – let alone kings of the conference – elicited chuckles and spat-out cups of coffee.
Thanks to Henry Frazier, no one’s laughing now.
By Bruce Dowd, CSN Dowd’s Den Columnist
Just thought I would let everyone know I am still alive and well and just couldn’t resist putting in my two cents at the most exciting time of the year. We got William and Mary v. Villanova and then App State v. Montana; just not sure how it can get much better than that.
First, a special thanks to all you folks who have emailed me well wishes and expressed how you have missed my column. But, for those of you who were not missing my column, sorry to spoil your holiday but I am back!!!
By Chuck Burton, The CSN Way Columnist
Face it: for the casual college football fan, there is lots of competition for viewership in the fall. There’s weekday football. Big FBS matchups. The schools even non-football fans have heard of: USC. Notre Dame. Michigan. Sometimes it seems like it’s difficult to get the word out that: yes, Virginia, there are FCS teams playing this weekend. (Though I think Michigan is still very well aware about the Football Championship Subdivision.)
This weekend, though, three championship FCS games take center stage. One is the SWAC Championship game, pitting a resurgent Prairie View A&M team against an Alabama A&M squad that is itching to prove they are the top dogs once again since their last SWAC championship in 2006. The other games will determine the participants in next weekends’ Division I National Championship game in Chattanooga, Tennessee, which will feature the winner of the de-facto CAA championship game (William & Mary vs. Villanova) versus the winner of a clash of FCS royalty (Appalachian State vs. Montana).
Championship football takes center stage in the college football world this weekend - and the only championship games at play this weekend are in the FCS. Here are three championship previews.
Terence Thomas, Sr. CSN The CAA Today columnist
A rematch by definition is a second or return contest between opponents. In last week’s quarterfinals, we had two such games involving CAA teams, and a third game pitting a CAA team against a Missouri Valley team creating a rematch between the conferences.
When rematches are spoken of, there’s usually a reference to the prior game where Team B narrowly lost to Team A, or Team B would have won had it not been for a set of circumstances. The loser of the previous game always is looking toward the rematch with vengeful thoughts on its mind but also with the knowledge that it previously lost to its opponent. The victor in general will come into the rematch with confidence, sometimes too much confidence. From these rematches, rivalries are born.