So, the Big Ten Conference has stopped scheduling FCS non-conference opponents.
Wisconsin Badgers Athletic Director, Barry Alvarez made the announcement earlier this week.
While some feel this move is long overdue and rejoice in the fact that this decision was finally made, I feel as though it is a terrible thing for the game of college football as a whole.
FCS teams playing division one schools is part of the fun of college football. Sure, most of the time these schools just show up, take their beating, their paycheck and move on to the next week; but ask yourself– “what about the teams who pull off the rare upset?”
There have been a number of times where the FCS school wasn’t taken seriously and the giant fell to the little guys. A few years ago the James Madison Dukes upset a very high ranked Virginia Tech Hokies team in 2010. Another great FCS win was when the Appalachian State Mountaineers beat the Michigan Wolverines in 2007.
This is part of what makes college football exciting! It’s part of the pageantry. College football lives by slogans like “every game matters” and “any given Saturday” because of games like this. A team needs to take care of business every single week.
Taking away the opportunity for these amazing upsets saddens me.
Also, not scheduling FCS teams in non-conference play will not only kill FCS football as we know it, but it will have a greater impact on the FBS as well.
See, everyone knows that the FCS team gets a large paycheck when it shows up to take its butt-whoopin’ on the Saturday it chose to play the FBS team. So in the long run, if these programs can’t receive the big boost to their budgets from playing FBS teams, they will no longer have a large enough budget to be competitive.
The competition in the FCS will be worse than it is currently and teams will have a very difficult time progressing and bettering their program.
Now, how does this affect the FBS? Well, think about how many FCS teams have made the leap to the FBS throughout the history of college football. Just in the past few years we have seen a number of teams jump to the FBS. If we take away their ability to earn money from playing big schools, fewer teams will be able to make the jump to the FBS.
So before you applaud the Big Ten for what it is doing, put yourself back in 2007 and imagine what it felt like when Appalachian State blocked Michigan’s game-winning field goal try as time expired. If this carries over to other conferences, we will never again experience the miracle of a big-time upset in division one college football.