Video: D-III program earns first ever playoff berth
Sunday, DIII Illinois College, led by head coach Garett Campbell, learned of the first ever playoff berth in the history of the football program.
The Blueboys finished the season 9-1, with their only loss coming against Midwest conference champion Monmouth. The one loss record was good enough to impress the playoff committee and reserved them an at large bid for the NCAA playoffs.
Illinois College and has put up an impressive 499 yards per game under Campbell, and have been led by a freshman quarterback in Michael Bates. The Blueboys offense rank in the top 15 offensively in scoring (15th), passing (15th) and total offense (5th).
Defensively the Blueboys rank 3rd in DIII in interceptions with an impressive 20 picks on the season (with 2 defensive backs combining for 11 interceptions), and also rank in the top 10 in turnover margin at +1.40. Impressive job by defensive coordinator Ray DeFrisco.
Illinois College will take the field against Wabash Saturday. Take a look at the video below showing their reaction once they found out they had made the playoff field.
After Georgia's opening the season with losses to Boise State and South Carolina, there was a lot of chatter out there calling for a change at Georgia. Now, after rattling off 8 straight wins the talk has now swung to a contract extension.
On Saturday, the Bulldogs beat defending National Champion Auburn 45-7. They converted on 12 of 15 third down attempts and out-gained the Tigers 528 - 195.
Richt still has two years left on his current contract that currently goes through December of 2013. Georgia AD Greg McGarity that any update to Richt's job status would take place at the end of the season.
The Bulldogs will look to lock up the SEC East title Saturday against Kentucky and then close out the regular season with Georgia Tech in Atlanta.
Jacksonville State making it rain...glass?
Jacksonville State offensive coordinator Ronnie Letson might think twice before he touches glass next time.
In the Gamecock's 22-21 win over Southeast Missouri State, Letson patted the glass in the press box, forcing it to shatter onto the fans below. No one was hurt, but we have a feeling that Letson will think twice before touching any glass moving forward. The Jacksonville State AD said that they would foot the bill to replace the glass (maybe they'll consider Plexiglas this time?).
The win gives Jacksonville State a share of the lead in the Ohio Valley conference with Tennessee Tech and Eastern Kentucky. The Gamecocks will finish the season this weekend against Tennessee State.
Some surprising statistics
For good reason, we have spent a considerable amount of time talking about turnover margin the past few weeks.
Oklahoma State and LSU are two of the top three teams in the country when it comes to turnover margin (no surprise there), but taking a closer look we discovered a few more things worth noting. For one, Wyoming (6-3, 3-1) is now the #2 team in turnover margin sitting at +1.56.
Southern Miss is the only ranked team with a negative turnover margin at - .1. Southern Methodist is 6-4, yet somehow ranks 115th in the country with a -11 margin in the turnover battle.
SMU will have a huge test this weekend as they head to undefeated Houston before ending the season with Rice. Southern Miss will wrap up the season at UAB and home against Memphis.
Sumlin's guys are 10-0
Houston is 10-0 and ranked #11 in the current BCS standings.
We hear that the College Gameday crew will be in town this weekend as the Cougars host SMU which should be an entertaining game (this is the first time in school history that Gameday is coming to UH). Kevin Sumlin and his staff have put together quite a season and if they can beat SMU and win at Tulsa, they will be 12-0 and would host the Conference USA championship game...and then hopefully play in a BCS bowl.
The challenge they are going to have on that front is with their schedule. Of the 10 teams they have beaten this season, only Louisiana Tech at 6-4 has a winning record. 1 out of 10 opponents with a winning record. How is that even possible? Thankfully, SMU and Tulsa will add to the "strength of schedule" component.
So, how good is this team? Statistically speaking, they're pretty darn good. #1 in scoring offense, #1 in total offense, #1 in passing offense...#41 in scoring defense, #3 in tackles for loss, #25 in sacks...#13 in turnover margin, #5 in net punting, #8 in punt returns....and on and on.
As we all know, it's incredibly difficult to go undefeated through an entire season. Sumlin has his guys playing at a very high level. It will be interesting to see if they can win them all.
Monday Night Football featuring the Green Bay Packers.
All times are eastern.
Minnesota at Green Bay - 8:30 - ESPN
DII - DIII playoff pairings announced
The DII and DIII playoff pairings were announced earlier this afternoon.
The DII championship game will be featured on ESPN2 December 17th at 11AM. Last season Minnesota - Duluth defeated Delta State for the DII national title. For complete DII pairings see this link.
The DIII bracket features a few familiar faces in Mount Union (OH) and Wisconsin - Whitewater. Mount Union is making their 23rd consecutive playoff appearance, and Whitewater hopes to extend the nations longest winning streak (40 games) of any division, and build on their back to back national titles. The Stagg Bowl will take place on ESPNU on at 7 eastern on December 16th.
Sean Payton is back on the sideline
In a surprise, unannounced move Sean Payton showed up on the sideline today (weeks ahead of his announced timeline). Local media report this was part of Payton's plan to motivate his team for today's game against rival Atlanta.
Jay Glazer reports that Payton plans to stay well behind the line of scrimmage in order to take away as much of the possibility as possible of being re-injured.
A local media guy just tweeted wondering whether Payton is the first NFL coach to be on the sideline in a regular season game wearing shorts?