Way before the season on another site, I posted the likelihood of all the FCS teams going against FBS foes. Week 1 had the most FCS vs FBS games by far with 46 such games out of the 111 scheduled in 2016. As done in 2015, these games were broken into five tiers with 1 being the most likely and 5 the least.
So let’s see how Week 1 fared.
Tier 1 – Very Possible
- Eastern Kentucky at Purdue – 45-24 Purdue. Boilermakers give their fans hope for at least one week.
- Northern Iowa at Iowa State – 25-20 UNI. The Matt Campbell Era at ISU has some work to do.
Tier 2 – Eyebrow Raiser
- Montana State at Idaho (Thursday) – 20-17 Idaho. The Vandals scored 17 in the first, then held on for dear life. Ugh.
- Colgate at Syracuse (Friday) – 33-7 Cuse. The Orange gradually cruised after the first quarter.
- Cal Poly at Nevada (Friday) – 30-27 Nevada. Wolfpack scored 21 in the first, but Cal Poly took it to overtime where Nevada survived.
- Southern Illinois at Florida Atlantic – 38-30 FAU. After being down 24-21 at half, Owls use big third to avoid the upset.
- Villanova at Pitt – 28-7 Pitt. Panthers up 14-0 at half and put it away in the fourth.
- Liberty at Virginia Tech – 36-13 VT. 24-13 at half, Hokies put it away in the second.
- Eastern Washington at Washington State – 45-42 EWU. At some point, Wazzu needs to stop playing Big Sky teams.
- Southern at Louisiana-Monroe – 38-21 ULM. The Viator Era in Monroe was a bit bumpy, but started with a win.
Tier 3 – If The Ball Bounces Right
- Southern Utah at Utah (Thursday) – 24-0 Utah. The Utes’ defense dominated in a shutout win.
- Weber State at Utah State (Thursday) – 45-6 Utah State. Aggies took care of business early.
- William and Mary at NC State (Thursday) – 48-14 NC State. Strong second quarter helps the Pack win comfortably.
- Hampton at Old Dominion – 54-21 ODU. Hurricane Hermine pushed this back to Sunday, but the Monarch roll after Hampton made it 31-21 in the third.
- South Carolina State at UCF – 38-0 UCF. The Frost Era starts with the Knights getting more wins than all of 2015.
- Western Carolina at East Carolina – 52-7 ECU. Pirates break out the offense early and often.
- Towson at South Florida – 56-20 USF. Steady offense give the Bulls a comfortable win.
- VMI at Akron – 47-24 Akron. The Zips needed a 21-0 fourth quarter to finally put this one away.
- South Dakota State at TCU – 59-41 TCU. This game was drunk in the first half, but the Horned Frogs gradually pulled away in the second.
- South Dakota at New Mexico – 48-21 UNM. Lobos score 21 in the second to un-tie the game and run away.
- UC Davis at Oregon – 53-28 Oregon. Ducks stayed ahead, but continue to have defensive questions.
Tier 4 – Doubtful But Possible
- Jackson State at UNLV (Thursday) – 63-13 UNLV. 42-10 Lobos at the half.
- Presbyterian at Central Michigan (Thursday) – CMU 49-3. 14-3 at half before a big second half by the Chips.
- UT-Martin at Cincinnati (Thursday) – Cincy 28-7. Bearcats trailed 7-6 at half. More questions about Tubberville.
- Maine at UConn (Thursday) – UConn 24-21. A late field goal helped the Huskies escape.
- Albany at Buffalo (Friday) – 22-16 Albany. This was a 51-14 Buffalo won last season. Yeesh.
- New Hampshire at San Diego State – 31-0 SDSU. Nothing fancy here, but no need for fancy.
- Alabama State at UTSA – 26-13 UTSA. It wasn’t pretty, but Frank Wilson won his first game as head coach.
- Southeast Missouri State at Memphis – 35-17 Memphis. The Norvell Era at Memphis had a good first quarter (22-0) then a meh rest of the game.
- NC Central at Duke – 49-6 Duke. Blue Devils were up 49-0 at half.
- Richmond at Virginia – 37-20 Richmond. Spider dominate in Bronco’s UVA debut. Long road ahead in Charlotsville.
- Rhode Island at Kansas – 55-6 Kansas. Jayhawks win for first time since 2014 for the respect of the program.
- Stephen F Austin at Texas Tech – 69-17 TTU. 45-3 at halftime.
- Northwestern State at Baylor – Baylor 55-7. The Bears were up 48-0 at half.
- Abilene Christian at Air Force – 37-21 AF. Falcons use big second quarter to give themselvs a cushion.
- Northern Arizona at Arizona State – 44-13 ASU. 10-3 Sun Devils at half, but a 24-point fourth put it away late.
- Murray State at Illinois – 52-3 Illinois. Iliini ran out 35-3 at half and never looked back.
- Florida A&M at Miami – 70-3 Miami. A 42-0 third quarter ended this game.
- Fordham at Navy – 52-16 Navy. Midshipmen cruised despite losing their starting QB for the year.
Tier 5 – Good Grief
- Furman at Michigan State (Friday) – 28-13 Sparty. Not as close as the score says, but still a decent effort from Furman.
- Alabama A&M at Middle Tennessee State – 55-0 MTSU. This was 45-0 at the half.
- Southeastern Louisiana at Oklahoma State – 61-7 OkState. 28-0 after one. Yep.
- Howard at Maryland – 52-13 Maryland. Terps jump out 35-0 at half.
- Savannah State at Georgia Southern – 54-0 GS. 21 points in the first ended it early.
- Austin Peay at Troy – 57-17 Troy. A steady Trojan offense gradually gets the big win.
No Tier – A Game That Is An Affront To Man
- Mississippi Valley State at Eastern Michigan – EMU 61-14. The Eagles got up 21-0 early and never looked back.
We had four FCS over FBS upsets. One was in Tier 1, one in Tier 2 and two in Tier 4. The biggest surprise by far was Albany upsetting Buffalo. It was figured Lance Leipold’s Bulls would take a giant step forward this season, but costly turnovers doomed UB. Purdue used turnovers to their advantage to take care of EKU in a Tier 1 match-up and the closest Tier 5 game was Furman falling to Michigan State 28-13.
And how about the Richmond Spiders for taking the short drive to Charlottesville and dominating the Cavs 37-20? Not bad.
Week 2 will see 28 FCS vs FBS match-ups. The ones to look out for are Bethune Cookman at North Texas, Portland State (who won two FBS games in 2015) at San Jose State, Eastern Illinois at Miami of Ohio and McNeese State at Louisiana among more.