The Liberty Flames added to the growing list of FCS victories over FBS teams in 2015 by burning the Georgia State Panthers, 41-33, in Atlanta.
Liberty is one of the high-quality FCS teams this year and could be a big factor come playoff time. They already possess a notable win at home against Montana, 31-21, before 22,551 die-hards, which will look very nice come resume time. You will recall that Montana, of the Big Sky, handed Four Time Defending National Champion North Dakota State (that’s actually the full name of the school now) a 38-35 loss at Missoula before a crowd of 26,472 in the season opener for both teams.
Again, Liberty’s win over Montana checks the strength of schedule box and quality wins box with indelible ink. Plus, Liberty’s two losses are road games against FBS, Power Five, and Big 12 member, West Virgina and FCS, and Missouri Valley member, Southern Illinois. The Flames have played a tough schedule, thus far, and it will not get easier in the Big South.
Looking ahead is a no-no, but I’m no coach, so looking way, way ahead and licking my chops is my stock in trade. On the other hand, I do give pretty good fashion advice: your evening wear on Saturday, November 19, 2015, in Lynchburg, Virginia, shall not include Teal, unless, of course, you like roller coasters and are named Carolyn.
You figured it out by now, and hopefully Turner Gill’s charges will, too, as the Flames host FCS monster, Coastal Carolina, in the last regular season game of the year, which could have huge national implications. Additionally, the game before that is at Charleston Southern which also could be pivotal in the Big South and beyond. In any event, the win at Georgia State is an FBS feather in Liberty’s cap.
A number of preseason magazines and lists had Georgia State, of the Sun Belt, listed at or near the bottom among the worst FBS teams. I don’t like to pile on struggling teams that are trying to get it going which is a tough proposition in major college football for anyone. It was also interesting to note in the preseason that Georgia State had, as their first two games on their schedule, a couple of other teams which also made the consensus bottom ten lists: C-USA newbie, Charlotte, and Sun Belt perennial struggler, New Mexico State. This presented somewhat of a playoff proxy on who actually might be number 128 in the FBS.
So, Georgia State lost at home to Charlotte, 23-20, then turned around and won a road game in Las Cruces, against New Mexico State, 34-32. As much as I hate to say it, because I have always admired the grit and pluck of the Aggies battling away in the ranks of the majors, this little eyeball test seemed to crown the New Mexico State Aggies as the Kings of the Nether World of Major College Football.
Unscientific as it is, don’t you think it is the next best thing to the College Football Playoff (which is very scientific, just ask TCU and Baylor) for the South Pole of the FBS. However, if you listen closely, real quiet now, getting your ear down to the desert sand, you can just hear a faint baying on the southwest wind, “Bring on Kansas. Bring on Wyoming.” Sad to say that, too, but to paraphrase coach-speak not one bit, “It is what it is.”