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Note to Georgia Southern fans; Forget Alabama, this is what really matters

POSTED: November 16, 2011 2:01 p.m.

I know, I know. Everybody in Georgia Southern's passionate fanbase is geared up about Saturday's game at Alabama. Me included.

And who wouldn't be? The Tide are to FBS what, quite frankly, Georgia Southern is to FCS. Both are storied programs. Both have had legendary head caoaches -- Bear Bryant at Alabama, Erk Russell at Georgia Southern. Both have simple, classic uniforms that -- despite difference in color -- are strikingly similar.

Both have ties to an option offense. Georgia Southern runs a flexbone/triple-option/spread-option created in large part by current Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson, who for my money is still the best college coach in the country. Alabama ran the wishbone for decades under Bryant.

Getting a chance to play a program of Alabama's stature is something that doesn't happen every day for the Eagles, who according to most observers are going to get blown out.

Hopefully, that won't take place. Most GSU fans will be happy if the Eagles can keep it respectable, like they did against Georgia in 2004 when Mark Richt had to bring back in his starters in the fourth quarter to make it 48-28.

But whatever happens on Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa will have no bearing on what the Eagles are out to accomplish this fall, which is hang the school's seventh national title flag on the pole at Paulson Stadium. And with that in mind, playoff projections are already available as a PDF from The Sports Network, one of the premiere media outlets for FCS football in the country.

As a No. 4 seed, the Eagles would get a first round bye, then play host to the winner of Norfolk State and Liberty (remember, these are projections, so plenty can change). Even better, in this scenario GSU wouldn't be on the same side of the bracket as fellow SoCon powers Wofford and Appalachian State -- which could conceivably mean an All-Southern Conference title game.


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