Playoff Implications

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coochorama42
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Playoff Implications

Post by coochorama42 » Mon Oct 07, 2019 4:52 pm

I’ve been thinking a lot about the playoff picture in the FCS and especially the seeding implications now that we’re halfway through the regular season and plan on updating my expected playoff field and seeding each week until the actual playoff field is finalized. I’ll take into consideration how the committee traditionally fills the playoff field (4-6 MVFC teams, 4-6 CAA teams, 4-5 Big Sky teams, 2-3 Southland teams, and 1-2 teams from both the Southern Conference and Ohio Valley Conference). I’m not huge on ranking these teams, per se, but I will put them in tiers based upon the value of the seed. Moreover, I’m not trying to pick and choose who I expect to win these games, but highlight some of the important games on each team’s schedule and how that plays out with respect to making the playoffs and/or seeding. Therefore, some teams not anywhere near the top eight teams in most polls might be much higher on my list than others. This is not a tacit belief in their ability to win their remaining games, just an analysis of what would happen if they happen to win their remaining games. Finally, I’m assuming only one team from the Southern Conference, Ohio Valley Conference, Pioneer League, Northeast Conference, Patriot Conference, and Big South Conference. As such, I’m not really spending much time on these teams (save Furman and Kennesaw State).

First Tier (control their own seeding destiny) – Only an undefeated winner (in the FCS) of the MVFC is a lock to be a top 2 seed in my opinion. If both the Big Sky and CAA have FCS-undefeated teams, it’ll come down to strength of schedule. These teams make up my next tier (the second tier).

North Dakota State (5-0 FCS) – Key wins @ Delaware, vs. UC Davis. Important games remaining include: vs. Northern Iowa, @ South Dakota State, @ Youngstown State, @ Southern Illinois.
South Dakota State (4-0 FCS) – Key win vs. Southern Illinois. Important games remaining include: @ Youngstown State, vs. North Dakota State, vs. Illinois State, vs. Northern Iowa.

Second Tier (guaranteed top 4 seed if they win out) – I’ll put these teams in order based upon my best guess at how the committee will value their strength of schedule/quality of wins/who they beat on the road. It’s difficult not to believe that the teams polling better right now have an advantage.

Villanova (6-0 FCS) – Key wins @ Towson, vs. Maine. Important games remaining include: @ James Madison, vs. Stony Brook, @ New Hampshire, vs. Delaware.
James Madison (5-0 FCS) – Key wins @ Stony Brook. Important games remaining include: vs. Villanova, vs. Towson, vs. New Hampshire.
Weber State (3-0 FCS) – Key wins vs. Northern Iowa. Important games remaining include: vs. Northern Arizona, @ UC Davis, @ Sac State, vs. North Dakota, @ Montana.
Montana (5-0 FCS) – Key wins @ UC Davis. Important games remaining include: @ Sac State, vs. Eastern Washington, vs. Weber State, @ Montana State.
Montana State (5-0 FCS) – Key wins vs. Southeast Missouri State, vs. Northern Arizona. Important games remaining include: vs. Sac State, @ North Dakota, @ UC Davis, vs. Montana.
Sacramento State (2-0 FCS) – Key win vs. Eastern Washington. Important games remaining include: vs. Montana State, vs. Montana, vs. Weber State, @ Northern Arizona, @ UC Davis.

Third Tier (possible top 4 seeds if they win out, likely seeded 5-8 if they win out) – I think these teams only slide into a top 4 seed if no one makes it through the MVFC, Big Sky, and CAA with undefeated records in the FCS. Strength of schedule has to play a part in the decision-making here with two of the teams. Kennesaw State had two NAIA games on their schedule this year and their toughest FCS game will have been @ Missouri State (1-3), a bottom two team in the MVFC. Furman also has one NAIA game on the schedule.

