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Friday, July 13, 2007

Major NEC football news

Northeast Conference nearing automatic bid to NCAA football playoffs.
NEC champ may be participating by 2008

Hopefully this will run in the Press tomorrow (Saturday). Meanwhile I thought many on the blog would be interested in this latest development....

By TONY GRAHAM
STAFF WRITER

At long last the Northeast Conference appears to be gaining major yardage in its football quest to automatically become a participant in the NCAA post season.
The gain is so substantial that if Monmouth University wins the 2008 NEC football championship it could be competing in that fall's Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division 1-AA) playoffs.
At June 25-27 meeting in Savannah, Ga. the NCAA Division I Championships/Competition Cabinet issued a directive to the FCS committee to provide by mid September a plan for access into the championship for all eligible conferences. Over recent years the NEC has been the lone eligible conference to be snubbed.
Monmouth last season, for the first time since it launched football in 1993, was said to be considered for an at large bid to the 16-team event which includes eight automatic qualifiers.
Until now the NCAA had refused to budge from its field of 16 and had rejected prior NEC appeals, including one for 2007, to gain a berth as an automatic qualifier.
""There would have to be bracket expansion some way,''said Ron Ratner, NEC Associate Commissioner.""That would either be a play-in or opening the bracket up to more teams.''
Ratner said once a plan is in place some additional approvals would be required along the NCAA chain of process, but said he is looking at 2008 as the first year a plan could be implemented.
""Our hope is by 2008 a solution has been reached that allows us access to the FCS playoffs,'' Ratner said.
Kevin Callahan, Monmouth football coach, called the latest development a ""huge step in a positive direction.
""It's good to see progress being made and (NEC Commissioner) Brenda Weare and the NEC deserve a lot of credit for moving this along,'' he said.
""The entire NEC is excited about the possibility of having an automatic qualifier for the 2008 season.''
Meanwhile, Ratner said, plans are for the NEC and Pioneer League to continue the GridironClassic beyond this season's second game of a two-year agreement matching its two champions.
PL champion San Diego defeated NEC champion Monmouth in last December's inauguralgame in West Long Branch. The 2007 NEC champion is scheduled to visit the PL winner this season.
""We will be extending the Gridiron Classic for another two seasons (2009, 2010),'' Ratner said.
Under terms of the deal should one or both of the championship teams receive a berth in the FCS playoffs, the second place team or teams would meet in the Classic.
e-mail tonygsports@aol.com.

14 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tony,

If only it would've been last year. Still this is great news for Monmouth and the NEC. Could this possibly mean that an increase in schooly's may be forthcoming in the NEC from it's new count of 30?

11:00 PM, July 14, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

I've heard some talk of boosting the 30 scholarship total..I think it will happen...the NEC is heading in that direction...I say maybe in 2-3 years..just my own guess here...

10:53 AM, July 15, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tony-
Would this be a play-in game situation, where the NEC is tied to one of the teams in the play in, or is the automatic berth based on the current 16 team tournament. I know Ratner said he thought it meant the bracket will expand, but does that mean to 24 teams or for a play in?

3:56 PM, July 15, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

Ratner does not believe any of the current automatics will lose any of their bids....sooo...

If there is a play in and the NEC is included, than either the lowest rated teams or teams from the lowest rated leagues would be the bottom seeds....

as I see it...let's say MU is 17 and (made up name) Rhode Island State is 16..then MU and RI State play in and winner gets No. 1 Appalachian State (or whoever).......or the field is expanded ..

4:25 PM, July 15, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tony -

For your scenario to work they would have to make some more changes, because currently only the top 4 teams are seeded. The rest are given games based on regional and conference considerations.

5:49 PM, July 15, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

Well..I do not pretend to be fluent on how it would work. Just that Ratner said there would have to be some form of expansion.

8:08 PM, July 15, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

The fact that we're even talking about it is something in itself...

8:11 PM, July 15, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

Just heard from Ratner. He really has no idea how the seedings would work but a play-in between the two lowest seeds would be a possibility, he said..

9:42 PM, July 15, 2007  
Anonymous andrew said...

its about freaking time!!!!!!!!!

10:02 PM, July 15, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

Andrew..I think MU fans agree with you whole heartedly...

12:46 AM, July 16, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the best film guy in the business is andrew and he caught any punt sean dennis would kick in his pregame routine, complete stud....shame thid didnt happenn before, MU has fielded some fine clubs over the past four years and always played up to their competition even though the talent level was un balanced except for their debacle at lehigh,(which was their first game of the year) if that game was the 3rd game of the year they would have been prepared better, their coaches do a great job to get everything out of their student athlete, only if they had better facilities they would be much better and more respected

9:00 PM, July 16, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

I covered the Lehigh FB game..they had an error-prone third quarter but otherwise generally stayed with the Mountain Hawks with big games for Miles Austin and Adam San Miguel...though the score does not bear this out.

..MU's last three combined visits to Lehigh in fball and men's and women's hoops they have been whacked...

MU men's hoops back at Lehigh this Dec. 28th..FB and w hoops not playing them this year...

10:04 PM, July 16, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tony,

With all the news you keep quoting about the WR from Don Bosco, Callahan, I notice he's not on the roster. Did he quit the team?

11:02 PM, July 31, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

Re: Brian Callahan. No longer on the team...decided not to play but is still in school from what I am told.

1:32 PM, August 01, 2007  

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