Daily Blog - Wednesday June 17th

I just finished spending the last two weeks on 1AA football which is also known as the FCS. I must admit that when the NCAA changed the name from 1AA to FCS I fought the change. I have known it as 1AA for a long time and that was imbedded in my head. After 2 weeks I am getting a little more comfortable calling it FCS but at time I still mix that up with BCS or FBS or whatever other initials are going around right now.

Something that is very interesting from the research I just did is that the Colonial League which is arguably the top conference in FCS has had their THIRD PLACE team from the South Division actually play in the title game two straight years. Last year Richmond not only placed 3rd in the South but won the title game over Montana and were national champs despite their 3rd place finish in a division in a conference (4th best record in Colonial play).

I used 5 sets of power ratings this year to determine the FCS or 1AA division forecasts and next year will have all 9 sets of my power ratings up to full speed. I mentioned last Thursday that I was compiling the accuracy breakdown for each of the 3 national magazines that have 1AA or FCS previews. At that time we were winning and we did indeed earn the title most accurate but it was closer than I expected.

Lindy’s has 4 pages in their national magazine devoted to the FCS. I applaud them for also having two pages in Division II and two more on Division III in their national magazine. The Sporting News which merged with Street and Smiths last year has 18 pages devoted to 1AA or FCS teams, 4 for Division II and 4 for Division III. My ACC/Big East regional magazine has the complete FCS preview in it and that has 136 pages devoted to the FCS. EVERY team has a full half page with the last 3 years results, 2008 statistical leaders that are bold and un-bold showing which players are coming back, the last 5 years statistics, this years schedule and a complete analysis of each teams offense and defense (roughly 750 to 1000 words on each team).

When I said closer than expected in terms of accuracy this past year, I would have expected a blowout win considering the amount of time and information we provided on the FCS. My FCS preview beat out the Sporting News by 5 points and Lindy’s by 8 using the same method for determining accuracy that Stassen.com uses. I was Most accurate in the MEAC, SWAC West, Southland, OVC, Big Sky, Great West and Patriot leagues. Sporting News was most accurate in the SWAC West, NEC, Big Sky, Southern and Big South. Lindy’s was most accurate in the SWAC West (tie with SN), Pioneer Missouri Valley and Ivy. All 3 of the magazines actually had the same forecasts for both the Colonial North and South.

This years ACC/Big East regional magazine with the 136 pages of FCS coverage will be available on newsstands in the ACC/Big East region in 3 to 4 weeks. You can purchase it through our offices for $6.99 plus $2 shipping and handling and we will ship them out the day we get them in our offices (about 2 weeks). Call 1-866-918-711.

Moving forward with the FCS (1AA), I want to give them a FULL PAGE for each team and possibly a magazine DEVOTED to FCS next year or in 2011. Two things will make this possible. I need to see an interest from fans of the FCS. We actually sold less than 1,000 Pac-10 Regional’s thru our offices last year and that was the regional that had the complete FCS coverage in it (103 pages). I need to see FCS fans step up and show their interest by buying the magazine this year. Also if you own or work for a company that would like to sponsor the magazine we could call it the “Your company Name” Phil Steele’s 2010 FCS (1AA) College Football Preview. Contact Rolf@philsteele.com for more on that.

This is the first year that I have done a Most Improved List for the FCS and it will be in the magazine when it comes out. My Most Improved list are teams that had losing records last year that I think will have winning records this year. Here is your early peek at the list that will be in this years magazine.

1. Hofstra
2. Gardner-Webb
3. UC Davis
4. Eastern Illinois
5. Youngstown St
6. Columbia
7. Stephen F. Austin
8. Illinois St
9. Alabama A&M
10. The Citadel
11. Stony Brook
12. Robert Morris
13. Murray St
14. Marist
15. NC Central
16. Arkansas Pine-Bluff