Nicholls State (3-0 FCS) – Key win vs. Central Arkansas. Important games remaining include: vs. Sam Houston State, @ Southeastern Arkansas.
Northern Iowa (3-1 FCS) – Key win vs. Youngstown State. Key loss @ Weber State. Important games remaining include: @ North Dakota State, @ Illinois State, @ South Dakota State.
Youngstown State (4-1 FCS) – No key wins. Key loss @ Northern Iowa. Important games remaining include: vs. South Dakota State, vs. North Dakota State, vs. Illinois State.
Illinois State (3-1 FCS) – Key win vs. Northern Arizona. Key loss vs. North Dakota State. Important games remaining include: vs. Northern Iowa, @ South Dakota State, @ Youngstown State.
Towson (3-1 FCS) – Key win @ Maine. Key loss vs. Villanova. Important games remaining include: @ James Madison, vs. Delaware, @ Stony Brook.
Stony Brook (4-1 FCS) – No key wins. Key loss vs. James Madison. Important games remaining include: vs. New Hampshire, @ Villanova, vs. Towson, @ Delaware.
Delaware (3-1 FCS) – No key wins. Key loss vs. North Dakota State. Important games remaining include: vs. New Hampshire, @ Towson, vs. Stony Brook, @ Villanova.
New Hampshire (3-1 FCS) – No key wins. Key loss @ Holy Cross. Important games remaining include: @ Stony Brook, @ Delaware, vs. Villanova, @ James Madison, vs. Maine.
Furman (4-0 FCS) – No key wins. No important games remaining.
Kennesaw State (2-0 FCS) – No key wins. No important games remaining.

Fourth Tier (teams that could hypothetically earn a low seed if they win out, but it isn’t likely).

Sam Houston State (3-1 FCS) – No key wins. Key loss @ North Dakota. Important games remaining include: vs. Nicholls State, @ Central Arkansas
Southeastern Louisiana (3-1 FCS) – Key win vs. Jacksonville State. Key loss @ McNeese State. Important games remaining include: @ Central Arkansas, vs. Nicholls State.
Central Arkansas (3-1 FCS, BCS victory) – Key win @ Western Kentucky (FBS). Key loss @ Nicholls State. Important games include: vs. Sam Houston State, vs. Southeastern Louisiana.

Fifth Tier (teams that have a non-zero chance to make the playoffs, even if they don’t earn an automatic bid). The probability of each team depends on their current record and (obviously) future performance. Teams such as UC Davis and Eastern Washington must obviously win out to make the playoffs.

North Dakota
Maine
Wofford
Southeastern Missouri State
Jacksonville State
Northern Arizona
Eastern Washington
UC Davis
Houston Baptist
Southern Illinois
Florida A&M
North Carolina A&T
Last edited by coochorama42 on Wed Oct 16, 2019 10:31 am, edited 3 times in total.



NorthernPlains
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Re: Playoff Implications

Post by NorthernPlains » Tue Oct 08, 2019 10:02 am

Nice stab at it. It's helpful to see some of the remaining schedules out there.

Whom will make the playoffs is starting to shape up. Yet it is just way too early to see who'll be seeded (except of course anyone at the top of MVFC).



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Re: Playoff Implications

Post by coochorama42 » Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:34 am

Thanks. I agree about the seeding. By my count there are 18-21 teams with a non-zero chance at a seed. It will make for an interesting slate of conference games.



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Re: Playoff Implications

Post by 84CatGrad » Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:48 am

That's a lot of impressive data you threw together. Thanks for the in-depth analysis. It's important to remember there are still 6 games left to play - time enough for the complexion of the season to change for just about any team in the FCS.



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Re: Playoff Implications

Post by Long Time Cat » Wed Oct 09, 2019 8:21 am

84CatGrad wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:48 am
That's a lot of impressive data you threw together. Thanks for the in-depth analysis. It's important to remember there are still 6 games left to play - time enough for the complexion of the season to change for just about any team in the FCS.
Even North Dakota State?

Oh wait I see you said "just about any team." :wink:


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Re: Playoff Implications

Post by catatac » Wed Oct 09, 2019 8:52 am

Interesting take, prediction on odds of Big Sky teams making the playoffs:

https://herosports.com/fcs/football-201 ... ffs-1-bzbz


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Re: Playoff Implications

Post by coochorama42 » Wed Oct 09, 2019 9:19 am

I must admit I wish I knew this was coming out soon so I didn't have to look up each team's remaining schedules one-by-one! I think Sam did a good job on this one.
catatac wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 8:52 am
Interesting take, prediction on odds of Big Sky teams making the playoffs:

