Monday, July 18, 2011

Scheduling Cupcakes

Everybody loves cupcakes, even college football teams. It is commonplace now for most FBS teams to schedule a FCS opponent to get an almost-guaranteed win against an undersized opponent. A few teams even go so far as to schedule two foes from the lower subdivision to pad their schedules with W's. The NCAA allows only one win over an FCS team to count toward bowl eligibility. Sometimes, eating too many cupcakes can backfire. Case in point: Arizona State got six wins last seasons, but two were against FCS teams, so they only had five wins toward bowl eligibility. The Sun Devils got snubbed from playing a thirteenth game. 

Twenty-seven FBS teams will not play an FCS opponent this season, while 93 teams will play at least one. Of those 93 programs, 4 have decided to schedule TWO lower division opponents this season.
  • -North Carolina State (Liberty, South Alabama)
  • -Eastern Michigan (Howard, Alabama State)
  • -Air Force (South Alabama, Tennessee State)
  • -Wyoming (Weber State, Texas State)

The first 4 weeks of the season will feature many of these cross-subdivision match-ups. 84 of the 97 of such contests will be in the first month of college pigskin.
  • Week 1: 38 of 78 games
  • Week 2: 19 of 65 games
  • Week 3: 16 of 64 games
  • Week 4: 11 of 58 games

BCS conference teams are also notorious for scheduling FBS mid-majors for nonconference games to pad their schedules. Many of these uneven games will also take place during the first month of college football. Despite this, there will be a number of sexy games prior to conference play going into full-swing.

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