FCS predictions: 5 more visits 'GameDay' must make
By CRAIG HALEY
(STATS) - ESPN's "College GameDay" broadcast from James Madison on Saturday is a showcase for all of the FCS, but it's time to spread the love from coast to coast.
Clearly, the interest is growing because this is the fifth visit to an FCS game (two to North Dakota State and two to JMU) in the last five seasons, after there were only three in the first 20 seasons of the traveling show.
There are so many great opportunities for future "GameDay" visits to FCS schools. ESPN can start with these five:
Eastern Washington - The first FCS program to have colored turf (2010), the Eagles would roll out the red carpet for their "GameDay" guests. Maybe Cooper Kupp would pay a visit.
Montana - But schedule a night game, so the set can be positioned inside Washington-Grizzly Stadium. Viewers would get a first-hand look at how the fans sit on top of the action.
Jacksonville State - Not only do the Gamecocks have a large, rabid fan base, but they have the longest conference winning streak in Division I, which, oh yes, includes in the state of Alabama.
The Citadel vs. VMI - If "GameDay is about the stories and not just the games, then "The Military Classic of the South" is worthy of national attention. This year's 73rd meeting will be held Oct. 28 at The Citadel.
Grambling State - They'd be broadcasting from Eddie Robinson Stadium. Enough said.
WEEK 7 FCS TOP 25 PICKS
All Times ET
X - Predicted Winner
Week 6 Record: 15-4 (.789); Season Record: 96-21 (.821)
X-Gardner-Webb (1-4) at No. 25 North Carolina Central (4-1), 2 p.m. - In the four previous meetings from 1996-99, the road team won each time for a 2-2 split.
X-No. 15 North Carolina A&T (6-0, 3-0 MEAC) at Florida A&M (2-4, 1-2), 3 p.m. - A&T left tackle Brandon Parker has been named MEAC offensive lineman of the week five times this season.
North Dakota (2-4, 1-2 Big Sky) at X-No. 24 Montana (4-2, 2-1), 3 p.m. - The Griz offense has scored in all 27 trips to the red zone (22 touchdowns and five field goals).
Indiana State (0-5, 0-2 Missouri Valley) at X-No. 4 South Dakota (5-0, 2-0), 3 p.m. - The Coyotes remain the only Division I team without an offensive turnover.
Northern Iowa (2-3, 1-1 Missouri Valley) at X-No. 7 South Dakota State (4-1, 1-1), 3 p.m. - After allowing Youngstown State to control the ball for 45 minutes, 14 seconds two weeks ago, SDSU came back to possess it for 41:30 against Southern Illinois.
X-No. 17 Illinois State (4-1, 2-0 Missouri Valley) at Southern Illinois (2-3, 0-2), 3 p.m. - The Redbirds have 18 sacks in five games, but SIU has surrendered only two - the FCS low.
No. 11 Villanova (4-2, 2-1 CAA) at X-No. 1 James Madison (5-0, 2-0), 3:30 p.m. - This is Lee Corso's pick for the STATS FCS Game of the Week.
ETSU (3-3, 1-2 Southern) at X-No. 21 Western Carolina (4-2, 2-1), 3:30 p.m. - It doesn't happen often in the Top 25, but coach Mark Speir's Catamounts moved up a spot following a loss (in overtime at Wofford).
Eastern Kentucky (1-4, 1-2 Ohio Valley) at X-No. 3 Jacksonville State (4-1, 2-0), 4 p.m. - The 1990-92 EKU teams shared the OVC record for consecutive conference wins (26) with the Gamecocks. But only until Saturday.
X-No. 13 Richmond (3-2, 1-1 CAA) at Towson (2-3, 0-2), 4 p.m. - Three of Richmond's five games have been decided by three points, including last week against Albany when Griffin Trau kicked a game-winning field goal to end the second overtime.
Missouri State (1-4, 0-2 Missouri Valley) at X-No. 14 Western Illinois (4-1, 1-1), 4 p.m. - Home, sweet home … well, the Leathernecks hope. They're 4-0 on the road and 0-1 at Hanson Field.
Montana State (2-3, 2-1 Big Sky) at X-No. 10 Eastern Washington (4-2, 3-0), 4:05 p.m. - Dangerous game for the Eagles, who have relied on Gage Gubrud rallies for two of their conference wins.
Northwestern State (1-4, 1-2 Southland) at X-No. 9 Sam Houston State (4-1, 2-1), 4:45 p.m. - Bearkats defensive end P.J. Hall is surging with seven tackles for loss and four sacks in his first three games.
X-No. 5 Wofford (5-0, 3-0 Southern) at No. 23 The Citadel (3-2, 1-2), 6 p.m. - Wofford's three main backs - Andre Stoddard, Blake Morgan and Lennox McAfee - have combined to average nearly 7.2 yards on 150 carries.
No. 12 New Hampshire (4-1, 2-0 CAA) at X-Stony Brook (4-2, 3-1), 6 p.m. - A UNH concern: The offense has converted only 29 percent on third downs.
Stephen F. Austin (2-4, 2-2 Southland) at X-No. 6 Central Arkansas (4-1, 3-0), 7 p.m. - SFA coach Clint Conque is only 19-22 since leaving Central Arkansas after the 2013 season.
X-No. 2 North Dakota State (5-0, 2-0 Missouri Valley) at No. 8 Youngstown State (3-2, 1-1), 7 p.m. - Run, run, run. NDSU is tied for the FCS lead in rushing yards per game (318.6) and Youngstown State ranks eighth (268.2).
Southern Utah (3-2, 1-1 Big Sky) at X-No. 18 Weber State (4-1, 2-0), 8 p.m. - Not too shabby, the host Wildcats lead the Big Sky in total defense, scoring defense, rushing defense, passing defense and red zone defense.
Updated October 12, 2017