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College Sporting News Season Recap

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NEC recap:

The CSN Way: Whew, 2007

Charles Burton, CSN Columnist


The 2007 season began -- and ended -- with historic achievements. Conference by conference, here’s a look back at the “year that was” in FCS football. The champions, the games of the year, the highest moments, the biggest disappointments, the best players and the unsung heroes, the "what if's" and the peeks forward. Whew, 2007!


Northeast Conference

Champions: Albany Great Danes

Game Of The Year: November 17th, Albany 49, Central Connecticut State 14.

It was over early – Albany linebacker Colin Disch and his Great Dane defense only allowed 13 first-half yards – but Albany’s emphatic win put the finishing touches on a challenging NEC title run for Albany. Runningback David McCarty would shine with 247 yards rushing and two long touchdown runs in Albany’s coronation.

Highest Moment: Albany 23, Fordham 20.

It was way too early to see that Fordham would eventually win the Patriot League title, but this win stands out in a brutal out-of-conference schedule for the Great Danes. Albany held onto the ball for 40 minutes and never let Fordham’s run-and-shoot offense get on track, while McCarty would “only” have 143 yards rushing.

Biggest Disappointment: Robert Morris.

Thought by some to be a sleeper for the NEC title, the Colonials instead collapsed after gutting out a 9-8 win over Morehead State. An embarrassing 40-13 loss to 2-9 VMI would usher in a five game losing streak, where the Colonial offense would put up no more than 17 points a game.

Player Of The Year: Wagner runningback Jason Butler.

It might be surprising to not see the dynamic McCarty here, but no team was as dependent on one player for success as was the Seahawks. His 1,713 yards rushing, 175 yards receiving, and 13 touchdowns are what carried Wagner from the lower tier of the NEC to surprise NEC title contenders.

Unsung Player Of The Year: Monmouth runningback Dave Sinisi.

The Hawks struggled mightily out of the gates, but through the efforts of Sinisi Monmouth righted the ship, winning three of their last four games with their only loss coming to Albany. His 1,184 yards and 17 touchdowns might be a taste of things to come for Monmouth in 2008.

What If: The NEC Had An Autobid in 2007?

If the FCS Playoff committee is able to work through the hurdles necessary to expand the playoffs, 2008 will be the first year that there is an expanded playoffs with the NEC getting an autobid. If that were the case in 2007, might we have seen a rematch of the Albany/Fordham game from Week 2 won by the Great Danes?

A Peek Towards 2008:

Albany has to be the odds-on favorite again with McCarty returning, but keep an eye on Monmouth who has Sinisi returning and a core of players who took some lumps in 2007 but will most likely be better in 2008.



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