2013 College Football Scheduling: FBS vs. FCS

By Kevin Kelley -
Alabama-Western Carolina
There will be 110 FBS vs. FCS games in 2013. John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

After Western Kentucky’s schedule addition earlier today, every Football Bowl Subdivision team has completed their 2013 non-conference schedule. For most FBS teams, their slate includes a game against a school from the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS).

Of the 125 FBS teams, 106 (85%) will play at least one game against an FCS opponent in 2013. Two teams will play two games against FCS schools and one will play three games. Overall, there will be 110 FBS vs. FCS games (including Abilene Christian, see below).

FBS teams usually schedule FCS programs to fill out their home schedule and, in many cases, to aid in becoming bowl eligible. But in order to count towards a bowl, FCS schools must have “supplied financial aid for football averaging out to at least 90 percent of the 63 scholarships allowed over ‘a rolling two-year period’ that can include the current season.”

Wagner, a member of the NEC, faces Syracuse in 2013 but may not count towards bowl eligibility for the Orange because the Seahawks only offer 40 football scholarships. However, Syracuse deputy athletics director Herman Frazier was told by Wagner that they count.

There will also be a rare game against a Division II team when New Mexico State plays host to Abilene Christian. The ACU Wildcats will be in the first season of a transition to the FCS but will count as a D-II team for scheduling purposes.

Here are some FBS vs. FCS numbers for the 2013 football season:

Teams that Don’t Play FCS Schools in 2013 (19)

FAU, Hawaii, Miami (OH), Michigan, New Mexico, North Texas, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Penn State, Rice, Southern Miss, Stanford, Texas, Tulsa, UCF, UCLA, USC, UTEP, UTSA

BCS Teams that Don’t Play FCS Schools in 2013 (9)

Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Penn State, Stanford, Texas, UCF, UCLA, USC

Teams that Play Two FCS Schools in 2013 (2)

Clemson (South Carolina State, The Citadel), Georgia Tech (Alabama A&M, Elon)

Note: Clemson and Georgia Tech likely would not have scheduled two FCS teams, but the ACC switched from a 9-game to an 8-game schedule. That forced them to find extra opponents late in the process.

Teams that Play Three FCS Schools in 2013 (1)

Georgia State (Chattanooga, Jacksonville State, Samford)

Games vs. FCS Schools by Conference

  • ACC – 16
  • Big 12 – 8
  • Big East – 9
  • Big Ten – 10
  • C-USA – 7
  • Independents – 4
  • MAC – 12
  • MWC – 10
  • Pac-12 – 9
  • SEC – 14
  • Sun Belt – 10

FBS vs. FCS Teams that finished in Top 100 of 2012 Sagarin Ratings

  • Kansas State – vs. North Dakota State (35)
  • Texas A&M – vs. Sam Houston State (63)
  • Florida – vs. Georgia Southern (72)
  • Nebraska – vs. South Dakota State (79)
  • Oregon State, Toledo – vs. Eastern Washington (88)
  • SMU – vs. Montana State (90)
  • Iowa State – vs. Northern Iowa (92)
  • Colorado – vs. Central Arkansas (94)
  • Indiana, Purdue – vs. Indiana State (95)
  • Baylor – vs. Wofford (96)
  • Michigan State – vs. Youngstown State (97)
  • Colorado State, Fresno State – vs. Cal Poly (99)

Comments (37)

That Baylor/Wofford game is going to be crazy. Baylor throws the ball all over the field, while Wofford runs the triple option and very rarely throws. I can’t wait to see what happens there.

Georgia State has every reason to schedule three FCS opponents, as there’s no real penalty to doing it in their second transition year.

UTSA, who last year took the same approach, is playing a “big boy” schedule with no FCS games this year.

I can also confirm that Wagner does NOT count towards bowl eligibility for Syracuse.

(Also, none of Hawaii’s home opponents are doubling up on FCSes this year, which is a bit odd.)

Most of these are going to really, really bad games. Only games against quality opponents should count towards going to a bowl game. We continue to dumb down schedules so that overpaid coaches can pad there W/L record with a gimme win or two. Bravo to those schools that do not dilute their records and insult their fans with shit games.

Article updated to include the following line:

Overall, there will be 110 FBS vs. FCS games (including Abilene Christian, see below).

Also, corrections were made to the numbers for C-USA and MAC.

Hate to be a nit-picker, but it’s also 14 FCS games in the SEC and 109 total FCS games including Abilene Christian.

No BCS conference team should play FCS teams. Plenty of FBS teams who are not BCS conference teams would love to play in these games. Let the non BCS FBS teams schedule down to give those FCS teams a chance to make some money. This would make all the games a bit more competitive.

A MAC payout to a 1-AA opponent might be $260K…….same for Sun Belt…….most all ACC and Big East payouts are $400K+, and SEC and Big-12 payouts are north of $500K.

Beg do differ, as the better FCS teams can and DO beat those FBS teams that “would love to play in these games” every year. Last year, in the Big Sky Conference alone: Cal Poly beat Wyoming, Sac State beat Colorado, Northern AZ beat UNLV, Eastern WA beat Idaho, and nearly WA State. So… yeah…

On the other hand, one FCS team, Western Carolina, is playing THREE FBS teams. Middle Tennessee, Virginia Tech, and Auburn.

I like the FBS vs FCS matchups when they are in the same state.

I dont mind seeing FAMU or Bethune-Cookman Give me something to watch at halftime

San Jose State will host Sacatomatoes State,at first glance you think that will be a easy “W” but with two wins over 2 Pac 12 teams in 2011,2012….the Spartans won’t be overlooking the Hornets!

