Every year, schools from the BCS conferences schedule one game against a Division I-AA opponent (I refuse to acknowledge the names "Football Bowl Subdivision" and "Football Championship Subdivision").
This year, the Missouri Tigers will face the Furman Paladins from the Southern Conference.
The name and stigma of the non-BCS team may lull some Tiger fans into a relaxed attitude when thinking of this game, but Furman has given major teams trouble in the past. Last season, Furman played at Virginia Tech and only trailed 3-0 at halftime.
Located in Greenville, South Carolina, the Paladins present a fairly balanced offensive attack, with quarterback Jordan Sorrells, running back Mike Brown, and receiver Adam Mims. None of their stat lines will blow you away, but when combined, they present a nice balance that can leave a defense guessing whether the play will be a run or pass.
Furman also spreads the ball around, as four different receivers caught 30 or more passes. To put that in perspective, in 2008 the high-flying Missouri offense had the same number of receivers catch 30 or more balls.
Missouri should use this game as a tune-up for the high-powered offense they will be facing against Nevada the following week.
Frankly, there isn't a whole lot to say about this game. If Missouri shows up, they win. If Missouri doesn't, Furman may hang around. That said, Furman winning this game would have shades of Appalachian State or Stanford from 2007.
Furman poses a threat to this young Missouri squad, but make no mistake, if the Tigers come out focused and ready to play, the game will not be close, and backups and freshmen will get a chance to play.