While most college football fans are grieving after Monday night’s College Football Playoff Championship game, there is an alternative remedy out there this year only in the spring. With the onset of the COVID-19 Virus affecting the 2020 college football season — the FCS postponed the start of the season till February. The NCAA Division I Football Championship game now is scheduled to be either on May 15th or the 16th at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. This is all new territory for the FCS playoffs for 2021. Above all, the chance to have college football past January feels fresh.
FCS Football Arrives this Spring
An Alternative to no Football
The FCS playoff schedule is set to include 16 teams with 11 automatic qualifiers being the winner of each conference. The remaining five teams will be picked just like March Madness. All this may be new to many. But make no mistake, this is a chance to bring in new fans to the FCS and a new opportunity for the FCS to expand its base. Additionally, the ongoing frustration of college football fans of being left out of the “Blue Blood” playoff gives a refreshing idea of honest winners having a chance to win it all.
The College Football Playoff was supposed to be an upgrade to the BCS era. The thought to put four teams versus two did seem to at least extend the olive branch to non Power Five conferences. However, it is the same familiar song year after year. This year the undefeated Cincinnati team went disrespected. Other past casualties include UCF, TCU, Boise St, Northern Illinois, to name a few. When the committee meets to discuss the “Blue Bloods” versus the little guys — no chance is given to teams without history.
FCS Playoff Gives Opportunity to every Team
The AAC commissioner Mike Aresco said it perfectly. “Why do we even play the game?” Honestly, the sentiment remains to exclude versus inclusion. This exclusion is personal to me. Being from New Orleans, Louisiana and a fan of the Tulane Green Wave is hard enough. Going against the mighty Godfather of the state LSU is more than a challenge in itself. Still, the wave is the only college football team in the city. And the team is improving. Be that as it may, what chance does a team from the AAC really have at making a four-team playoff?
As a matter of fact, FCS football did not exist in my thinking until I attended a few Pro Days back in 2017. Early on in my career, the idea came to me to see what exactly happens on a Pro Day tryout.
Attracting new fans to the Game
The schedule came out listing the varying workouts before the upcoming NFL Draft. Having absolutely no clue or blueprint, to begin with — calls were made to universities. The strategy began to come together. Having a couple of Pro Days in the same city made sense. The decision to visit Tallahassee made perfect sense. Of course, the idea to visit a major university (which will remain anonymous) first and then hit a school on a lower tier to save time.
After being by a major university, Florida A & M was ecstatic to have a media person at their Pro Day. In other words, access is welcomed. The whole aura is extremely different in FCS football. Additionally, there are no real stars. In reality, most of the players will be fortunate to even get a tryout at an NFL camp. On the other hand, the college football landscape is changing rapidly. This spring kickoff can catapult FCS football into the only game in town. Keep an eye on this. Right now the FCS is under the radar, but slowly the game has plenty too like for true football fans.