Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - The 2012 FCS football season is right
around the corner. For many teams, the path to Frisco, Texas - site of the
national championship game - starts in about three weeks, when the dog days of
summer turn into dreaded two-a-days of fall camp.
For fans all across the FCS nation, the offseason is a time to rest and re-
evaluate their team's chances. Whatever happened last year was the past, and
whatever happens moving forward is exciting and opportunistic. However, for
all the promise we have in our teams, some things can never be ignored.
Whether it be schedules, statistics or players to watch, the numbers never
Here are some important figures leading into the FCS season that should not be
Out of the 20 teams which qualified for last season's 2011 playoff field, 10
finished the season ranked in the top 25 nationally for team rushing offense.
They were No. 1 Wofford, No. 2 Georgia Southern, No. 4 Stony Brook, No. 6 Sam
Houston State, No. 11 Towson, No. 12 James Madison, No. 16 Montana State, No.
17 Montana, No. 22 Eastern Kentucky and No. 23 Tennessee Tech.
There are 17 matchups for the Big Sky Conference versus FBS opponents in 2012,
but kingpins Montana and Montana State are only teams without an FBS game.
This season alone, there are 105 FCS-versus-FBS contests.
Three teams - Eastern Washington, William & Mary and Delaware - failed to
qualify for the 2011 FCS playoffs after starting the season ranked in the top
5. The other two, Georgia Southern and Appalachian State, both from the
Southern Conference, finished No. 4 and 12, respectively.
Only four teams which qualified for the playoffs finished the season ranked in
the top 25 nationally for team passing offense: No. 5 Lehigh, No. 15 Central
Arkansas, No. 16 New Hampshire and No. 18 Old Dominion.
Reigning national champion North Dakota State held opponents to 12.7 points
per game, which was No. 1 in the FCS in 2011. The Bison averaged 31.3 points
per game and were very balanced, rushing for 173.3 yards per game and passing
for 172.7 per contest.
Towson running back Terrence West scored 29 touchdowns last season. The
inaugural Jerry Rice Award winner accomplished this in 194 carries, while the
Tigers as a team had 521 total rushing attempts.
Drake and Bucknell combined to allow only nine total rushing touchdowns. Drake
allowed five touchdowns at 77.2 rushing yards a game, while Bucknell allowed
only four on the ground and 78.3 rushing yards per contest.
Six teams from last season's playoff field finished ranked in the top 25
nationally for team defense: No. 2 Norfolk State, No. 3 Sam Houston State, No.
11 James Madison, No. 17 Wofford, No. 19 Lehigh and No. 20 North Dakota State.
Lehigh wide receiver Ryan Spadola averaged 134.5 receiving yards per game,
which was good for second nationally. Spadola enters his senior season with
175 career receptions and the Mountain Hawks haven't lost a Patriot League
game since Nov. 7, 2009.
Over 12,000 miles. That's how many the San Diego Toreros will travel for six
away games in 2012. The Toreros, who earned a share of the Pioneer Football
League title last season, play five of their six away games against Harvard,
Jacksonville, Marist, Drake and Davidson. The closest distance they have to
travel will be at Cal Poly to open the season.
The Sports Network