Let’s Go Around The Country

Let’s Go Around The Country
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Media Days seem to be held each day over the past two weeks as we inch closer to the start of the college football season, so I wanted to take a look at two of the top conferences in the FCS and how things are being projected.

SOUTHLAND – First off the conference expands by three teams this fall, Abilene Christian, Houston Baptist and Incarnate Word all join the league, bringing the conference to 11 teams, so that means teams will miss some schools, much like in the Missouri Valley and the Big Sky. Southeastern Louisiana is the preseason favorite in the conference, the Lions are led by Bryan Bennett at quarterback, the transfer from Oregon. He was sensational last year,

Bryan Bennett is the preseason player of the year candidate in the Southland.

some Bison fans will remember that SELA lost in the final seconds to New Hampshire at home in the FCS quarterfinals or it would have been the Lions coming to Fargo for the FCS semis. Watch week 3 and SELA’s game against Tulane, I believe we’ll see an FCS over FBS win there, intra-state game that’s big for those schools.  McNeese State is loaded as well, the Cowboys were a fluky team last year, running roughshod over South Florida, then getting blown out by Northern Iowa. Sam Houston State is picked 3rd, the Bearkats begin the college football season at Eastern Washington August 23rd, they don’t have to play SELA either this season, the team that eliminated them from the FCS playoffs last year. Incarnate Word is predicted to finish 10th, the Cardinals come to Fargo for NDSU’s home opener on September 13th.

SOUTHLAND PRESEASON POLL

1. SE Louisiana

2. McNeese State

3. Sam Houston State

4. Central Arkansas

5. Northwestern State

T6. Stephen F Austin

Lamar

8. Abilene Christian

9. Nicholls State

10. Incarnate Word

11. Houston Baptist

CAA – After a couple of down years, the Colonial is ready to re-assert its position as the best league in the FCS. Two teams in the semifinals will help that assertion, New Hampshire and last year’s runner-up Towson and there are some new challengers to the throne that will make this one of the best races in college football this fall. New Hampshire brings nearly everyone back from a team that made a great playoff run; they were out of the playoff mix heading into the final week, then whooped Maine and made a great run to the semis, Sean Goldrich is just a junior at quarterback, and while Bison fans will remember one of his worst nights, he’s a solid signal caller and the Wildcats will be in the mix.

Sean Goldrich leads UNH as the Colonial preseason favorite.

So will the other team nicknamed Wildcats in that league, Villanova, they have been inconsistent since they won the national title and making the final four in 2010. Watch John Robertson, one of the best quarterbacks in FCS, he makes that team go, they could knock off Syracuse in their season opener to really give them a boost. The team that’s a real threat in my mind is William and Mary. Both Sean McDonnell and Rob Ambrose told me last year if there was one defense that was similar to NDSU it was the Tribe. They have their work cut out from them starting at Virginia Tech, but they should be a playoff team. Richmond and Towson figure to be in the mix, I imagine the Tigers to take a step back with the loss of Terrance West, but they still have some solid players back. The league added one team this year, Elon; out of the SoCon.

1. New Hampshire

2. Villanova

3. Richmond

4. William & Mary

5. Towson

6. Delaware

7. Maine

8. James Madison

9. Stony Brook

10. Albany

11. Rhode Island

12. Elon

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