The Big Ten is making a pretty incredible move that will no doubt effect the face of the FCS and the Big Ten, as the conference has announced it will be ceasing it’s relationship with the FCS and will no longer be scheduling games against opponents outside of the FBS. Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez made the announcement and it’s one that could catch on in other conferences across college sports.
“The non-conference schedule in our league is ridiculous,” Alvarez said on WIBA-AM in Madison, Wis. “It’s not very appealing. … So we’ve made an agreement that our future games will all be Division I schools. It will not be FCS schools.”
Historically, big name conferences in the FBS have cuddled with schools from the FCS which has caused a major problem when it comes to the competitiveness of games. The Big Ten isn’t the only conference to schedule games against opponents that are clearly outmatched, but they are the first to put their foot down and say they won’t put up with scheduling one-sided contests any more.
Teams from the FCS, formally known as I-AA, usually jump at the chance to play a big name program and collect a hefty payday in exchange for the beatdown they usually receive. While it’s an analogy not many fans appreciate, but big conferences scheduling games against schools taht barely have a football program is the same as a boxer accepting a match with a random homeless man off the street.
It’s not a contest and it’s never been fair.
Plus, the Big Ten is one of the weaker conferences in college football, despite being the home of part-time powerhouses like Ohio State, Wisconsin and Michigan. The conference is planning on scheduling nine or ten conference games and making their non-conference matches much more difficult than they are now.
“The coaches and ADs met this week and the ADs will continue to meet in the coming months to prepare a proposal for the council of presidents/chancellors to consider in June,” Big Ten spokesman Scott Chipman wrote in an email Wednesday. “So, the process continues.”
By doing this, not only will the conference get better in quality, but the games will likely be more anticipated by fans. Excuse me for saying it, but even the most die-hard Ohio State fan is flipping through the channels when Eastern Kentucky Technical Institute of Science and Math comes to town.
“It’s kind of a re-engineering of Big Ten football,” Illinois sports information director Kent Brown said. “But there was no decisions made on any of those things. Really it’ll have to be taken to the presidents and chancellors of the Big Ten in June before anything could be finalized.”
With the Big Ten moving away from one-sided match-ups, the question now becomes will more powerful conferences like the SEC or Pac-12 begin to do the same, or are we forever doomed to be plagued with games resulting in 63-0 scores at halftime?