Delany confirms B1G teams can schedule FCS opponents under certain circumstances
Remember the B1G’s stance on not scheduling FCS opponents in the future. It turns out that was a “just kidding” moment for Jim Delany.
Last week, North Dakota State athletic director Matt Larsen said the B1G would be loosening its stance on its policy against scheduling FCS opponents. Delany confirmed that report at B1G Media Days on Monday.
B1G teams will be allowed to schedule FCS foes in years when they have just four conference home games and are trying to secure at least seven games inside their home stadium.
Delany said that the struggle with scheduling home games, and other conferences continuing to schedule FCS teams, were factors in the decision.
“After watching things play out the last three years, we noted that we were the only conference to go totally in that direction,” Delany said. “We have never really gotten there because we hand long existing contracts. When we went to nine games, we did not anticipate the problems that some of our skills would have in years that they only had four conference games – it was very difficult to get three FBS opponents on to their schedules if they were looking for seven home games.”
Delany noted that the initial push to get FCS opponents off B1G schedules was to “enhance television and strengthen packages for season ticket holders.” He also said that impressing the College Football Playoff committee was a factor in the decision.
In theory, eliminating FCS programs from the schedule is a great idea. However, the conference’s push to a nine-game league schedule was a major issue. Plus, when every conference in the nation continues to schedule these programs, why not continue down that path?
Teams won’t be able to schedule FCS opponents every season – at least not yet – but it could become an every other year situation.
It’ll be interesting to see which teams take advantage of the B1G relaxing on this three-year-old policy.