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College Football Spring 2021 (FCS focused)

Jalapeno

Future EA Sports College Football addict.
Club Member

Going to be interesting to see how many FCS teams opt out this spring due to the physical toll it would take on the players playing this spring and football.

The Big Sky will have just nine teams playing a full schedule (UNC is one of those schools.) Given that CU plays UNC this season, I think they would be fun to watch...or maybe not. With 11 P5 games scheduled, we need this game to occur

It’s going to be interesting to see how the Southland schedule is drawn up after four schools left for the WAC and one more (Central Arkansas) is on its way to the ASUN. Florida A&M & Bethune-Cookman has opted out since they are moving from the MEAC to the SWAC next season.

20 FCS teams have opted out including the 8 Ivy League Schools.

I haven’t dug into the D2, D3, and NAIA teams at this point.
 

Finest

Active Member
NAIA is playing. A few conferences had some Fall games. Some had both Fall and Spring, with the conference champions making the sixteen team playoff held in Aprilish. With a redshirt year and being able to transfer easily at both levels, I'd almost go NAIA rather than JUCO if I were a d1 bounceback or non-qualifier who still had a 2.0 gpa (all that is required this year during COVID). Usually, it's a better college experience...

HBCU football should be the highlight with lots of the MEAC (especially NCAT, who produces NFL talent on a regular basis) teams switching conferences, and the Deion Sanders thing at Jackson State.

I was hoping to see Trey Lance play before the whole opting out thing...
 

MtnBuff

Not allowed in Barzil 2
Club Member

Going to be interesting to see how many FCS teams opt out this spring due to the physical toll it would take on the players playing this spring and football.

The Big Sky will have just nine teams playing a full schedule (UNC is one of those schools.) Given that CU plays UNC this season, I think they would be fun to watch...or maybe not. With 11 P5 games scheduled, we need this game to occur

It’s going to be interesting to see how the Southland schedule is drawn up after four schools left for the WAC and one more (Central Arkansas) is on its way to the ASUN. Florida A&M & Bethune-Cookman has opted out since they are moving from the MEAC to the SWAC next season.

20 FCS teams have opted out including the 8 Ivy League Schools.

I haven’t dug into the D2, D3, and NAIA teams at this point.
Our local D2 league the RMAC had five teams play in the fall getting in between one and four games. Everything scheduled after Oct 31 was cancelled. The league web site mentions a spring football season but I am not able to find any confirmation or schedule.
 

Jalapeno

Future EA Sports College Football addict.
Club Member
Our local D2 league the RMAC had five teams play in the fall getting in between one and four games. Everything scheduled after Oct 31 was cancelled. The league web site mentions a spring football season but I am not able to find any confirmation or schedule.

I think that should be announced soon.

I’m not sure if this type of spring football will ever be repeated so I’m going to savor this spring football season as well. I’m assuming you are the most knowledgeable when it comes to the RMAC. Did you happen to follow the old North Central Conference which UNC was part of with UNO and the Dakota schools? That was a rugged conference from what I recall. Sometimes I think UNC needs to reunite with their former NCC rivals in the MVFC and Summit.
 

Jalapeno

Future EA Sports College Football addict.
Club Member
NAIA is playing. A few conferences had some Fall games. Some had both Fall and Spring, with the conference champions making the sixteen team playoff held in Aprilish. With a redshirt year and being able to transfer easily at both levels, I'd almost go NAIA rather than JUCO if I were a d1 bounceback or non-qualifier who still had a 2.0 gpa (all that is required this year during COVID). Usually, it's a better college experience...

HBCU football should be the highlight with lots of the MEAC (especially NCAT, who produces NFL talent on a regular basis) teams switching conferences, and the Deion Sanders thing at Jackson State.

I was hoping to see Trey Lance play before the whole opting out thing...

