Other Week 9 FCS Football Game Breakdowns

 Week 9 “Other” Conferences Breakdowns

Simply put, we have a major game in just about each conference, MEAC, SWAC, Big South, OVC and Southland; games that could weight heavy as far as chances at a conference championship or a shot at a playoff spot. Last week the predictions only went 4-1 bringing the season total to 30-12, but that average could falter as we have five great matchups for week nine.


Liberty (3-4) vs Gardner-Webb (4-3), Saturday, 1:30 ET

Liberty has endured four very hard-fought losses to good teams this season including the heartbreaker last week when they let a fourth-quarter double digit lead slip away against unbeaten Coastal Carolina and eventually fell 55-52 in double overtime. Gardner-Webb started 4-1 with an impressive 3-0 win over Wofford, but has not looked as strong since, losing a 53-51 shootout to Charlotte and then being blown out by Coastal Carolina. The Runnin’ Bulldogs had a bye last week to regroup, but Liberty seems to be a better team at this point, just falling to tough opponents.

Projected Score:  Liberty 35, Gardner-Webb 21


Butler (6-2) vs San Diego (4-3), Saturday, 4:00 ET

This battle takes on new importance as the winner of the Pioneer League will get an automatic playoff bid for the first time. Butler currently leads as the only unbeaten in league play. San Diego is just behind though and knows a win will put SD in position to control that playoff bid. Butler is second in the nation in takeaways, and the Bulldogs will need plenty of those in the coming weeks as they finish their season with road games against the three teams just behind them in the standings.

Projected Score: San Diego 30, Butler 28


South Carolina State (5-2) vs #10 Bethune-Cookman (6-1), Saturday, 4:00 ET

Another top conference game is this MEAC matchup that could very well determine who takes the driver’s seat in getting the automatic bid into the playoffs. Bethune-Cookman has looked like one of the best teams in the FCS this year, not just in the MEAC. The only Wildcats’ loss came to Florida State. South Carolina State has handled their business as well, and both teams enter 3-0 in conference play.  Being on the road, South Carolina should enter with the most pressure and a loss could make it tough for the Bulldogs to even draw an at-large spot. A loss by B-CU doesn’t seem to quite put them in as big of a hole.

Projected score: Bethune-Cookman 34, South Carolina State 23


#3 Eastern Illinois (6-1) vs #21 Tennessee State (7-1), Saturday, 5:00 ET

At the moment both of these teams appear to be headed to the playoffs, but the battle for a conference championship will be the top priority Saturday. The storylines will feature EIU’s top FCS offense going against TSU’s stellar defense, but something to remember is Tennessee State’s Tim Broughton leads the OVC in rushing. Still, the Tigers may not be able to keep up by moving the ball on the ground with Walter Payton candidate Jimmy Garoppolo directing the Panther’s lethal passing attack.

Projected Score: Eastern Illinois 31, Tennessee State 21


#8 McNeese State (6-1) vs Nicholls State (4-3), Saturday, 4:00 ET

The Cowboys jumped in the polls last week after an impressive win over Sam Houston State. With Central Arkansas not looking as strong now without Wynrick Smothers, the Cowboys find themselves in a pretty good spot to claim the Southland crown. Nicholls has suffered some big losses including a blowout to Oregon, but the Colonels are 3-0 at home and will see if they can catch the Cowboys napping after coming off a big win.

Projected score: McNeese State 41, Nicholls State 17


Jackson State (6-2) vs Prairie View A&M (5-3), Saturday, 5:00 ET

Jackson State is coming of an unusual weekend in which their homecoming turned into a scrimmage as they were set to host Grambling State before the players boycotted. The Tigers are playing well and unbeaten in the SWAC and leading their division. Prairie View sits second in the other division just behind Southern. The Panthers could give Jackson State a tough challenge and with a win would be in position to win the division if Southern were to slip late in the season.

Projected Score: Prairie View A&M 38, Jackson State 27


See All FCS Football Game Breakdowns