A few years ago now, the Big Ten came out and banned member schools from scheduling FCS opponents.
It’s a topic that the staff at FootballScoop has strongly opposed because of what income those FBS guarantee games mean to FCS football program’s operating budgets.
Today, at Big Ten Media Day, commissioner Jim Delaney acknowledged that Big Ten teams will now be allowed to schedule FCS during years that they have only 4 Big Ten home games.
The widespread belief was that the policy was first put in place to help Big Ten programs improve their bowl, and more importantly, their playoff resume against their counterparts in the other Power 5 leagues. For reasons I can’t explain, wins against even weak FBS programs often look a whole lot better than guarantee games against top-notch FCS teams.
J Delany: FCS sched philosophy "meant to impress CFP committee" has been modified. Teams can sked FCS in years with 4 home conf games.
— Dennis Dodd (@dennisdoddcbs) July 24, 2017
However, schools ran into some bumps in the road during scheduling
League didn't anticipate how tough it would be for schools with four B1G home games to add three FBS home games in those years. https://t.co/A0qgFF3vHv
— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) July 24, 2017
At the end of the day, it makes games a bit easier to schedule for Big Ten programs who only have four home league games, and as we stated earlier, it’s also a good thing for the bottom line budget of FCS teams to collect a bit of guarantee…and every once in a while we’ll get blessed with a surprise knock off like NDSU knocking off Iowa, or now-FBS member Appalachian State beating Michigan.