The FCS is the least understood, yet most impressive college football level in Division I — and Gridiron Heroics is going to tell you all about it, 12 months a year, conference by conference, beginning with this week’s FCS football preview series for 2022. Today we publish the FCS’ ASUN-WAC Football Preview for 2022.
The college football programs are good, these programs produce NFL-level talent, they beat FBS teams every year (want evidence? stay tuned – we will publish this in the next week) and they still get overlooked. But Gridiron Heroics won’t be overlooking the FCS like everybody else does annually, we will be embracing the level and the stories these schools tell, year in and year out.
Enjoy the preview.
Also, from Monday, Aug. 22 until our FCS overall preview finale, Gridiron Heroics’ team of eight (yes, eight) FCS reporters break down the 15 conferences that make up the awesome, special level that is — the FCS. Check out the previews with the links below, conference by conference:
THE REST OF THE BEST FCS CONFERENCES IN AMERICA (click on links below)
OVERALL FCS PREVIEW: Overall FCS Preview
MONDAY, AUG. 22: ASUN-WAC & Big Sky
TUESDAY, AUG. 23: Big South, CAA, MVFC
WEDNESDAY, AUG. 24: OVC, Patriot
THURSDAY, AUG. 25: Pioneer, Southland
MONDAY, AUG. 29: HBCU DAY – MEAC & SWAC
TUESDAY, AUG. 30: NEC, SoCon
MONDAY, SEPT. 13: Ivy League (1st game Sept. 16)
RELATED STORY: The Top 30 for 30 Shows in College Football — We Rank Them
BMAC AND THE NACH PODCAST (Aug. 23 episode at top)
FCS NUTS AND BOLTS: All of the key facts for the 2022 FCS season
THE FCS CONFERENCE: Western Athletic Conference (WAC) and ASUN Conference WAC-ASUN Agreement
ASUN- Austin Peay, Central Arkansas, Eastern Kentucky, Kennesaw State and North Alabama; Jacksonville State (Not Eligible for playoffs because moving to the FBS)
WAC- Abilene Christian, Stephen F. Austin, Southern Utah, Sam Houston (Not eligible for playoffs because of moving to the FBS) Tarleton (Not eligible for playoffs because in third of four year wait after moving up from D2) Utah Tech (Not eligible for playoffs because in third of four year wait after moving up from D2)
THE 2021 CHAMPIONS: Sam Houston State
Who could win conference in 2022-23: Kennesaw state, Stephen F Austin
THE NEXT BEST TEAMS: Kennesaw State was the Big South’s best team last season. They earned the automatic bid to the playoffs. They look to be a very strong team again this season. Stephen F Austin made the playoffs last season as well. ASUN-WAC Conference agreement has one of the strongest lineups of teams in the FCS.
THE BEST PLAYERS (STATS): Xavier Shepherd, Kennesaw State QB — Shepherd led the FCS with 23 rushing TDs last season as he totaled 867 yards on the ground off of 240 carries. He kept defenses honest with his throwing abilities, too. Shepherd completed 77-of-123 passes for 1,341 yards, 15 TDs, and three interceptions. |
Trae Self – Stephen F. Austin sr. QB. 63.4 compl %, 3,201 yrds , 28 tds,9 int. Self will have a massive year after putting up numbers last season.
Xavier Gipson -Stephen F. Austin, Jr. WR, 11 games, 1377 receiving yards, 125.2 rec. Yards/gm |
Matthew Jackson – Eastern Kentucky Linebacker, Led the conference with 102 tackles last season and 11 tackles for a loss, was second in the conference. He has been selected second team HERO Sports FCS Preseason All-American. Jackson is the slated to be the best defensive player in the conference this year after having a dominant season last year.
Darius Hale- Central Arkansas – 199 attempts 1019yrds,17 tds last season. Hale looks to be the strength of this offense after their star QB isn’t on the roster this season. He will make the new starting QB life alot easier.
THE GOOD: – ASUN-WAC is a great agreement for working together because you need 6 playoff eligible teams in order to have an automatic spot for the conference. A few of the teams entering ASUN -WAC this year was a conference champion in their old conference last year. With the new additions being strong teams put together with teams like Central Arkansas and Austin Peay who are good teams getting talented players this is one of the strongest conference in the FCS. I look for Kennesaw State and Stephen F Austin to have breakout years and both be in the playoffs. Yet I still see a couple of strong underated teams here. It wouldn’t surprise me to see three teams from these conferences in the playoffs.
THE BAD: Conference realignment is happening every year lately. So far they’ve been able to stay afloat and this year build a strong conference. There could be a problem in the future with teams moving to bigger conferences leaving them unable to send a team to the playoffs. If this did happen it would hurt recruiting and weaken the teams left in conference even more. Hopefully they can keep working together or eventually they may need to join conferences permanently. Alot of what if, but lately with the movement we’ve seen, anything can happen.
THE BIGGEST CONF GAME OF THE YEAR (AND WHY): Central Arkansas vs Austin Peay. This matchup could very well decide who the third team to make the playoffs from the conference. If both teams are playing well then a head to head win could be the difference between playoffs or not.
THE BEST CHANCE FOR AN FBS UPSET WIN (AND WHY): Kennesaw State vs Cincinnati. Kennesaw State is a team who’s gotten better every year and should be one of if not the best team from the conference. While Cincinnati is coming off a big season but lost some star players in the draft. There’s a few that could be an “upset” game but I see this being the most likely.
THE HAPPY CONFERENCE HISTORY NUGGET: The WAC and ASUN both just started football conference up or back up in 2020-2021. So with conference Realignment we also have new football conferences.
THE ONE — WHO GOES TO THE FCS POSTSEASON (AND WHY): I see Stephen F Austin going to the playoffs as conference champions. Also I predict three teams from the ASUN-WAC conferences. My predictions are SFA, and Kennesaw State both go to the post season. Both have returning starters from last year and both were playoff teams last season.
The ASUN Conference is strong from top to bottom. WAC Seems a little more top heavy with SFA being the clear favorite. Combine the two and we now have a very competitive schedule. The middle of the pac teams can surprise the top teams any week. It’s gonna be a wild season and I for one can’t wait to see it unfold. This is the FCS where football is more competitive and exciting than anywhere else.
For More Great Football Content
Follow us on Twitter at @GridironHeroics for more great content. We appreciate you taking time to read our articles. To interact more with our community and keep up to date on the latest in Football news, JOIN OUR FREE FACEBOOK GROUP by CLICKING HERE