Our December 2017 season; Our journey to Atlanta winds down
Coastal Carolina joins FBS play with momentum and leadership
For the first weekend in December, we land in Conway, SC for the final month of regular season games, division play-off games, and bowl games. We get to add Coastal Carolina University as our 130th Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) team when the Chanticleers host Georgia Southern at home in expanded Brooks Stadium. Note that in 2018, the FBS will ball back to 129 teams again as Idaho has decided the cost of FBS travel to compete especially in the Sun Belt is too prohibitive to continue this endeavor, and they will return to the former conference of the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), the Big Sky Conference. The Vandals have improved over the last few years, but probably never should have left the FCS in the first place. With the addition of Coastal and the departure of Idaho, we at collegefootballfan.com can still say that weve seen em all among the FBS. At this game, we have a lot of interest regarding the two coaching staffs. CCU HC Joe Moglia has coached his team to a 51-15 record on their way to compete at the FBS level. His prior 18 years in business included seven years at TD Ameritrade where Moglia and his management team grew the company as its clients assets grew from $24 billion to over $300 billion. While coaching, he remains the Chairman of TD Ameritrade. His football program also continues to grow by leaps and bounds. Entering FBS play, he adds two former successful head coaches as his primary assistants. Offensive coordinator Jimmy Chadwell arrives from Charleston Southern where he coached the Buccaneers to a 35-14 record over the last four years and won Big South titles garnering a playoff bid in the FCS playoffs the last two. Former HC of James Madison University, Mickey Matthews, enters his second season under Moglia. In Harrisonburg from 1999-2013, he recorded a record of 109-71 while winning the FCS (formerly 1AA) championship in 2004. Like any strategic, successful leader whether in business, politics, or sports, Moglia builds his program by hiring proven winners to surround him. This will be an interesting year for the Chanticleers though they are not bowl eligible in their first season in the FBS. At Georgia Southern, HC Tyson Summers returns from his first season in Statesboro where the Eagles finished 5-7. Many attribute this programs fall from a switch from their highly successful triple option to a spread offense. Summers is not continuing in that vein in 2017. Summers hired away Georgia Tech offensive coordinator Bryan Cook in the off-season who worked the triple option under the steerage of the Godfather of the triple option, Paul Johnson. Trouble is that primary experience they had that kind of talent for graduated this past spring. GSU has to revamp skills on offense with a new set of playmakers as the defense looks to replace seven experienced DL and all of its linebackers. The Eagles ahve to do some rebuilding, and fast, to get back to its traditional winning ways.
End of the end of the season tradition?
We close our December 2017 season of the regular season games on our journey to Atlanta on December 9 in traditional fashion at the 118th version of Army-Navy. The Cadets bring back confidence and experience after last seasons 8-5 record, a Hearts of Texas Bowl win over North Texas State, and the returns of Senior QB Ahmad Bradshaw and Junior FB Andy Davison (961 yards, 12 TDs). It will be hard fought as usual as Navy will be looking to come off its first defeat in 15 years against Army while Army West Point wants to prove that their win was no flash in the pan. This clash between these two will be our sixth consecutive, and it totals our 11th overall dating back to 1972 in the greatest rivalry of all in college football. We call it that with no doubts because no other game between two rivals stirs more blood nationally than this one. As my cousin Debbie Keyes, whose son Robert started on the OL for The College of New Jersey for three seasons a few years back told me recently, her husband Phil only watches two football games a year. The Super Bowl, only because its on at whatever party he attends, and the Army Navy game which he watches with fervor. As a colonel in the Army reserves he always roots intently for The Brave Old Army Team. And there are hundreds of thousands at least like him throughout the country who hold this game in higher esteem than any other. Its a tradition among families with military blood in their veins going back a long way with a lot of pride. However, this could turn out to be our last for a while. Many other cities including some as far away as Florida, Texas, California, and Washington state are bidding to attract this historic American college football rivalry. It seems costly to transport 8,000 Mids and Cadets to such far reaches of the nation. If this happens, we probably wont go. With bowl season a few weeks away, this will put a crimp in our travel budget to say the least. However, it would be ideal for other parts of the county to attend the game and take in the atmosphere. Hopefully, it will return back to Philly on a regular basis on the highways between Annapolis and West Point where the rivalry intensifies every season no matter what the records of either team before this heated battle!
‘Tis the Seasonto go Bowling!
After the college football regular season, our December 2017 season continues through playoffs and Bowl season. Follow us right here again this season as our goal is to continue our journey to Atlanta. Well be savoring each game as we roll on. The very next weekend we will find a playoff game most likely in the east among the FCS, Division 2, and Division 3 games that most interest us. That weekend is a possibility of the D-3 national championship game on Friday night, December 15, as always in Salem, VA. Easy bowl road trip for us this season. Following Christmas on Monday, December 25, we will start nearby in New York City on Wednesday for the New Era Pinstripe Bowl between the Big Ten and the ACC. Next day takes us back to familiar haunts in Annapolis for the Military Bowl between The American Athletic and The ACC. On Friday, for the first time we plan to be at the Belk Bowl in Charlotte for another ACC bowl against the SEC. We will be ACCd out! With plans to be in Atlanta on Monday, January 8, we will take a quick look if we want to do something on the 30th in order to watch the two CFP semis at home on New Years Day. The Liberty, the Taxslayer, or the Orange Bowl can all be considered depending on who is playing. Its a long way off, but we’ve got our options in place.
With less than two weeks until our opener when Hawaii visit UMass on August 26, watch here for more updates with Steveo’s Salvos!