FCS Playoffs Thoughts and Predictions for No. 1 James Madison Dukes

Sara HannonCorrespondent INovember 23, 2008

Most D1-AA (or "Football Championship Subdivision") players, coaches, and fans tuned into ESPNU at 7 p.m. Saturday to see who was going to the FCS playoffs. Here's the bracket as it stands:

No. 16 Wofford at No. 1 James Madison

No. 15 South Caroline State at No. 2 Appalachian State

No. 14 Maine at No. 3 Northern Iowa

No. 13 Texas State at No. 4 Montana

No. 12 Weber State at No. 5 Cal Poly

No. 11 New Hampshire at No. 6 Southern Illinois

No. 10 Easter Kentucky at No. 7 Richmond

No. 9 Colgate at No. 8 Villanova

The CAA is well represented with five seeds in the playoffs, three (James Madison, Richmond, and Villanova) in the top eight. The other two: New Hampshire (11th) and Maine (14th).

Let's look at how these schools stacked up against each other:

JMU 24, Maine 10

JMU 38, Richmond 31 (why they kicked to Scotty McGee...I still don't know. Look it up on YouTube.)

JMU 23, Villanova 19 (another last-second victory on the craziest looking pass. Again, look it up on YouTube)

Richmond 44, Maine 17

Villanova 26, Richmond 20

Villanova 24, New Hampshire 13

New Hampshire 28, Maine 24

With the exception of the Richmond-Maine game, none were blowouts, making me think that the CAA is pretty tough. This is the CAA's 18th straight season (16 of them as the Atlantic 10) with multiple bids for the championship.

I personally cannot wait to attend my first playoff game (GO DUKES!). But the competition this year is pretty tough.

The winners of the first round will advance to the quarterfinal Round on Dec. 6. That will go down like this:

Eastern Ky/Richmond winner vs. South Caroline/App State winner

Colgate/Villanova winner vs. Wofford/James Madison winner

Weber State/Cal Poly winner vs. Texas State/Montana winner

Southern Ill/New Hampshire winner vs. Maine/Northern Iowa winner

Then onto the Semifinal round, which is TBD and the remaining two teams from the semis will go on to the Championship game Dec. 19 in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Here's my bracket:

OK. I have this wrong. Switch Northern Iowa and Montana. I will now have Northern Iowa beating Appalachian State and Montana losing to JMU in the semis.

For everyone wondering why I have Northern Iowa beating App. State, here's the one simple reason: I think App. State will beat Richmond, but it will be a painful, smash-mouth game with injuries galore. (Note: I am not hoping for this. As a Patriots fan, I have a new view on injuries...Tom Brady going down was hard to watch...and I don't want any player hurt; I just remember how tough it was playing both of those teams. Someone is bound to get hurt.)

My champion? James Madison. Call me biased, but here's to hoping.