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Mid-day talker: South Dakota State football coach weighs on in Big Ten/FCS scheduling

Posted by: Michael Rand under Gophers Updated: February 14, 2013 - 12:44 PM


We wrote for today's paper about Barry Alvarez telling a radio station that the Big Ten has agreed not to put FCS teams (formerly Division I-AA) on future schedules. This is not something that has formally been announced, but Barry is never shy about speaking his mind. One element we had hoped for in the piece was some perspective from a local FCS school, but it didn't arrive in time. However, we were able to chat with South Dakota State head coach John Stiegelmeier for a few minutes this morning as a follow-up. He had some good thoughts on the possibility of the scheduling change and what it would mean for a school like SDSU.


South Dakota State came to TCF Bank Stadium in 2009 and nearly upset Tim Brewster's Gophers, who held on for a 16-13 victory that made them bowl-eligible. The Jackrabbits are on Minnesota's schedule in 2015 and 2019 as well.

"You need to look at it from both sides of the FCS and FBS. For programs like us that are good programs, it’s a chance to measure ourselves and to obviously get a nice guarantee to help fund the program. That’s one of the realities. It’s a chance to put yourself on the map," Stiegelmeier said. "I understand totally from their standpoint. ... Ideally we’re able to play them in the future, but I understand it totally."

SDSU has Nebraska on its 2013 schedule, and Stiegelmeier pointed to a 14-point loss to the Cornhuskers in 2010 as a major moment for his program, which was still adjusting to life in the FCS after many years of playing Division II ball.

"Whether the score is close or not, the exposure is great. When you talk about when we play Minnesota, Nebraska, Missouri, that’s our recruiting area. There’s a heightened level of interest. Just pure exposure, regardless of score," he said. "And when you play them close – Nebraska, 14 points, was the best example – people feel like you won the game, so to speak. ... Where we’re at, it’s hard to schedule games. If you take away the Big Ten schools in the area, it becomes that much tougher. And if we’re going to play Florida International or North Carolina State, the benefits are less (in terms of recruiting and exposure)."

Stiegelmeier also said there is no doubt that players at FCS schools circle games against major-conference DI foes as measuring sticks. Those are often the schools players dreamed of attending, giving them something to prove. That's also, of course, what can make those games so dangerous for bigger schools. Minnesota is just 2-3 in its last five games against Dakota schools, all of whom play in FCS. For Big Ten teams, scheduling such games can be high risk with low reward.

"A (player) will be more interested in that one game in his career than who is in our conference," the coach said. "For an FCS player, that is a huge game in his tenure. That comes out before we promote it. That’s something in the hearts of these young men. It is a competition thing."


New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Portland 0 Postponed
Brooklyn 0
Sacramento 0 Postponed
New York 0
Philadelphia 7:00 PM
New Orleans
Minnesota 7:00 PM
Oklahoma City
Orlando 7:00 PM
Boston 8:00 PM
Denver 9:30 PM
LA Clippers
Army 35 2nd Half
American Univ 29
Wright State 33 2nd Half 20:00
Detroit 27
Syracuse 47 2nd Half 16:56
North Carolina 43
Cleveland State 31 2nd Half 16:28
Oakland 33
Delaware State 33 2nd Half 17:09
NC Central 29
High Point 31 2nd Half 20:00
Presbyterian 28
Howard 14 1st Half 10:30
Bethune-Cookman 16
Coppin State 3 1st Half 14:25
NC A&T 10
Nicholls 25 1st Half 2:23
Northwestern St 38
Hampton 21 1st Half 5:44
SC State 18
Gardner-Webb 1 1st Half 17:44
Campbell 4
MD-Eastern Shore 7:00 PM
Florida A&M
Stephen F Austin 7:00 PM
Central Arkansas 0 1st Half 20:00
New Orleans 0
Norfolk State 0 1st Half 20:00
Savannah State 0
TX A&M-CC 8 1st Half 15:20
SE Louisiana 5
Sam Houston St 7:00 PM
Abilene Christian
McNeese State 4 1st Half 15:40
Incarnate Word 5
Milwaukee 2 1st Half 15:59
Valparaiso 12
Alcorn State 7:30 PM
Alabama A&M
Southern U 7:30 PM
Alabama State
Prairie View 8:00 PM
Ark-Pine Bluff
Texas 8:00 PM
Iowa State
Texas Southern 8:00 PM
Miss Valley St
Long Island 85 FINAL
Bryant 88
Central Conn St 51 FINAL
St Francis-NY 49
Fairleigh Dickinson 0 Postponed
Sacred Heart 0
St Francis-PA 87 FINAL
Wagner 74
Delaware State 59 FINAL
NC Central 66
Howard 53 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 61
Coppin State 49 FINAL
NC A&T 67
Hampton 88 FINAL
SC State 53
Norfolk State 54 FINAL
Savannah State 56
MD-Eastern Shore 54 FINAL
Florida A&M 64
Samford 32 FINAL
(25) Chattanooga 49
Prairie View 83 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 66
Alcorn State 53 2nd Half 6:18
Alabama A&M 44
Southern U 50 2nd Half 5:54
Alabama State 40
Texas Southern 54 2nd Half 4:10
Miss Valley St 48
(12) Texas A&M 31 2nd Half 20:00
(1) South Carolina 39
Robert Morris 36 2nd Half 20:00
Mount St Marys 21
East Tenn St 39 2nd Half 15:38
Mercer 33
Wofford 34 2nd Half 16:18
Furman 30
Morehead St 27 2nd Half 20:00
Tenn Tech 24
Illinois 24 2nd Half 19:06
Michigan 39
Quinnipiac 0 Postponed
Manhattan 0
Saint Peters 0 Postponed
Rider 0
(18) Miss State 8:00 PM
(15) Nebraska 8:00 PM
(20) Iowa
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