(STATS) – Coming off a 2016 season in which their 10 wins over FBS programs tied for the fourth most in a season, FCS programs hope to make a mark again in 2017.
Missouri Valley Football Conference teams played the largest part of the success with four wins.
This season, the MVFC is involved in seven of the nearly 100 matchups. Unfortunately for the FCS power conference, three of its four 2016 playoff teams are not playing FBS teams.
Here’s a look at this year’s matchups involving MVFC teams:
The Matchups (7) – Indiana State vs. Tennessee (Sept. 9); Missouri State vs. Missouri (Sept. 2); Northern Iowa vs. Iowa State (Sept. 2); South Dakota vs. Bowling Green (Sept. 9); Southern Illinois vs. Memphis (Sept. 23); Western Illinois vs. Coastal Carolina (Sept. 23); Youngstown State vs. Pittsburgh (Sept. 2)
Glamour Game – Youngstown State at Pittsburgh: The Penguins make the short 65-mile trip into, well, ACC country. Coming off an FCS national runner-up finish, they hope to jump-start the season against a Pittsburgh team they beat in 2012 for one of their 20 all-time FBS wins. Third-year coach Bo Pelini made his debut with the Penguins in 2015 with a 45-37 loss against the Panthers.
Upset Alert – Western Illinois at Coastal Carolina. The teams have split two all-time meetings. Western Illinois was supposed to host this year’s game as the second half of a home-and-home series that began on Coastal’s teal turf in 2015. However, with the Chanticleers having risen to full-time FBS membership, the Leathernecks were bought out with an agreement to play the game on the road. Last season, the Leathernecks posted an FBS win over Northern Illinois. Notable – North Dakota State, which defeated Iowa last season, and Illinois State, which beat Northwestern, are not playing FBS opponents this season. In addition, South Dakota State is playing an FCS-only schedule. … The Missouri Valley went 4-6 against the FBS last season and has at least one FBS win in every season since 2010. … Three of the Missouri Valley’s FBS games are first-time meetings: Indiana State at Tennessee, South Dakota at Bowling Green and Southern Illinois at Memphis. … Northern Iowa is opening at Iowa State for the third consecutive season, including a 25-20 win last year. The Panthers also won 28-20 in Ames to open the 2013 season. … North Dakota State, which has won six straight games against FBS opponents, is next scheduled to face Oregon in 2020. However, the Bison have two openings on their 2018 schedule and one in 2019.