Big Ten Teams Don’t Want to Play FCS Teams Anymore, May Re-Align Conference’s Divisions
Michigan falling to Appalachian State, 34-32, in 2007 is one of best college football upsets in the sports history, but it wasn’t fun for Michigan. Big Ten teams don’t want that to happen again. So on Wednesday morning, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, they agreed not to schedule FCS teams anymore.
It would likely take affect after the 2014 season, because Wisconsin has already agreed to play Tennessee Tech in 2013 and in Michigan will host Appalachian State in a rematch in 2014.
“The non-conference schedule in our league is ridiculous. It’s not very appealing. So we’ve made an agreement that our future games will all be Division 1 schools. Not FCS schools,” said Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez on WIBA-AM.
The Big Ten hasn’t made an official announcement.
However, it would be a smart move for the Big Ten. The league doesn’t usually start conference play until their fifth regular season game, and scheduling FCS opponents usually hurts their chances late in the season if they are in the BCS National Championship hunt and vying for a spot with say, an SEC team.
The league will also need to rethink its current conference divisions. Alvarez told WIBA-AM a change in geography may be best for the Big Ten as Maryland and Rutgers come to play in 2014.
“If you went straight geography, let’s start west: Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Illinois, probably Purdue is the best way it seems to break down. I know Michigan State was lobbying in West Division instead of the East.”
Currently, the Legends Division members include Nebraska, Michigan, Northwestern, Michigan State, Minnesota, and Iowa. The Leaders Division includes Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin, Purdue, Indiana, and Illinois.
Alvarez is spot on with these moves and it would be a step in the right direction for the Big Ten. College football conferences are getting tougher with re-alignment, and as a result, schedules will get tougher.