It’s safe to say there’s a number of NDSU fans keeping an eye on Georgia Southern and App State and their exploits in moving up to FBS. ASU has struggled to 3-5 record, trying to redshirt players and be ready to roll when they are fully eligible for a bowl game. GSU has gone the opposite way, the Eagles are flying high (sorry for the pun) at 7-2 on the year and 6-0 in Sun Belt play. The two losses were to NC State and Georgia Tech by a combined five points.
When the two schools moved up they would have to go thru the transition process, meaning ineligible for the FCS playoffs in 2013, ineligible for a bowl in 2014 and fully eligible in 2015. But there’s a NCAA provision that may allow the Eagles to go bowling THIS season.
In 2012, the NCAA approved a rule that would allow transitioning teams to take part in the postseason if there are not enough bowl eligible teams to fill every game. There are 38 (!!) bowl games this season, that means 76 teams that need to reach six wins, but as we’ve seen in the past not every six win team reaches a bowl game and a team like Georgia Southern with the offense they run is unique in college football and going thru a transition like this would make for a great story during the non-ending bowl season. In simpler words, GSU would go bowling before any 5-7 teams.
Georgia Southern has 5-3 Texas State on the road this week, then at Navy and home for 3-5 Louisiana-Monroe on November 29th. Because of the odd number of teams in the Fun Belt, not all teams play each other, meaning the Eagles avoid 4-0 Louisiana-Lafayette. It’s reasonable to think that the Eagles go 8-0 in Sun Belt play and even with a loss to Navy puts them at 9-3. Bill Hancock, the president of the College Football Playoff said that if GSU and Lafayette both finish unbeaten, the committee would consider both teams for a bowl game. That to me would be hard to ignore come Selection Sunday on December 7th for the bowl lineup.
It’s a really interesting story at least to me to follow from afar and I think some NDSU fans would see this and strengthen their case for the Bison to make the move up to FBS. What say you on this? Just a flash in the pan for 1 year or is this a case to say GSU’s football program was well-prepared to make the move?