FAU's victory vs. Wagner shows a win isn't always a win
There were plenty of smiles on the field immediately after Florida Atlantic’s 7-3 victory over Wagner on Friday.
And why not? You play to win the game. The Owls did that and head coach Carl Pelini notched his first victory as a college head coach.
Pelini (Photo from OwlPix.com) deserves a hearty congratulations.
However, after the euphoria of escaping vs. the Seahawks wears off, it’s time to look at reality.
While it’s far better than a loss, narrowly defeating a limited-scholarship team in a game which wasn’t decided until the last play at mostly-empty stadium should be a cause for concern.
Wagner was brought in to provide an easy victory for the Owls in Pelini’s first game. Instead FAU should consider itself fortunate to have won the game. Perhaps it was a good thing that fewer than 10,000 were on hand to see it.
And what exactly did the Owls win? Well, when it comes to bowl-eligibility – nothing. While it’s not very likely it will be a concern for FAU, the NCAA has a rule that keeps FBS teams from counting victories against FCS teams unless they have at least 54 scholarships. Wagner has about 40 scholarships, the philosophy that “a win is a win” doesn’t apply to the victory vs. Wagner in terms of making it to a bowl, a goal of every FBS team.
However, next week’s game at Middle Tennessee does count , and also counts in the Sun Belt Conference standings. After the Blue Raiders fell to FCS McNeese State 27-21 on Thursday, perhaps the Owls have a chance.
Now, FAU must fund a way to pump life into its offense, which looked only marginally better than last year’s – much to the dismay of all the “spread heads” who thought bringing a spread offense would be a magical cure for FAU’s offense.
Was FAU really that bad on Friday? We’ll get a much better idea next Saturday when the Owls face a team its own league.
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FAU Football: Pelini gets first win as Owls defeat Wagner
More media coverage: Sun-Sentinel / Palm Beach Post / University Press