JohnStOnge wrote: Pwns wrote:
So, you've got a quarter-finalist in the playoffs who lost to the worst team in the Sun Belt.
And you've got a semi-finalist who lost 17-5 to a 1-11 MAC team and barely beat a 2-win WKU team.
And you had a team that didn't make the FCS playoffs beat Colorado State 35-19. If you're going to use score comparisons that's what Sagarin's ratings system does. It compares all scores comprehensively. And by the Sagarin ratings there isn't much difference between how FCS teams rate now within the context of Division I and how I-AA teams rated 20 years ago within the context of Division I.
You're a Georgia Southern fan so you know that Georgia Southern's great teams for some reason could never beat I-A teams until they beat Florida in their last game as a I-AA. At least I don't recall them beating a I-A until that big Florida win. Like Georgia Southern won the national championship with a dominating win over Arkansas State in 1986. It was an Arkansas State team that tied 8-3-1 Ole Miss . But Georgia Southern lost that year to 3-8 East Carolina. East Carolina even lost to the school we now know as Louisiana-Lafayette that year. The only teams they beat other than Georgia Southern were 0-11 Temple and 5-6 Cincinnati. So that year the I-AA national champ lost to a really bad I-A team.
Go back and look at the ECU team's schedule from that season. You'd think they were in a major conference with all the big names on it. Aside from that game, most of our FBS games were against blue bloods like UGA, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, and Miami. We didn't get many games against the Wyomings, CMUs, Colorado States, Minnesotas, or even Kansas State's except when we briefly went away from an option offense.
But that's beside the point. You seem to be implying I'm cherry-picking here, but I think I've seen enough to say that's not the case. I've said before in this thread that the CAA not being up to what it was is a big reason the FCS isn't as strong as it used to be and not just the FBS defectors. A CAA playoff team lost to a Duquesne team that was destroyed by UMass, Maine has looked bad against multiple bad G5 teams, Kennesaw lost to Georgia State, and a second team that eliminated a CAA playoff team was soundly beaten by the fourth or fifth-best Sun Belt team. That seems more like signal than noise.
You can't tell me all that could happen in the CAA's of most of the '00s. The year-by-year comparisons of Sagarin aren't really overly convincing. The wave of recent start-ups that think they're going to be the next UCF because they're in a market are most certainly dead weight in the G5 as well as programs like Texas State that have money but still suck. That doesn't mean the FCS isn't weaker than it was.
One more comment, 4 of the 10 Sun Belt teams in the current Sagarin rankings would be top 5, and 7 of the 10 would be top-25. For a conference that gets mocked as being a glorified FCS conference, it seems pretty damn strong.