https://herosports.com/fcs/football-201 ... ffs-1-bzbz



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Re: Playoff Implications

Post by coochorama42 » Wed Oct 16, 2019 10:31 am

Some thoughts from last week: If any of the remaining undefeated Big Sky conference teams make it through the rest of their season, their body of work will be much stronger than that of James Madison, but they will still probably be relegated to a #3 seed unless no MVFC team makes it through their season undefeated (the most likely scenario of this is that SDSU beats NDSU at home, then loses to either Illinois State or Northern Iowa) or if JMU loses a game. The Colonial Athletic Association is a mess right now. The teams expected to finish just below JMU (Maine, Towson, Elon, Delaware) have all taken some bad losses and New Hampshire’s unexpected success is tempered by an early road loss at Holy Cross. For whatever reason, the committee will likely find a reason to put 5 CAA teams in the field, even in a down year, so Albany might sneak in if they continue to win. The Big Sky season might get ugly really soon with Weber State, Montana, and Sac State all facing each other (and the Grizzlies still having to come to Bozeman). EWU and Cal Davis can still play spoiler for many of the potential playoff teams, and they themselves are trying to make a late run to the playoffs. Every week is an elimination game for Idaho State (unless they somehow beat BYU) as they have to win their remaining FCS games to get to 7 FCS wins. Cal Davis can likely lose one more game and possibly slide into the playoffs, but they have three really tough games (@ Weber State, vs. Montana State, and @ Sacramento State) left on the schedule. Eastern Washington needs to win out to get to 7 FCS wins, so they’ll have to win @ Montana in two weeks to keep their postseason hopes alive. Northern Arizona could hypothetically lose one game and still make the field with seven FCS wins, but realistically, they’d have to convincingly beat Sacramento State or Weber State and lose close to the other to do so. The MVFC is boring. NDSU and SDSU have a chokehold on the conference, with Illinois State the only real remaining team that might earn a seed (a win @ SDSU would help). Youngstown State and Northern Iowa remain the other teams with more than an outside shot at the playoffs from the MVFC. I think three teams make it from the Southland this year, but who those teams will be (besides Nicholls) is a mystery to me. Central Arkansas certainly has the benefit of the doubt with a FBS win. Incarnate Word had a big win this week as did Lamar. It’ll be interesting to see how the rest of that season plays out.

First Tier (control their own seeding destiny) – Only an undefeated winner (in the FCS) of the MVFC is a lock to be a top 2 seed in my opinion. If both the Big Sky and CAA have FCS-undefeated teams, it’ll come down to strength of schedule. These teams make up my next tier (the second tier).

North Dakota State (6-0 FCS) – Key wins @ Delaware, vs. UC Davis, vs. Northern Iowa. Important games remaining include: @ South Dakota State, @ Youngstown State.
South Dakota State (5-0 FCS) – Key wins vs. Southern Illinois, @ Youngstown State. Important games remaining include: vs. North Dakota State, vs. Illinois State, vs. Northern Iowa.

Second Tier (guaranteed top 4 seed if they win out) – I’ll put these teams in order based upon my best guess at how the committee will value their strength of schedule/quality of wins/who they beat on the road. It’s difficult not to believe that the teams polling better right now have an advantage.

James Madison (6-0 FCS) – Key wins @ Stony Brook, vs. Villanova. Important games remaining include: vs. Towson, vs. New Hampshire.
Weber State (4-0 FCS) – Key wins vs. Northern Iowa. Important games remaining include: vs. Northern Arizona, @ UC Davis, @ Sac State, vs. North Dakota, @ Montana.
Montana (5-0 FCS) – Key wins @ UC Davis. Important games remaining include: @ Sac State, vs. Eastern Washington, vs. Weber State, @ Montana State.
Sacramento State (3-0 FCS) – Key win vs. Eastern Washington, @ Montana State. Important games remaining include: vs. Montana, vs. Weber State, @ Northern Arizona, @ UC Davis.

Third Tier (possible top 4 seeds if they win out, likely seeded 5-8 if they win out) – I think these teams only slide into a top 4 seed if no one makes it through the MVFC, Big Sky, and CAA with undefeated records in the FCS. Strength of schedule has to play a part in the decision-making here with two of the teams. Kennesaw State had two NAIA games on their schedule this year and their toughest FCS game will have been @ Missouri State (1-3), a bottom two team in the MVFC. Furman also has one NAIA game on the schedule.

