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SWC75

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...is an old love of mine. My brother went to Hamilton and we'd see games there back in the 1960's. I also always had a fascination with the scores in the Sunday paper, (which they don't have any more), wondering about the schools that always seemed to win and what would happen if they had a tournament of such teams. Finally, they did and a local school, Ithaca, played for the DIII championship 7 times in 18 years and won three of them. For years I posted extensive summaries of the teams and games in these tournaments to this board. Last year they had no championships. FCS played one in the spring, but it didn't garner much attention. DII and DIII didn't play any games. This year I was too busy to pay my normal attention to them. But hey are having their championships now and I watched a couple of key games tonight.

DIII - Mount Union and Wisconsin Whitewater, who once owned this division, (they played for the title seven times in a row from 2015-2011) both lost in the semis, to North Central, the 2019 champs and Mary Hardin-Baylor, who won the title in 2016-18. MHB was once the women's college for Baylor University. they went co-ed themselves in 1971 and have used Texas talent to build a DIII powerhouse. The broadcasters said that they have 100 players on their roster and even field a JV team. This illustrates by schools like Ithaca never make it to championship games anymore: certain schools have built programs that are DIII on steroids and they now dominate the tournament. The Crusaders certainly dominated North Central; a school that thought it had risen to that level with 24 straight wins. they were, in effect, the defending champions, having won in 2019, being Whitewater, 41-14 in that year's title game. This one was close at the half, the "Cru" kicking a field goal to take a 19-17 halftime lead. but three second half interceptions ruined North central's chance as MBH scored the first 24 points of the second half to take a commanding lead. The Cardinals, (they are from Naperville, a suburb of Chicago), finally answered with a touchdown to make it 24-43, but couldn't get an on-sides kick. One item of controversy was that MHB didn't jsut run the clock out- they kept passing to add to the score. They scored on a 34 yard TD pass with 6:01 left and again on a 17 yarder with 42 seconds left to win 57-24. Anyway they were clearly the best team and won their third national title, (the first has been vacated by the NCAA but we know what we think about that.)

FCS: The Godzilla of FCS, North Dakota State, took on the one FCS team that has looked them in the face and not bene intimidated in recent years James Madison, who beat them in the semis 27-17 to win the 2016 championship, then lost to them in the 2017 and 2019 title games, 13-17 and 20-28. it was another great battle as the Dukes overcame a 0-13 deficit to take a 14-13 lead. State then put on one of their famous grinding drives in the fourth quarter to make it 20-14. JMU drove down the field to answer but an Odel Beckham type "up the invisible ladder" one-handed pick in the end zone by a 5-11 Bison D-back over the 6-1 Duke receiver ended that threat. James Madison got one more shot but that ended when their quarterback was sacked and lost the ball on the last play from the Bison 45 and the game ended. This was a semi-final. South Dakota State will play Montana State tomorrow at 2PM on ESPN2 to determine the other finalist but I suspect that NDS-JMU might have determined the eventual winner as it usually does. the rivalry will end next year and JMU will move to the Sun belt a 'Group of 5' conference to join all the ex-FCS champions at that level.

Also tomorrow: the DII finals between Valdosta State of Georgia and Ferris State on Michigan on ESPNU at 9PM and Deon Sanders' Jackson State team playing for what amounts to the traditionally black school's national championship against South Carolina State in the 'Celebration' Bowl on ABC at Noon.
 
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Ithacaorange

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This is awesome ! Being a former bomber, I enjoy following these playoffs as well.

ferris state won the d2 title- interesting story there , their QB Jared Bernhardt who was a lacrosse player at Maryland and used his fifth year to play football, for the first time since HS and led them to an undefeated season.
 

SWC75

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This is awesome ! Being a former bomber, I enjoy following these playoffs as well.

ferris state won the d2 title- interesting story there , their QB Jared Bernhardt who was a lacrosse player at Maryland and used his fifth year to play football, for the first time since HS and led them to an undefeated season.

They get Jared Bernhardt and we get Colby Barker!
 

SUFaninNJ

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My Ithaca College Bombers went to the National Championship game twice while I was there (winning in 1988). We had a backfield with two 1,000 yard rushers that year. They are 3-4 overall in the championship game. Glad they moved the Natty out of Phenix City, Alabama though. Great rivalry with the SUNY school just up route 13 too. Can't wait for Cortaca next year at Yankee Stadium
 

SWC75

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I watched Deon Sanders's Jackson State team go down hard to South Carolina State in the Celebration Bowl, 10-31. Deon watched the game from a scooter, (apparently he has some kind of injury), and didn't look like he was celebrating.

