There is seldom much benefit for FBS schools to play FCS schools. Oh, you can get a win. You should get a win, of course, in almost every instance.
But other than that, tell me the benefit?
Yes, winning is important, especially when you are a school like Boston College coming off a 4-8 season. Any win will do.
Well, BC, the FBS school from the Atlantic Coast Conference beat Maine the FCS school from the Colonial Athletic Association on Saturday, 34-3.
BC had really nothing to gain in this one. They were expected to beat the Black Bears and after a strange, shaky and sloppy first quarter they did that in a fairly impressive manner in a variety of ways.
“”Not an auspicious beginning,” said BC coach Frank Spaziani, talking about a first quarter in which BC trailed 3-0 and repeated the series of turnovers which had plagued the Eagles last week against Miami. ”
BC, led by QB Chase Rettig and a defense which was on the field less and did more than it did a week ago, slowly and steadily took care of business after that.
When asked what he said to his team between the first quarter and the second quarter when the Eagles turned the deficit into a 17-3 which doubled again by the end of the third quarter, Spaziani said, “Not anything you can print. It was a little unnerving (the start). But I told them it was more than one quarter.”
It was only one game, however, and a game which will not have much impact other than that it was the first victory for a team that needed a victory.
The problem that more and more FBS schools have is scheduling. Unless television wants you to set up a match-up like Alabama vs. Michigan or Boise State vs. Michigan State, filling out the non-conference schedule has become a tough sell for lots of schools.
The normal outlet has always been the smaller FCS schools. But with larger and larger guarantees–Maine received a healthy six figure payout for showing up at Alumni Stadium on Saturday–the FCS schools are becoming more selective in who they play. Some big time schools such as Alabama will play close to $1 million for the privilege of whacking FCS opponents such as Western Kentucky.
Rettig had another solid day, throwing 3 TD passes while completing 16 of 32 passes 219 yards He did bruise his back, which required some post game x-rays as a precaution.
“I’m fine,’ said Rettig, who said the X-rays were negative. “Last week I took a few hits
Wide receiver Johnathan Coleman had a spectacular TD reception–the first of his career– and the defense looked solid. Spiffy Evans broke free for an 82 yard TD punt return and a TD reception. All good things for BC.
So was the win, but it will be and should be quickly forgotten.
Having said that, the Eagles will take what they can get at this point. The loss last week to Miami was probably even more painful considering that Kansas State did to the Hurricanes what BC looked like it was doing in taking a quick 14-0 first quarter lead before giving it all back in a 41-32 loss. Kansas State was not nearly as generous in posting a 52-13 win over the Hurricanes.
In the second half, BC treated Maine in similar fashion, moving from 17-3 lead to a 34-3 lead in a dazzling display of big play football that had been missing from the Eagles for so long.
Afterwards, the Eagles, as they should, said they felt good about the win. But those feelings need to be tucked away in their memory bank by this morning.
“”Our psyche is in good place,” said middle linebacker Nick Clancy. “‘I’m anxious to see where it goes.”’
. No more FCS schools on the schedule and no guaranteed wins either, a situation that Spaziani knows well.
“We’ve got 10 tough games coming up,” said Spaziani. “We need to get a lot better..’
Beginning next week at Northwestern, BC will have to achieve any success the old-fashioned way–the will have to earn it.
Recess is over.
© 2012, Mark. All rights reserved.