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Only 15 of 130 FBS teams will not play an FCS team during the season 2021 College Football Season

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Only 15 of 130 FBS teams will not play an FCS team during the season
2021 College Football Season

It is difficult to schedule non-conference matches. This is true even for teams with three or fewer dates in conferences. A team can break agreements and have to scramble for a replacement, or schedule an opponent that it would otherwise not.

In some instances, this is the way that Football Championship Subdivision team schedules are displayed to Football Bowl Subdivision players. There are only a few FBS teams who routinely schedule FCS opposition.

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Regardless of the reason, 15 FBS programs will not host an FCS team in 2021. Notre Dame (FBS), UCLA (FCS), and USC are the ones that haven’t played FCS since Division I was split into I (FBS) & I-AA(FCS). This is expected to change in the next year (see UCLA), and it appeared that it would change this year.

Below is an alphabetical list of non-conference schedules for the 15 teams. Also included are notes on their last encounter with an FCS team. Many games against FCS team last year were cancelled because of the pandemic.

Boise State: September 2, at UCF. September 10, vs UTEP. September 18, vs Oklahoma State. October 9, at BYU.

Three non-conference games will be played by the Broncos on the first day of the season. On Thursday night before Labor Day, the curtain will rise on Andy Avalos’ era at Group of Five heavyweight UCF. This is Gus Malzahn’s Knights debut. This will be their first encounter, with UCF returning favor in 2023 The Broncos last match against an FCS opponent in 2019 was a 45-10 victory over Portland State.

Georgia State: September 4 vs Army, September 11 at North Carolina, September 18 vs Charlotte, September 25 at Auburn

Georgia State was a Sun Belt Conference member in 2013. The non-conference schedule had a heavy emphasis on FCS players. From 2014 to 2019, the Panthers faced one FCS opponent (48-42 victory against Furman), and they were set to open against Murray State this season . The Panthers also have a full non-conference schedule in 2021. This includes a trip to Auburn, which was originally scheduled six years ago. It will cost $1.25million.

Illinois: September 4, vs UTSA; September 11, at Virginia; October 2, vs Charlotte

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Bret Bielema is the first Champaign Fighting Illini to play an FCS program. After meeting twice in Bowl games ….., the Fighting Illini will face Texas-San Antonio (Charlotte) and Virginia. This is their first regular season game against an FCS team. The Fighting Illini would have opened the season last year against Illinois State.

Iowa: September 11 at Iowa State, September 18 vs Kent State, September 25 vs Colorado State

Following a Big Ten match against Indiana ….Iowa, the Hawkeyes will face the Cyclones in a rivalry game. Kent State will be paying $1.85million to Iowa City ….Kirk Ferentz, whose team won 38-14 over Northern Iowa in 2018. Last season, the Hawkeyes faced the Panthers. They are approximately 90 miles apart and have met seven times since 1995.

Michigan: September 4 vs Western Michigan, September 11 vs Washington, September 18 vs Northern Illinois

Before the pandemic, the two teams were scheduled to meet in Seattle. The match against UW will mark the first time the teams have met since 2002, when Philip Brabbs’ field goal of 44 yards with just six seconds remaining gave the Wolverines a win 31-29 at the Big House. They were scheduled to meet last season in Seattle …..Western Michigan received $1.4 million to cover the 100-mile journey to Ann Arbor ….. When it comes to historic FCS wins over FBS team, most conversations start with No. Five Michigan’s loss to Appalachian State, 34-32 in 2007, is a classic example of landmark FCS wins over FBS teams. Big Blue was not pleased with the UMass encounter in 2010. This game, Big Blue’s last against the FCS in 2010, wasn’t easy. The win at 42-37 was only secured after the onside kick with just two minutes left went out of bounds. In 2011, the Minutemen joined FBS, while the Mountaineers climbed in 2013.

Minnesota: September 11 vs Miami (Ohio), September 18 at Colorado, September 25 vs Bowling Green

P.J. Fleck’s team gets a little MACTtion from visiting two members of the conference. The coach has some knowledge about the conference from his time at Western Michigan …… This will be Fleck and Colorado’s first match since 1992. The Buffaloes have won all three previous meetings …. The Golden Gophers were given a scare by FCS No. 28-21. South Dakota State will open the 2019 season. Last season, they played Tennessee Tech.

Navy: September 4, vs Marshall. September 11, vs Air Force. November 6, at Notre Dame. December 11, vs Army.