I simply will say this, if FBS schools play one or more FCS schools in 2014 then I hope the committee that picks the four teams for the playoffs looks at that very closely and penalizes those teams. Honestly, the non-conference portion of FBS teams’ schedules is mostly a joke.

I also find it interesting that the two conferences that play the most FCS schools are the ACC and SEC … the schools from the south. Yeah, like I said that selection committee better not give so much credit to the SEC. OK, Alabama was very good, but the other SEC schools generally lost or struggled in their bowl games. LSU lost, Florida lost, SC barely won, Georgia barely won. SEC a tad overrated.

I can give the SEC a slight pass since they do play a very difficult in conference schedule, and they like to schedule non-conference later in the season. I would rather see them schedule Sunbelt teams instead, but I can somewhat forgive them. The ones I do not understand is the ACC teams. Did they not see multiple two-loss teams jump their top two teams, Florida St and Clemson, during the season in the BCS ranking when they both only had one loss ( before playing Florida and South Carolina). Did they not realize that the rest of their conference is barely above Big East level talent (most of it is former Big East talent) and that they might need the bump up to rise in the rankings. So they go out and all schedule one FCS team and Clemson and Georgia Tech schedule two ( I understand the circumstances, but when the Sunbelt needed more scheduling partners they should have both dropped one of these teams or negotiated a later date for the game)? The ACC seems to only care about bowl eligibility and that is why they are slowly getting poached into obscurity, just like the Big East.

Pathetic to see this many of these games. Well glad to see the ACC is leading in something (16 of these games). I hope strength of schedule component comes in to play soon so we see these games go away.

The reason behind the ACC playing 16 FCS teams was because the ACC changed the conference schedule from 9 games to 8 at the last possible minute to accommodate Noter Dame which left everyone in the conference scrambling to find one more game to add to their schedule. Adding FCS teams were there only option.

For the most part FBS/FCS games are good for college football as long as they fall into at least one of two catagories. There should either be regional interest or legitimate competition between the two teams. Regional crossover games are good for the fans & schools. The fans love these psuedo-rivalries and pay for the tickets to see them. Both schools usually benefit financially and the athletes from the FCS schools have an opportunity to be noticed while the FBS athletes get to show off a bit. Crossover games that are not necessarily regional should be competetive. Kansas State will have their hands full with NDS and Toledo vs. EWU should be fun. When crossover games are scheduled outside those perameters they’re usually boring and add nothing to the sport.

I agree that BCS teams from the Power 5 conferences should not schedule FCS teams. i know this has been going on since i can remember. hopefully, they start a trend of ending this completely. like someone above said, hopefully when the four team playoff starts, those teams that schedule FCS teams should get less recognition than teams who don’t…

Ray, Robert and Travis, I really liked your posts!!! Spot on!!

Here is my idea for ending (or minimizing) these FBS/FCS games … why doesn’t the NCAA do this?

If an FBS school schedules an FCS school and loses to the FCS school then the FBS school is ineligible to play in a bowl game or the playoffs that season.

FBS/FCS games really dilute the quality of college football. For the most part they are a joke. Shame on Clemson and GT for scheduling two FCS teams!

some of the FCS teams need those money games though.what about them? I would propose that instead they have only a penalty in playing them. (for the playoffs)It would force teams to choose if they should play a fcs team or not.

OK, for those of you that feel so sorry for the FCS schools … first off, their football programs survival should not be based upon a big payday for playing an FBS school. That is wrong. If you think the FBS schools should be on the hook for propping up the FCS then why not pool some of the bowl, BCS and national playoff money and split that among the FCS schools.

Do you really want to see Alabama play Samford? That’s ridiculous. How is that good quality football?

There’s one easy way to get rid of these FBS vs. FCS games, don’t allow the win to count toward bowl eligibility.

That would make the FBS teams stop playing those cupcakes really quick.

yeah, Va. Tech should be penalized for beating JMU a couple of years ago……..OH, WAIT!!!

I also noticed Dook won’t play Richmond anymore……but not for your reason, James.

Everyone blames Bama and the big schools for scheduling soft, but it’s just as much the fault of the MAC and Sun Belt schools who are scheduling FCS teams that the major conference schools have to put bad FCS teams on their schedules. When when the lower level FBS schools schedule Wofford-etc it leaves fewer dates for them to go play Ohio State and Michigan; thus, those programs have to schedule FCS teams.

Huge Alabama fan myself, but I might remind you that the team that put up more yardage against Alabama than any other in 2011 was an FCS team, Georgia Southern. GS did NOT win the FCS championship. They didn’t even make the final. So, presumeably several FCS teams would have done even better. Hmmmm….

Without Colin Klein, North Dakota State (back-to-back FCS champions) have a legitimate chance of upsetting Kansas State in Manhattan this coming August.

This game should have more national attention being on Fox Sports 1 National TV Aug.30th kickoff. This game has all the making of intriguing matchups in the Heartland of the Country.
NDSU gunning for there 3rd national FCS Championship, senior loaded, talented team, against KSU’s Offensive looking to find a replacement for MVP Collin Kein, but O Line in tact, against the Nation’s Top Defensive FCS Team in NDSU. Then again KSU having only 2 returning defensive starters against a talented Offensive of NDSU power run first/pass second game style.

Many great comparisons to be shared, stats, etc….. but in front of a Big KSU Wildcat Stadium this will be THE Test of the Defending FCS Champs in the Little Apple of Manhattan KS!

Get this one on your calendar this has the making of Appalation State upset up Michigan all over it in a close one down to the wire for any college football fan!

Youngstown State beat up Pitt in 2012. So it’s not always a cake walk for the “big boys”. Pitt took Notre Dame to the final seconds and Pitt played in a bowl game. So some of the better FCS team can play with the FBS teams