Monday, August 13, 2007

ACC goes 'subdivision' more than ever

Just a reminder: If it seems like there are more games this season between Division I-A and I-AA (now referred to as the Division I football championship subdivision) teams, it's because there are.

Thanks to the addition of a 12th game to Division I-A schedules in 2006, those larger schools have had to scramble to find opponents to fill those dates. Eight ACC teams play I-AA opponents this season - only Duke, Florida State, Virginia and Wake Forest are not. And those four schools have gone the other direction in getting their schedules up to 12 games. Duke faces Notre Dame, Florida State plays Alabama, Virginia plays Pittsburgh and Wake Forest plays Nebraska.

Each team in the I-AA Southern Conference, for instance, plays at least one I-A team - including Appalachian State (Michigan); Chattanooga (Arkansas); The Citadel (Wisconsin); Elon (South Florida); Furman (Clemson); Georgia Southern (Colorado State); Western Carolina (Alabama and Georgia) and Wofford (N.C. State).

The I-A schools receive millions of dollars in extra revenues from these games and they can count a victory against one I-AA team toward bowl eligibility. The I-AA teams receive financial "guarantees" that make it worth their while to be pummeled on the field.

So, when you see that Appalachian State is opening its season in Michigan's "Big House" on Sept. 1, or that two weeks after Western Carolina plays in Tuscaloosa, the Catamounts travel to Athens - you'll know why.

- David Scott


Anonymous said...

Let the pummeling begin. Anything less than a blow out would be a dissapointment, seeing as the FBS (formerly I-A) teams have 85 scholarships and the FCS (formerly I-AA) have 63 scholarships. Some recent less-than-stellar performances from Appalachian State's I-A opponents: 1999 loss to Auburn 22-15, 1997 loss to Clemson 23-12, 2006 loss to N.C. State 23-10, and LSU only mustered 24 points in 2005 (yes, the score was 24-0). Appalachian even has a 3-2 record against Wake Forest in their last 5 meetings. The Mountaineers have been blown-out recently by Hawaii, Wyoming, and Kansas. What confuses me is if NC State, Clemson, North Carolina, etc were so desperate for a game, why not schedule Michigan, Arkansas, Wisconsin, and so on instead of having to say you beat up some "little guy" who wanted a big check.

Anonymous said...

Ask North Carolina if they can truly "pummel" a I-AA team?

Much like the mid-majors in college basketball, the lines are getting closer between FBS and FCS teams.