Abilene Christian (1-5) struggled during an abbreviated fall season, dropping a game to D-II Angelo State, and playing three FBS opponents.
It has taken until the last week of the regular season, but we finally have some clarity in the Southland Conference.
If you know what’s going to happen in the Southland Conference these last two weeks, head out to Vegas and make yourself a lot of money.
While Central Arkansas seems to have control of the Southland at his point, the conference has shown that anything can happen on a weekly basis. There are three teams nipping at the Bears’ heels just one game back in the standings.
If the playoffs started today, the Southland would easily have four teams in the playoffs, and would still have at least one team that would feel snubbed. The Southland has taken a big step forward to become that fourth conference just behind the big three. There is still a lot of football to be played, but this is one of the more intriguing races as we head down the stretch.
After week seven, the Southland has only one team unbeaten in conference play – defending champion Nicholls – after Sam Houston State lost in triple overtime to Lamar. The race is still wide open and the Southland could see anywhere between two and four playoff berths. Southeastern Louisiana lost its second straight contest and will.
Last week, Nicholls asserted itself as the team to beat by cruising over Central Arkansas. Sam Houston State currently leads the conference at 3-0 and is looking to return to the playoffs after a one year absence. Houston Baptist could not continue its winning ways, falling to Incarnate Word.
The Southland boasts one of the best stories of the early FCS season. Houston Baptist was 2-20 over the last two seasons with just one FCS win. SO far this year, the Huskies have nearly beaten an FBS opponent and rattled off four straight wins. The schedule gets tougher the rest of the way for them, but they seem equipped to get more wins. Bailey Zappe has been phenomenal at quarterback, putting himself on the outskirts of the Walter Payton conversation.
1/3 of the way through the season, there are still a large number of Southland teams in contention for the league title. What was already thought to be a crowded field has only gotten more crowded with the level of play of Southeastern Louisiana.
Week three brought a mixed bag of results in the Southland. Houston Baptist shocked the FCS world with their exciting 53-52 upset of MVFC member South Dakota. Sam Houston State was unable to avenge their 2018 loss to North Dakota, again falling to the Fighting Hawks. In conference, Central Arkansas and Abilene Christian lived up to the pregame hype with the Bears prevailing late 31-30.
The Southland did not have many FCS vs FCS games last week. However, two of its teams – Northwestern State and Stephen F. Austin – lost to Division II opponents. The one team we continue to be impressed by is Central Arkansas. The Bears used another comeback to defeat Austin Peay.
The Southland Conference picked up two of the biggest early wins and one of the most talked about close losses to an FBS team in week one. Central Arkansas scored 21 fourth quarter points to upset Western Kentucky. Southeastern Louisiana took Jacksonville behind the woodshed in the biggest upset of the week. Unfortunately the Lions will not get to build on that momentum due to Hurricane Dorian causing the cancellation of their game with Bethune-Cookman. Houston Baptist surprised everyone by taking a fourth quarter lead against UTEP. The bottom rung Southland team came up just short, but Bailey Zappe put himself on the map as a quarterback to watch.
Every Southland team is playing on opening weekend, which means all Southland fans will be in for a treat of quarterback play. Better yet, there are multiple Southland teams that have a chance to pull of upsets of FBS teams this weekend. Who are they?
If you are an FCS fan and you long to see excellent quarterback play, then have we got a deal for you! The Southland conference is full of excellent returning quarterbacks that should keep the scoreboard operators busy all season long.
The Wildcats left a good taste in the mouths of their fan base winning 4 of their last 5 games including victories over top Southland teams Nicholls and Sam Houston State.