The Blitz: Is SFA and Tarleton headed to Conference USA?

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Southland Conference

  • Texas A&M-Commerce threw the Southland title race into chaos with an impressive 31-28 road win over preseason favorite Southeastern. The win is the first over an FCS school in program history and is a signature win for the Lions in their first season of transition to FCS.

  • Northwestern State sits atop the Southland standings at 2-0, followed by A&M-Commerce. UIW may be the second happiest team with the Lions win over the Lions. The Cardinals re-enter the discussion for the Southland title and automatic playoff berth.

  • Lindsey Scott Jr. was named the FCS National Offensive Player of the Week after completing 23-of-26 passes for 401 yards and seven touchdowns against Lamar. In addition, Scott Jr. posted an insane passer rating of 306.9.

Southwestern Athletic Conference

  • We welcome the SWAC to conference chaos after Southern’s 45-13 beatdown of Prairie View A&M. The win puts the Jaguars back into the West Division title picture along with Alcorn State and PVAMU.

Western Athletic Conference

  • Matt Brown discussed the possibility of Stephen F. Austin or Tarleton joining Conference USA in his latest newsletter on Brown notes that Tarleton has not been shy about expressing interest in a move to FBS, but C-USA is not as interested in the Texans right now.

  • A move to FBS doesn’t seem in the immediate future for Tarleton considering they are in year three of a four-year transition to FCS. However, the Texans will likely be an FBS program within the next five years. The school has committed to improving all of its athletic facilities and will be a candidate to join C-USA or another FBS conference in two to three years.

  • Brown noted that SFA does not prefer to transition to FBS at this time due to costs and infrastructure requirements. I can confirm that SFA does not currently desire to transition to FBS. However, they are watching Sam Houston’s transition closely to see how the Bearkats navigate the need to improve infrastructure while paying for the additional scholarships, which requires a significant commitment from the alumni and donor base.

  • The Lumberjacks understand their alumni and fan base are not ready to make the monetary commitment to FBS right now, but that could quickly change if Colby Carthel continues to build the football program into a national contender. Carthel is still bringing back many of the alumni and donors that became dispirited before his arrival.

Lone Star Conference

  • Angelo State and Texas A&M-Kingsville are headed for a showdown in San Angelo in two weeks but must first navigate past their opponents this week. The Rams travel to meet an improved and dangerous Western New Mexico team, while the Javelinas are hosting a UTPB team still trying to find consistency.

American Southwest Conference

  • Howard Payne and Mary Hardin-Baylor currently sit atop the ASC standing with a 4-0 record, but the Yellow Jackets have yet to play either the Cru or Hardin-Simmons

  • Speaking of the Cowboys, some in the national media have begun discussing whether HSU or Birmingham-Southern would get an at-large berth in the playoffs if both teams win out. I believe the Cowboys would have the edge with only one loss and a solid road win over Wisconsin-Platteville on their resume.

Southern Athletic Association

  • Trinity nearly entered the fray of teams needing an at-large berth to the playoffs before a fantastic drive in the final minute of its game against Birmingham-Southern was capped with a 43-yard touchdown pass from Tucker Horn to Carter Self.

Sooner Athletic Conference

  • This week’s game against Langston is huge for Texas Wesleyan. The Lions are atop the SAC standing with a 4-0 conference record but have a brutal schedule beginning with the Rams this week, followed by Ottawa (Ariz.). The Rams must win this week to remain in the SAC title race and the conversation for a playoff berth.

Southwestern Junior College Football Conference

  • It was only a matter of time before the SWJCFC joined the ranks of the chaotic conferences. Tyler defeated the defending national champs and No. 1 New Mexico Military 20-12 last week, which leaves Trinity Valley the only remaining undefeated team in conference play. Stay tuned. This conference is only beginning to get wild as they head toward the SWJCFC playoffs.

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