College Football's Davids will get fewer cracks at Goliaths in changing landscape

  • Article by: RALPH D. RUSSO , AP College Football Writer
  • Updated: July 26, 2013 - 5:10 PM

NEW YORK — College football's Davids will get fewer chances to knock off the Goliaths in the coming years.

Part of the fallout of the sweeping changes coming to college sports will be a decrease in so-called guarantee games in football, where a power conference school pays hundreds of thousands of dollars to have a team from a lesser league play at its stadium.

The result will be far fewer opportunities for embarrassing blowouts (Oklahoma State 84, Savannah State 0) and startling upsets (Appalachian State 34, Michigan 32). Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said it would be good for college football and that he is "not very sympathetic" to the potential loss of revenue to the schools on the receiving end of the checks.

The commissioners of the lower-revenue conferences say losing the pay days won't kill their leagues, and that giving players from smaller schools a chance to compete on the big stage has value.

"Traditionally, we play the Big Ten a lot," Mid-American Conference Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher said in a phone interview Friday. "We're in the neighborhood so that makes a lot of sense."

MAC teams will play 13 games against Big Ten teams this season, plus four against the SEC and two each against the Big 12 and Atlantic Coast Conference, and many of them fall into the category of guarantee games.

The shift to nine-game conference schedules, along with an increased emphasis on strength of schedule for the coming College Football Playoff, all but guarantee fewer opportunities for the other five conferences (MAC, Sun Belt, Mountain West, American Athletic and Conference USA) in FBS to play the top five.

Add in the need for the power conferences to beef up their schedules to create made-for-TV matchups to justify the millions they are getting in media rights deals, plus a possible reconfiguration of Division I, and it leads to speculation that the big five will be playing exclusively among themselves at some point.

Scott shot down that idea and Steinbrecher doesn't sound overly concerned about his teams not getting more than a few shots per season to knock off marquee programs.

Steinbrecher said it's more likely for the big five to trim FCS teams — the old Division I-AA — from their schedules than the other FBS leagues. The Big Ten has said it would like eliminate all FCS games soon. And if schools from the big five are getting tired of cutting those big checks for home games, Steinbrecher has another solution.

"We'd gladly give up the guarantee game and start a home-and-home," he said.

Patty Viverito runs the FCS Missouri Valley Conference football as senior associate commissioner. MVC teams such as Northern Iowa and North Dakota State frequently play Big Ten teams. Losing that revenue will be a challenge for her schools, she said.

"But at this juncture there seems to be plenty of willing hosts," she said. "We haven't had too much difficulty in finding alternate opponents."

She added: "We think that those games have been good for the game of college football. I think I would like to have a more considerate approach to the good of the game be part of the conversation."

She noted some of the top FCS programs often have teams comparable or better to the bottom teams in FBS, and have fans that make road trips and buy tickets.

Big South Commissioner Kyle Kallander said it's hard to predict what not having FBS games and the money that comes with them would do to his members.

"There are some that rely on the revenue to improve facilities and fund their programs," he said. "But it's not like the sky would fall and wouldn't be able to play anymore."

Viverito wondered whether the big five conferences could stomach the consequences of playing only games against each other.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

San Francisco - M. Bumgarner 7:07 PM
Pittsburgh - E. Volquez
Minnesota 10/2/14 7:25 PM
Green Bay
Buffalo 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Chicago 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Cleveland 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
St. Louis 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Atlanta 10/5/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Tampa Bay 10/5/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Houston 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Dallas
Baltimore 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Pittsburgh 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Arizona 10/5/14 3:05 PM
Denver
Kansas City 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
NY Jets 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Diego
Cincinnati 10/5/14 7:30 PM
New England
Seattle 10/6/14 7:30 PM
Washington
Washington 0 1st Prd 8:36
Buffalo 2
Carolina 0 1st Prd 8:47
Columbus 1
Pittsburgh 6:30 PM
Detroit
Montreal 7:30 PM
Chicago
Arizona 8:00 PM
Edmonton
Fla Atlantic 10/2/14 6:00 PM
FIU
UCF 10/2/14 6:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 10/2/14 9:30 PM
(2) Oregon
Louisville 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Syracuse
San Diego St 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Utah State 10/3/14 9:15 PM
(18) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(12) Miss State
Ball State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Army
Iowa State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(21) Oklahoma State
Marshall 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Old Dominion
Southern Miss 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Middle Tennessee
(20) Ohio State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Maryland
Purdue 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Florida 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
SMU 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(22) East Carolina
Virginia Tech 10/4/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Eastern Mich 10/4/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Texas 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Indiana
Massachusetts 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Tulsa 10/4/14 2:00 PM
Colorado State
New Mexico 10/4/14 2:30 PM
TX-San Antonio
(3) Alabama 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(11) Ole Miss
(14) Stanford 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(9) Notre Dame
(17) Wisconsin 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Navy 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
(7) Baylor 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Texas
(4) Oklahoma 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(25) TCU
Wake Forest 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
NC State 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Clemson
Buffalo 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Bowling Green
Ohio U 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Central Mich
Oregon State 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Colorado
Vanderbilt 10/4/14 3:00 PM
(13) Georgia
Kansas 10/4/14 3:00 PM
West Virginia
Kent State 10/4/14 4:00 PM
Northern Ill
South Alabama 10/4/14 5:00 PM
Appalachian St
Texas-El Paso 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
(15) LSU 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
UAB 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Ky
Texas Tech 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(23) Kansas State
Michigan 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rutgers
Hawaii 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rice
Toledo 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Mich
ULM 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Georgia State 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
Idaho 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Texas State
Memphis 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Arizona State 10/4/14 6:30 PM
(16) USC
So Carolina 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Kentucky
Pittsburgh 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Virginia
Miami-Florida 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Georgia Tech
(19) Nebraska 10/4/14 7:00 PM
(10) Michigan State
UNLV 10/4/14 7:00 PM
San Jose St
Ga Southern 10/4/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Utah 10/4/14 9:30 PM
(8) UCLA
Boise State 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Winnipeg 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Edmonton 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pmX35-24
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pmX30-7
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. 3 p.m.X24-7
Sep 27 - at Michigan 2:30 pm30-14
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern 11 am
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 am
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 am
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa TBA
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State TBA
Nov 22 - at Nebraska TBA
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin TBA

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How will the Gophers do against Michigan?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close