By Chuck Burton, CSN Way Columnist
Hurricane Ike’s devastation robbed FCS Nation of a great potential matchup of Top 25 teams with Cal Poly and McNeese State. But that only left two great league matchups in the early going between nationally-ranked teams this past week: UMass at James Madison in the CAA, and Western Illinois at South Dakota State in the Missouri Valley Football conference.
And both ended up not living up to billing. James Madison rode quarterback Rodney Landers’ feet to victory and never trailed in a 52-38 humbling of UMass, while South Dakota State jumped to a 24-0 lead and barely held on to survive a late Leatherneck rally to win 24-22.
Dare I say that last weekend was boring?
By Kent Schmidt, CSN West Columnist
When the season began, South Dakota State didn’t look like a team that would contend for the Missouri Valley Football Conference title. The Jackrabbits went from upset hopefuls against last year’s Big 12 cellar dweller, Iowa State, to suffering a blowout lose to the Cyclones.
SDSU lost to Iowa State 44-17 as quarterback Ryan Berry threw five interceptions.
In the last two weeks, however, SDSU has shown that it might be a contender after all. The ‘Jacks have defeated ranked MVFC opponents, Youngstown State and Western Illinois, to start the season at 2-1 overall and 2-0 atop the league standings.
By James D. Horne, CSN Inside the OVC Columnist
Austin Peay and UT-Martin don’t just begin Ohio Valley Conference play against each other Saturday night at 6 p.m. at Governors Stadium, they also kick off the second annual Sgt. York Trophy series.
“It’s a great honor playing for the Sgt. York Trophy,” Austin Peay coach Rick Christophel said. “It’s about a great man and military hero here in the state of Tennessee. To play that series is an honor in itself, and be able to have a chance to win is even a bigger honor. Hopefully, we’ll go into the fourth quarter with a chance to win it.”
by Myron Hosea, CSN So South Columnist
The first quarter is over. The season’s first three weeks have passed with exciting games, a few surprises and the annual contests against either FBS teams or lower-division teams. To keep the college scene on edge, weather has inserted itself into the first part of the season with too much regularity.
By Jason Plotkin, CSN Down South Columnist
Canceled. Canceled. Canceled. Canceled. Four Southland Conference games were canceled this past weekend. A football fan’s worst nightmare.
James Madison quarterback Rodney Landers, Albany runningback David McCarty, Hampton linebacker Wakeem Goode and Dayton defensive end Scott Vossler are the recipients of College Sporting News national Football Championship Subdivision honors for the week ending September 14, 2008.
It was a tough week in college football as hurricane Ike caused plenty of games to be postponed or cancelled. It was also a week with less-than-intriguing matchups as there were many games against FBS teams and sub-D-I competition which pretty much went as expected. As a result, fans of FCS teams had significantly fewer opportunities to watch good games this weekend.
There were three unlikely teams, however, that demonstrated that they belong in the national discussion. With thrilling victories, they all deserve early attention from FCS fans.