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In the FCS Huddle: Getting over the hump

Get over the hump on a Wednesday and you've basically made it to what you're looking forward to each week.

Fail to get over the hump on a Saturday during the FCS season and you've not only run out of the week but too often the season.

Some FCS conferences and teams know a little something about needing to get over the hump this year:

CAA - The former pre-eminent power of the FCS would love to get to the national semifinals and beyond again. After putting a team in seven of eight national championship games, no CAA Football squad has made it past the quarterfinals each of the past two seasons.

Montana State - The Bobcats have been the big boys on the block in the Big Sky, winning a share of each of the last three conference titles. But quarterback DeNarius McGhee and Co. have come up short in the playoffs during that time, yet to advance past the quarterfinals, including as both a No. 3 and 4 seed.

Big Sky against Sam Houston State - Speaking of Montana State, some of the playoff disappointment stems from Sam Houston State. The Bearkats have won at least a share of the Southland title each of the past two seasons and basically can stake claim to the Big Sky title, too, having beaten the co- champions in the 2011 playoffs (Montana State and Montana) and the tri- champions in the 2012 playoffs (Cal Poly, Eastern Washington and Montana State).

MEAC and OVC - Before Sam Houston State started getting in front of Big Sky teams, Eastern Washington was the 2010 FCS champion. So the Big Sky doesn't know playoff roadblocks quite like the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference or the Ohio Valley Conference. Both the MEAC and OVC have had their teams lose 17 straight playoff games, the MEAC since 1999 and the OVC since 2000. Now that's frustration.

Liberty - If they don't jump to the FBS level, at some point the Flames will make the FCS playoffs, right? Over the last six seasons, they are 47-20 overall and 29-4 in the Big South, winning either outright or shared titles five times, but they remain in search of their first FCS bid. The Big South didn't have an automatic bid from 2007-09, when the Flames were 14-1 in conference play, and they lost a tie-breaker for the auto bid in 2010 and 2012 despite being part of three-way ties for the title.

Indiana State and Youngstown State - Each team has been the only one to beat FCS national champion North Dakota State in the last two seasons - YSU in 2011 and ISU last year - but each has lost to the other in those years and fallen just short of an at-large playoff bid.

SWAC East Champion - The winner of the Southwestern Athletic Conference's East Division has lost five straight championship games to the West winner, including each of the last four by less than a touchdown.

Chattanooga - Under coach Russ Huesman, the Mocs have made significant strides. But showing they are at the next level will only come if the Southern Conference program can breakthrough the logjam of Appalachian State and Georgia Southern, who are in their last season in the conference, and Wofford. Huesman is 2-10 against the trio with a lot of close losses.

Hampton - It's been six seasons since the Pirates had their big run of three straight years (2004-06) of at least 10 wins. Now they just hover behind the MEAC title race, always in the early season talk but never in the November mix. Coach Donovan Rose has a 21-22 record through four seasons.

Yale - Since the millennium began, Yale has won one Ivy League title - a shared crown with Princeton in 2006. It's the only season in the last 12 that Yale has found a way to beat rival Harvard. "The Game" has become "The Harvard Win," including a Crimson program-record six wins in a row.

Idaho State - If you want futility, the Bengals have lost 38 straight road games since defeating Northern Colorado on Oct. 7, 2006. The Big Sky squad has six road games this season, including a pair against FBS opponents.