From the perspective games against Army Air Force, Notre Dame and Air Force, there is only one slot for non-conference play. Marshall fills the remaining date in this season’s season opener. This will be the first ever meeting of the programs …… The game against Air Force was originally set for October 2. However, it was moved to September 11. In recognition of the 20th Anniversary of 9-11 ….. As a member in all other sports except football, the Middies often schedule games against the FCS conference. They won a win over Holy Cross 45-7 in 2019. Last year, Navy had been scheduled to face Lafayette.

Notre Dame

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After being in the ACC for pandemic-disrupted 2019, the Irish will be returning to their independent status. The Fighting Irish will face five ACC teams this season as part of their scheduling agreement with the league (which Notre Dame is a member for most sports). Brian Kelly’s squad plays nine Power Five and three Group of Five ….. teams. The Irish haven’t played an FCS opponent since 1978, when the Division I split. Notre Dame had always played high-ranking teams before that split. This includes Penn, in 1955. It was Penn’s last year as an independent student before joining the Ivy League in 1956.

Ohio State: September 11 vs Oregon, September 18 vs Tulsa, September 25 vs Akron

Oregon’s visit would have been part of the home-and-home arrangement. However, the Ducks lost their last meeting in Eugene during the 2014 CFP championship. With a record of 9-0, the Buckeyes have defeated the Ducks. In the 2014 CFP Championship, the first year in the playoff A total of $2.9 million will go to Akron ($1.8), and Tulsa (1.1) to pay for the visits to Columbus ….Ohio State.

Purdue: Purdue vs Oregon State September 4, September 11, UConn September 11, September 18, Notre Dame September 18 September 11.

Oregon State had never met the Boilermakers before 1967, in West Lafayette. No. No.

Stanford: September 4, vs Kansas State, (Arlington), Sept 18 at Vanderbilt and November 27, vs Notre Dame

Stanford will be the only Power Five team to play. This game is the home and back engagement from a home-and–home deal with Stanford, which was signed in 2016 after the Cardinal won in Palo Alto (26-13). KSU received $2.8 million to move this year’s game from the Little Apple to Arlington….Stanford, which was scheduled to open 2020 against William & Mary, last played an FCS team in 2018, a 30-10 win over UC-Davis. In 2005, Walt Harris was playing his first Stanford home match as a coach and the Aggies beat Stanford by 20-17.

Texas: September 4, vs Louisiana; September 11, at Arkansas; September 18, vs Rice

The Southwest Conference’s days are reflected in a trip to Arkansas, and Rice visiting on Saturdays. It will be the first meeting between the ‘Horns and Hogs since the 2014 Texas Bowl and in the regular season for Austin since 2008. This will mark UT’s first visit in Fayetteville since 2004 The Longhorns defeated North Texas 33-15 in 1992, 10 years before the FCS dropped the Mean Green to the FCS. In 1995, the program was reintroduced to FBS.

UCLA: UCLA: August 28, vs Hawaii; September 4, vs LSU; September 18, vs Fresno State

Each of the Bruins’ non-conference games are played before the Pac-12 schedule begins. While the opening against Hawaii is the oldest date of team play, the LSU visit will be the first time the schools UCLA have met an FCS team since 1978’s Division-I split. Next season, Alabama State will visit the Rose Bowl. In 2023, North Carolina Central will visit Pasadena. Michigan cancelled a home and home with the Bruins, so the HBCUs filled the dates.

USC: September 4 vs San Jose State, October 23 at Notre Dame, November 27 vs BYU

The Trojans will host BYU Thanksgiving weekend. This will mark the first year since 1999 that they have not closed the regular season against a conference competitor or Notre Dame . You won’t find any FCS opponents on this Trojans schedule, or in years past. However, UC-Davis was temporarily on the schedule this year. In July 2019, the Trojans revealed that the Aggies would be coming to the Coliseum in September 2019. The game was cancelled by the Trojans in July 2019 due to pressure from FCS officials. It cost USC $725,000. San Jose State’s September 4th date with Georgia was cancelled at $1.8 million. UGA then agreed to host Clemson at Charlotte. (UC-Davis will open September 2, at Tulsa, and will be receiving $400,000. The Aggies will have to adjust their schedule if the USC cancellation warranty is included. This amounts out to $1.125million.

Wisconsin: September 11 vs Eastern Michigan, September 25 at Notre Dame (Chicago), October 16 vs Army

Notre Dame will face off at Soldier Field with the Fighting Irish, who hold an 8-6-2 lead …..Wisconsin will offer Eastern Michigan $1.4million for visiting Madison …..The Badgers last match against an FCS school in 2013 was a 37-3 victory over Western Illinois. They were expected to play Southern Illinois this season.

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