Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Last game time change

The game time for Jacksonville State's final regular season game at Tennessee Tech on Nov. 20 has been changed.

The game, which could lock up the OVC title and complete an undefeated regular season for the Gamecocks, will kick at 4 p.m. It originally was a 6 p.m. kick.

The change was done at the request by the Division I Football Championship Selection Committee, which asked for a game to be considered in any playoff discussion start no later than 4:00 p.m. CT (5 p.m. ET).

It was done so the bracket can be completed and announced in a 30-minute special on ESPNU at 9 a.m. CT Nov. 21 (an earlier announcement than in previous years).

The latest Sports Network projection has JSU as the No. 5 seed, drawing a first-round bye and playing Bethune-Cookman at home in the second round Dec. 4. It also projects a first-round game for Southeast Missouri at Northern Arizona.

Bethune-Cookman currently leads the nation in total offense, scoring and turnover margin, and is second in scoring defense. It is ranked in the top 30 in all 10 NCAA offensive and defensive statistical categories.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Power rankings

The Gamecocks are third in both major national polls, but after their win at UT Martin they slipped nearly out of the top 40 when comparing their offensive and defensive statistical standings with the other teams in the FCS. With a little more time, we'll tweak the numbers to include even more stats.

Here's the top 40 (x-indicates teams ranked in either the Sports Network or Coaches Top 25)

x-B-Cookmn 93
x-W Illinois 207
x-Montana 219
x-Delaware 223
x-SC State 259
x-Villanova 265
x-Liberty 272
Harvard 296
Chattnooga 306
x-N Hampshire 322
x-Wofford 330
x-App State 340
x-Umass 344
x-Wm&Mary 344
x-Montana St 348
x-Penn 348
x-James Madison 362
Jacksonville 364
x-Ga Southern 369
Yale 375
Jackson St 386
Dayton 387
x-SEMO 390
x-SF Austin 398
Furman 399
N Arizona 406
Robt Morris 411
Tennessee St 425
Cent Arkansas 430
Grambling 432
Cent. Conn. 440
Indiana St 446
x-S Illinois 448
Brown 464
Hampton 466
x-UNI 506
x-ND State 519
38. x-Jax State 530
Youngstown St 549
Old Dominion 554

Ex-JSU DL Scott signs with AFL

Former JSU defensive lineman John Scott signed with the New Orleans VooDoo of the new Arena Football League earlier this week. The reborn indoor league starts in March.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Fun with football numbers

It’s a good thing the two major FCS polls are based on winning and losing or Jacksonville State might not enjoy as lofty a position as they do right now.

The Gamecocks are 5-0 and ranked No. 3 in both major polls this week – their highest ranking in the school’s Division I history – but if you compared where they stand statistically on offense and defense, they’d barely be in the top 40.

Applying point values to a team’s position in the 10 major offensive and defensive categories in the weekly NCAA FCS statistics, the Gamecocks would come in 35th with 485 points. They wouldn’t even be the best in the Ohio Valley Conference, trailing Tennessee State (16th, 348 points) and Southeast Missouri (26th, 404).

But statistics can only tell you so much.

Consensus No. 1 Appalachian State is fifth in the Musky Power Rankings (249) and consensus No. 1 Delaware is third (240).

Bethune-Cookman (4-0), ranked in the top 10 in eight of the 10 categories, tops the list this week. The MEAC school leads the nation in total and scoring offense, and is second in rushing, pass efficiency and pass efficiency defense.

For what it’s worth, here’s this week’s the top 40. We’ll try to keep up with it each week now that the season has hit the mid-point.

Bethune-Cookman 88
W Illinois 202
Delaware 240
SC State 242
App St 249
Montana 258
Villanova 274
Liberty 282
Ga. Southern 294
Wofford 300
N Arizona 309
Montana St. 311
New Hamp 323
James Madison 335
UMass 342
Tenn. St 348
Harvard 353
Dayton 356
J'ville 380
Wm & Mary 380
Cent Arkansas 381
Chattanooga 391.5
Brown 393
Jackson St. 401
Robt Morris 401
SE Missouri 404
N. Iowa 420
Stephen F Austin 423
Penn 429
Old Dominion 433
Cent. Conn 437
S. Illinois 469
Furman 474
Hampton 481
Youngstown St 529
Missouri St 530
ND State 533
Maine 534
Alabama St 540

Monday, September 27, 2010

Hoops info out without fanfare

The JSU basketball schedule and roster mysteriously has shown up on the athletic department website -- with no formal announcement of the games from the school.

The Star reported most of the non-conference games several months ago, but there is an interesting addition - at Oregon Dec. 13.

The roster was just posted despite school being in session for nearly a month and after repeated requests by The Star for the information.

