The penultimate week of the FCS regular season is upon us and, thus far, only Furman has secured an AQ (automatic qualifier) bid to the 2023 playoffs. The Paladins were the projected SoCon champions in CollegeFootballPoll.com's season preview. The computer's projected national champion was Montana State, edging out the computer's No. 2 pick, South Dakota State by a fractional amount, 64.19 to 63.96.
Big Sky - Montana State tied with Montana and Idaho. The AQ winner can not be determined this week.
The key BIG SKY games (and computer pick) this week are:
Idaho by 5.36 at Weber State
Montana by 8.12 at Portland State
Montana State by 22.77 at home over. Eastern Washington
Big South/OVC - UT Martin clinches this week IF UT-Martin def. Southeast Missouri State, AND Tennessee Tech def. Gardner-Webb
The Key BIG SOUTH/OVC games this are:
SE Missouri by 1.54 at Tennessee-Martin
Gardner-Webb by 8.95 at Tennessee Tech
CAA - The AQ bid can't be determined this week. Five teams are tied for first - Albany, Delaware, Elon, Richmond and Villanova.
The key CAA games this week are:
Albany by 20.78 at Stony Brook
Richmond by 1.91 at home vs. Elon
Delaware by 6.31 at Campbell
Villanova by 17.36 at home over Towson
MVFC - South Dakota State clinches this week with a win at Youngstown State.
The key MVFC game this week is:
South Dakota State by 11.21 at Youngstown State
NEC - Duquesne wins the AQ bid this week IF the Dukes defeat Stonehill, OR Central Connecticut State defeats Merrimack
The key NEC games this week are:
Duquesne by 11.19 at home over Stonehill
Merrimack by 14.86 at home over Central Connecticut
Patriot - The AQ bid can't be decided this week, but Lafayette controls its destiny.
Holy Cross leads by a half-game over Lafayette, but the Leopards own the tie-breaker over the Crusaders.
Holy Cross goes out of conference to play at Army this week, but could clinch next week with the combination of a home win over Georgetown, AND a Lafayette loss either this week at home to Fordham, or next week at Lehigh.
The key PATRIOT games this week are:
Lafayette by 3.67 at home over Fordham
Pioneer - Davidson and Drake are both 6-0 and don't play each other. St. Thomas (MN) is a game behind, but the Tommies are not eligible. Butler lost by 2 at home to Davidson earlier, but hosts Drake in its season finale.
The key PIONEER games this week are:
Davidson by 12.72 at Morehead State
Drake by 9.13 at home vs. Presbyterian
Butler is idle
SoCOn - Furman has clinched
Southland - Nicholls State leads Incarnate Word and Lamar. Nicholls just knocked off UIW and hosts Lamar on Saturday.
The key SOUTHLAND games this week are:
Nicholls State by 19.62 at home over Lamar
Incarnate Word is idle
UAC - Austin Peay has the upper hand. Central Arkansas and Eastern Kentucky are a game behind. The Governors just defeated Eastern Kentucky 33-30 in overtime in Richmond, and host Central Arkansas in the season finale.
Austin Peay can clinch this weekend with the combination of a win at home over Utah Tech, AND an Eastern Kentucky win at Central Arkansas.
Austin Peay is a 22.89-point computer pick over Utah Tech.
Central Arkansas is a 7.50 pick over Eastern Kentucky.
If the above predictions come true, the season finale will be a de facto championship game between Austin Peay and Central Arkansas in Clarksville
IVY - Yale, Princeton, Penn and Dartmouth are a game behind Harvard.
Among the key IVY LEAGUE games this week are:
Harvard by 10 at home over Penn
Yale by 3.25 at Princeton
Dartmouth by 4.96 at home over Cornell
MEAC - NC Central leads South Carolina State, Howard and Morgan State by 1 game. All have 2 conference games remaining.
The key MEAC games this week are:
NC Central by 8.53 at Howard
South Carolina State by 2.49 at home over Morgan State
SWAC - Florida A&M has clinched the East. Alcorn State leads the West by 1 game over Southern and Prairie View A&M.
The key SWAC games this week are:
Alcorn State by 2.20 at Texas Southern
Southern by 11.15 at home over Prairie View
This season has 117 of the 133 FBS schools facing one FCS opponent, and Army playing two such games for a total of 118 FBS-FCS matchups.
Of the 16 FBS schools that do NOT play a FCS program, 7 are in the B1G (Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Purdue, Wisconsin). 6 more are evenly split between the Big 12 (Houston, Oklahoma, Texas) and Pac-12 (Colorado, USC, Washington). The other three are Liberty (CUSA) , UTSA (American), and Virginia Tech (ACC).
One FBC-FCS game will take place this week, with the remaining 4 on November 18. This week's game has Holy Cross at Army.
The FBS programs are 109-4 this year against the FCS schools. Over-all, the FBS is a collective 1,795-152 (.922) since we began tracking this in 2003.
Here are the FCS wins in 2023, so far:
September 9: Idaho 33, Nevada 6
September 9: Southern Illinois 14, Northern Illinois 12
September 9: Fordham 40, Buffalo 37
September 16: Sacramento State 30, Stanford 23
SOUTH DAKOTA STATE - Won 23 straight over-all, 16 straight conference games, 7 straight road games.
Last: 33-16 home win over North Dakota State on Saturday, November 4.
Next: Visits Youngstown State on Saturday, November 11.
MONTANA STATE - Won 25 straight home games.
Last: 45-21 home win over Northern Arizona on Saturday, November 4.
Next: Hosts Eastern Washington on Saturday, November 11.
WESTERN ILLINOIS - Lost 22 straight over-all, 16 straight conference games, and 10 straight home games.
Last: 50-6 loss at Northern Iowa on Saturday, November 4.
Next: Visits Indiana State on Saturday, November 11.
ROBERT MORRIS - Had lost 19 straight road games, but scored a 21-20 upset on Saturday..
Last: 21-20 win at Southeast Missouri on Saturday, November 4.
Next: Hosts Charleston Southern on Saturday, November 11.
WOFFORD - Lost 16 straight road games
Last: 28-25 home loss to Western Carolina on Saturday, November 4.
Next: Visits The Citadel on Saturday, November 11.