KENNESAW -- The FCS playoff selection committee has a difficult decision to make.
What does it do with Kennesaw State?
The Owls finished the regular season 10-2 with their 42-14 win over Gardner-Webb on Saturday. On the surface, it is an impressive record, but dig into the details and it's not so clear.
Kennesaw State has two wins over NAIA programs -- Point and Reinhardt. Those games won't count in the minds of the committee, which won't put much emphasis on the Owls' overtime loss to FBS foe Kent State early in the season either.
The committee will be judging Kennesaw State on an 8-1 mark against fellow FCS opponents, and a strength of schedule that was 107th of 126 FCS teams.
Despite losing to Monmouth -- which was only the fifth loss at home in the five-year history of the program -- coach Brian Bohannon said his team did everything he could have expected.
“We’re a 10-2 football team,” Bohannon said. “We lost to an FBS team in overtime, and the team with the automatic bid from the Big South. We’ve been ranked in the top 15 in every poll all year. We have a good track record. We haven’t just made the playoffs, we’ve won. I don’t think we need to say much else.”
For the players, it's going to be a long wait until the 12:30 p.m. selection show Sunday on ESPNU.
All the Owls did was beat the teams that were put in front of them. It was not their fault that Duquesne bought its way out of a contract this year. After a lot of trying, that game was filled by Reinhardt.
This was also supposed to be the year that Furman made its trip to Kennesaw, but that game was pushed a few more seasons down the road.
Either of those would have helped the strength of schedule, but that would not have had any effect on how the players prepared for any game this season.
"They don't know how hard we worked," linebacker Bryson Armstrong said. "For this to be our last game would be disappointing. We had a bad game against Monmouth, but that doesn't define us."
Quarterback Tommy Bryant, who has led the Owls to 92 points over the last two games since becoming the starter in place of the injured Daniel David, echoed those statements, and took it one step farther.
"Not many teams in the country are better than us," Bryant said.
Kennesaw State may have gotten some help along the way Saturday.
Towson got beat by Elon on a last-second field goal, while Southern Illinois took it on the chin against No. 1 North Dakota State. Both teams finished the regular season with 7-5 records.
Those teams are important because, in the FCS bracketology world, both were considered to be in the playoffs ahead of the Owls heading into Saturday.
We'll see how that affects things going forward.
For Kennesaw State, the regular season ended with a third straight year of double-digit wins. The victory over Gardner-Webb was its 47th, bettering the five-year start of Old Dominion by one game. It's important because the Monarchs were considered the blueprint of how a start-up program should build a team.
From a historical standpoint, the Owls also tied Georgia Southern for the amount of victories over the first five years of a program. The Eagles did it when Erk Russell relaunched the program after a 41-year hiatus in 1982.
There aren't many teams that win like Kennesaw State does and gets left out of the playoffs. It would be a shame if this squad was. And Bohannon sure doesn't want it to be over either.
"We did what we could do," he said. "We wanted to win them all, but we didn't, but we sure won a lot.
"I'm proud of it. I want (game No.) 48, but that's the coach in me. I at least want that opportunity."