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Its anyones SoCon to win
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    There’s a logjam atop the Southern Conference, and any way you cut it, Elon is sitting pretty.
    That’s if the Phoenix win this weekend, of course.
    Defeating The Citadel in Charleston, S.C., Saturday would mean the vast majority of the tiebreaker scenarios go to Elon by virtue of its wins over current co-leaders Georgia Southern and Wofford. If not, SoCon officials have been busy mapping out dozens possibilities, looking to determine which team would get the league’s automatic bid to the 16-team FCS playoff field.
    Georgia Southern, Elon and Wofford are currently knotted at the top with 4-2 marks, while Appalachian State (3-2) sits a half-game back. GSU, Elon, Wofford and The Citadel wrap up conference play Saturday, and ASU, Chattanooga, Furman and Western Carolina have two league contests remaining.
“We realize we’ve got a very difficult game this weekend against one of the better teams in the conference, and we’re just hoping to find a way to go down there and pull off a win by one point if we can,” Phoenix coach Pete Lembo said Tuesday morning. “We are leaving everything else to take its course.
    “Our kids have never been in a situation where they’ve even been talked about at this time of the year, so we are just trying to control what we can control and that’s our preparation for The Citadel.”
    The first tie-breaker is head-to-head competition, and in the event of multiple ties preference is given to the team with the best record against the tied teams. If a tie remains, the playoff berth goes to the team with the best mark against the highest place team not involved in the tie, a process that continues until the tie is broken.
    And if that doesn’t determine a winner, the SoCon’s commissioner resorts to the old-school method of tossing a coin.
    For Georgia Southern to lock up the automatic bid, the Eagles must beat Furman at home this weekend and Elon’s got to lose. No. 11 GSU has knocked off both Wofford and Appalachian, so the tiebreakers would go the Eagles’ way. If GSU downs Furman but doesn’t win the title outright, the Eagles still have a legitimate shot at an at-large bid to the playoffs.
    Usually by November the SoCon title chase has been whittled to a two or three-team race, but league parity has kept the quest for the 2007 crown interesting. And although it’s very remote, the possibility of a seven-way tie for first exists.
    “It’s the best the league has ever been, top to bottom,” said Wofford coach Mike Ayers, who’s led the Terriers for two decades. “It’s going to come down to who wins right here at the end. Every week is a tough week in the SoCon. It just proves we have a great conference, there’s great coaching going on and there’s some great players in this league.”

Furman’s offense starts clicking
    Furman coach Bobby Lamb hasn’t been happy with his team’s defensive performance this season, but his offense is beginning to give him hope.
    “Offensively we are starting to gel a little bit,” he said. “Renaldo Gray has played three solid games in a row and making a lot of plays at the quarterback position. And we are coming together as an offensive line. (Running back) Jerome Felton is playing some of his best football, so we are finally kind of getting it together, and hopefully we’ll have it all together when we come to Statesboro because it’s a very difficult place to play.”
    The Eagles host the Paladins for a 3:30 game that will be televised by SportSouth.

Lawson’s career ends
    Elon is 1-5 against The Citadel, but the Bulldogs aren’t nearly as good without their starting quarterback, senior Duran Lawson, who is out with a career-ending knee injury suffered at GSU two weeks ago.
    “He had a great career for us, was a really great leader,” Bulldog coach Kevin Higgins said. “I feel bad for him that he doesn’t have an opportunity to play in his last couple of games.”
    Redshirt freshman Bart Blanchard, who had his first career start in a loss to Appalachian last weekend, will look to fill the void left by Lawson, one of the SoCon’s top players.

    Alex Pellegrino can be reached at (912) 489-9413.