September 29, 2008

Beat Coastal, The Sequel

Yes, it's college football season again. And yes, while everyone else pays attention to the Bowl Series schools, I'm watching 1-AA -- the championship series. I'll get into the whole Bowl game vs. playoffs debate later on, promise.

This season, my own alma mater Liberty University has been on a roll. They've got the longest winning streak in 1-AA football, and are one of a very few teams that are still undefeated. Of course, two Division II schools at the beginning of the season will do that for you, so that's not a real big bragging point for me.

But the win this past weekend on the road against Youngstown State is a bragging point. My only gripe is that the win should have been bigger -- Liberty led 28-14 going into the 4th quarter and let the Penguins come back. Of course, Youngstown State led 14-0 in the first half, and let Liberty come back and tie the game by halftime. Liberty won in the final second of the game, thanks to a short field goal.

HUGE win for the Flames' program. Their goal this season is to make the playoffs, which is actually almost as arbitrary as making a bowl game. The Big South doesn't get an automatic bid yet (2010 is the first year they're eligible), so Liberty has to play their way in. And that leaves them at the mercy of three different polls and a playoff selection panel that historically hasn't been very fond of Uncle Jerry's kids. But a win on the road in Youngstown is a major feather in their cap, and something the playoff folks and the pollsters cannot ignore. The Penguins haven't lost a non-conference home game since 2004, and Liberty got clobbered the last time they played there.

Which brings me to this week's game. Liberty heads to Conway, South Carolina to play Coastal Carolina. A team we beat last year at home. THE team to beat in the Big South if the Flames want to repeat as Big South champs. I'm tempted to do a makeover on the blog this week, going to the red and white Beat Coastal color scheme that LU had last season. If I have the time, I may do that.

Follow me on Twitter -- I tend to live Tweet Liberty's games as I listen to the internet audio feed. Go Flames!!

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 01:41 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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