I do have interest in the HBCU football teams and will pay more attention going forward. North Carolina A&T is moving to the Big South. It seems like the ASUN schools will soon split off from the Big South in football so I’m going to watch that conference in addition to the MVFC and UNC when it comes to FCS football.
 

Jalapeno

Future EA Sports College Football addict.
Club Member

Big Sky Conference will have a modified schedule after Sacramento State opted out of football last October 15th and both Montana schools will play a smaller schedule during an usual spring football schedule.

The Missouri Valley Football Conference (MVFC) will have a similar schedule redo after Indiana State opted out for the season as well.
 

Jalapeno

Future EA Sports College Football addict.
Club Member
Given we are a couple days away from February 1st, I think it's a good time for an update:

MVFC released its spring schedule which is for eight games each.


Big Sky has now a six game schedule after UNC opted out...still disappointed about that.


Big South will have five teams playing a four game schedule.


Ohio Valley Conference will have eight teams playing a seven team schedule.


Composite CAA schedule:


MEAC


SWAC has no article for the football schedule but they are moving forward.

SoCon


Southland

 

Jalapeno

Future EA Sports College Football addict.
Club Member
@MtnBuff: I didn't see anything off the RMAC site about spring football so far. I checked the Lone Star Conference and they are not having football this spring. I also checked the MIAA & Northern Sun and seems like no football either.
 

MtnBuff

Not allowed in Barzil 2
Club Member
@MtnBuff: I didn't see anything off the RMAC site about spring football so far. I checked the Lone Star Conference and they are not having football this spring. I also checked the MIAA & Northern Sun and seems like no football either.
I have looked and not seen anything either.

As I posted earlier some schools attempted to have a limited fall season that ended up shut down.

Logically with the cost of running a program, add the cost of testing and isolation, add the loss of revenues from limited fans in the stands with the likelihood that outbreaks will disrupt or close down the season it just doesn't make a lot of sense for D2 schools.

I'm sure that some schools in other leagues will try. In other areas of the country college football, even D2 football holds a lot more importance culturally than in this region.

It makes sense for them to just write off this year, plan for the vaccine, and look forward to next season starting fresh.
 

Jalapeno

Future EA Sports College Football addict.
Club Member
I am not sure how those games are going to be shown but a is number of FCS conferences are aligned with ESPN+. If you are an Avs fan missing out due to the Altitude Sports saga, you can watch Avs games on demand on ESPN+...for just $5 per month but like Disney+, the price should go up sooner than later.

The conferences with ESPN+: MVFC, SoCon, Southland, OVC, and Patriot (unlikely playing this year since its non-scholarship). The Ivy League also has a deal with ESPN+.

I’m not sure about the Big Sky Conference but they have been on Pluto TV and Root Sports.

CAA is on FloSports.

Basically if you have ESPN+, you are good to go but there’s a chance some games end up on the ESPN family of channels including ESPN3.
 

MtnBuff

Not allowed in Barzil 2
Club Member
I am not sure how those games are going to be shown but a is number of FCS conferences are aligned with ESPN+. If you are an Avs fan missing out due to the Altitude Sports saga, you can watch Avs games on demand on ESPN+...for just $5 per month but like Disney+, the price should go up sooner than later.

The conferences with ESPN+: MVFC, SoCon, Southland, OVC, and Patriot (unlikely playing this year since its non-scholarship). The Ivy League also has a deal with ESPN+.

I’m not sure about the Big Sky Conference but they have been on Pluto TV and Root Sports.

CAA is on FloSports.

Basically if you have ESPN+, you are good to go but there’s a chance some games end up on the ESPN family of channels including ESPN3.
As stated above I understand completely those schools or conferences that aren't playing this spring and that chose to not play or to not finish the fall season.

This may be a great opportunity though for those lower division programs to generate some awareness and interest that last beyond the pandemic. If they can get people watching on ESPN+ or other platforms it's a chance to get people involved with their game.

