November 7, 2012
Tiebreaker Could Decide Champion
Currently, JMU is tied with New Hampshire for first place in the Colonial Athletic Association. But, if the two teams remain tied, what happens?
JMU (7-2 overall, 5-1 in the CAA) and UNH (8-2, 6-1) don't play each other this season, so a head-to-head tiebreaker isn't possible.
The champion, according to a CAA official, would be determined by records against common opponents. The tiebreaker will be used to determine the automatic bid only. Each team that finishes first will be a named a co-champion and given a trophy.
It's unclear exactly how all this will work, because there are so many teams bunched at the top of the CAA. JMU, New Hampshire and Old Dominion (which is ineligible for the CAA title) each have one conference loss. Richmond, Villanova and Towson each have two conference losses. That's five of 11 teams still in range of a CAA title and six in range a I-AA playoff bid.
ODU is ineligible for the title because of it's impending jump to I-A.
First, some happy news. Wide receiver Marquis Woodyard returned to practice Tuesday. He had been out since suffering a PCL injury. JMU didn't wear pads Tuesday, so it was hard to tell how good the knee looked.
Now, the bad news - even though it's not so bad. Defensive end Sage Harold sat out Tuesday because of a back injury suffered against Maine. JMU coach Mickey Matthews said it's not serious and that Harold is being held out for precautionary reasons. Harold's back is still sore.
Tight end turned temporary wide receiver Derek Hart also is still out with a quad issue. He traveled to Maine last week as an emergency long snapper. After Chris Beaver, Hart is the only long snapper on the roster. Madison is redshirting Gabe Kreider, a Broadway High School graduate who walked on as long snapper. He played defensive line in high school.
Matthews had no update on quarterback Michael Birdsong's ankle injury. It still appears that the true freshman will be out for a while - probably multiple weeks, which, depending on how far the Dukes go in the playoffs (if they get in, of course) could be mean the whole season.
Birdsong also missed practice Tuesday to attend the funeral of Richard Stegemarten, who coached Birdsong at Matoaca High School in suburban Richmond. Stegemerten died last week of a heart attack at age 62.
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