- Football is officially over, as Jacksonville State became the last team to bow out last night, but the OVC really deserves praise for how they progressed this season. With an FCS playoff drought dating back more than a decade, the OVC had a huge year, and it wasn’t just Eastern Illinois as many expected. With a 24-team playoff format going forward, years like this help raise the perception of the conference, and help the OVC be a 3-bid conference bid in the future. What else helps? Fewer money games. Tennessee State and Jacksonville State played just one FBS between them, and that was lowly Georgia State. Sure, the money’s nice, but when it comes to making the FCS Tournament, being a 9-win team is a huge advantage, and that’s not going to happen with two or three money games. While I doubt others will follow their model, (the money is just too good) it would benefit the conference if they did.
- Having now slept on it, I don’t really have anything more positive to say about last night’s basketball action. Excuses can be made: four of those losses were on the road, most teams hadn’t played a game in a week or more, but that was also true for a few of their opponents. But I might have been wrong on the worst loss. Belmont, an RPI top-25 team, probably hurt themselves the worst with their loss at South Dakota State. If you’re looking to be in that 12-13 seed range, where upsets are very possible, this loss hurts a bit. The OVC isn’t as strong as it was last year, (currently ranked 24th in conference RPI) and if it beats itself up a little bit, as it seemingly always does, the champion could be starting at a 14-15 seed, at best.
- Today’s Slate:
Bowling Green at Morehead State: Don’t let the 4-5 record fool you, this is a good Falcons team that has played a tough schedule. The one thing they haven’t done yet is win a true road game, and it will be tough sledding in Morehead. Bowling features a balanced offense, with five players averaging double figure scoring. They’ve struggled to defend the perimeter, so it will be interesting to see if the Eagles can take advantage on the perimeter
Tennessee Tech at Lamar: Boy, how Lamar has fallen. Two years ago, they were an NCAA Tournament team. Last year, 3-27, and they’re on pace to maybe equal that this year. Lamar does two things well: they hit free-throws, and they don’t foul. Everything in between is not as good. Tech has played a home-friendly schedule, and yet to notch a true road win, but this is very winnable against a Cardinals team among the worst in the nation offensively.
Fisk at Tennessee State: WILL IT FINALLY HAPPEN? WILL TENNESSEE STATE GET A WIN? YES, I’M YELLING. THIS IS EXCITING! If TSU loses this one, tune in to the final word for TSU’s 2013-14 eulogy. Because it’s just about season over.
FEATUREDPredicting the OVC race…in mid-December