2010 College Football Predictions: 10 Programs That Should Jump From FCS to FBS
As many know, the landscape and structure of college football is far from perfect. A major concern is the fact that .500 football teams accept bids to play in bowl games every year. Either there are too many bowl games, or the system rewards mediocre play. As we move towards super conferences, the FBS current membership of 120 programs simply doesn't cut it.
In the past 20 years, programs such as Connecticut, Marshall, and Boise State have made successful jumps from the FCS (formally Division II) to FBS (formally Division I). Many of these schools would need to complete facility upgrades as they make their way into the highest level of college football. Here are 10 programs that should plan to make the step from the FCS to the FBS.
Delaware Fightin' Blue Hens (Big East)
Appalachian State Mountaineers (Sun Belt)
Villanova Wildcats (Big East)
Montana Grizzlies (WAC)
Southern Illinois Salukis (MAC)
North Dakota Fighting Sioux (WAC)
Northern Iowa Panthers (WAC)
New Hampshire Wildcats (Big East)
Youngstown State Penguins (MAC)
Location: Youngstown, Ohio
Enrollment: 14,562 (2009)
Stadium: Stambaugh Stadium (20,630)
Potential Conference: The Penguins would be placed in the Mid-American Conference due to the location of the campus. A natural rivalry is in place with the Akron Zips.
The fighting Penguins of Youngstown State have quite the reputation for producing quality coaches, and even an NFL player here and there.
A few recognizable names to play football at the university include Bob Davie, Ron Jaworski, Jeff Wilkins, and Carmen Policy.
Coaches to roam the sidelines include Mark Mangino, Mark Dantonio, and Jim Tressel. Under Tressel, the Penguins claimed four FCS (Division II) titles in 1991, 1993, 1994, and 1997.
Massachusetts Minutemen (Big East)
The New Landscape of Four FBS Conferences
Big East Conference - With the addition of Delaware, New Hampshire, UMass, and Villanova, the Big East would go from eight to twelve teams. This would allow the conference to play a conference championship game and split into two divisions.
Sun Belt Conference - Currently with nine members, the Sun Belt would become ten with the addition of Appalachian State. Another possibly future addition could be prestigious Georgia Southern and South Carolina State to give the conference 12 members.
Western Athletic Conference - As many already know, Boise State is soon leaving for the Mountain West, and the conference could use an influx with only eight members. The addition of Montana, North Dakota, and Northern Iowa would push the number of teams to eleven and expand their reach into three new states.
Mid-American Conference - Adding Southern Illinois and Youngstown State would push the total number of members from 13 to 15. The majority of current members are from Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio.
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