The college football playoffs get underway this Saturday, but there are three other games outside the playoffs - The Turkey Day Classic, the Bayou Classic, and a make-up game with Mississippi Valley State at Prairie View A&M.
Once upon a time, the Turkey Day Classic was an annual rivalry between this year's two combatants, but the last time Alabama State and Tuskegee faced each other was in 2012. There is history here. This is the 97th Turkey Classic and the 100th time overall that these two teams have met with the Golden Tigers winning five of the last meetings to take a 61-34-4 advantage over-all. The Congrove Computer Rankings have the Hornets favored by 4.34 points.
The Bayou Classic is the name that the Southern-Grambling State game has been given since 1974 when the game was moved to the neutral location of New Orleans. They had met 25 times before that in a home-and-home arrangement that Southern led 15-10. Southern has won 23 of the 45 meetings in the Crescent City. The 2005 game had to be moved to Houston due to the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina and Grambling won that meeting. Just this past Spring, the teams played in Shreveport with Southern prevailing 49-7.Southern leads the series over-all with a record of 39-33. The game is just as famous for its Battle of the Bands between "The World Famed Tiger Marching Band" from Grambling and the "Human Jukebox" from the Southern Jaguars. Southern gets a 5.84-point nod from the computer.
The third and final non-playoff game on the docket sends Mississippi Valley State to Prairie View A&M. The Delta Devils are a 17.16-point underdog at the Panthers who have already clinched a SWC Championship tilt with Jackson State on December 4, thanks to Deion Sanders' Tigers knocking out Alcorn State over the weekend.
10 of the 24 teams in this year's field also comprised part of the16-team field in the payoffs that were just held this past Spring. The returning programs are led by defending champion Sam Houston State and the team the Bearkats defeated to win the tile, South Dakota State. Also back in the hunt are North Dakota State, James Madison, Sacred Hart, Holy Cross, Davidson, Eastern Washington, Missouri State and Southern Illinois.
NOTE: Computer pick in parenthesis is based on the Congrove Computer Rankings at CollegeFootballPoll.com
November 27 at San Antonio, Texas, 3 p.m. (ESPN+)
SFA (8-3) at UIW (9-2) - Computer Pick: UIW by 6.24
Winner visits (1) Sam Houston State
November 27 at Springfield, Missouri, 4 p.m. (ESPN+)
UT Martin (9-2) at Missouri St. (8-3) - Computer Pick: Missouri State by 8.58
Winner visits (8) Montana State
November 27 at Worcester, Massachusetts, Noon (ET) (ESPN+)
Sacred Heart (8-3) at Holy Cross (9-2) - Computer Pick: Holy Cross by 11.12
Winner visits (5) Villanova
November 27 at Brookings, South Dakota, 3 p.m. (ET) (ESPN+)
UC Davis (8-3) at South Dakota St. (8-3) - Computer Pick: South Dakota State by 10.61
Winner visits (4) Sacramento State
November 27 at Hammond, Louisiana, 7 p.m. (ET) (ESPN+)
Florida A&M (9-2) at Southeastern La. (8-3) - Computer Pick: SE Louisiana by 2.97
Winner visits (3) James Madison
November 27 at Cheyney, Washington, 4 p.m. (ET) (ESPN+)
UNI. (6-5) at Eastern Wash. (9-2) - Computer Pick: Eastern Washington by 7.80
Winner visits (6) Montana)
November 27 at Kennesaw, Georgia, 2 p.m. (ET) (ESPN+)
Davidson (8-2) at Kennesaw St. (10-1) - Computer Pick: Kennesaw State by 12.38
Winner visits (7) ETSU
November 27 at Vermillion, South Dakota, 6 p.m. (ET) (ESPN+)
Southern Ill. (7-4) at South Dakota (7-4) - Computer Pick: South Dakota by 0.38
Winner visits (2) North Dakota State
2 teams played 2 FCS teams this fall (UConn and UMass), and 115 teams played 1 FCS school for a total of 117 such matchups.
The FBS finishes the season is 105-12 vs. the FCS. Since we began tracking this in 2003, the FBS teams are 1,574-140 (.918).
Last year, 30 FBS teams played a total of just 34 games against FCS schools and the FCS won just 1 game (1-33). That honor also went to Jacksonville State with its 19-10 victory over FIU.
Here are the FCS wins in 2021:
September 2: UC Davis 19, Tulsa 17
September 2: Eastern Washington 35, UNLV 33 (2 OT)
September 3: South Dakota State 42, Colorado State 23
September 4: Holy Cross 38, UConn 28September 4: Montana 13, Washington 7
September 4: ETSU 23, Vanderbilt 3
September 11: Duquesne 28, Ohio 26
September 11: Jacksonville State 20, Florida State 17.
September 18: Incarnate Word 42, Texas State 34.
September 18: Northern Arizona 21, Arizona 19
November 6: Rhode Island 35, Massachusetts 22
November 13: Maine 35, Massachusetts 10
This was the only FCS win vs. the FBS in 2020:
October 23: Jacksonville State 19, FIU 10
In 2019, FBS teams were 111-3 (.974) in such games. These were the only FCS wins that season:
August 29: Central Arkansas 35, Western Kentucky 28
September 7: Southern Illinois 45, Massachusetts 20
September 14: The Citadel 27, Georgia Tech 24 (OT)
SAM HOUSTON STATE - Won 21 straight games overall (FCS longest).
Last: Won 35-9 at Abilene Christian on Saturday, Nov. 20.
Next: Regular season complete (10-0). NCAA Playoff opponent TBD.
ALCORN STATE - Won 13 straight home games (FCS longest).
Last: Lost 24-10 at Jackson State on Saturday, Nov. 20.
Next: Season complete (6-5)
MONMOUTH - Had won 16 straight conference games (was FCS longest).
Last: Lost 49-17 at Kennesaw State on Saturday, Nov. 20.
Next: Season complete (7-4)
DARTMOUTH - Won 11 straight road games (FCS longest).
Last: Won 52-31 at Brown on Saturday, Nov. 20.
Next: Season complete (9-1) Ivy League champs.
TEXAS SOUTHERN - Lost 18 straight road games (FCS longest).
Last: Lost 24-21 at Alabama State on Saturday, Nov. 20.
Next: Season complete (3-8)
YOUNGSTOWN STATE - End road losing streak at 17 games (was tied for FCS longest).
Last: Won 35-18 at Southern Illinois on Saturday, Nov. 20.
Next: Season complete (3-7).
BUTLER - Snapped 14-game conference losing streak (was FCS longest)..
Last: Won 28-21 at Marist on Saturday, Nov. 20.
Next: Season complete (3-8).
WAGNER - Lost 20 straight overall (FCS longest).
LAST: Lost 44-0 at home vs. Duquesne on Saturday, Nov. 20.
Next: Season complete (0-11).