Saturday, February 9, 2013

Battle For the Fourth Bye- Looking Again

So here we are again.

On Thursday night, Appalachian State went on the road and stunned Georgia Southern, while Samford and Western Carolina lost to College of Charleston and Davidson. The Mountaineers looked like they were in good shape as they took control of the bye spot.

Then on Saturday, Samford won against The Citadel, Western Carolina beat Georgia Southern, and Davidson demolished the Mountaineers, leaving Samford in the lead again.

One thing that remains for sure- it really looks even more certain that Davidson, Elon, and College of Charleston will get byes. Davidson is 12-1, Elon is 9-3, while the Cougars are 10-3. That means that Elon has a full three game lead on the fifth place teams, which puts those three as near locks for a bye.

But the fourth bye is still up for grabs. Furman is not down three full games, so no longer is included on this list. The Citadel is down three and a half games, so is not included in the race. Also, Wofford and Georgia Southern are both two and a half games behind, so not going to be included for now. They are on hold. The could sneak back in, but for now, two games is the cut off.

That means that basically five teams from the North are battling for the fourth bye. They are all separated by a total of two games. This week presents several key games in the battle for the fourth bye. Which team gets there? We'll have to wait and see. Let's look at the week ahead for the contenders.

Samford (6-5)

at Chattanooga (Monday)
Wofford (Thursday)
at Furman (Saturday)

Appalachian State (6-6)

Furman (Monday)
at Elon (Thursday)
at UNCG (Sunday)

Western Carolina (6-6)

Wofford (Monday)
at UNCG (Thursday)
at Elon (Saturday)

UNCG (5-7)

Western Carolina (Thursday)
Appalachian State (Sunday)

Chattanooga (4-7)

Samford (Monday)
Furman (Thursday)
at Wofford (Saturday)


Samford at Chattanooga

Western Carolina at UNCG

Appalachian State at UNCG

Another interesting things is that Wofford has games against Western Carolina, Samford, and Chattanooga this week. If they happen to win all three, they will be right in the race for the fourth bye. In theory, Furman could also be in the battle for the fourth bye, because they play Appalachian State, Chattanooga, and Samford. Georgia Southern is spending the weekend in Charleston against The Citadel and College of Charleston. They probably need to go at least 1-1 to keep in shot of getting the bye alive. We'll look more at Furman, Georgia Southern, and Wofford next week if their records indicate it's necessary.

In the mean time, this week presents some great opportunities at home for UNCG. If they beat Western Carolina and Appalachian State, they will have a wonderful chance to get the bye. Also, the week will really hinge on what happens Monday. Appalachian State against Furman and Western Carolina against Wofford are both huge games in the bye race. If Samford beats Chattanooga, they will all but eliminate the Mocs from the bye race, but if the Mocs can pull off the win, that would be the game that gets them really back into the race.

All in all, this week looks to be very compelling in the hunt for the bye.

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