A Weekend Worth Watching

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.

Sam Houston and Eastern Washington begin a home and home on Saturday.

This is what spurred this blog post last night: @DomIzzoWDAY:┬áSimply 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.

16 thoughts on “A Weekend Worth Watching

  1. Heh, I’m trying to imagine a matchup between the preseason #1 and #2, but Montana State’s AD bought it out using his Big Sky psychic powers.

  2. I think college hoops is a little different than college football. One loss in a football regular season does a lot more damage than one loss in a basketball regular season, but I get what you’re trying to say, Dom.

  3. Make it happen, Gene.

    I would be as interested in a home-and-home with Stony Brook as I would be in Iowa State.

  4. Hopefully Montana honors the contract for next year and doesn’t back out like Montana State did this year. The Bison had their marquee matchup but Montana State chickened out and bought the game out.

    • Think that Montana will honor the game since they would lose out on a home game in 2015 if they don’t come to Fargo, think that’s motivation enough to keep the game on the schedule.

  5. Some leagues play 9 conference games and will choose to play an 11 game schedule. It would be nice to see some more cross conference big time matchups, but there’s not a lot of wiggle room.

  6. I see you guys are focusing on Zenner averaging 185 yards a game and how the Bison will ever stop him.

    I checked the stats and the Bison are averaging 227 yards a game, how will SDSU stop the Bison rushing attack. The Bison ran at will on K-State.

    • That is a bit of an exaggeration. Yes, they ran for 245 yds, which is a lot, but they had multiple running plays for a loss, including three on the final drive. But your point is well taken, SDSU will also face a very good OL and a good double pronged rushing attack.

      • And SDSU will be trying to run the ball against a better defense than the defense the Bison have to run the ball against. SDSU has given up a bunch of yards and points this year.

  7. I love this idea. Would love to get an agreement like this between strong conferences, sort of like how the Big 10 and Pac 12 set up some games against each other. Missouri Valley, CAA, Southland, Southern, OVC and Big Sky could all be in the mix, and matchups like these could also help get more accurate rankings.

  8. Mac or Mwc conference is only Midwest fbs conferences however, neither of them want NDSU to come in and dominate the football! This is the major holdup in invitation. (They use the location as excuse, tv market etc). But I’d like a Fargo media member contact these conference commissioners and ask them that very question.

    Why are you afraid to invite NDSU because of their football success and fan base takeover of your conferences?

    • No conference commissioner is going to say they’re afraid of inviting anyone, but they will say they can’t speak of any specific schools and I believe they would also say they would need someone besides NDSU to invite, because for travel for each of those leagues they would need a partner. If the Big Sky could go back and do it over they would have never just took UND on its own, nearest travel partner over 800 miles away. Makes no sense.

  9. I think most of the good teams in the FCS want six home games each year so it makes it more difficult to schedule these games. In 2015, I wonder if the Bison will play at Montana and not a BCS game.

  10. It might be nice for the Bison to buy out a Montana school for a change.