Out of the 125 teams in the FBS, 106 will play against FCS teams in the 2013 season, as the non-conference schedule was completed last week. The trend of scheduling an easy win on the home games list continues, mostly in an attempt to get enough wins and become bowl eligible.
The 19 teams that don’t play weaklings? Florida Atlantic, Hawai’i, Miami (OH), Michigan, New Mexico, North Texas, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Penn State, Rice, Southern Miss, Stanford, Texas, Tulsa, UCF, UCLA, USC, UTEP and UTSA. This means only nine teams from BCS conferences aren’t playing against FCS schools in 2013.
Others, like Clemson (playing South Carolina State and the Citadel) and Georgia Tech (Alabama A&M and Elon) are playing two FCS teams next season, which is also due to the fact that the ACC changed from a 9-game to an 8-game schedule, forcing them to find an easy-to-schedule opponent.
The Georgia State Panthers, who begin playing in the Sun Belt division (although not yet bowl eligible, only in 2014), will face three FCS schools in 2013: Chattanooga, Jacksonville State and Samford).
Not all wins against FCS schools count towards bowl eligibility – In order to count towards a bowl, FCS schools must have “supplied financial aid for football averaging out to at least 90 percent of the 63 scholarships allowed over ‘a rolling two-year period’ that can include the current season. For example, Syracuse are playing Wagner, a member of the NEC, but that may not count towards bowl eligibility, because the school only offers 40 football scholarships.
There will also be a rare game against a Division II team when New Mexico State plays host to Abilene Christian. The ACU Wildcats will be in the first season of a transition to the FCS but will count as a D-II team for scheduling purposes.
The ACC, for the reasons stated above, gets to play the most FCS games next season with 16. The SEC, usually criticized for their weak non-conference scheduling, continues with the trend and stereotype, playing 14 games against FCS teams. The independent schools play only 4.