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http://www.app.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?c...itelife.app.com

 

From the Asbury Park Press.

 

Here is the latest on the FCS playoff bid for the NEC..for story I am writing for next week...

 

Under a proposal to be voted on by the NCAA Board of Directors next Thursday the Northeast

Conference, which includes Monmouth University, will send its football champion to the 2010

Football Championship Subdivsion (formerly NCAA 1-AA) playoffs via an automatic bid.

 

And a "'conditional access'' bridge program to the playoffs will be granted for

2008-2009, all part of the package NEC Commissioner Brenda Weare said she expects will be

approved by the 15-member panel at a meeting in Indianapolis, Ind.

 

""Basically the proposal is that we would expand the FCS bracket from 16 teams to 20 teams

in 2010 which would allow for additional automatic bids,'' Weare said.

 

Currently the FCS post season is limited to 16 teams, eight of

which receive automataic bids by winning their conference championships, and eight at large

bids.

 

Weare said the NEC will be granted one of two automatic bids in the expanded bracket which

will also allow for two additional large berths.

 

The NEC has never received an at large berth though Monmouth was said to have been

considered when it went 10-1 over its first 11 games in 2006.

 

Weare said under the ""conditonal access plan'' for the next two years the NEC champion

would receive an automatic bid into the 16-team field if: 1) it wins more than eight games

vs. FCS opponents, 2) defeats at least two teams from FCS conferences already with an

automatic bid, 3) and at the end of the regular season is ranked No. 16 or higher nationally.

 

Monmouth would have qualified in 2004 and 2006 - with the

exception of the No. 16 ranking.

 

No NEC team has ever been ranked No 16 or higher nationally.

 

The Gridiron Classic matching NEC and Pioneer League champions will remain for at least this season and next. The NEC champion hosts this year's game..

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Money and scheduling. Each week added to the playoffs costs the NCAA millions. Plus, some teams will have already scheduled 12 games. A 12 game schedule is history if there is an added playoff week.

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It seems as though it's going to be pretty tough to qualify for the conditional access plan (autobid) for the next two years given the criteria (at least with respect to being ranked #16 or higher). Basically, a team from the NEC that qualifies under the conditional access plan criteria will also have, at a minimum, a good argument for an at-large bid anyway. Still, at least it's something before the auto-bid goes into play (hopefully) in 2010.

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

To review, here are the criteria for an automatic bid to the playoffs under the Conditional Access Plan:

 

"For the next two years the NEC champion would receive an automatic bid into the 16-team field if: (1) it wins more than eight games vs. FCS opponents; (2) defeats at least two teams from FCS conferences already with an automatic bid; (3) and at the end of the regular season is ranked No. 16 or higher nationally."

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Correct. It will be very difficult.

 

The problem I have with the plan is the following:

 

1. the ranking requirement is bad. FCS rankings are inherently flawed because the lack of national media coverage deprives most voters from actually seeing and/or truely evaluating a team. The coaches poll is the worst poll in the world. They had Iona ranked higher then us for most of the season last year. Having this requirement actually gives coaches from conferences in the hunt for an at-large an incentive to not vote an NEC team into the top 16 because if they do it is likely they will lose an at-large for their conference.

 

2. There are other conferences that currently have an auto-bid that do not meet this criteria. The Patriot League and the MEAC last year. Neither had two wins over teams from other auto-bid leagues, and while Delaware State was ranked in the top 16 in one poll, Fordham was never cracked the top 20 in any poll. If they are going to apply it to the NEC they should apply to every league.

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Note the subtleties - 'more than eight wins' means you have to win nine, though an 8-3 record probably wouldn't get us a ranking or into consideration anyway.

 

Also if it applied to other teams, they don't need OOC wins, they'd use their conference wins as counting for "two teams from FCS conferences already with an automatic bid". Last year Eastern Ill. had one out-of-conference win, vs. 0-11 Indiana State, and one win over an in-conference team with a winning record (6-5 Jacksonville St.) and that still earned them an at-large bid, even though no team now in the Ohio Valley has won a playoff game in fifteen years.

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Note the subtleties - 'more than eight wins' means you have to win nine, though an 8-3 record probably wouldn't get us a ranking or into consideration anyway.

 

Also if it applied to other teams, they don't need OOC wins, they'd use their conference wins as counting for "two teams from FCS conferences already with an automatic bid". Last year Eastern Ill. had one out-of-conference win, vs. 0-11 Indiana State, and one win over an in-conference team with a winning record (6-5 Jacksonville St.) and that still earned them an at-large bid, even though no team now in the Ohio Valley has won a playoff game in fifteen years.

 

I guess what I'm trying to say is this:

 

They are setting this rule up for the NEC because they are saying the NEC isn't good enough for an auto-bid right now. So the conditional bid rule has to be intended to be a measure of conference's strength, right? If you meet the rule your conference is good enough to get an auto-bid.

 

However, they aren't applying it to other conferences whose auto-bid are questionable. Hypothetically take away the MEAC and PL's auto-bid. If you take the same rule and its intent (to test conference strength) and apply it to the PL and MEAC, they don't pass it. Not counting their conference games (hypothetically, as it will not be done in reality) as wins against auto-bid conferences. So in applying this rule to those conferences you can conclude that they are not worthy of an auto-bid either.

 

Isn't that what the NCAA is saying with this?

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Times-Union says NEC assoc. commissioner Rattner thinks there's a good chance, McElroy is less confident -says the championship cabinet is optimistic, but some on the football issues committee are not

Boon for Danes playoffs?

 

Also the NEC will consider raising the scholarship limit to 40 in May and June

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Wow--- The TU with an offseason football story; I am in shock.

 

 

It is nice, but it would be even nicer to see a story that didn't originate on this board with a link to another paper's article...............There is a consistent two-day lag with these articles. And iusing the coaches poll is the stupidest thing in the world and essemtially completely invalidates the other two major polls (AGS & Sportsnetwork). And it they had Iona receiving votes last year. Enough said. I think McElroy's reserved optimisim is deserved. There are major financial and logistical issues here. If it passes it will do so based on equal access, as it well should be.

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Danefan, the only reason the article existed (and my comment was tongue in cheek, btw) was because a blog poster SCOOPED Mark on the vote and called him out for not writing about it. The blog had 50 something posts ripping the TU. It was amusing. Not a day and a half-later, bam...a story on what was now OLD NEWS and had been talked about on AGS for a week.

 

That being said, I agree with your assessment on the use of the coaches poll.

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Danefan, the only reason the article existed (and my comment was tongue in cheek, btw) was because a blog poster SCOOPED Mark on the vote and called him out for not writing about it. The blog had 50 something posts ripping the TU. It was amusing. Not a day and a half-later, bam...a story on what was now OLD NEWS and had been talked about on AGS for a week.

 

That being said, I agree with your assessment on the use of the coaches poll.

 

Where is this blog you speak of? I'd love to read some of those comments in my "free" time.

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