Category Archives: FBS

"Special Privileges" For TV in Realignment? Absolutely.

Exactly when is a media entity not entitled to report on itself?

This is the question I frequently pose to myself when ESPN, Fox and CBS report on anything about college realignment issues in general.

It's especially true about this report made by Jeremy Fowler of CBS Sports.Com, which purports to be an inside look at who has the "most say" in realignment - TV networks or the conferences themselves.

The good news is that there are a lot of revealing insights into the top men running the show in collegiate athletics, including media people and conference commissioners.  The bad news is that it reads like the writer is trying to snooker the reader into thinking that TV has no influence over realignment - when a keener, more independent look at the quotes reveals anything but.
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Why Can’t FCS Conferences Move As A Unit To FBS?

Unless you've been living under a rock the last five years, you've probably heard about "realignment", or, as I like to call it, "realignmentageddon", in Division I athletics.

Led by Nebraska's departure from the Big XII to the Big 10, the dominoes have tumbles all through Division I, directly affecting pretty much every conference's membership with the exception of the Ivy League.

Central to "realignmentageddon" is football, whose value to television executives is broadly accepted as the reasons why, say, Rutgers and Maryland abandoned decades-long relationships with their old conferences in order to get larger chunks of TV money.

But why is it only individual schools?  Why wouldn't a conference which currently sponsors FCS football just decide, one day, to become an FBS conference?

The short answer is: the NCAA rulebook is written than way.

But the long answer is that the NCAA rulebook, essentially, forces the current FCS and FBS conferences to stay the way things are.
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Straight Talk from Doug Fullerton about the "Illusion of FBS Opportunity"

I understand that most Lehigh fans (and, for that matter, Patriot League football fans) don't get into the constant, 365-day-a-year ebb and flow of the goings-on in college athletics, let alone stuff on the divide between the FCS and the FBS.

However, I do.  Probably because I'm insane, but I do.

When the commissioner of the Big Sky Conference Doug Fullerton posted a Q&A session, and followed it up with a Twitter Q&A, though, I paid very close attention.

These types of events are generally of the hit-or-miss variety - sometimes it's a weak effort to highlight, say, the fact that a "conversation" was held about "membership", or some other amorphous, read-anything-into-it-you-want statement.

Not so, however, this time around.

What made this particular interchange so extraordinary was its candidness, and Doug's overall vision of collegiate athletics.  Mr. Fullerton laid it all out there - and, in the process, gave a vision of what may be the future of FCS, FBS, Division I - everything.
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The One Where Dan Wolken Gets Me To Talk FCS Financials

At any given time I have about a dozen writing subjects buzzing around in my head like a monkey on uppers.  Today I woke up and said, what do I write about today?  Realignment?  The CAA?  Stony Brook?  Appalachian State's move to the Sun Belt?  Lehigh's expected QB battle in camp this August?

Instead, inspiration came from an unexpected source: USA Today reporter Dan Wolken's Twitter feed.

Twitter allows a 140 character limit on tweets, meaning statistics posted there can be interpreted any way one chooses.  And his Twitter report from the NCAA convocation in Florida made me (incorrectly) defensive - but allows me to give some insight behind the numbers of Division I Athletics.
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B1G’s Collossally Stupid Decision To Stop Scheduling FCS Schools

It is truly hilarious when people who don't know what they're talking about try to make news points, and news decisions, based on one side of the story.

Such is the case with the breathless coverage of the Big 10's decision, led by former Wisconsin head football coach (and current athletic director) Barry Alvarez, who shared with the Milwaukee-Journal that Big 10 officials "recently agreed to stop scheduling nonconference games against FCS programs."

Of course, the first thing papers around the country do is pull a picture from such an FCS game involving Wisconsin from last season - surely a poster child for a blowout, right?

Um, not exactly.  Northern Iowa gave Wisconsin "all they could handle" in a 26-21 nailbiter.

Wait, it gets better.
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Water Cooler: The Collegiate Cash Drop

Sometimes, I wonder what I'm going to write about the world of FCS on a Friday afternoon.

But then, an idea drops in from out of the sky.

Almost literally.

That's after I discovered, thanks to Andy Staples of Sports Illustrated,  of Georgia State's effort to buy fans get students and fans to show up at a football game featuring a nationally-ranked opponent in FCS facing off against your 0-5 team.

That's to have - get this - a halftime drop of cash.

The Facebook promotion to my left is no joke.  No joke at all.  At halftime, Georgia's Own Credit Union is going to be dropping $10,000 cash from the rafters in order to booster attendance at their game against nationally-ranked New Hampshire this weekend.

It's probably not the dumbest idea in all of sports, but it's certainly up there.
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