CIAA Championship Game Set, WSSU-v-ECSU, My rant
by, 10-29-2012 at 04:09 PM (11019 Views)
With one week left in the regular season, the Championship game has been set. The Winston Salem State Rams will defend their title against the Elizabeth City State Vikings in Durham on November 10th in Durham, NC at Durham County Stadium.
The Rams took their frustration of their regional ranking and smashed Shaw U 62-31 to clinch the division. ECSU, took care of business defeating Virginia Union 27-21 and got a little help from Chowan beating Virginia State 33-21.
With both divisions clinched, and the game set for November 10th in Durham, could this weeks game be a trap game for both schools as both teams are already looking towards a conference title?
For WSSU, they play Fayetteville State in Fayetteville in the regular season finale and while I don't see FSU defeating the Rams, I do see a close game until the third quarter. The Rams are just loaded and should handle their business convincingly.
For ECSU, they will have their hands full because Bowie State has aspirations of finishing the season 6-4 if they can beat Elizabeth City and possibly make it tough on the Pioneer Bowl committee members to chose a team from that division. Being the Division champs is not a gimme to get selected for the Pioneer Bowl. The committee will chose the team that will sell the most tickets and make it a more interesting game. Nothing is guaranteed, so ECSU needs to step up and play hard and not get caught falling asleep at the wheel like they did against Virginia State.
Pioneer Bowl possibilities
Elizabeth City State: As of right now, and based on the regional rankings, ECSU does not look like they will make the playoffs, unless, they beat Bowie State and upset WSSU in the CIAA title game, which I honestly don't see happening. But if they do, they could be a 6th seed if other teams in the region lose.
So here are the other teams in consideration for the Pioneer Bowl:
Chowan University: The Hawks are currently sitting at 5-4 and play Lincoln this week, which they should win. It will be the first winning season for Chowan since jumping from a 2 year JUCO institution to a four year institution, Could Chowan really make the committee's decision difficult because it will be uncharted waters for a non-HBCU to play in the Pioneer Bowl? It would definitely make things interesting and Chowan would travel well.
Bowie State: The Bulldogs have chance to make the Pioneer Bowl if they can beat ECSU. They are currently 5-4 and need a clutch win against the Vikings to be considered.
Johnson C Smith the reigning Pioneer Bowl Champs have been on a tear of late. They are one of the hottest teams in the CIAA and if it wasn't for two bad losses against West Virginia State and Lincoln, this could be on the verge of an 8-2 season. But woulda coulda shoulda, and the Golden Bulls are sitting at 5-4 and play Livingstone. Will the reigning champs be favored to return if they defeat Livingstone? It remains to be seen.
St. Augustine: St. Aug has had an up and down season, and yet, they are sitting at 5-4 with a chance to be in contention if they can beat Shaw U. A tough task for these two bitter rivals.
Side note: I do not see ECSU making it to the Pioneer Bowl if they lose to both Bowie and WSSU. ECSU has the toughest road ahead of all the above schools mentioned.
My Rant on Regional Rankings
Never has one of my blogs generated so much buzz. Both negative and positive, I seem to have ruffled some feathers with my blog last week. So much so, that faithful blogger "gr8ness97" creating his own thread about my rant getting varied opinions. The blog itself got over 2300 views and 99 comments, and counting.
If you're somehow looking for an apology from me, keep waiting, because you're not going to get one.
While my intentions were to just voice my opinion, my blog did discover there is a human element involved in the regional ranking process and not simply math.
Lets get a few things clear, we are all volunteers. We do this on our free time, in the midst of our hectic life schedules, full time jobs, family, and any other thing that might get in the way of life. I'm not trying to win a Pulitzer, nor blogger of the year. I fired off in anger because i felt WSSU was not getting any respect with their #2 regional ranking. Could I have said it differently? sure, but I didn't want to give you instant narcolepsy with a boring feel good blog.
What we have discovered is that human element plays a roll in the rankings. We discovered there is no such thing as a "power conference" and that last years results have nothing to do with this years regional ranking. Yet, last years results are somehow determined in strength of schedule. If this were the first year of D2Football, and all teams in each conference finished 11-0, how would you determine who's the #1 ranked team in the region? There is some historical component that plays a part, right?
I, as the CIAA blogger, can admit the PSAC is a better football conference from top to bottom. Hands down! Well, How did I come to that conclusion? Because the PSAC has beaten up on CIAA schools in the playoffs consistently, except for the second round last year, and they beat up other schools in other conferences as well. So, If I think the PSAC is a better conference, then I'm guessing other bloggers, journalist and committee members think the same. Same as MIAA schools, same as GSC school and so on. Last season, there was a post Bob Eblen did on conference rankings. Where was the CIAA and the SIAC? near the bottom. Why? Historical results maybe?
Does anyone remember a few years back when West Alabama made the playoffs as a #6 seed with a 7-4 record? They had an upset win on the last game of the season beating North Alabama, they were never in any of the regional rankings, then suddenly make the playoffs out of nowhere? Are you freaking kidding me? And who got bumped? Well deserving schools with two losses. Some of which were HBCU's. I was not creating any type of racial divide as some fans have written, just bringing awareness to the topic.
When Bob Eblen writes his articles week in and week out, When is WSSU even mentioned? Maybe once this year, if that? My followers always seem to mention to me "Hey Gil, what's up with Bob not mentioning WSSU"? So I ask the question, What is up with Bob never mentioning WSSU? Please enlightening me.
So, here we are, coming down to the last regular season game and I seemed to have stirred the pot. Maybe I wasn't politically correct, maybe I was a bit strong with my "pissed off" language. Maybe I could have said it differently, you're right, maybe!?
Listen folks, there's 1.34 billion people in China, 1.22 billion in India, none of which who read my blog, so just RE-"FREAKING"-LAX. This is a blog about d2football, not the NY Times editorial. We are all fans that are passionate about our teams, our schools, and about our conferences, add to the fact, we all have opinions. I served four years in the Army defending my freedom of speech, not for censorship. I didn't yell fire in a movie theater nor did I curse out the Pope. From here on out and for the rest of the season, this will make the anticipated regional rankings that much more enjoyable. There's no such things as bad publicity. Remember, this is strictly entertainment. At the end of the day, it will be settled on the field.
Game of Week
Elizabeth City State (6-3, 5-1) at Bowie State (5-4, 2-4): ECSU could get caught slipping, going with my gut
Prediction: ECSU 20 Bowie 17
Shaw (4-5, 3-3) at St. Aug (5-4, 3-3): Shaw got hammered last week, but St. Aug is looking for a winning season Prediction: St. Aug 30 Shaw 28
WSSU (9-0, 6-0) at Fayetteville State (2-7, 1-5): It could be close initially, but the Rams will prevail.
Prediction: Winston Salem State 48 FSU 21
Livingstone (2-7, 2-4) at Johnson C Smith (5-4, 4-2): The Golden Bulls are on fire, they should take care of business
Prediction: JCSU 42 Livingstone 14
Virginia State (4-5, 3-3) at Virginia Union (4-5, 2-4): This heated rivalry is a toss up.
Prediction: VSU 17 VU 14
Lincoln (1-8, 1-5) at Chowan (5-4, 4-2): Look for Chowan to have a winning season
Prediction: Chowan 35 Lincoln 17
Fans, I want to hear from you
Some CIAA faithful stated they were embarrassed, some stated it was needed, some stated I needed to tone it down, some stated I did the CIAA a disservice. Like or not, it has gotten everyone talking. There is more than one way to skin a cat, sure!
Time to hear from you