FBS Conferences Playing The Most FCS Games In 2022

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Wake Forest wide receiver Jaquarii Roberson, right, runs for the end zone to score ahead of Elon Phoenix defensive back Tre'Von Jones (10) in the first half of an NCAA college football game in Winston-Salem, N.C., in this Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019.
(AP Photo/Nell Redmond)
Sam Herder @SamHerderFCS Mar 25, 2022, 2:09 PM

In 2017, the Big Ten walked back on its scheduling philosophy when commissioner Jim Delaney said conference teams will be allowed to schedule FCS opponents again. It came just two years after the league announced it was jumping from eight to nine conference games, mandating teams to play one non-conference Power Five opponent, and no longer schedule future FCS games.

The original thought behind this was to strengthen schedules, increasing Big Ten teams’ college football championship odds to be selected for the four-team playoff. But no other FBS conferences followed suit in avoiding FCS games. 

The thought was FCS wins still count on resumes and toward bowl eligibility, scheduling an FCS opponent is cheaper than scheduling another FBS non-conference opponent, and the guaranteed payouts are critical in some FCS program’s operating budget.

The college football betting odds heavily favor the FBS in these matchups, but plenty of games are competitive and can result in upsets.

If/when the College Football Playoff expands, Power Five teams may relook at their scheduling philosophy in hopes to build out the strongest resume for at-large consideration. But in reality, beating a top 30 FCS team is a stronger win than a bottom 30 Group of Five team.

The current trend shows FCS vs. FBS games are getting more common, not less. There are 117 matchups in 2022, the same number as 2021. That is up from 114 in 2019, 111 in 2018, and 98 in 2017. 

And you may be surprised at which conference is facing the most FCS opponents in 2022, considering it is trying to get as many teams as possible into the College Football Playoff.

SEC vs. FCS (14)

Sam Houston at Texas A&M
Elon at Vanderbilt
Mercer at Auburn
Southern at LSU
Samford at Georgia
Central Arkansas at Ole Miss
Abilene Christian at Missouri
Missouri State at Arkansas
Youngstown State at Kentucky
Eastern Washington at Florida
SC State at South Carolina
UT Martin at Tennessee
Austin Peay at Alabama
ETSU at Mississippi State

Sun Belt vs. FCS (14)

Morgan State at Georgia Southern
Nicholls at South Alabama
SLU at Louisiana
Grambling State at Arkansas State
Norfolk State at Marshall
Alabama A&M at Troy
Nicholls at Louisiana–Monroe
Gardner-Webb at Coastal Carolina
Norfolk State at James Madison
Northwestern State at Southern Miss
Houston Baptist at Texas State
The Citadel at Appalachian State
Gardner-Webb at Marshall
Robert Morris at Appalachian State

ACC vs. FCS (13)

Florida A&M at North Carolina
Duquesne at Florida State
VMI at Wake Forest
Bethune-Cookman at Miami (FL)
Richmond at Virginia
Furman at Clemson
Charleston Southern at NC State
Western Carolina at Georgia Tech
Wofford at Virginia Tech
North Carolina A&T at Duke
Maine at Boston College
Rhode Island at Pitt
Wagner at Syracuse

MAC vs. FCS (12)

Saint Francis at Akron
Eastern Kentucky at Eastern Michigan
LIU at Toledo
Eastern Illinois at Northern Illinois
Robert Morris at Miami (Ohio)
Eastern Kentucky at Bowling Green
Holy Cross at Buffalo
LIU at Kent State
Bucknell at Central Michigan
Murray State at Ball State
Fordham at Ohio
New Hampshire at Western Michigan

Mountain West vs. FCS (12)

Maine at New Mexico
Idaho State at UNLV
Northern Iowa at Air Force
Portland State at San Jose State
Cal Poly at Fresno State
UIW at Nevada
Idaho State at San Diego State
Weber State at Utah State
Northern Colorado at Wyoming
UT Martin at Boise State
Duquesne at Hawaii
Sacramento State at Colorado State

Pac-12 vs. FCS (10)

Northern Arizona at Arizona State
Colgate at Stanford
UC Davis at Cal
Idaho at Washington State
Alabama State at UCLA
Southern Utah at Utah
Portland State at Washington
Eastern Washington at Oregon
North Dakota State at Arizona
Montana State at Oregon State

American vs. FCS (9)

Delaware at Navy
Kennesaw State at Cincinnati
Howard at USF
Lamar at SMU
Alcorn State at Tulane
Lafayette at Temple
Campbell at East Carolina
Jacksonville State at Tulsa
North Alabama at Memphis

Big Ten vs. FCS (9)

Illinois State at Wisconsin
North Dakota at Nebraska
South Dakota State at Iowa
Wagner at Rutgers
Western Illinois at Minnesota
Idaho at Indiana
Indiana State at Purdue
Southern Illinois at Northwestern
Chattanooga at Illinois

C-USA vs. FCS (9)

Austin Peay at Western Kentucky
Alabama A&M at UAB
William & Mary at Charlotte
Texas Southern at North Texas
SLU at FAU
McNeese at Rice
Stephen F. Austin at Louisiana Tech
Tennessee State at Middle Tennessee State
Texas Southern at UTSA

Big 12 vs. FCS (8)

Tennessee Tech at Kansas
UAlbany at Baylor
South Dakota at Kansas State
Murray State at Texas Tech
SEMO at Iowa State
Tarleton State at TCU
Arkansas-Pine Bluff at Oklahoma State
Towson at West Virginia

Independent vs. FCS (7)

CCSU at UConn
Villanova at Army
Stony Brook at UMass
Colgate at Army
Gardner-Webb at Liberty
Dixie State at BYU
Lamar at New Mexico State

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About the Author

Sam Herder

Read More @SamHerderFCS

Sam Herder is a football writer for BetMGM and the Senior FCS Analyst for BetMGM affiliate HERO Sports. A North Dakota State journalism grad, he spent several years in the print media industry before writing for online outlets. Sam has covered sports at all levels — high school, college, and professional — since 2011.

Sam Herder is a football writer for BetMGM and the Senior FCS Analyst for BetMGM affiliate HERO Sports. A North Dakota State journalism grad, he spent several years in the print media industry before writing for online outlets. Sam has covered sports at all levels — high school, college, and professional — since 2011.