If you are Wisconsin, Iowa, Ohio State, and Michigan to name a few you're lucky because every week is a sell out in your stadium or as close as possible, but for some of the other programs inside the Big Ten that's not the case, and a major reason for that could be on it's way out. You know, the dreaded cupcake game – the one where your favorite team asks you to fork over the same ticket price as you pay to see the B1G teams, yet it's a team you've never heard of and are likely to never see again – it's the dreaded FCS opponent.
Tom Dienhart of BTN.com reported earlier today that the days of the cupcake in the Big Ten (at the very least) and in FBS football could be coming to an end.
Cue the celebratory music, pop that extra bottle of champagne you bought and never drank for new years eve, and rejoice with the rest of us!
Oh wait… that's not what he said? Instead it appears Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany is advocating for FCS vs. FBS games to not count towards a teams bowl eligibility record, meaning teams would actually have to win six legit FBS football games to make it to one of 35 bowl games (who knows, we'll probably see another crappy bowl game added for our ESPN viewing pleasure).
Who doesn't love looking towards their favorite teams future football schedules and seeing the various schools you actually have to look up to know where they are from while you're making that annual season ticket deposit?
Hell, just taking a peek at 2013 should make you want to puke.
Big Ten teams will take on FCS opponents Tennessee Tech (at Wisconsin), Southern Illinois (at Illinois), Indiana State (at Indiana & at Purdue), Missouri State (at Iowa), Youngstown State (at Michigan State), Western Illinois (at Minnesota), South Dakota State (at Nebraska), Maine (at Northwestern), Florida A&M (at Ohio State), and Rhode Island (at Penn State *rumored).
If you're keeping track at home, that's 11 of 12 Big Ten teams. Congrats to Michigan for not scheduling an FCS cupcake, but I have a feeling it has more to do with being scared (Appalachian State anybody?) than anything else, right?
O.k., probably not, but hey, it's always fun to remember where you were watching the biggest upset in the history of college football!
Anyway, I think the point is, it's getting to be completely absurd that Big Ten teams are putting these kind of crap games in front of us, the fan, and expecting us to swallow paying full price to watch some poor team get the beating of a lifetime, all for a paycheck. Consider it like our obsession with watching midget fights or chick fights, you just can't look away, but after awhile the novelty wears off and it goes from funny to just plain sad.
I understand the argument of "paying it forward" for these guaranteed paydays for FCS teams, it's all nice and wonderful that Big Ten teams are handing out $500,000 plus and helping pay the bills big time at these smaller schools out there, but I'm sorry, when did major college athletics become about charity to other programs?
Let the SEC have their b.s. games against teams that have no business being on the same fields. Call me crazy, but I'd rather see my team and the rest of the Big Ten playing schools that could use the guaranteed payday and are actually playing FBS football.
I mean, if their in a giving mood there are plenty of athletic departments at the FBS level that are struggling to pay the bills and could use the extra $500,000 dollars.
Delany is smart to go after the rule that allows the teams to count that W in determining bowl eligibility because if you (team xyz) can't get bowl eligible these days you and your athletic department have a lot to lose, you know, like $$$$ wise.
There's simply no denying what these games against FCS programs have done, it's only served to inflate teams that aren't very good. Hell, just look at Purdue football this season – you seriously can't tell me that team had any business playing in A bowl game, let alone a January 1st bowl game.
Perhaps this is the right first step and lord knows it's a step in the right direction of getting more competitive games in front of the fans who are paying increasingly ridiculous amounts of money to watch their favorite teams play. Hooray for the fan for a change!