The Pioneer Football League will begin its 30th season of play this year. Davidson has captured the last two automatic qualifying spots for the league in the postseason. The Wildcats look to make it three in a row.
CSJ’s AAC Predicted Order of Finish 1. Cincinnati 2. Houston 3. UCF 4. SMU 5. Tulane 6. East Carolina 7. Memphis 8. Tulsa 9. South Florida 10. Navy 11. Temple 2021 Bowl Results Conference Record: 3-1 Myrtle Beach Bowl: Tulsa 30 Old Dominion 17 Gasparilla Bowl: UCF 29 Florida 17 Hawai’i Bowl: Memphis vs. Hawai’i (Cancelled.
co-authored by Jamie Williams & Kent Schmidt For the first time in the short history of the Sun Belt Conference, a West Division team won the crown with Louisiana picking up the crown a season ago. But much has changed since the Ragin’ Cajans defeated Appalachian State in the SBC title game a year ago. .
CSJ’S PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH Mountain Division *1. Boise State 2. Utah State 3. Air Force 4. Colorado State 5. Wyoming 6. New Mexico West Division 1. San Diego State 2. Fresno State 3. Nevada 4. San Jose State 5. UNLV 6. Hawai’i * Overall Champion 2021 BOWL RESULTS Record: 5-1 Fresno State 31, UTEP.
Holmes was the biggest loss on the field, but Coach Randy Sanders was an equally big loss as he elected to retire after the season. Former Furman Associate Head Coach George Quarles takes over in 2022.
Most of their leaders on defense are back this year which should lead to an even better unit than last season.
Losing RB Fred Davis after a strong Freshman year certainly hurts but the Bears are on the right trajectory.
This team has a look of a mid-2010s Samford which gave opponents fits offensively but played a lot of shootouts.
Korey Bridy will again be the feature back in 2022.
Last season showed Furman to be about what it has been for most of the past decade: an average team.
The Citadel needs more production from the front seven if they want to be more successful.
Both sides of the ball will have to be much better this season.
Not only does Samford have to break in a new quarterback, but they also must replace their top three receivers from last year.
The off-season is finally in a normal format, but college football feels anything but normal. The FBS Power Conferences are in an unprecedented arms-race, Name-Image-Likeness (NIL) deals and rules continue to be controversial, and three household names of the FCS are on the rise to the FBS (Sam Houston State, Jacksonville State, and James Madison.
Lehigh’s offensive struggles don’t have one single source, but what is clear is that any success the Mountain Hawks have in 2021 will have to come from vast improvements across the board.
ith a strong Spring resume and a good culture that Hawkins has established in Davis, CA the Aggies have a great chance to make another good run towards the top of the Big Sky.
Weber State is coming into the season with a four-time conference title they look to defend vigorously.
Sacramento State had a magical 2019 championship run, but the Hornets have not played since then.
The top recruiting class from just a few years ago seems to be on of mostly duds. Can the Vikings set sail for a legacy bigger than their high school home field?
One of the biggest headlines in the FCS was lost behind the dust of the Spring headlines. Ed McCaffrey (NFL veteran and 3-time Super Bowl Champ) is the new head coach of Northern Colorado.
The Lumberjacks know how to defend the dome, but can they go on the offense successfully?
The 2021 season should provide plenty of intrigue in the Mountain West Conference.
Their best offensive player, Aylim Ford did not play at all in the spring but should be ready for the fall. Altogether, this should be the team to beat in the Southern Conference
VMI was the surprise of the spring season. Now the key is: can they back it up?
In the Spring, Wofford tried to incorporate more passing into their offensive game plan. The result was a 70 yard per game drop in rushing offense, but only a 20 yard per game bump in the pass game.
The Heartbreak Kids were five drives away from a 6-0 season in the Spring.
The quarterback battle for Samford was simplified over the summer when Chris Oladokun transferred to South Dakota State. That meant the job was guaranteed to Liam Welch, not that it already wasn’t.
The Buccaneers will be a factor in the SoCon title race this year.
