Back in the day, it used to be a major occurrence when a Football Championship Series team (D1-AA) defeated a Football Bowl System (D1) team. In today's college football world it is common for multiple FCS squads to pull off this upset...each week.
In 2017, the stunning FCS upset is not against an FBS team, but against a ranked Power Five team (ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, PAC-12 and SEC). Between 1978 and 2006, FCS schools defeated a ranked Power Five teams once. In 1983, Cincinnati (a temporary D1-AA team at the time) defeated No. 20 Penn State 14-3 in Happy Valley. This was the first time an FCS team took down a ranked Power Five opponent.
After Cincinnati's upset, it took 24 years for another FCS school to do the unthinkable against a ranked P5 team. Yes, the Appalachian State monumental upset of No. 5 Michigan was only the second time in history an FCS squad defeated a ranked Power Five program. Between 2000 and today, five more FCS teams defeated ranked P5 squads.
The six FCS wins over ranked Power Five opponents:
- 1983 // Cincinnati 14, No. 20 Penn State 3
- 2007 // Appalachian State 34, No. 5 Michigan 32
- 2010 // James Madison 21, No. 13 Virginia Tech 16
- 2013 // Eastern Washington 49. No. 25 Oregon State 46
- 2015 // Citadel 23, No. 25 South Carolina 22
- 2016 // North Dakota State 23, No. 13 Iowa 21
As you can see above, the FCS has taken down a ranked Power Five school three out of the last four seasons. Will it happen this year? The trend says yes. Now the question is, will it happen this week? The two ranked teams on major FCS upset alert on Saturday are No. 13 Georgia and No. 15 Auburn.
Mercer at No. 15 Auburn
Mercer has never defeated an FBS school and Auburn has never lost to an FCS opponent. This trend will not change. After losing to Clemson, the Tigers will use this game to maul Mercer and get the bad taste of defeat out of its mouth.
Samford at No. 13 Georgia
In 23 tries, Samford has pulled off the FBS upset once, kind of. In 2013, the Bulldogs defeated Georgia State 31-21. Georgia State was in its first season as an FBS school and finished the season 0–12. The Panthers lost to three FCS schools that season.
Back to this game, Unlike Georgia State and Georgia Tech (1983), Georgia has never lost to an FCS team. Don't look for the Bulldogs of Georgia to fall to the Samford Bulldogs Saturday. The biggest upset of this game are the fans spending at least $34 to watch it in person.
|FCS TEAM||P5 TEAM||TIME||NATIONAL TV|
|DELAWARE STATE||WEST VIRGINIA||NOON||NOPE|
|FURMAN||NC STATE||12:20||ACC NETWORK|
|NORTHERN COLORADO||COLORADO||2:00||PAC-12 NETWORK|
|MERCER||No. 15 AUBURN||4:00||SEC NETWORK|
|SAMFORD||No. 13 GEORGIA||7:30||SEC NETWORK|
It's not just the ranked Power Five teams that should be on notice. In fact, it is the unranked P5 teams that are getting taken down on a more frequent basis. Since 2010, just over seven seasons, FCS caliber schools have won 23 games against the mighty Power Five. that is an average of 3.7 games per season. Between 1978 and 2009 (32 seasons) the FCS won 39 games (1.2 games per year).
This season, Baylor is the only P5 squad to suffer the embarrassing defeat to an FCS team. Saturday, Colorado, NC State, Rutgers and West Virginia are on notice.
Will an FCS team will defeat a Power Five opponent this week?
Delaware State at West Virginia
This game is not on national television, so it will cost you $31 a ticket if you want to travel to Morgantown and watch the Mountaineers whoop up on the Hornets. I'll save you the time and money, the upset won't happen here. Delaware State has never defeated an FBS school and West Virginia is too good and angry to lose this game.
Furman at NC State
Furman has defeated six FBS opponents and entering this game has a winning percentage of .186. The last time the Paladins defeated an FBS school was when they beat UCF 16-15 in 2015.
Furman is 0-2 on the season, but a kickoff just past noon might catch the Wolfpack napping.
Northern Colorado at Colorado
Northern Colorado was scheduled to face Florida last week, but Hurricane Irma had other ideas. That means the Klaws are coming off an unexpected bye week and won't be battered and bruised.
Northern Colorado has never defeated an FBS school, but could get its first against Colorado. The Buffalo lost to Cal State Sacramento (30-28) in 2012. If you're near Boulder, it might be worth $13 to see if Northern Colorado can pull off the upset.
Morgan State at Rutgers
Chris Ash's squad is only the second Big Ten team to play an FCS opponent this season. Last week, Maryland was the first. Shame on the newest members of the B1G to drag the conference into this murky realm. Rutgers could bring more shame on the conference if it falls to Morgan State.
Both teams enter this game in search of their first 2017 victory. It will cost you $8 if you want to attend this game live and watch the Bears go after their first win over an FBS team. Who knows, it could happen.