Wisconsin athletic director Berry Alvarez recently announced that the Big Ten will stop playing FCS opponents, with the target date of the 2014 season. The league is also looking into playing either a nine- or 10-game league schedule, which is a reason for the drop.
This brings up a pair of questions that can be releated to the Mountain West. First, should the league stop scheduling FCS teams. This is a tough subject because the Mountain West teams want home games and getting home-and-home from the other major conferences is tough. Well, except for Wyoming which has been able to get Texas and Nebraska to Laramie, but Colorado State is taking a two-game deal to travel on the road against Alabama.
With one FCS win counting toward bowl eligibility the low hanging fruit of a Big Sky team is appealing to get to the coveted sixth win to go to a bowl game. Another downside is that the Mountain West schools pay these FCS schools to come to town, so why not go out and schedule a home-and-home with a Sun Belt, MAC or a Conference USA team. Or possibly even doing the same with a lower-level Pac-12, Big 12 or now a Big Ten team, a two-for-one could also be a good move.
Another reason to drop playing FCS schools is to boost a schools appearance toward earning a bid to the four-team playoff, or earning the top spot from the group of five to earn a spot in a major bowl. Playing Weber State or Northern Colorado is a guaranteed win, but why not try to play Washington State, Indiana, Illinois or Iowa State. Those teams have a better perception, and the win would carry more weight. With them not being high powered teams getting a home-and-home should be attainable.
With the Big Ten dropping FCS teams, there is a chance for Mountain West schools to possibly fill that void, or at least try. San Diego State is already playing at Ohio State, and Air Force went to Michigan last year. Getting a game with the Big Ten will not be easy if they increase nine, and even a worse chance if they actually do 10 conference games. However, Mountai West schools should make the move to try to schedule some Big Ten opponents in the future.
Playing Ohio State, Michigan or Nebraska would be tough, but getting Minnesota -- they already traveled to UNLV -- Indiana, Illinois or Rutgers to agree to a home-and-home should be able to be done.
So, should the Mountain West stop playing FCS teams, and what Big Ten teams would fans want to see.