A slow start for James Madison turned into an explosive day for quarterback Jordan McCloud who threw for a career high 457-yards and led the Dukes to a 44-6 flattening of Connecticut. Purple and gold streamers colored the skies above Bridgeforth Stadium especially in the second half as JMU outscored the Huskies 31-3. The Dukes moved to 10-0, but a bigger fight lies ahead.
Last year was James Madison’s first year in the FBS since moving up from their successful run in the FCS. However, teams that move up are not eligible to win a conference title or attend a bowl game until their third season. As the Dukes move up the polls, fans in Harrisonburg are growing restless. Many feel that the rule is somewhat antiquated and should be changed. James Madison’s appeal to the NCAA for bowl eligibility has been rejected leaving them with only the hope that there will not be enough bowl eligible teams to fill the 82 bowl slots during the postseason.
Teams like James Madison often become the example for change to NCAA rules. This upcoming Saturday, College Gameday is headed to Harrisonburg for its matchup with Appalachian State. Bowl and conference championship eligibility for new FBS members will certainly be a major topic of discussion on the panel. Bowl or no bowl this season, Dukes fans are soaring with pride for their team’s incredible run this season, and they hope for a continued winning streak next season when all restrictions are lifted.