The Ohio State football program prides itself on strong scheduling, but not everyone follows the same guide.
It’s the middle of April. I usually don’t pay much attention to any team’s schedule for the upcoming season except Ohio State’s. But, something caught my eye that I just can’t ignore.
FBSchedules.com came out with a list of how many FBS teams did not schedule an FCS opponent (schools such as Youngstown State, North Dakota State, James Madison). Of 130 FBS teams, they point out only 15 do not play an FCS opponent (you can read the article by clicking here). Those 15 are:
If I’ve counted correctly, there are seven Big Ten teams. That’s nearly half of the schools on the list. Three others are from the Pac-12, and one each from the Big XII (Texas), Mountain West (Boise State), Sun Belt (Georgia State), AAC (Navy), and an independent (Notre Dame).
The Big Ten, Pac-12, and Big XII are all Power Five conferences. So, hmmm, which two Power Five conferences do not have a team on the list? That’s right folks, the SEC and ACC. Every single team in both conferences plays an FCS opponent this upcoming season. Every…one…of…them.
We all know how SEC fans (and media) excuse this away. They love to claim the SEC is sooooooo difficult to play in, the teams need these breathers on their schedule. Sorry, I’m not buying it. They schedule FCS opponents simply because they want to, and know they’ll never be penalized in any way by the College Football Playoff selection committee.
So, what’s the excuse for the ACC? There is none other than they are a very mediocre conference overall, and need to pad their schedules like this. Not that the shortcomings of the conference has ever affected the committee’s view of Clemson, the fact remains most teams in that conference need to soften their schedule with FCS opponents.
The Big XII doesn’t get a free pass here simply because they have one member on the list. One out of twelve doesn’t get you off the hook. The worst offender in this conference? WVU is playing Long Island University. The LIU Sharks will be in their third season of FCS, and play in a 6,000 seat stadium. I kid you not. That’s just embarrassing.
I understand the difficulties in scheduling and athletic departments need to fill their stadiums as often as possible to generate revenue, but there is no excuse for 115 out of 130 FBS schools to schedule an FCS team. This trend isn’t going to end anytime soon, but it doesn’t mean I’m not going to be critical of it.
Thankfully, the Ohio State football program makes sure to play quality games against quality opponents. They rarely schedule FCS games.