Because of the BCS and the institution of a twelfth game, the first weekend of college football has become not much more than a test of anger management skills.
The schedule is full of unattractive match-ups between FBS and FCS schools. For those who enjoy FCS football, they have to listen endlessly to elitists and know-it-alls who know very little about the smaller institutions.
This season, 87 FBS schools have scheduled at least one FCS opponent. Seven teams enjoy double-dipping so much that they play two schools from the lower subdivision.
FBS institutions are looking for easy wins and as many home games as possible, killing two birds with one stone when scheduling FCS schools.
In 87 games played last season between FBS and FCS teams, the FBS school only lost twice. San Diego State lost to Cal Poly 29-27, and Army was defeated by New Hampshire 28-10.
In those 87 match-ups, Western Kentucky was the only team to travel to a FCS school when it played at Eastern Kentucky.
The FCS teams also benefit, to a degree, from the relationship between the two subdivisions. Most FCS schools, if not all, make more money travelling to an FBS institution than they would having a home game against another FCS team.
The constant losing by the FCS squads doesn't seem to effect their overall play. The Richmond Spiders lost to the Virginia Cavaliers in 2008 17-0 but went on to win a national title.
Despite playing a team from a lower subdivision, the FBS school doesn't get downgraded very much for the maneuver. The University of Florida defeated The Citadel last season and Western Carolina in 2006 and went on to win BCS championships in both of those campaigns.
Non-BCS schools like Utah, Hawaii, and Boise State also scheduled FCS teams the years they played in a BCS bowl game. In 2007, Hawaii defeated Northern Colorado and Charleston Southern and still gained the opportunity to play Georgia in the Sugar Bowl.
As if that was the required punishment for needing funds to run an athletic program, more often than not, the FCS school gets destroyed by their FCS counterpart. However, the worst part of the experience is being humiliated and belittled by fans who don't follow the FCS.
A great example of this behavior is what is transpiring before the game between the University of South Florida Bulls and the Wofford Terriers. Sports talk show hosts in the Tampa Bay area have been bombarded by USF fans asking what a Wofford is and why the school nickname is not the Waffles. Even talk about eating cupcakes at night has entered many a conversation.
The reality is that recently Wofford has had more success as an FCS school that USF has had as an FBS team.
Since 2002, Wofford had achieved a record of 60-24, and USF is only 52-32. This season, Wofford is trying for its eighth consecutive winning season. USF's last non-winning campaign occurred in 2005.
Wofford won the Southern Conference title and an automatic playoff bid in both 2003 and 2007, while also making the FCS playoffs last year. USF has never won a conference title as a member of the Big East.
Just last season, USF finished fifth in the Big East while Wofford has achieved three straight seasons of finishing in third place or better in the Southern Conference.
The last current member of the Big East to win a national title was Pittsburgh in 1976, while Appalachian State won FCS titles in 2005, 2006, and 2007. Georgia Southern won national titles as a member of the Southern Conference in both 1999 and 2000.
Jim Leavitt has never been awarded a national coach of the year award in the FBS. Mike Ayers, the head coach of Wofford, won the Eddie Robinson Award, given to the most outstanding FCS head coach, in 2003.
In 2007, Appalachian State pulled off one the biggest upsets in the history of college football when the Mountaineers surprised the Michigan Wolverines 34-32 at Michigan Stadium. However, in retrospect, the victory damaged the FCS.
That isolated event caused the novice fan to view the FBS and FCS as equals. It also caused several FBS schools to find the weakest FCS teams possible to play.
This season, Michigan plays Delaware State. The Hornets are a far cry from playing a defending national champion.
Games between FBS and FCS institutions have made a mockery of the BCS system. Unless the NCAA steps in and forbids the practice, more FBS teams will try to reduce their chance of losing non-conference games by scheduling FCS opponents.
Perhaps, it is time the NCAA institutes a pre-season game that allows the two subdivisions to play each other. The FCS school will still get paid for travelling, and FBS teams get the opportunity to have their players participate against a live opponent without the game counting in the BCS standings.
Without NCAA intervention, the only other way these games will stop occurring is if more FCS teams win them. Villanova defeat of Temple on Thursday is a strong starting point, but many more bad results have to happen before the FBS schools end the relationship on their own accord.
With Wofford having to replace its top quarterback, running back, and wide receiver from last season, it will take a miraculous performance from junior halfback Mike Rucker and senior defensive end Mitch Clark to pull off the upset.
It will be close to impossible for the Terriers to contain quarterback Matt Grothe and stop one of the best defensive lines in all of college football from creating havoc all game long.
However, for the betterment of college football, Wofford has to find a way to stun USF along with other FCS schools pulling the same rabbit out of their helmets.
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