Do Armanti Edwards and Appalachian State have another title run in them? No Football Championship Subdivision team has been more dominant over the last five years than Jerry Moore's Appalachian State Mountaineers, who ran off a string of three consecutive national titles from 2005-2007. And while much of the college football world expected Michigan Wolverine slaying quarterback Armanti Edwards and the Mountaineers to roll to another National Championship a year ago, Appalachian State faltered in the playoffs, losingto eventual National Champion Richmond in the quarterfinals. Edwards returns for one last go around this year, but he will have to show that he is recovered from offseason surgery if he's going to convince the pollsters that his Mountaineers are primed for another National Title run in 2009.
Will Pat Devlin Make Delaware a Contender Again? KC Keeler has built a reputation for sustaining Delaware's success with the aid of FBS transfers, with the Blue Hens often looking to high profile quarterbacks to help spearhead their multiple playoff appearances over the last decade. Former Pittsburgh quarterback Joe Flacco helped the Blue Hens get to the FCS Championship Game two years ago, but Delaware was not so lucky last season, as even Ohio State transfer Rob Schoenhoft couldn't spark an offense which staggered to its lowest production averages in nearly 50 years. Now, after a 4-8 campaign last season, the Blue Hens will try to rebuild on offense with former Penn State starter Pat Devlin at quarterback, who comes into Newark after leading the Nittany Lions to a win over Ohio State last season. He'll have plenty to work with too, with Keeler's team getting back 21 players with starting experience from 2008.
Is Drew Dudzik the next Rodney Landers at JMU? Senior quarterback Rodney Landers led a nearly unstoppable James Madison offense last season, with the Dukes averaging 534 yards and some 38 points per game en route to the FCS semifinal game. Yet JMU fell to Montana in the semifinal, largely because of turnovers and the absence of Landers, who left the game late in the first half with an injury. Even in the loss however the Dukes may have found their future quarterback, with Drew Dudzik filling in admirably in a near comeback. Dudzik doesn't bring the Tim Tebow-like battering ram ability to the JMU offense the way that Landers did, but the 6'1, 195-lb Virginia native is a shifty and athletic runner who can also throw the ball. He'll have to improve his decision making in the passing game to hold off redshirt freshmen Justin Thorpe, but if he solidifies his place as the starter this spring expect him to have JMU in the polls come September.
Who will be Montana's quarterback? The Griz had quite a run last year, making it all the way to the National Championship game before falling to Richmond by the score of 24-7. With 55 letterman returning in 2009 Coach Hauck's team should be in contention for yet another Bib Sky Conference title, especially considering that Montana returns seven starters on offense including leading rusher Chase Reynolds and leading receiver Marc Mariani. Still, the biggest question mark for Montana remains who will succeed outgoing senior quarterback Cole Bergquist, whose duel-threat capability helped Montana stay balanced on offense a season ago. Juniors Jeff Larson and Andrew Selle will battle for the job this spring, with the latter having seen experience in seven games a year ago. Yet whether or not either will be able to replace Begrquist - who finished his career third all-time at Montana in yards produced - remains to be seen, and could spell the difference between "just another playoff season" and a viable National title run.
Will an FCS team shock the FBS world? With a thrilling, any-given-Saturday regular season and an equally entertaining and competitive postseason a year ago, the 2008 FCS season was one of the best in recent memory. Yet the lack of a signature upset of an FBS program kept many big school fans from taking interest in the week to week shuffling in the FCS rankings, causing some to wonder if the newfound respect earned by many FCS teams in 2007 wasn't just a one year phenomenon. Yet with more and more FBS programs scheduling FCS programs the chances are just as good to see a significant upset in 2009, with top programs Richmond, Appalachian State, and Montana State all set to play winnable inter-subdivision games in 2009.