The FCS spring season is coming to the end of a challenging experiment, to say the least. The cancellations so far in 2021 are still ongoing. In total, there have been almost 50 total cancellations and postponements. All since the start of 2021. COVID-19 has reared its ugly head to disrupt a FCS season that had already been pushed back from the Fall. The season looks to finish on a high note going into the FCS playoffs. Interest can be debated once the season ends.
The FCS is Primed to be Partners with the NFL and the XFL
Regardless, the unlikely unification of three different leagues may be a perfect storm to come together expanding interest in the FCS. To summarize, the unfortunate temporary demise of the XFL could be a blessing in disguise, as all three have a use for each other. In other words, a healthy three-headed monster to further the football product surely would be something welcomed by the NFL. This is the scenario — if played correctly plays favor to all three. Let us start with the FCS.
The expanded coverage this Spring gave more focus on the FCS. Playing with no other football competing directly in the Spring was an advantage. ESPN coverage slowly jumped on the bandwagon. Now, this Spring season is a one-type shot. Only occurring because of the postponement in the Fall. Actually, there was a growing consensus the Big 10 and the Pac 12 were close to postponing play till the spring. In retrospect, that move from P5 conferences would’ve hurt the FCS’s growing interest. Nonetheless, the FCS stayed the course, even with some player opt-outs and teams opting out for different reasons. The thought is the FCS expects to start up again at the usual Fall time in 2021.
XFL Reboot in 2022 is Built to Further the FCS Product
So how does it play into the XFL? First, some people might be unfamiliar with the XFL. The XFL reboot came in 2020 — twenty years after the first XFL season. The initial impression aimed to make football a bit more exotic with edgy rules to bring new fans to the game. The original kicked off on February 3, 2001. They teamed up with the WWF (World Wrestling Federation) to spice up the game by bringing live microphones and new angles during the broadcasts. The idea failed miserably. However, in the 2020 reboot, the initial reception proved positive, as the XFL Reboot focused squarely on football without the gimmicks.
Unfortunately, the pandemic brought the games to a screeching halt and ended the league until Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson came in and bought the ailing property. Currently, the league is slated to begin again in Spring 2022. There are plenty of doubters to accept football as a sport to be followed year-round. Nevertheless, the timing is set for a safe return. In 2022, the appetite for more football could hit at just the right time. Also, with the FCS ending in late 2021 — a nice pipeline could be bridged to the XFL.
NFL Combo to Expand the Reach of Football Fans
Back in 2020, the FCS put up plenty of players looking for an opportunity to make a name for themselves. The XFL is set up to bear fruit for players who may not be invited to the NFL Combine looking to play.
Now to the most important partner — the NFL. Without a doubt, the NFL doesn’t need either partner. Its dominance to be the number one professional league is unprecedented. Moreover, nothing short-term looks to slow down the momentum. Still, any good business model is always looking to expand. Roger Goodell’s goal of bringing more fans into the game is obvious. Nothing official is on the radar to have a developmental league like the XFL. Furthermore, the FCS is likely the last league to contemplate an unofficial partnership with. But make no mistake, the idea of a three-pronged merger makes sense to all parties involved.