Also wouldn't surprise me if ESPN doesn't use some of those games to fill in for other sports programming that may be unavailable due to Covid.
 

Jalapeno

Future EA Sports College Football addict.
Club Member
My biggest hope for FCS football this spring for teams like UNC, both Montana schools, and Portland State is that whatever they do this spring and then this fall ends up being a very positive thing for college football moving forward. That positive thing would be that starting in spring 2022, we'd have more spring football games against other schools instead of those glorified practices advertised as spring games. Given the budget shortfalls that ADs are facing, I think this more than likely will happen anyway but I'm just going to be hopeful.
 

MtnBuff

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Club Member
My biggest hope for FCS football this spring for teams like UNC, both Montana schools, and Portland State is that whatever they do this spring and then this fall ends up being a very positive thing for college football moving forward. That positive thing would be that starting in spring 2022, we'd have more spring football games against other schools instead of those glorified practices advertised as spring games. Given the budget shortfalls that ADs are facing, I think this more than likely will happen anyway but I'm just going to be hopeful.
A lot of these programs depend on playing a body bag game against a BCS opponent each year to fund their programs. The BCS programs need the revenue from selling tickets to a lower cost opponent as well.

At the same time we are seeing pressure to end the games against FCS opponents and increase the number of conference games.

Your proposal would could address both problems. End the regular season games against FCS opponents but allow BCS programs to schedule a "game" each year in spring against a local FCS team. Some allowance would have to be made to balance the access to FCS programs because of numbers and locations but you would focus on keeping travel to a minimum so as to reduce cost, reduce disruption to academic schedules for student athletes, and promote the FCS schools to a local audience.
 

Jalapeno

Future EA Sports College Football addict.
Club Member
A lot of these programs depend on playing a body bag game against a BCS opponent each year to fund their programs. The BCS programs need the revenue from selling tickets to a lower cost opponent as well.

At the same time we are seeing pressure to end the games against FCS opponents and increase the number of conference games.

Your proposal would could address both problems. End the regular season games against FCS opponents but allow BCS programs to schedule a "game" each year in spring against a local FCS team. Some allowance would have to be made to balance the access to FCS programs because of numbers and locations but you would focus on keeping travel to a minimum so as to reduce cost, reduce disruption to academic schedules for student athletes, and promote the FCS schools to a local audience.

We have North Dakota State coming to Boulder in 2024 for Bison Bowl I or whatever you call it...LOL. We still can invite the other Dakota schools, some Big Sky & WAC schools for spring games.

We could see FBS schools go to FCS schools because some of them have domed stadiums such as Northern Arizona, Idaho, Idaho State, North Dakota, North Dakota State, South Dakota, and Northern Iowa.

Also given the graduate transfers, the FBS coaches will be watching some FCS players to contact after the spring games or after the upcoming season.
 

Jalapeno

Future EA Sports College Football addict.
Club Member
Given that it is now February, I decided to check ESPN.com to see when the earliest spring football games could be. Right now, the default year is 2021 as opposed to 2020. You will not find the spring football games under 2021 but you need to go back to 2020 and look for Spring Football Week (insert number).

1612580051363.png


Spring Week 2 will have the first spring football game which is McNeese State at Tarlenton State on February 13th. Friday February 19th & Saturday the 20th appears to be the start of spring football. The only disappointment that it is not Ralphie leading the Buffs onto the field for a game this spring.

giphy.gif
 

Jalapeno

Future EA Sports College Football addict.
Club Member
Given the discussion with @MtnBuff about what spring football could look like in the future, it appears that NM State's schedule could be a hint of what could come.


Tarlenton State and Dixie State (school and state of Utah is planning a name change to the school) are members of the WAC and will be playing in the new WAC football conference this fall. It's interesting that the Aggies will be playing D2 NM Highlands at home too.

So let's pretend we are going to do a spring CU football schedule. UNC and CSU Pueblo could be on the schedule. Wyoming could be on the schedule. I don't think CSU would be interested but never say never in things like that.
 