Illinois State (4-1 FCS) – Key win vs. Northern Arizona. Key loss vs. North Dakota State. Important games remaining include: vs. Northern Iowa, @ South Dakota State, @ Youngstown State.
Villanova (6-1 FCS) – Key wins @ Towson, vs. Maine. Key loss @ James Madison. Important games remaining include: vs. Stony Brook, @ New Hampshire, vs. Delaware.
Montana State (5-1 FCS) – Key wins vs. Southeast Missouri State, vs. Northern Arizona. Key loss vs. Sac State, Important games remaining include: @ North Dakota, @ UC Davis, vs. Montana.
New Hampshire (4-1 FCS) – Key win @ Stony Brook. Key loss @ Holy Cross. Important games remaining include: @ Delaware, vs. Villanova, @ James Madison, vs. Maine.
Nicholls State (4-0 FCS) – Key win vs. Central Arkansas. Important games remaining include: vs. Sam Houston State, @ Southeastern Arkansas.
Furman (4-0 FCS) – No key wins. No important games remaining.
Kennesaw State (3-0 FCS) – No key wins. No important games remaining.

Fourth Tier (teams that could hypothetically earn a low seed if they win out, but it isn’t likely).

Northern Iowa (3-2 FCS) – Key win vs. Youngstown State. Key loss @ Weber State, @ North Dakota State. Important games remaining include: @ Illinois State, @ South Dakota State.
Youngstown State (4-2 FCS) – No key wins. Key loss @ Northern Iowa, vs. South Dakota State. Important games remaining include: vs. North Dakota State, vs. Illinois State.
Towson (3-2 FCS) – Key win @ Maine. Key loss vs. Villanova, vs. Albany. Important games remaining include: @ James Madison, vs. Delaware, @ Stony Brook.
Stony Brook (4-2 FCS) – No key wins. Key loss vs. James Madison, vs. New Hampshire. Important games remaining include: @ Villanova, vs. Towson, @ Delaware.
Delaware (3-2 FCS) – No key wins. Key loss vs. North Dakota State, @ Elon. Important games remaining include: vs. New Hampshire, @ Towson, vs. Stony Brook, @ Villanova.
Central Arkansas (4-1 FCS, BCS victory) – Key win @ Western Kentucky (FBS). Key loss @ Nicholls State. Important games include: vs. Sam Houston State, vs. Southeastern Louisiana.

Fifth Tier (teams that have a non-zero chance to make the playoffs, even if they don’t earn an automatic bid). The probability of each team depends on their current record and (obviously) future performance. Teams such as UC Davis and Eastern Washington must obviously win out to make the playoffs.

Wofford
Idaho State
Albany
Southeastern Louisiana
Elon
Sam Houston State
Incarnate Word
Austin Peay
UT Martin
Monmouth
Southeastern Missouri State
Jacksonville State
Northern Arizona
Eastern Washington
UC Davis
Florida A&M
North Carolina A&T



coochorama42
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Re: Playoff Implications

Post by coochorama42 » Wed Oct 23, 2019 9:28 am

The biggest winners this week are the power three conferences. Furman’s loss to The Citadel likely eliminates the possibility of a seed (and puts them at risk of not making the playoffs at all if they don’t win their conference) and Sam Houston State’s victory over Nicholls State throws the Southland into chaos. Outside of James Madison, the CAA is a mess. Villanova’s star RB, Justin Covington, is out for the season and the rest of the conference seems to be beating up on each other. Moreover, the rest of the conference also just cycles through wins and losses against each other. If the CAA gets six bids this year, it will be a shame for good teams in the MVFC, Big Sky, and even Southland conferences. Speaking of the Southland, Incarnate Word is back in contention after a slow start. Finally, it will be a real shame if Sacramento State wins out and isn’t given one of the top 2 seeds in the playoffs. Their body of work is second to none right now, and they still have games vs. Weber State and @ UC Davis.

First Tier (control their own seeding destiny) – Only an undefeated winner (in the FCS) of the MVFC is a lock to be a top 2 seed in my opinion. If both the Big Sky and CAA have FCS-undefeated teams, it’ll come down to strength of schedule. These teams make up my next tier (the second tier).

