Before I move on to the topic, I'm trying to put together a picture post with Scrappy. We've done so many scenic type posts, you'd think we live in paradise. This post I'm working on will feature the more mundane parts of walking with Scrappy. However, I'm having some technical difficulties (i.e. it's too damn hot for the boy to do his usual stuff). Maybe by Monday I'll have it down.
Anywho, Its time for football, and last night the FCS season (college's equivalent of triple-A) started. Longtimers know that last year, the coaches' FCS poll pissed me off to no end because they tended to rank teams by rep and not results. So I started my own rankings. It encouraged me to watch the smaller schools, i.e. those a little more committed to the student/athletes and a little less to the almighty dollar. (UMass, playing its last year in FCS before moving onto the "big boys" of the MAC excepted.) Results were mixed; Eastern Washington, whom I buried at 13th, won the championship. I set up my preseason poll last week and just haven't gotten around to posting it until now.
I watched one FCS game last night- Illinois St. vs Eastern Illinois. An entertaining if not particularly well-played game by 2 teams that stand little chance of making my list anytime soon. It featured two safeties (if you don't know what a safety is, imagine it as one team getting two points because the opponent did something stupid). One of those stupid things was a handoff that the back never took and the QB had to land on it in his own end zone (and was subsequently landed on); the other was the other QB having a snap go over his head and through the back of the end zone. Ill St. took the lead when the Eastern QB lost a snap and a big ol' lineman scooped it up and ran it in untouched. This pissed off said QB, and he led Eastern on 2 quick TD drives to win the game.
Anyway, let me divulge my opening attempt at ranking the teams. 25 is Jacksonville, who finished #5 on mine, unranked on the coaches poll because they think the conference they play in is bush league. 24 is Chattanooga, who have the unenviable task of opening with Nebraska tomorrow. 23 is Bethune-Cookman, an "African American" school who went undefeated last year and ranked in my top 5, then getting humiliated in the opening round of the playoffs. 22 is Stony Brook, another squad that gets little love from the coaches because of the tiny conference they play in. 21 is Western Carolina who opened with their "big boy" game (where they play an FBS- AKA the big schools- team. Most FCS teams have one big boy game a year.) against Georgia Tech, who rolled 63-21. Of this first group, the coaches ranked Chattanooga 23 and B-C tied for 24th.
20 is North Dakota State, who finished at 21 last year. 18 and 19 open with each other Saturday- last year's #14 SE Missouri St. and Southern Illinois. 17 is South Carolina State, who opened with a 21-6 loss to "big boy" Central Michigan. At 16 is Texas' Stephen F. Austin, who were the "big boy" for hapless McMurray U. whom they whupped 82-6. Out of this set, the coaches had ND State at 11, Southern Illinois 17, SC State at 21, and SFA at 14.
15 is Delaware, who had a turn at #1 on both polls before finishing 4th on mine. They start out with their big boy game at Navy. 14 is Northern Iowa, who open with state rival Iowa State. 13 is the Richmond Spiders, and if anyone has a chance to win a big boy game, they have as good as any against Duke. 12 is another former top dog on my poll, Liberty, who got hosed out of the playoffs by point differential last year. 11 was last year's biggest disappointment, James Madison- and it may not start out any better this year, opening at North Carolina. this group had the coaches putting Delaware 5, N. Iowa 7, Richmond 19, Liberty 18, and JMU 16.
The top 10 opens with New Hampshire, who gave me a big black eye in losing their big boy game last night, 58-22 to Toledo. 9 is Montana State, who put up the only decent battle against a BBG, losing 27-10 to Utah State. 8 is Montana who for a second year open with Tennessee. My team's arch-rival, #7 Villanova, got pounded in their BBG against Temple (!) 42-7. So sad to see that! 6 is Jacksonville State, who squeaked out a disappointing 24-23 win over Tennessee-Martin. This group the coaches put UNH at 10, Montana State at 6, Montana at 12, Nova at 13, and J-State at 9.
I have defending champs Eastern Washington and their gaudy red turf at 5. 4 is my boys, William AND Mary (no typo, that's the way I and my son say it), ready to upset Virginia tomorrow. 3 is Wofford, who will play big boy to Presbyterian tomorrow. 2 is Georgia Southern, who open at Southern Conference Samford. And our consensus #1, once again, is Appalachian State. The coaches had the defending champs #1 (of course), W&M 4th, Wofford 8, GASO at 3, and App State at 2.