The Gamecocks will have a different look this year. They will return three of their top four scorers and seven players from last season, but conspicuously absent from the 16-man roster is Trenton Marshall. The 2010 OVC scoring champion was suspended for the final four games of last season and didn't return this year, multiple sources said, after a second failed drug test would have required him to serve a suspension for the first 10 games this season.

JSU officials cited a violation of the team's medical policy for the initial suspension. A message left for Marshall on his facebook account seeking comment has not been returned.

The roster also does not include April signee Leke Lewu or early signees Derick Denny and Abner Kamps.

Here's the schedule

Nov. 13 West Alabama, 7:45 p.m.
Nov. 16 at Norfolk State, 6 p.m.
Nov. 18 at VMI, 6 p.m.
Nov. 22 SE Louisiana, 7 p.m.

Global Sports Roundball Classic
at Normal, Ill.
Nov. 26 UL-Monroe, 8 p.m.
Nov. 27 South Dakota, 8 p.m.
Nov. 28 Illinois State, 3 p.m.

Dec. 1 at UAB
Dec. 4 Tennessee Tech, 7:45 p.m.
Dec. 13 at Oregon
Dec. 15 at Presbyterian
Dec. 19 SE Missouri, 4:30 p.m.
Dec. 21 E. Illinois, 7:45 p.m.
Dec. 29 at South Carolina

Jan. 6 at Eastern Kentucky, 6:30 p.m.
Jan. 8 at Morehead State
Jan. 13 Murray State, 7:45 p.m.
Jan. 15 UT Martin, 4:30 p.m.
Jan. 20 at Tennessee State, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 22 at Austin Peay, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 27 at SE Missouri
Jan. 29 at E. Illinois, 6 p.m.

Feb. 3 Morehead State, 7:45 p.m.
Feb. 5 E. Kentucky, 4:30 p.m.
Feb. 7 Tennessee State, 7 p.m.
Feb. 10 at UT Martin, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 12 at Murray St., 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 15 Austin Peay, 7 p.m.
Feb. 19 Bracket Busters at JSU
Feb. 26 at Tennessee Tech

Here's the roster
F DeAndre Bynum, Jr. (SW Tennessee CC)
G B.J. Miller, Jr
F Stephen Hall, Jr.
G Dominique Shellman, Jr.
G/F Brice Jenkins, Fr. Palm Beach, Fla.
G Jonathan Merit, So.
G Nick Murphy, Sr.
G Jeremy Bynum, Sr.
G/F Frankie Bougher, Fr., Memphis, Tenn.
G Brian Williams, Fr., Lawrenceville, Ga.
F LeVentrice Gray, Jr. (Gadsden State)
F Latiq Agard, Jr. (Seward Co. (Kan.) CC)
F/C Garrett Frick, Fr. Santa Monica, Cal.
C Jordan Cornelius, Fr., Jackson, Miss.
F Sean Thurston, Sr.
F Nick Cook, Fr., Hattiesburg, Miss.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Slim pickin's on hoops news

There is a presumption that Jacksonville State will play basketball this season.

You wouldn't know it by the lack of information coming out of the program.

School has been in session a couple weeks now, drop/add has long passed, and there is still no word on a roster, schedule or official hiring of assistant coach Tom Schuberth despite an August report from his old school that he left there “after accepting a position as an assistant coach at Jacksonville State University.”

The OVC office still doesn't have any information on the Gamecocks. But, then, as one school publicist said, "It's football season."

Like it's the only one that matters at a school that has 16 sports.

We do know 2009-10 OVC scoring champion Trenton Marshall and guard John Barnes are gone. I do know they have players and coaches, because I saw Jeremy Bynum and Nick Murphy in the dining hall two weeks ago and I saw coaches James Green, Mike Smith and Scotty Fletcher celebrating on the field at Ole Miss.

Bracket talk

Think the polls don't matter? They certainly play a role when it comes to playoff consideration.

Each week, The Sports Network puts together its projection of the 2010 playoff bracket on its website. This week, it has the fourth-ranked Gamecocks as the No. 4 seed, drawing a first-round bye and a second-round home game against the New Hampshire-Central Connecticut winner. It’s the only projected bid for the OVC.

Last week, it had them with a first-round bye and second-round home game against Eastern Washington. It also had Eastern Illinois in the field.

The Gamecocks are ranked fourth in both major FCS polls this week. The players, at least in front of the media, are unfazed by it.

“We could be No. 1 this week and out of the Top 25 the next week,” fullback Alphonso Freeney said. “Our point is we know at the end of the season if we win all our games we’re going to be No. 1 and can’t anybody take that from us.”

JSU coach Jack Crowe realizes there is some merit to poll position.

“We had a playoff team they didn’t let in one time because we weren’t rated high enough, so we felt the other side of it – and we were good enough to be in the top 16 teams in the country,” he said, referring to 2008 when the Gamecocks were snubbed for the final spot in the then-16-team field. “So, there’s some personal satisfaction to me we get some credit, but finality is what we’re looking for.”