It was not a great offseason for FCS schools. Another program -- Georgia State -- jumped to FBS status this offseason, making it five FCS programs that have taken a promotion in the last two seasons. While eventual national champion North Dakota State won its only FBS game of the season against Colorado State, the national runner-up, Sam Houston State, lost two FBS games by a combined score of 95-51. The Big Ten reportedly intends to do away with scheduling FCS opponents completely in coming years, cutting off up to $5 million dollars in schedule fees.
The Big Ten might be running scared, because FCS football is shocking the world:
- North Dakota State beat the defending Big 12 champion Kansas State on the night that KSU was dedicating a statue of head coach Bill Snyder.
- Towson stunned UConn 33-18 on opening night, with running back Terrance West rushing 36 times for 156 yards and two touchdowns.
- Southern Utah knocked off South Alabama 22-21 on a last-second field goal.
- Samford beat Georgia State 31-21 in the Panthers' first game as an FBS team, despite being outgained by 165 yards.
- Liberty nearly took out Kent State, with the Golden Flashes needing 10 fourth-quarter points to win by a touchdown.
In all, the FCS is 4-8 against FBS opponents through the season's first two nights. That's a better mark than the Sun Belt's 0-2 record and compares favorably with the first two nights for the Mountain West (2-3) and AAC (also 2-3). The four wins so far by FBS teams is a record for the first two nights of the season, and matches the total number of wins by FCS teams on the first two days of the season in 2003 through 2012 combined.
Obviously, playing Georgia State and South Alabama, which only recently became FBS teams, helped. But North Dakota State's victory at Kansas State is the first-ever FCS win against a defending FBS conference champion.
The lower division has ample opportunity to improve its record this week. Seventeen FCS teams face FBS opponents Saturday.