Sunday, July 1, 2007

NEC Pursuing Automatic Qualifier

  Numerous Duquesne Football officials have confirmed that the commissioner of the Northeast Conference -- Duquesne Football's soon-to-be-new home (in 2008) -- has and is pursuing an automatic invitation for its football champion into the NCAA Division I Football Championship Tournament.

(Image: The Northeast Conference Logo, Copyright The Northeast Conference)


Coffee said...

Since the NEC now offers scholarships, the NCAA should extend them a bid. They have been moving up in the Sagarin rankings. These teams seem to be distancing themselves from the "mid-major" tag while less serous programs like St. Peters, who never should have been 1-AA weed themselves out. The Dukes should have stepped up the the NE long ago.

Even better- the A-10 should form its own 1-AA Conference to get an automatic bid now that they gave up their program to the CAA. Let the non-charter members move to the CAA and build a new conference around Duquesne, Dayton, Fordham, La Salle, RI, UMASS (unless they go 1-A), Richmond and add Marist too since they seem to be serious. Temple should give up 1-A and join. Vilanova and Northeastern may want to stay north. Charlotte may be adding a team too.

Coffee said...

See the article below for more info.

Big News!! The following story will be issued in tomorrow's Asbury Park Press concerning possible automatic bid for the NEC champ.

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

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 Gridiron Classic 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 inaugural game 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.

BluffTalk said...

  That's very exciting to hear. Could you provide a link?

BluffTalk said...

  Thanks for the tip, Coffee. Here's that link: Asbury Park Press article