The Cream of Small College Football
(UPDATE: Delaware lost to Appalachian State University, 49-21)
The University of Delaware Fighting Blue Hens meet the Appalachian State University Mountaineers tonight in the final game of the small-college Football Championship Series.
Kickoff is 8 p.m. ET at sold out Randall Stadium in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The game will be televised on ESPN2.
Unlike the NCAA’s Football Bowl Series, which ends its season around New Year’s with bowl games that may or may not show who is the best major college team, the FCS has a four-round playoff that determines a national champion.
Delaware, where I went to school and am a season ticket holder, has long been emblematic of the best of small-college football with six national championships, the last one in 2003. It upset big-time Navy in Annapolis en route to an 11-3 record, while its three losses were by a total of 15 points against opponents in the Colonial Athletic Conference, the toughest in the FCS.
Appalachian State (12-2) began its season with a stunning upset of really big-time Michigan in Ann Arbor and is shooting for its third straight national championship. Its two losses were to fellow Southern Conference teams.
The teams are led by two of the best quarterbacks at any level.
Delaware’s Joe Flacco, a probable first-round National Football League pick, has a rocket of an arm and runs the 5th ranked total offense and 11th ranked passing offense in the nation. Appalachian State’s Armanti Edwards, a left-handed sophomore, is the best scrambling quarterback that I’ve seen in years and rushed for an extraordinary 313 years last Friday in a 55-35 triumph over Richmond, which Delaware lost to during the regular season in five overtimes.
Ironically, Appalachian State will be facing a team with the Michigan-style winged helmet at the end of its season as it did at the beginning.
Las Vegas bookmakers have Appalachian State by 4 points. You can guess who I’m rooting for.