Make no mistake, Lee Corso won’t be donning Villanova Wildcats headgear at the end of ESPN’s “College GameDay” on Saturday.
The iconic, traveling preview show will be in Harrisonburg, Virginia, to celebrate the 2016 FCS national champion and the No. 1 team in Athlon Sports' FCS Power Poll — the James Madison Dukes.
Even Corso knows an FBS-like FCS program when he sees one.
Here are the Week 7 games of the week:
Note: All times ET
Saturday, Oct. 14
Northern Iowa (2-3, 1-1 Missouri Valley) at No. 6 South Dakota State (4-1, 1-1), 3 p.m.
The 50th meeting in the series is a must win for UNI, which with a loss would likely have to win out to make the FCS playoffs. South Dakota State has improved some of last year’s defensive deficiencies. Imagine if the offense goes to a higher level, like it can.
Pick: South Dakota State
North Dakota (2-4, 1-2 Big Sky) at No. 22 Montana (4-2, 2-1), 3 p.m.
On Homecoming at the best stadium in the FCS (Washington-Grizzly), there’s a twist: North Dakota prefers to run the ball, yet it might be best-served to pass it against Montana, while the Griz want to pass the ball, but should look to run it against the Fighting Hawks.
Prairie View A&M (2-3, 2-1 SWAC) at Alcorn State (4-2, 2-0), 3 p.m.
Alcorn has the SWAC leaders in passing yards (Lenorris Footman), rushing yards (De’Lance Turner) and receiving yards (Norlando Veals), yet its ability to play solid defense will be the difference versus Prairie View.
Pick: Alcorn State
No. 13 Villanova (4-2, 2-1 CAA) at No. 1 James Madison (5-0, 2-0), 3:30 p.m.
The second time around, the host Dukes are keeping the focus on the opponent and not getting caught up with the “College GameDay” visit, as they did in their 2015 loss to Richmond. With the Villanova offense set back by injuries, the national champs will simply outscore the Wildcats to set the CAA record with an 18th straight victory.
Pick: James Madison
Eastern Kentucky (1-4, 1-1 Ohio Valley) at No. 4 Jacksonville State (4-1, 2-0), 4 p.m.
Eastern Kentucky’s storied program needs a blast from the past if it is going to keep a share of the record for consecutive Ohio Valley Conference wins (27). Jacksonville State has moved into a tie with the 1990-92 EKU squads.
Pick: Jacksonville State
Montana State (2-3, 2-1 Big Sky) at No. 7 Eastern Washington (4-2, 3-0), 4:05 p.m.
It seems like EWU quarterback Gage Gubrud engineers the most fourth-quarter rallies in the FCS. In the Eagles’ four-game winning streak, the junior has passed for 1,847 yards and accounted for 22 touchdowns (18 passing).
Pick: Eastern Washington
No. 10 Wofford (5-0, 3-0 Southern) at The Citadel (3-2, 1-2), 6 p.m.
Wofford sits alone in first place on the strength of two one-point wins and one overtime victory in SoCon play. Two-time defending champ The Citadel probably won’t be heading back to the playoffs if it loses its 500th conference game in program history.
Kennesaw State (4-1, 0-0 Big South) at Liberty (3-2, 0-0), 6 p.m.
Kennesaw is on a four-game winning streak by facing inferior teams. Liberty has lost two straight against two defending conference champs (Jacksonville State and Saint Francis).
No. 15 New Hampshire (4-1, 2-0 CAA) at Stony Brook (4-2, 3-1), 6 p.m.
Mid-October is usually when New Hampshire starts to get on a run and Stony Brook begins to unravel, but after giving a win away to Delaware last week, the Seawolves need this game more. UNH is a mere 6-9 following an open week since 2004.
Pick: Stony Brook
No. 2 North Dakota State (5-0, 2-0 Missouri Valley) at No. 5 Youngstown State (3-2, 1-1), 7 p.m.
Something has to give – NDSU has won an FCS-leading 11 straight road games, but the host Penguins have won 11 in a row at Stambaugh Stadium, which might have hosted “College GameDay” if it hadn’t lost at South Dakota last week.
Pick: North Dakota State
Southern Utah (3-2, 1-1 Big Sky) at No. 17 Weber State (4-1, 2-0), 8 p.m.
The one thing Weber State’s veteran team needed this season was for new quarterback Stefan Cantwell to step in and perform well. He’s done just that for the surging Wildcats, who have rested up for this key Big Sky game.
Pick: Weber State
Last Week’s Record: 7-5 (.583)
Season Record: 52-21 (.712)
— Written by Craig Haley, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Haley has covered the FCS level since 1999 and is the national writer for www.fcs.football. He appears frequently on radio shows and podcasts to discuss everything FCS. Follow him on Twitter @CraigHaley.
(Photo courtesy James Madison University Athletics)