James Madison football’s fight to make a bowl game in 2023

James Madison running back Kaelon Black (6) outruns Connecticut defensive back Malik Dixon-Williams (1) as he carries the ball up the field during the first half in Harrisonburg, Va., Saturday, Nov. 11, 2023. (Daniel Lin/Daily News-Record via AP) ORG XMIT: VAHAR104

The 2023 college football season’s provided plenty of intrigue for fans. A dynamic battle for the Heisman Trophy, the final inter-conference editions of the Red River and Bedlam rivalries, the Prime effect, and plenty of upsets across the country.

But one of the biggest stories of 2023’s taken place off the field: James Madison University football’s fight to make a bowl game.

Here’s a look at the timeline of a fight that’s years in the making.

Home finale: Spurned by NCAA, No. 18 James Madison will need focus as it faces surging Appalachian State

How did James Madison get here?

James Madison built its program in what is now the Football Conference Subdivision (FCS) starting in 1972. In 2004, the program won its first FCS title and hasn’t had a losing season since.

Following the 2021 season in which the Dukes won their fifth Colonial Athletic Association Conference title in six years, the James Madison football program moved up to the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). The Dukes joined the Sun Belt Conference starting in the 2022 season.

James Madison’s first season in the FBS was an unusual success story with an 8-3 record. Only two teams totaled at least eight wins in their first FBS season in the last 15 years: UTSA (2012) and Georgia Southern (2014).

The Dukes continued the hot start this fall with a 10-0 record through Week 11 of the 2023 season. But the team is not eligible for a bowl game.

No sweat in the FBS: James Madison riding 13-game winning streak and making the transition from FCS look almost easy

Why is James Madison not eligible for a bowl game?


Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/got-james-madison-footballs-fight-021640662.html

Author : USA TODAY Sports

Publish date : 2023-11-18 02:16:40

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