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Put some respect on James Madison

Put some respect on James Madison
Put some respect on James Madison

On Tuesday, James Madison, 9-0 in the second year of FBS play, sent a letter to the NCAA asking to be allowed to participate in bowl games

Currently, the Dukes are not allowed to play in an NCAA bowl game or the Sun Belt title game.

The letter points out JMU’s success in the Sun Belt over their first two seasons in FBS, only losing two conference games, both last season.

This is due to an antiquated NCAA rule to help ensure teams moving up can fulfill the 85 scholarships required to play at the FBS level, something no longer thanks to the transfer portal and something JMU never struggled with.

Along with the letter, Virginia State Senator Louise Luca launched a lawsuit against the NCAA for its exclusion of JMU from the postseason, but legal analysts say that is unlikely to work.

The Dukes, 9-0. Have faced the 76th toughest schedule in FBS, including a win over a power five team, Virginia.

Despite the Dukes being the clear leader in the Sun Belt and one of a handful of teams left in the country without a loss.

JMU went 8-3 in its first season of FBS play last season, with a 40-point win over No. 23 Coastal Carolina and a 6-2 Conference record.

Due to an antiquated NCAA rule to help ensure teams moving up can fulfill the 85 scholarships required to play at the FBS level, something no longer thanks to the transfer portal and something JMU never struggled with.

JMU could sneak into a bowl game if there are not enough eligible teams, but the Dukes shouldn’t have to rely on that.

JMU currently sits 21st in the AP poll but should be in the top 15 at least. The only logical reason for keeping them out is the postseason ban.

In the latest CFO rankings, JMU isn’t even on the radar, another bias created by the NCAA’s outdated rules.

The NCAA is not currently showing stats for James Madison, but the Dukes allow under 10 points per game, which would rank second in FBS. On offense, JMU scores 33.2 points per game, which would rank 28th in FBS.

JMU’s 42 sacks as a team are four more than the NCAA’s leader in sacks, Penn State. Which, if ranked by the NCAA, would make the Dukes the FBS’ most prolific sack masters.

Oklahoma State, ranked 15th, having a loss to South Alabama, a team the Dukes beat,
31-23. The Cowboys play the FBS’ 26th best schedule as of Nov. 7, but have two losses on their slate, the aforementioned 33-7 loss to South Alabama and a 34-27 loss to Iowa State.

The Cowboys, defensively, are tied for 66th in FBS scoring defense, giving up 24.33 points per game.

LSU, a three-loss team, is ranked 18th, ahead of JMU despite having three losses. Those losses, two in the SEC and one to Florida State are quality losses, but they are still three losses. The Tigers are tied for 85th in FBS team defense, giving up 28.22 [points per game.

Another group of five teams, Tulane is ranked just ahead of JMU at 20th.

The Green Wave plays the nation’s 73rd toughest schedule and has one loss to Ole Miss. An SEC loss by a G5 team is acceptable, that’s usually the outcome.

Despite that, a loss is a loss and another G5 team with one loss shouldn’t be ranked ahead of the best G5 team in the nation.

Tulane has the nation’s 61st-best scoring offense, scoring 28.7 points per game.

JMU shouldn’t be in the top 10, but the Dukes do deserve some credit for a good season, and you can’t hold the NCAA’s outdated rules against the student; athletes and what they have done.

JMU soul though, be on the inside track for the G5 slot in a New Year’s Six bowl game, but won’t be and won’t get the respect that comes with.

Student-athletes like defensive lineman Jalen Green, who has 15.5 sacks, one away from JMU’s single-season record and 21 TFL. Green was recently injured and will be out for the season

Green’s sacks would rank him 3.5 ahead of the FBS leader in sacks so far this season, UTSA’s Trey Moore. Green would also be the nation’s leader in TFL, three ahead of the recognized leader, ODU’s Jason Henderson with 18.

JMU ‘s leading pass defender, D’Angelo Ponds’ 12 passes defended, would be the third most in FBS, one behind Toledo’s Quinyon Mitchell and five behind the recognized leader, West Virginia’s Beanie Bishop Jr.

JMU’s Mikail Kamara has forced three fumbles this season, which would be tied for sixth with three.

Dukes’ quarterback Jordan McCloud would be tied with Georgia Tech’s Haynes King for 30th with 2,330 passing yards. His 67% completion percentage would rank him 21st in FBS.

Leading receiver Reggie Brown’s 701 yards would rank him 34th in FBS and his six touchdowns are tied for 33rd in FBS.

JMU doesn’t have the flashy wins or power conference status, but despite NCAA rules that need to be heavily reevaluated this offseason, the Dukes should be a top-15 team. You cannot ignore 9-0, despite what the NCAA might want you to do.

During its most recent ranking reveal, the CFP committee did say that if JMU was granted bow eligibility by the NCAA, it would consider ranking the Dukes, but it shouldn’t take that, they deserve to be ranked.

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