North Dakota State (7-0 FCS) – Key wins @ Delaware, vs. UC Davis, vs. Northern Iowa. Important games remaining include: @ South Dakota State, @ Youngstown State.
South Dakota State (6-0 FCS) – Key wins vs. Southern Illinois, @ Youngstown State. Important games remaining include: vs. North Dakota State, vs. Illinois State, vs. Northern Iowa.

Second Tier (guaranteed top 4 seed if they win out) – I’ll put these teams in order based upon my best guess at how the committee will value their strength of schedule/quality of wins/who they beat on the road. It’s difficult not to believe that the teams polling better right now have an advantage, but it’s also difficult to believe that the committee won’t reward Sacramento State if they make it through the FCS gauntlet undefeated. They have – by far – the most difficult schedule in the Big Sky Conference and arguably the most difficult schedule in the FCS (North Dakota State might argue with that!).

James Madison (7-0 FCS) – Key wins @ Stony Brook, vs. Villanova. Important games remaining include: vs. Towson, vs. New Hampshire.
Weber State (5-0 FCS) – Key wins vs. Northern Iowa, vs. Northern Arizona. Important games remaining include: @ UC Davis, @ Sac State, vs. North Dakota, @ Montana.
Sacramento State (4-0 FCS) – Key win vs. Eastern Washington, @ Montana State, vs. Montana. Important games remaining include: vs. Weber State, @ Northern Arizona, @ UC Davis.

Third Tier (possible top 4 seeds if they win out, likely seeded 5-8 if they win out) – I think these teams only slide into a top 4 seed if no one makes it through the MVFC, Big Sky, and CAA with undefeated records in the FCS. Strength of schedule has to play a part in the decision-making here with two of the teams. Kennesaw State had two NAIA games on their schedule this year and their toughest FCS game will have been @ Missouri State (1-3), a bottom two team in the MVFC.

Illinois State (5-1 FCS) – Key win vs. Northern Arizona. Key loss vs. North Dakota State. Important games remaining include: vs. Northern Iowa, @ South Dakota State, @ Youngstown State.
Villanova (6-1 FCS) – Key wins @ Towson, vs. Maine. Key loss @ James Madison. Important games remaining include: vs. Stony Brook, @ New Hampshire, vs. Delaware.
Montana (5-1 FCS) – Key wins @ UC Davis. Key losses: @ Sac State. Important games remaining include: vs. Eastern Washington, vs. Weber State, @ Montana State.
Montana State (5-1 FCS) – Key wins vs. Southeast Missouri State, vs. Northern Arizona. Key loss vs. Sac State, Important games remaining include: @ North Dakota, @ UC Davis, vs. Montana.
Kennesaw State (4-0 FCS) – No key wins. No important games remaining.

Fourth Tier (teams that could hypothetically earn a low seed if they win out, but it isn’t likely).

Nicholls State (4-1 FCS) – Key win vs. Central Arkansas. Key loss vs. Sam Houston State. Important games remaining include: @ Incarnate Word.
Northern Iowa (4-2 FCS) – Key win vs. Youngstown State. Key loss @ Weber State, @ North Dakota State. Important games remaining include: @ Illinois State, @ South Dakota State.
Towson (4-2 FCS) – Key win @ Maine. Key loss vs. Villanova, vs. Albany. Important games remaining include: @ James Madison, vs. Delaware, @ Stony Brook.
Stony Brook (4-2 FCS) – No key wins. Key loss vs. James Madison, vs. New Hampshire. Important games remaining include: @ Villanova, vs. Towson, @ Delaware.
Delaware (4-2 FCS) – Key win vs. New Hampshire. Key loss vs. North Dakota State, @ Elon. Important games remaining include: @ Towson, vs. Stony Brook, @ Villanova.
New Hampshire (4-2 FCS) – Key win @ Stony Brook. Key loss @ Holy Cross, @ Delaware. Important games remaining include: vs. Villanova, @ James Madison, vs. Maine.
Central Arkansas (5-1 FCS, BCS victory) – Key win @ Western Kentucky (FBS). Key loss @ Nicholls State. Important games include: vs. Sam Houston State, vs. Southeastern Louisiana.