South Carolina State vs. Jackson State - Game Summary - December 18, 2021 - ESPN

I whiffed on the other FCS semi-final, forgetting when it was on and tuning in when the post-game congratulations were underway:

South Dakota State vs. Montana State - Game Summary - December 18, 2021 - ESPN

The Bobcats are the only team to win an NAIA title, (actually a share of one as that organization was satisfied with ties at the time), and NCAA titles in two different divisions, (1AA didn't exist in 1976):


I had the DII final between Ferris State and Valdosta State on ESPN+ but could only check in on it as I was multi-taking, finishing off the "Following a legend" update and watching the Colts beat the patriots on the telly. It wounds similar to the DIII final. Maybe Mary Hardin-Baylor should play Ferris State?

NCAA Football Scoreboard - Div II/III | ESPN


And nobody watched Morningside win their 3rd NAIA title in four years:

 

SWC75

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My Ithaca College Bombers went to the National Championship game twice while I was there (winning in 1988). We had a backfield with two 1,000 yard rushers that year. They are 3-4 overall in the championship game. Glad they moved the Natty out of Phenix City, Alabama though. Great rivalry with the SUNY school just up route 13 too. Can't wait for Cortaca next year at Yankee Stadium

DIII used to have different teams in the final almost every year, which made Ithaca's 7 appearances remarkable. What is your theory(s) for why they haven't bene able to get back to that level? Mine is that, beginning with Mount Union, certain schools have muscled up their programs as if they were in Division 1 and the 'regular' small colleges can't compete with them. Maybe it should be like the English soccer leagues: if you dominate your division, you move up to better competition.
 

SWC75

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(From my intro to the 2019 small college playoff summary.)

The NAIA was originally the NAIB, “The National Association of Intercollegiate Basketball”, founded by Dr. James Naismith, no less in 1937, long before there was an NCAA playoff system and even before there was an NCAA basketball tournament as a showcase for smaller school’s basketball teams. They started a football tournament in 1956 and changed their title to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. The NCAA started its playoffs in 1973. At that time there was just Division 1 for the “big time schools”, Division 2 for the mid-size schools and Division 3 for the small schools. Because man schools insisted on remaining in Division 1 despite the fact that they had no chance to win the national championship there, the NCAA in 1978 Created Division 1AA so these schools could claim to be Division 1 and yet have a championship to play for. In 2006, this Division was renamed the “Bowl Championship Subdivision” or FCS while the truly big-time school that looked to play in bowl games was renamed the “Football Bowl Subdivision” or FBS.

Over the years, NAIA schools have joined the NCAA to play in their playoffs but the NAIA, continues with 94 football playing schools with a 16 team playoff. The schools for which Division 1AA/FCS was intended refused to join it. Instead, that division is full of teams that migrated from Division II. The current Division II is full ex-NAIA teams and migrants from Division II while Division II includes the original members plus some former NAIA teams. FBS has 130 schools, 65 in ‘power’ conferences, counting Notre Dame) and 65 not. They run a 4 team playoff. FCS has 124 teams and has a 24 team playoff, (which includes a 5 loss team and thirteen other teams with 3-4 losses). Division 2 has 167 members and runs a 28 team tournament. Division 3 has 250 teams and runs a 32 team playoff, (which this year included a 5-5 team that lost 83-0.)

If I had a magic wand, I would take the NAIA, combine it with NCAA Divisions 2 &3 into a new Division 3, (which would then have 511 members), combine the FCS teams with the non-power conference FBS teams into a new Division 2 (189 members), and make the power conferences (plus Notre Dame) Division I, (65 members). I’d have an 8 team playoff in Division 1, a 16 team playoff in Division 2 and a 32 team playoff in Division 3.
 

SUFaninNJ

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DIII used to have different teams in the final almost every year, which made Ithaca's 7 appearances remarkable. What is your theory(s) for why they haven't bene able to get back to that level? Mine is that, beginning with Mount Union, certain schools have muscled up their programs as if they were in Division 1 and the 'regular' small colleges can't compete with them. Maybe it should be like the English soccer leagues: if you dominate your division, you move up to better competition.
In the 90s IC made a concerted effort to focus more on academics and less on athletics. With tuition costs being astronomical as well, it makes it harder to get close to the success that they once had. In '88 for example, IC won the national championship in football, and baseball as well as having individual national championship winners in wrestling and swimming. They also won team championships in wresting and women's soccer the following year. So, it wasn't just a football thing, it was across the board athletically. Now the teams are competitive, but nowhere near the national powerhouse that they once were.
 

