Rand: Badgers AD says Big Ten won't schedule FCS teams in future

  • Updated: February 14, 2013 - 6:08 AM

2DAY'S 2 CENTS Big Ten football

Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez, who has seldom been shy about speaking his mind, made news this week when he went on the radio and announced that Big Ten football teams, down the line, would not be scheduling opponents from FCS (formerly Division I-AA) schools.

"The nonconference schedule in our league is ridiculous," Alvarez told a radio station in Madison. "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."

The Big Ten hasn't officially announced anything about this yet, classifying talks as ongoing. ESPN.com reports that the new agreement would start in 2016, possibly with some wiggle room for schools that have already scheduled FCS opponents beyond that.

Should the agreement actually become reality, it would at some point impact Minnesota's scheduling. The Gophers have FCS opponents on the schedule in 2013 (Western Illinois), 2014 (Eastern Illinois), 2015 (South Dakota State), 2016 (Indiana State) and even 2019 (South Dakota State).

The true Gophers cynics -- and the comments section of StarTribune.com suggests there are plenty out there -- might say this rule could save the program from itself.

The Gophers crushed FCS school New Hampshire 44-7 last year, but before that the recent history against the Dakota schools, who play in the theoretically lower FCS level, was quite poor: two close victories (over North Dakota State in 2006 and South Dakota State in 2009) as well as three losses (two against North Dakota State and one against South Dakota, all since 2007).

But in theory at least, scheduling an FCS opponent -- one such victory over an FCS team per season is allowed to count toward a team's bowl eligibility -- puts a "should win" game on every schedule and helps teams get to that magic six-win number.

Jerry Kill's Gophers went 6-6 in the regular season in 2012, with that New Hampshire win helping pave the way for a berth in the Meineke Car Care Bowl.

That was the program's first postseason appearance since 2009, when the narrow late-season victory over South Dakota State made Tim Brewster's squad bowl-eligible.

The greater impact of a Big Ten agreement on scheduling only Division I teams might be on FCS schools -- most notably those Dakota schools. Their rosters are often full of Minnesota natives and their fan bases love traveling to games in Minneapolis.

Their only hope now is that Alvarez not only spoke his mind, but also spoke too soon.


  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Team Irvin 7:15 PM
Team Carter
Miami 96 FINAL
Chicago 84
Oklahoma City 22 1st Qtr 2:48
Cleveland 15
Dallas 5:00 PM
New Orleans
Indiana 5:00 PM
LA Clippers 5:00 PM
Minnesota 5:00 PM
Detroit 6:00 PM
Milwaukee 6:00 PM
San Antonio
Boston 7:00 PM
Golden State
Washington 7:00 PM
Houston 8:30 PM
LA Lakers
Team Toews 4:00 PM
Team Foligno
South Florida 53 FINAL
Connecticut 66
Boston College 64 FINAL
Georgia Tech 62
Virginia 50 FINAL
Virginia Tech 47
Indiana 70 FINAL
Ohio State 82
Stony Brook 59 2nd Half 1:10
Binghamton 51
Cincinnati 50 2nd Half 3:54
UCF 46
Maine 70 2nd Half 0:21
Hartford 61
Monmouth 64 2nd Half 0:25
Manhattan 68
Fairfield 51 2nd Half 3:25
Marist 57
Rowan 48 FINAL
Princeton 96
St Bonaventure 47 2nd Half 1:37
Rhode Island 49
Duke 54 2nd Half 8:11
St Johns 61
Saint Peters 69 FINAL
Siena 55
Drake 40 2nd Half 1:05
Wichita State 74
Vermont 61 2nd Half 0:31
UMass Lowell 50
Seton Hall 28 2nd Half
Butler 32
NJIT 24 2nd Half
South Alabama 31
Northern Iowa 3:00 PM
Illinois State
Louisville 3:00 PM
UMBC 3:30 PM
Niagara 3:30 PM
Notre Dame 5:30 PM
NC State
Belmont 5:30 PM
Tennessee St
Creighton 6:00 PM
Northwestern 6:30 PM
Washington 7:30 PM
Senior-North 34 FINAL
Senior-South 13
Seton Hall 99 FINAL
Georgetown 85
St Johns 69 FINAL
Villanova 81
Arkansas 58 FINAL
Florida 72
Maine 56 FINAL
Vanderbilt 55 FINAL
Alabama 52
Lafayette 60 FINAL
Lehigh 65
Utah 51 FINAL
Washington 63
James Madison 73 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 53
Delaware 56 FINAL
Drexel 61
Hofstra 56 FINAL
William & Mary 57
Binghamton 54 FINAL
Stony Brook 67
Towson 63 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 71
Georgia Tech 68 FINAL
Virginia 62
Drake 79 FINAL
Evansville 62
Iona 80 FINAL
Canisius 62
Wisconsin 71 FINAL
Michigan State 77
UCF 50 2nd Half 4:32
SMU 48
Hartford 55 2nd Half 2:32
Albany 74
Wake Forest 74 2nd Half 2:13
(17) Florida State 107
(22) Georgia 48 2nd Half 1:20
(5) Tennessee 58
Fairfield 32 2nd Half
Monmouth 55
Northwestern 71 2nd Half 0:57
Penn State 74
Ohio State 64 1st OT
Purdue 64
Northern Iowa 57 2nd Half 0:03
Indiana State 55
Butler 41 2nd Half 10:32
Xavier 47
Providence 2:00 PM
Bradley 2:00 PM
Creighton 34 2nd Half
Marquette 35
Northeastern 30 2nd Half
Elon 38
(2) Connecticut 48 2nd Half
Cincinnati 13
Oregon 32 2nd Half
Arizona 29
NC State 29 2nd Half
(23) Syracuse 26
(7) Maryland 47 2nd Half
Indiana 29
Illinois State 20 1st Half 0:24
Missouri State 30
Colorado 3:00 PM
Washington St
Tulane 3:00 PM
South Florida
(14) Kentucky 3:00 PM
(9) Oregon State 3:00 PM
(13) Arizona State
Vermont 3:30 PM
UMass Lowell
Iowa State 3:30 PM
(8) Texas
Southern Ill 3:45 PM
Wichita State
(15) Duke 4:00 PM
(12) North Carolina
Miami-Florida 4:00 PM
(4) Louisville
(21) Minnesota 4:15 PM
(25) Rutgers
California 5:00 PM
(11) Stanford 7:00 PM
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: Do you favor the plan for expanded athletic facilities at the U of M?

Weekly Question