Fifth Tier (teams that have a non-zero chance to make the playoffs, even if they don’t earn an automatic bid). The probability of each team depends on their current record and (obviously) future performance. Teams such as UC Davis and Eastern Washington must obviously win out to make the playoffs.

Wofford
Furman
Chattanooga
Portland State
Eastern Washington
UC Davis
North Dakota
Albany
Elon
Youngstown State
Southeastern Louisiana
Nicholls State
Sam Houston State
Incarnate Word
Austin Peay
Jacksonville State
Southeastern Missouri State
UT Martin
Monmouth
Central Connecticut University
North Carolina A&T
Last edited by coochorama42 on Thu Oct 24, 2019 5:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.



ilovethecats
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Re: Playoff Implications

Post by ilovethecats » Wed Oct 23, 2019 9:29 am

Impressive stuff and a great read. Thanks



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Re: Playoff Implications

Post by nodak651 » Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:11 am

UND should prob be a non zero team. Most likely in over almost any other 7 win team with our schedule. If we beat you guys, we have UNC and SUU at home to close out the season and get to 7 wins.



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Re: Playoff Implications

Post by grizzh8r » Wed Oct 23, 2019 12:26 pm

nodak651 wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:11 am
UND should prob be a non zero team. Most likely in over almost any other 7 win team with our schedule. If we beat you guys, we have UNC and SUU at home to close out the season and get to 7 wins.
I was looking for them on this list, too.


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Re: Playoff Implications

Post by Cataholic » Wed Oct 23, 2019 1:36 pm

Very nice job on the analysis. The Colonial is going to be very interesting to watch down the stretch. It is possible that only 4 teams even reach 7 D-1 wins. They all play each other. For example, #19 ranked Delaware needs 3 more wins but they play two top 20 teams and the 3 other games are against respectable Colonial teams in the hunt for a bid as well. Northern Iowa also has the same situation with two top 10 teams still on their schedule.

Also, it would be a surprise to see the Colonial get 6 bids this year with how bad they performed in the playoffs last year. I believe 4 were eliminated in the opening round and another was eliminated the next week.



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Re: Playoff Implications

Post by coochorama42 » Wed Oct 23, 2019 3:16 pm

North Dakota has been on and off my list. I'm going on the presumption that 7 wins is not enough to get in this year, but you are probably right that I should include UND. I'll adjust my rankings next week for sure if UND beats MSU!
nodak651 wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:11 am
UND should prob be a non zero team. Most likely in over almost any other 7 win team with our schedule. If we beat you guys, we have UNC and SUU at home to close out the season and get to 7 wins.



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Re: Playoff Implications

Post by nodak651 » Wed Oct 23, 2019 3:33 pm

coochorama42 wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 3:16 pm
North Dakota has been on and off my list. I'm going on the presumption that 7 wins is not enough to get in this year, but you are probably right that I should include UND. I'll adjust my rankings next week for sure if UND beats MSU!
nodak651 wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:11 am
UND should prob be a non zero team. Most likely in over almost any other 7 win team with our schedule. If we beat you guys, we have UNC and SUU at home to close out the season and get to 7 wins.
Yeah that makes sense. This is basically a playoff game for us.



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Re: Playoff Implications

Post by ilovethecats » Wed Oct 23, 2019 3:40 pm

nodak651 wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 3:33 pm
coochorama42 wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 3:16 pm
North Dakota has been on and off my list. I'm going on the presumption that 7 wins is not enough to get in this year, but you are probably right that I should include UND. I'll adjust my rankings next week for sure if UND beats MSU!
nodak651 wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:11 am
UND should prob be a non zero team. Most likely in over almost any other 7 win team with our schedule. If we beat you guys, we have UNC and SUU at home to close out the season and get to 7 wins.
Yeah that makes sense. This is basically a playoff game for us.
My personal opinion is this game is going to tell us everything we need to know about the Cats. Good or bad. Biggest game of the season so far for sure.



