Blog Entry

FCS scheduling still on the rise

Posted on: April 12, 2011 10:52 am
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Posted by Jerry Hinnen

It won't surprise anyone to learn that paycheck games pitting BCS conference teams against FCS patsies -- or non-patsies, as the occasional James Madison/Appalachian State case may be -- are becoming more and more frequent.

But it might surprise some just how rapidly they're increasing, particularly in the domain of the formerly FCS-light Pac-12. Research by the Oregonian shows that such games have increased by a factor of nearly six out West:
Games between FBS and FCS teams have spiked 70 percent since a 2005 NCAA rule change made the games more attractive, according to analysis by The Oregonian. The matchups have increased nearly 600 percent in the Pacific-10 Conference and 358 percent in the Big Ten, even adjusting for conference expansion.
Look at that again: 600 percent. Why? You get one guess:
Athletic director Rob Mullens of Oregon, which plays FCS team Missouri State next fall, said he schedules the games for two main reasons: to have an extra home game and to combat skyrocketing prices for FBS nonconference teams making onetime visits.

"They'll want $900,000 or a million," Mullens said. "And we pay in the $400,000 range for an FCS opponent. That's a big difference."
Thanks to that economic reality (and, more immediately, Washington scheduling defending FCS champion Eastern Washington), only three FBS teams have still never stooped to an FCS game: Notre Dame, USC, and UCLA.

Kudos to them. But with the exception of schools that have doubled up on their FCS snacky-cakes ration, it's tough to be too harsh on the rest of FBS; when Eastern Washington costs substantially less than Eastern Michigan and your fans can't tell the difference, it doesn't make any sense to schedule the latter. Until the NCAA adds some kind of disincentive for scheduling the first FCS game as well as the second (which doesn't count towards bowl eligibility), don't expect the trend line to head in the other direction any time soon.
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Comments

Since: Aug 18, 2010
Posted on: April 13, 2011 3:34 pm
 

FCS scheduling still on the rise

"Yeah tell that to the SEC because your conference schedules more cupcakes than any other BCS conference in America!"

Sorrytrojanspac10, but conferences don't schedule OOC games, teams do, and there are not many teams in the country that schedule OOC better than LSU, and that includes your trojans.  Just because you don't schedule D1AA teams does not mean that you don't schedule cupcakes.  Plus, you are wrong with your statement.  Every year, these websites put out OOC schedules, and the SEC's is very similar to all the other conferences.  But, as an SEC fan, I understand the jealousy that other conferences have for the SEC.  There are definitely teams within the conference that can be cracked on pretty hard over their schedules, but not all.  Instead of just being a parrot for the other haters, you ought to do your own research and bring facts to the table.  What a novel concept.




Since: Apr 13, 2011
Posted on: April 13, 2011 12:11 am
 

FCS scheduling still on the rise




Since: Jul 8, 2008
Posted on: April 12, 2011 10:09 pm
 

FCS scheduling still on the rise

It is all about the money, and it is a win-win for both schools from a payday standpoint.  I do not have a problem with schools scheduling one of the little guys, but two is too many.  But, there would not be much difference in LSU scheduling La-Lafayette or McNeese St other than McNeese is a 1AA team and LL is D1.  That matters to some.  I understand fans wanting better matchups, but if this helps the program make ends meet, then I have no major problem with it.  I would prefer that if you are going to play a small school, you ought to at least keep the money in-state whenever possible. 

Yeah tell that to the SEC because your conference schedules more cupcakes than any other BCS conference in America!



Since: Apr 12, 2011
Posted on: April 12, 2011 4:14 pm
 

FCS scheduling still on the rise

I must agree with keeping the money in-state. The ideal thing to do, especially for a state-run public university, would be to play a lesser opponent in the same university system. For example, UC Berkeley would play UC Davis, San Diego State would play Sacramento State, or Florida/Florida State would play FAMU.

Either way, I don't like seeing these random matches where the teams have absolutely no connection. Like, why would Oregon schedule Missouri State? At least do something creative, like schedule UNH (Chip Kelly's former school).



Since: Apr 12, 2011
Posted on: April 12, 2011 4:08 pm
 

FCS scheduling still on the rise

Of course Oregon could have scheduled Eastern Washington, UC Davis, or CSU-Sacramento. Hell, there wouldn't even have been that much of a difference had they scheduled Division II Central Oregon (if you really want to keep the money in-state). Either way, a win over a cupcake.

Speaking of scheduling Fresno, Their program is too good to be a win over a cupcake, but not good enough to be a quality win. Thus, they get no benefit in scheduling Fresno.



Since: Sep 1, 2008
Posted on: April 12, 2011 3:38 pm
 

FCS scheduling still on the rise

I had this talk with LSUMC on the Nova thread seems like someone took our conversation lol.

But this is just very sad when D1 schools schedule FCS schools in different states.  I can live with teams like Washington scheduling Eastern Washington to help the economy of the state. But there is no justification to go outside the state for a easy win to inflate your win column. One of the problems with the BCS is that teams that aren't good and play easy schedules are rewarded for it even in BCS conferences.

If there's no non AQ D1 programs in the state or the next state over I can see scheduling a FCS team INSIDE THE STATE. But Oregon fans Missouri State has no business coming across the state to Oregon. And it can't be that huge of a payout for them because Oregon's stadium isn't that big. My guess is Oregon got tired of losing to Boise St I know good and well Fresno would have loved to play Oregon.



Since: Aug 18, 2010
Posted on: April 12, 2011 3:25 pm
 

FCS scheduling still on the rise

It is all about the money, and it is a win-win for both schools from a payday standpoint.  I do not have a problem with schools scheduling one of the little guys, but two is too many.  But, there would not be much difference in LSU scheduling La-Lafayette or McNeese St other than McNeese is a 1AA team and LL is D1.  That matters to some.  I understand fans wanting better matchups, but if this helps the program make ends meet, then I have no major problem with it.  I would prefer that if you are going to play a small school, you ought to at least keep the money in-state whenever possible. 



Since: Apr 12, 2011
Posted on: April 12, 2011 12:13 pm
 

FCS scheduling still on the rise

There has to be some sort of disincentive to do it, because I hate seeing these games on the ticker. Something about them just doesn't seem right. It's tantamount to the Red Sox scheduling a AAA team in the regular season and having those count towards the standings.

I have a couple of solutions that I can think of. One that any game scheduled against a lower division has to be scored as an exhibition and cannot count toward regular season statistics. This creates the unintended problem of the fact that the FBS school could lose and have it not hurt them to do so. Thus, they would probably be even more inclination for the FBS schools to do so, since they wouldn't get hurt in the season rankings. It'd be just like Syracuse losing to LeMoyne in basketball or Michigan State losing to Grand Valley State and still being ranked, because they lost exhibitions.

Another solution is to have wins count as exhibitions, and losses count toward the regular season. This would achieve the desired effect, however lead to some other consequences. The big schools wouldn't like it and would do everything they could to rebel against it. The FCS schools wouldn't like it either, because they'd lose out on the payola games. Thus, even more of them would end up dropping the sport, or the handful that could move up would do so. However, that move could, at its worst, lead to the outright elimination of FCS football, with only--at the very most--20 FCS teams being able to move up.

One more thing. Hinnen, please reference the rule change. You say it happened, but you don't say what it is. What is it?


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