MtnBuff

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Club Member
Given the discussion with @MtnBuff about what spring football could look like in the future, it appears that NM State's schedule could be a hint of what could come.


Tarlenton State and Dixie State (school and state of Utah is planning a name change to the school) are members of the WAC and will be playing in the new WAC football conference this fall. It's interesting that the Aggies will be playing D2 NM Highlands at home too.

So let's pretend we are going to do a spring CU football schedule. UNC and CSU Pueblo could be on the schedule. Wyoming could be on the schedule. I don't think CSU would be interested but never say never in things like that.
With what I was talking about neither CSU or Wyoming could be on the schedule for a spring game since both are FBS division schools.

The spring game would be reserved to play a lower division school with the intent of allowing that school to make up the revenue lost from requiring FBS schools to stop scheduling FCS level schools as a part of their fall schedule. It would really be a glorified scrimmage but done in a way that allows it to be called a game and lets the home team (FBS level in virtually all cases) sell tickets and other normal revenue streams like media rights and concessions while paying the lower division team an appearance fee.

The logical pick for CU in this case would be UNC but they could pick from a number of Big Sky schools as UNC would also be the closest school to BCS level CSU, Wyoming, and Air Force.

Now if you really wanted to extend things they could allow for say a six week spring practice period and include two of maybe even three of these games.

A question to ask in these is what do you do with the unequal number of participating FCS and FBS schools? Also what happens if you have a local D2 school like CSU-Pueblo or maybe Mines that is more physically ready to participate than the local FCS school that is a bottom level school. In recent years if UNC and CSU-Pueblo were to play I would not bet against Pueblo in that match-up.
 

Jalapeno

Future EA Sports College Football addict.
Club Member
With what I was talking about neither CSU or Wyoming could be on the schedule for a spring game since both are FBS division schools.

A question to ask in these is what do you do with the unequal number of participating FCS and FBS schools? Also what happens if you have a local D2 school like CSU-Pueblo or maybe Mines that is more physically ready to participate than the local FCS school that is a bottom level school. In recent years if UNC and CSU-Pueblo were to play I would not bet against Pueblo in that match-up.

I would be more likely to schedule Wyoming than CSU because CU probably will not play Wyoming much in the future. Wyoming is FBS only because their state provides a nice chunk of change to its only four year college located in Laramie. CSU is normally the more talented team when it comes to both teams but given Wyoming's recent successes against CSU, talent alone isn't enough to earn you wins. If there were one more four year college in that state, they probably would be FCS. Both FBS schools in New Mexico would be considered. I wouldn't be trying to schedule the likes of Boise State, BYU, SDSU, etc because they are borderline P5. More like the bottom G5 schools out there.

There are FCS schools that are non-scholarship and I wouldn't try to schedule those because it wouldn't be a fair fight because their players aren't getting paid for their services via scholarships. D3 schools would be off limits even if some top D3 schools could make it interesting against D1 schools even if all levels have the same 105 player limit. Even schools that do not have actual football programs do have club/intramural level football teams (four year limits don't apply to those players on those teams). I wouldn't worry too much about how many FCS schools are able to participate and things like that and you would have to include D2 schools in that mix.

I included CSU-Pueblo because I agree that they could beat UNC and UNC was able to hang with CU when both schools played. If you say the Mines could play, that means the D2 school will have to have played a FCS school not that long ago to be considered for a game against CU. I can imagine ****braska playing Chadron State, UNK, and Wayne State just to see how their kids do for recruiting purposes. Will the FCS Dakota schools be willing to do that or will they just hook up with Minnesota instead? CU can do the same thing in this case. Given the new transfer rules plus some that hasn't been passed yet, games like this might be more possible than thought possible.

I believe CU fans would prefer to see those D2 & FCS schools for spring games instead of intra team spring football games.
 

