Last night I was doing some late night tweeting, which I know most of my followers always get a chuckle out of, but spurred me to write a little bit more on it tonight in preps of what might be the best regular season weekend in the FCS in a long time. We have 6 games featuring Top 25 matchups (which will make for a fun FCS Pick ‘Em with Jeff on Friday) but it’s not just that; it’s the quality of the matchups and makes me wonder; why can’t we have this at least once a year? I know ESPN has talked about putting together a made-for-TV weekend having some cross-conference matchups, but why wait for the networks to do it? Eastern Washington and Sam Houston State didn’t. Neither did Northern Iowa-McNeese State; those are two of the top 25 games this weekend.
This is what spurred this blog post last night: @DomIzzoWDAY: Simply put; the Eastern Washington-Sam Houston game is what #FCS conferences should mandate; great teams playing challenging non-conf games. Full credit to a couple of people that tweeted back at me saying; doesn’t that sound a lot like what the Big 10 is doing; mandating NOT playing FCS teams? There’s some correlation there, because these games happen so few. As we know everyone wants to play home games, and going on the road into an environment like Cheney or Cedar Falls can’t be that appealing. But the publicity and the exposure for this division can’t be overlooked. If mandate isn’t the right term, then let’s put this right in the laps of the conference commissioners. I asked the Big 4 that same question back in July about the possibility of this (Mo Valley, Big Sky, Southland and CAA) all of them seemed open to it. Think of college hoops; the ACC-Big 10 challenge is a made for TV event; but that Duke-Michigan State game is great; Indiana-North Carolina? Must-see TV. Now I’m not brazen enough to think Sam Houston-Eastern Washington is must-see, but for us hardcore followers of the division it certainly is. Next year, NDSU will challenge itself in the non-conference with Montana coming to Fargo, the Bison repay that trip in 2015. Great games, great vision to make it happen. Sam Houston and Eastern will play a home and home starting this season; South Dakota has scheduled a home and home with Montana for this year and next season. Imagine matchups between the best of the Colonial against the Southland or the Valley against the Big Sky? Delaware vs McNeese; UNI-Cal Poly; James Madison-SDSU; Eastern Washington-NDSU (would that ever happen??) Some people can at least dream.