Ithacaorange

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My Ithaca College Bombers went to the National Championship game twice while I was there (winning in 1988). We had a backfield with two 1,000 yard rushers that year. They are 3-4 overall in the championship game. Glad they moved the Natty out of Phenix City, Alabama though. Great rivalry with the SUNY school just up route 13 too. Can't wait for Cortaca next year at Yankee Stadium
Paul Palmer and Mike Scott I believe? Mike Scott was a tremendous athlete and RB . He transferred from Rochester my sr year , we lost in the semis that year .

Ironically, as it relates to this thread - didn’t that team beat Ferris when they were d3 in playoffs and they had a great running back too that played in NFL ?
 

Ithacaorange

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DIII used to have different teams in the final almost every year, which made Ithaca's 7 appearances remarkable. What is your theory(s) for why they haven't bene able to get back to that level? Mine is that, beginning with Mount Union, certain schools have muscled up their programs as if they were in Division 1 and the 'regular' small colleges can't compete with them. Maybe it should be like the English soccer leagues: if you dominate your division, you move up to better competition.
It’s an interesting question - I dont know the actual answer . But :

Jim butterfield could have coached in D1 I believe . Since he’s been gone the playoff appearances have been scarce

Also , some other schools line St. John’s fisher emerged and built huge facilities that were really nice (Ithaca added there’s many yrs later )

And jerry boyes ended up going to Buffalo and made them a power - maybe if he took over for butts ? Different story for bombers
 

Ithacaorange

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I watched Deon Sanders's Jackson State team go down hard to South Carolina State in the Celebration Bowl, 10-31. Deon watched the game from a scooter, (apparently he has some kind of injury), and didn't look like he was celebrating.

South Carolina State vs. Jackson State - Game Summary - December 18, 2021 - ESPN

I whiffed on the other FCS semi-final, forgetting when it was on and tuning in when the post-game congratulations were underway:

South Dakota State vs. Montana State - Game Summary - December 18, 2021 - ESPN

The Bobcats are the only team to win an NAIA title, (actually a share of one as that organization was satisfied with ties at the time), and NCAA titles in two different divisions, (1AA didn't exist in 1976):


I had the DII final between Ferris State and Valdosta State on ESPN+ but could only check in on it as I was multi-taking, finishing off the "Following a legend" update and watching the Colts beat the patriots on the telly. It wounds similar to the DIII final. Maybe Mary Hardin-Baylor should play Ferris State?

NCAA Football Scoreboard - Div II/III | ESPN


And nobody watched Morningside win their 3rd NAIA title in four years:

Why didn’t Jackson st get into fcs playoffs they were 11-1 .
 

money3189

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It’s an interesting question - I dont know the actual answer . But :

Jim butterfield could have coached in D1 I believe . Since he’s been gone the playoff appearances have been scarce

Also , some other schools line St. John’s fisher emerged and built huge facilities that were really nice (Ithaca added there’s many yrs later )

And jerry boyes ended up going to Buffalo and made them a power - maybe if he took over for butts ? Different story for bombers
Boyes had it going on. I concidered them over some D2 and D1aa programs. They were that good in the early 90's. Things evolve. Teams make moves and get better. SJFC is an example of that.
 

SUFaninNJ

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Paul Palmer and Mike Scott I believe? Mike Scott was a tremendous athlete and RB . He transferred from Rochester my sr year , we lost in the semis that year .

Ironically, as it relates to this thread - didn’t that team beat Ferris when they were d3 in playoffs and they had a great running back too that played in NFL ?
Scott was electric as a kick returner too. Paul Parker transferred from Navy. We ran the option back then. IC’s AD at that time was Pete Moore who now works in the Syracuse athletic department.
 

Ithacaorange

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Scott was electric as a kick returner too. Paul Parker transferred from Navy. We ran the option back then. IC’s AD at that time was Pete Moore who now works in the Syracuse athletic department.
I remember Pete well ! I ran into him at dome a bunch after I graduated .
 
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SUFaninNJ

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He had a picture of Todd Wilkowski from the 1991 championship team in his office last I knew.
 

CuyahogaCuse

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SWC, I’ve enjoyed your small school posts for years, and anticipated them even more this year, with son #1 wearing the orange and blue of the Wheaton Thunder as a freshman. (Of course, he’s orange and blue.) Here he is celebrating a touchdown by his roommate in a JV game against North Park, earlier this fall.

Wheaton was ranked #6 most of the season, going 9-1. The only loss, a 20-7 setback to conference rival North Central, whose last loss before Friday night was to the Thunder back in 2019.

NAIA and D2 offer a select number of athletic scholarships, whereas D3 does not.

There’s no doubt MHB, North Central, Mount Union, Wheaton and UWW could play with most of the D2 and NAIA schools. But I disagree with the suggestion to combine all of the lower level schools. There’s a long tail of schools in D3 that cannot compete at the same level.