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Re: Playoff Implications

Post by coochorama42 » Wed Oct 23, 2019 5:01 pm

ilovethecats - I am trying to do my best to keep my predictions out of things. Many people on this board do a much better job than I predicting what might happen in these games. I do agree though that if the Cats lose at UND, it doesn't bode well for the rest of the year. That being said, they'd "only" fall to the top of the fourth tier with a loss this weekend as these rankings are predicated upon what would happen if a particular team wins out from the date of posting.

nodak651 - North Dakota was removed from my list after Idaho State destroyed them and (in the same weekend) when Lamar beat Sam Houston State - -devaluing the quality of that particular UND win quite a bit in my opinion. This week, after SHSU's win over Nicholls and UND's win over Cal Poly, I should have put them back as they could be a last "at large" team. That being said, I believe UND not only needs to win out, but also to get a little help. For instance, if Weber State goes 10-1 in the FCS with their only loss at home versus a surging UND squad, well, UND will be valid choice to make the field, especially as they'd be 7-4 (and not 7-5). A statement game against MSU would help too, especially as it is possible (though not necessarily likely) for MSU to lose this game and still be 9-2 in the FCS this season.



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Re: Playoff Implications

Post by coochorama42 » Thu Oct 24, 2019 5:04 pm

I just found out that Florida A&M is on probation and is not, therefore able to participate in the playoffs this year. Since I edited the document to remove them from my fifth tier, I also added North Dakota (as per the conversation above). Also, in an interesting turn of events, I'll be at EWU @ UM this weekend. It'll be interesting to see these two teams in person.



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Re: Playoff Implications

Post by coochorama42 » Mon Oct 28, 2019 4:53 pm

The playoff field is slowly taking shape. There are a host of current teams with a strong hold on seeded spots: North Dakota State, South Dakota State, and Illinois State out of the MVFC; Sacramento State, Weber State, and Montana out of the Big Sky; and James Madison out of the CAA. The last seed (if awarded today) would likely be given to either Central Arkansas out of the Southland or Kennesaw State out of the Big South. There are a host of teams on the periphery that have a chance at a seed: Northern Iowa out of the MVFC, Montana State out of the Big Sky, and Villanova, Stony Brook, and New Hampshire out of the CAA. These teams need to win out and get help to slide into the bottom half of the seeded teams. Hypothetically, the winner of the Southern Conference might still get a seed, but I just think that a two-FCS loss team out of a “power three” conference has much more of a claim than does a one-FCS loss team from anywhere else.

First Tier (control their own seeding destiny) – Only an undefeated winner (in the FCS) of the MVFC is a lock to be a top 2 seed in my opinion. If both the Big Sky and CAA have FCS-undefeated teams, it’ll come down to strength of schedule. These teams make up my next tier (the second tier).

North Dakota State (8-0 FCS) – Key wins @ Delaware, vs. UC Davis, vs. Northern Iowa, @ South Dakota State. Important games remaining include: @ Youngstown State.

Second Tier (guaranteed top 4 seed if they win out) – I’ll put these teams in order based upon my best guess at how the committee will value their strength of schedule/quality of wins/losses/who they beat on the road. It’s difficult not to believe that the teams polling better right now have an advantage, but it’s also difficult to believe that the committee won’t reward Sacramento State if they make it through the FCS gauntlet undefeated. They have – by far – the most difficult schedule in the Big Sky Conference and arguably the most difficult schedule in the FCS (North Dakota State might argue with that!).

James Madison (7-0 FCS) – Key wins @ Stony Brook, vs. Villanova, vs. Towson. Important games remaining include: vs. New Hampshire.
Weber State (6-0 FCS) – Key wins vs. Northern Iowa, vs. Northern Arizona, @ UC Davis. Important games remaining include: @ Sac State, vs. North Dakota, @ Montana.
Sacramento State (5-0 FCS) – Key win vs. Eastern Washington, @ Montana State, vs. Montana. Important games remaining include: vs. Weber State, @ Northern Arizona, @ UC Davis.
South Dakota State (6-1 FCS) – Key wins vs. Southern Illinois, @ Youngstown State. Key losses: vs. North Dakota State. Important games remaining include: vs. Illinois State, vs. Northern Iowa.


Third Tier (possible top 4 seeds if they win out, likely seeded 5-8 if they win out) – I think these teams only slide into a top 4 seed if no one makes it through the MVFC, Big Sky, and CAA with undefeated records in the FCS. Strength of schedule has to play a part in the decision-making here with two of the teams. Kennesaw State had two NAIA games on their schedule this year and their toughest FCS game will have been @ Missouri State (1-3), a bottom two team in the MVFC.

