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2017 FCS Championship Game: The Dukes and Pelini’s Penguins

[lead align=”default”]James Madison takes on Youngstown State in a battle of underdogs: the 2017 FCS Championship Game.[/lead]

Neither team was favored, or the higher seed, in their national semifinal game. Both are here today, and tomorrow, one will be the champion. It’ll be the first time in six years that someone other than North Dakota State wins it. That’s thanks to the James Madison Dukes, who beat NDSU a few weeks ago to end their dynasty.

Just because the Dukes trumped the kings of FCS football doesn’t mean they’re finished. They’re now the favorites in this title game against Youngstown State and the Fightin’ Bo Pelinis. It wasn’t long ago that Nebraska cast Pelini out, and he’s on the verge of a national championship. He’s got a pretty good team behind him, too.

2017 FCS Championship Game: Team Backgrounds

James Madison Dukes
Colonial Athletic Conference champion
How They Got Here: Defeated New Hampshire (55-22), Sam Houston State (65-7), and North Dakota State (27-17)

Youngstown State Penguins
Missouri Valley Conference
How They Got Here: Defeated Samford (38-24), Jacksonville State (40-24), Wofford (30-23, 2OT), and Eastern Washington (40-38)

2017 FCS Championship Game: The Edge

Two hot teams, one of which won their conference and streaked to the title game, and the other wasn’t a regular season dynamo but kept winning when it mattered. Youngstown State gutted out a bunch of wins in the playoffs this season, but look at James Madison. They obliterated Sam Houston State, one of the nation’s best teams, and smacked a five-time defending national champion in their barn.

It’s hard not to think the Dukes take the whole thing.

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