There has been quite a bit of buzz about the Big Ten’s decision to effectively mandate against scheduling FCS football opponents. Now, though, the conference’s choice to shift to a nine-game conference schedule (in alignment with other top-tier leagues) has reportedly opened the door again to the possibility of FCS teams playing against Big Ten schools.
Jeff Kolpack of InForum caught up with North Dakota State athletic director Matt Larsen and he brought word that the FCS power has been notified of a policy change for the Big Ten. In short, Big Ten teams would be allowed to schedule FCS opponents but only in years in which that Big Ten program had only four conference games at home on the schedule.
Larsen had this to say about how it would help the NDSU program and, by proxy, other FCS schools in the region.
“We sure hope so. Again, the best part for us is with the Big Ten, it’s the most geographical favorable footprint and they are the teams we would most prefer to play. There are a lot of Land Grant institutions and it gives our fan base more ability to travel.”
This would be a big shift for the Big Ten and one that might seem a bit off-kilter. Still, it would be a way to provide teams with a potentially favorable scheduling quirk in the years that five conference games were to take place on the road, and that is a reasonable trade-off.
No confirmation from the conference exists just yet but this is something to keep an eye on in the future.