Illinois State (6-1 FCS) – Key win vs. Northern Arizona. Key loss vs. North Dakota State. Important games remaining include: vs. Northern Iowa, @ South Dakota State, @ Youngstown State.
Montana (6-1 FCS) – Key wins @ UC Davis, vs. Eastern Washington. Key losses: @ Sac State. Important games remaining include: vs. Weber State, @ Montana State.
Kennesaw State (4-0 FCS) – No key wins. No important games remaining.

Fourth Tier (teams that could hypothetically earn a low seed if they win out, but it isn’t likely).

Central Arkansas (5-1 FCS, BCS victory) – Key win @ Western Kentucky (FBS), vs. Sam Houston State. Key loss @ Nicholls State. Important games include: vs. Southeastern Louisiana.
Villanova (6-2 FCS) – Key wins @ Towson, vs. Maine. Key losses @ James Madison, vs. Stony Brook. Important games remaining include: @ New Hampshire, vs. Delaware.
Northern Iowa (5-2 FCS) – Key win vs. Youngstown State. Key loss @ Weber State, @ North Dakota State. Important games remaining include: @ Illinois State, @ South Dakota State.
Montana State (5-2 FCS) – Key wins vs. Southeast Missouri State, vs. Northern Arizona. Key losses vs. Sac State, @ North Dakota. Important games remaining include: @ UC Davis, vs. Montana.
Stony Brook (5-2 FCS) – Key win @ Villanova. Key loss vs. James Madison, vs. New Hampshire. Important games remaining include: vs. Towson, @ Delaware.
New Hampshire (4-2 FCS) – Key win @ Stony Brook. Key loss @ Holy Cross, @ Delaware. Important games remaining include: vs. Villanova, @ James Madison, vs. Maine.

Fifth Tier (teams that have a non-zero chance to make the playoffs, even if they don’t earn an automatic bid). The probability of each team depends on their current record and (obviously) future performance. Teams such as UC Davis must obviously win out to make the playoffs.

Wofford
Furman
North Dakota
UC Davis
Delaware
Albany
Towson
Elon
Youngstown State
Southern Illinois
Southeastern Louisiana
Nicholls State
Sam Houston State
Incarnate Word
Austin Peay
Jacksonville State
Southeastern Missouri State
UT Martin
Monmouth
Central Connecticut University
North Carolina A&T


Finally, as a new feature, I’ll predict the playoff field if the field were filled today. There will be obvious changes as numerous likely playoff teams will face each other between now and the end of the season.

First, the seeds:
1. North Dakota State (expected automatic bid – Missouri Valley Football Conference)
2. James Madison (expected automatic bid – Colonial Athletic Association)
3. Weber State (expected automatic bid – Big Sky Conference)
4. Sacramento State (at-large bid – Big Sky Conference)
5. South Dakota State (at-large bid – Missouri Valley Football Conference)
6. Montana (at-large bid – Big Sky Conference)
7. Illinois State (at-large bid – Missouri Valley Football Conference)
8. Central Arkansas (expected automatic bid – Southland Conference)

Other expected automatic bids:
Kennesaw State (Big South)
Central Connecticut State (Northeast Conference)
Southeast Missouri State (Ohio Valley Conference)
Holy Cross (Patriot League)
San Diego (Pioneer League)
Wofford (Southern Conference)

This leaves ten additional at large bids. I’ll put them in my expected order from safest to most at-risk given their current situation:

Villanova (at-large bid – Colonial Athletic Association)
Northern Iowa (at-large bid – Missouri Valley Football Conference)
Montana State (at-large bid – Big Sky Conference)
Furman (at-large bid – Southern Conference)
Stony Brook (at-large bid – Colonial Athletic Association)
New Hampshire (at-large bid – Colonial Athletic Association)
North Dakota (at-large bid – Independent/Big Sky Conference)
Elon (at-large bid – Colonial Athletic Association)
Nicholls State (at-large bid – Southland Conference)
Monmouth (at-large bid – Big South)



NorthernPlains
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Re: Playoff Implications

Post by NorthernPlains » Mon Oct 28, 2019 5:36 pm

Thanks for the latest update. Great effort wading through all the material. Appreciate it.



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