Going in to their last game against Samford, the Bears had an outside chance to win the Southern Conference if a couple games broke their way. Mercer wound up losing that game, but it gives them hope that they can take the next step this year.
There were big expectations for the Paladins coming into the spring but they did not live up to them. Furman wound up 3-4 and was never a factor in the conference race.
The Citadel was expecting to make a little jump and be a playoff contender in 2020 after hovering around .500, but the emergence of COVID made for a long fall and spring season, where they played a grand total of 11 games. The Citadel really struggled through their season. But they never quit and played their entire schedule.
The high level stats show the struggles that Western Carolina has endured. The last three seasons they have allowed 38, 39 and 41 points per game on average while going from 30 scored per game in 2018 to 19 to 18 over the last two seasons.
The Dukes return to action in the fall with a Frisco or Bust mentality. They are loaded throughout the entire lineup and have Cole Johnson returning to be the starting quarterback.
This spring, it all came together for the Blue Hens and they went unbeaten in the regular season and won two playoff games before falling in the semifinals to South Dakota State.
Villanova has, in recent memory, battled two things: the injury bug and the ill-timed loss. They always have the talent to be one of the top teams in the CAA and FCS, but injuries derail them or they lose to a team they shouldn’t. They’ll need to avoid that this fall.
Richmond was down for the last few seasons after the graduation of Kyle Lauletta. But if the spring is any indication, with a strong defense and capable quarterback, the Spiders should contend for a playoff berth all season.
To lose at home is rare for the Wildcats. They’ve only lost seven total games on their home turf since 2015. That’s an advantage they will look to regain this year. They have two of the teams projected to finish above them in the standings – James Madison and Richmond – at home this year.
Maine was an uneven 2-2 in the spring but enter the fall season with hopes of returning to the playoffs.
Towson opted out of the spring season. When we last saw them, Towson had a high flying offense and an improving defense.
Albany struggled to a 1-3 record in the spring, but that doesn’t really tell the story of what kind of team they have.
William & Mary only played three games in the spring. But what we were able to see from Hollis Mathis showed a lot of potential for growth as we head into the fall.
Elon had a dreadful spring season going 1-5 with the lone win coming against non-scholarship Davidson by three points. To be fair, the Phoenix were riddled with injuries for the spring and never really had a chance.
Stony Brook went 1-3 in the spring season before pulling the plug and cancelling their last two games. It was good for the Seawolves to get their players live reps.
The Rams went 2-1 last spring with overtime road victories against Villanova and UAlbany before having its season cut short by COVID. The glimpse we got of the Rams before the shutdown showed a lot of potential for the fall season.
Montana State opted out of the Spring Season and chose to only do an inter-squad spring game. Despite being out of competition for a year the Bobcats are loading up and have a host of hungry seniors ready to have a last hurrah. Between Isiah Ifanse, Lewis Kidd, Troy Andersen, and North Carolina State transfer.
Montana may have opted out of the spring season, but their two-game schedule of Central Washington and Portland State had tremendous results of 56 points and 41 points margins of victory. The powerhouse from Missoula is trying desperately to reclaim relevance and a conference title under Coach Hauck. Despite their best efforts, Weber State has.
Tyler Vander-Waal is the first quarterback worthwhile watching since Tanner Gueller was at the helm with his brother Mitch. The Bengals new dynamic duo of Vander-Waal and Tanner Conner is one of the more electric combos in the Big Sky Conference. Vander-Waal averages 323.5 yards through the air per game and Conner accounts for 114.2.
The king of the new conference until further notice is Sam Houston (10-0, 6-0 in Southland), which became the first Division I football program in the state of Texas to win a national championship since Vince Young’s vaunted Texas squad.
The Gamecocks (10-3, 6-1 in Ohio Valley) flip-flopped quarterback injuries while playing the most games in the FCS over the fall/spring season.
Paul Petrino and company were eight points away from being 0-6 in the spring season. The Vandals out-schemed EWU in the first game of the season, but their only other win would be a one-point escape from the clutches of Southern Utah.