MtnBuff

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Club Member
No question that the fans would rather see an actual game rather than a glorified practice. As I said doing that they could make it an admission paying event and generate revenue that they don't now, something that would be a big bonus after this years losses.

My reasoning though is that the rules wouldn't allow a "game" against another BCS level program, thus not CSU or Wyoming. This though would allow the FCS programs to make up revenue lost as conferences push to eliminate FCS games in the fall season and increase more P5 OOC opponents and/or increase the number of conference games.

There would be very few D2 schools playing against P5 teams. These would mainly be the best of them filling in when an FCS opponent isn't available due to program numbers or other reasons.

Even though it would be billed as a game coaches would have the "understanding" about how the day is going to go to prevent injuries due overmatched players. Also keep in mind that Pueblo has more players in the Super Bowl this year than some G5 schools have in the NFL.

No you aren't going to see D3 schools, you wouldn't even see most D2 schools involved.

By non-scholarship FCS schools I am assuming that you are talking about schools like the Ivy League. They do not have athletic scholarships per se but their rosters are there receiving the financial aid needed to cover their college cost. Many of their players are guys who have G5 offers or even a few P5 offers but are smart enough to realize that they aren't pro prospects and getting an Ivy League diploma without paying for it is a hard deal to beat.
 

Jalapeno

Future EA Sports College Football addict.
Club Member
By non-scholarship FCS schools I am assuming that you are talking about schools like the Ivy League. They do not have athletic scholarships per se but their rosters are there receiving the financial aid needed to cover their college cost. Many of their players are guys who have G5 offers or even a few P5 offers but are smart enough to realize that they aren't pro prospects and getting an Ivy League diploma without paying for it is a hard deal to beat.

There's also the Pioneer Football League. The Patriot League and Northeastern Conference did the same thing but they started doing a smaller number of scholarships. That was what UNC was doing before they joined the Big Sky Conference by giving 55 scholarship instead of the full 63 that they do now.

 

Jalapeno

Future EA Sports College Football addict.
Club Member

McNesse State @ Tarlenton State will be on ESPN+ and so will their Feb 27 game against Dixie State. The Texans also play at NMSU next week and NMSU has ESPN+ for their independent FBS football program. The Texans are still transitioning from D2 to FCS and their schedule still has some D2 teams which is normal in this case but they will be pretty much all D1 in the not too distant future.

It’s easy to say the veteran FCS Cowboys should whip the Texans but like with some FCS programs against FBS programs, the same could be said for D2 programs against FCS programs. But the Texans have gone 23-2 the last two seasons in D2 football and even beat FCS Stephen F Austin on the road last season.
 

Jalapeno

Future EA Sports College Football addict.
Club Member

Each FCS conference’s spring plans. For instance, the dome teams in the MVFC will host more home games in the early part of the spring. UND, USD, NDSU, and UNI have done stadiums. I’d keep an eye on SDSU since they are the only Dakota school with an outdoor stadium...start off well on the road, they could finish strong with more home games. I imagine Youngstown State traveling more early in the season since they are close to the Great Lakes.

Going to be curious if both Idaho schools in the Big Sky Conference could benefit from a fast start since both play in domed stadiums.
 

Jalapeno

Future EA Sports College Football addict.
Club Member
The NCAA has approved an FCS spring playoff that is reduced from 24 schools to 16. Pairings will be announced on April 18 and four rounds of games will begin the following weekend and continue through a championship over the May 14-16 weekend.

From the link above. FCS playoffs start April 18 and FCS Championship is May 14-16. There's also FBS spring practice spread out through the spring.

NFL Draft is April 29-May 1.

After that 2 1/2 months until summer camp followed by the regular season. Are the football junkies ready for more football than ever? Don't worry about spring 2022 since the XFL will make another return since being bought out by the Rock Dwayne Johnson and a group of investors. That means no spring break from football until spring 2023.
 
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