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In the FCS Huddle: FCS games that may fly, fly away

9:21 PM, Feb 13, 2013   |    comments
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Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - The top-level FBS conferences may soon be scheduling some flights to FCS Never-Never Land.

The Big Ten already is planning to phase out games against the FCS opponents. It would seem other BCS conferences (or as long as they continue to be called BCS conferences) will follow in the future.

Compare the situation to the airlines. When one carrier raises prices, others always follow.

The Big Ten, for one, says it can no longer figuratively pay the price of FCS games.

"It's not very appealing ...," Wisconsin's Barry Alvarez said Tuesday night in spilling the news that Big Ten athletic directors recently put a ban on scheduling FCS competition beyond already planned games in the next few years.

Since one BCS conference deems FCS competition as being inferior, others will question why they aren't doing the same. At least their alumni, fans and donors will be asking just that in the future.

It's truly a no-win situation for the major-conference schools. Beat an FCS opponent, and, well, nobody will be impressed. Lose to one and, well, become national news. Wisconsin almost did this past September, holding off a Northern Iowa team that didn't even go on to have a winning season.

It's great that FCS teams beats FBS opponents each season, and they did 10 times this past year in the highest total since 2003. But keep in mind that the FCS wins usually come against smaller FBS conferences, such as the Sun Belt, MAC or the disbanding WAC, not the BCS conferences: the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC.

Sure, it happens - Pitt and Colorado fell this past season, and, yes, we all remember Appalachian State stunning Michigan to kick off the 2007 season - but those upsets are too infrequent amid the many pummelings. The Big Ten, for one, went 8-0 against FCS competition this past season.

As the FBS level heads to staging a national playoff in 2014, strength of scheduling will be considered even more important for the schools as well as their conferences that have a lot riding on gaining qualifiers. Playing FCS teams will make little sense, even if it's in a 50-0 victory.

For the major-conference schools, a win over a lower-level FBS school will go further in the strength of scheduling, and that's basically what Big Ten athletic directors were saying in their decision.

Expect some of those other major conferences to hop on that flight, too.

The Sports Network

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