Wheaton’s JV played two games this year. The varsity had 55 4th, 5th and 6th year seniors, as everyone got an extra covid year and some medical exceptions had 6th year opportunities. The Thunder was upset in the second round of the playoffs, 30-28, when Central (Iowa) scored on the last play of the game. They’ll look to reload next year and make a run at North Central again.

Three years of eligibility left and the goal is to get to and win the Stagg Bowl. I know he’s motivated. Got home Thursday night for the first time since August and was at the gym at 5:45 on Friday morning.
 

PAcuse

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I went to D2 school, Kutztown University, and live with in walking distance of another now, Shippensburg University. I’ve always enjoyed small school football and seeing some of the diamonds in the rough.
Thanks for these post!
 

Ithacaorange

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I went to D2 school, Kutztown University, and live with in walking distance of another now, Shippensburg University. I’ve always enjoyed small school football and seeing some of the diamonds in the rough.
Thanks for these post!
That state school system in PA was legit football and still is
 

Orangeman

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...is an old love of mine. My brother went to Hamilton and we'd see games there back in the 1960's. I also always had a fascination with the scores in the Sunday paper, (which they don't have any more), wondering about the schools that always seemed to win and what would happen if they had a tournament of such teams. Finally, they did and a local school, Ithaca, played for the DIII championship 7 times in 18 years and won three of them. For years I posted extensive summaries of the teams and games in these tournaments to this board. Last year they had no championships. FCS played one in the spring, but it didn't garner much attention. DII and DIII didn't play any games. This year I was too busy to pay my normal attention to them. But hey are having their championships now and I watched a couple of key games tonight.

DIII - Mount Union and Wisconsin Whitewater, who once owned this division, (they played for the title seven times in a row from 2015-2011) both lost in the semis, to North Central, the 2019 champs and Mary Hardin-Baylor, who won the title in 2016-18. MHB was once the women's college for Baylor University. they went co-ed themselves in 1971 and have used Texas talent to build a DIII powerhouse. The broadcasters said that they have 100 players on their roster and even field a JV team. This illustrates by schools like Ithaca never make it to championship games anymore: certain schools have built programs that are DIII on steroids and they now dominate the tournament. The Crusaders certainly dominated North Central; a school that thought it had risen to that level with 24 straight wins. they were, in effect, the defending champions, having won in 2019, being Whitewater, 41-14 in that year's title game. This one was close at the half, the "Cru" kicking a field goal to take a 19-17 halftime lead. but three second half interceptions ruined North central's chance as MBH scored the first 24 points of the second half to take a commanding lead. The Cardinals, (they are from Naperville, a suburb of Chicago), finally answered with a touchdown to make it 24-43, but couldn't get an on-sides kick. One item of controversy was that MHB didn't jsut run the clock out- they kept passing to add to the score. They scored on a 34 yard TD pass with 6:01 left and again on a 17 yarder with 42 seconds left to win 57-24. Anyway they were clearly the best team and won their third national title, (the first has been vacated by the NCAA but we know what we think about that.)

FCS: The Godzilla of FCS, North Dakota State, took on the one FCS team that has looked them in the face and not bene intimidated in recent years James Madison, who beat them in the semis 27-17 to win the 2016 championship, then lost to them in the 2017 and 2019 title games, 13-17 and 20-28. it was another great battle as the Dukes overcame a 0-13 deficit to take a 14-13 lead. State then put on one of their famous grinding drives in the fourth quarter to make it 20-14. JMU drove down the field to answer but an Odel Beckham type "up the invisible ladder" one-handed pick in the end zone by a 5-11 Bison D-back over the 6-1 Duke receiver ended that threat. James Madison got one more shot but that ended when their quarterback was sacked and lost the ball on the last play from the Bison 45 and the game ended. This was a semi-final. South Dakota State will play Montana State tomorrow at 2PM on ESPN2 to determine the other finalist but I suspect that NDS-JMU might have determined the eventual winner as it usually does. the rivalry will end next year and JMU will move to the Sun belt a 'Group of 5' conference to join all the ex-FCS champions at that level.

Also tomorrow: the DII finals between Valdosta State of Georgia and Ferris State on Michigan on ESPNU at 9PM and Deon Sanders' Jackson State team playing for what amounts to the traditionally black school's national championship against South Carolina State in the 'Celebration' Bowl on ABC at Noon.

"Local Internet Treasure"
 

JRHEETER

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Why didn’t Jackson st get into fcs playoffs they were 11-1 .

Because their conference championship is after when they start playoffs for FCS.

They needed to receive an at large bid to get in.

They did not receive a bid into the FCS playoffs
 

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