ESPN will be putting the FCS division in the national spotlight this Saturday when the network takes their popular “College Gameday” program to the campus of North Dakota State in Fargo. The Bison have won the last two FCS national titles, and UNI coach Mark Farley says he’s excited for the division to be highlighted on a national broadcast.
“It’s great for FCS football, you know they are going to be up there talking about the games that the FCS has beaten the FBS. So, they’ll be talking about those types of things and that will draw attention to the FCS,” Farley says. He says they will be talking about North Dakota State, but also about teams like UNI which beat and FBS opponent as the Panthers did against Iowa State.
Some larger conferences, including the Big Ten, have said that they will stop scheduling FCS teams in their non-conference schedules. Farley says that being put in the national spotlight might help the FCS reverse some of those decisions. “ESPN doing what they are doing, it puts an emphasis on FCS football and it might take some pressure on a person making a decision at the FBS level of whether to play us or not,” Farley says. He says it still will come down to the people making the decisions each year, but Farley says TV has a big influence on a lot of decisions.
Saturday’s trip to Fargo will mark the first time “Gameday” has visited an FCS campus in five years. The pregame show last broadcast from within the state of Iowa in October of 2006 when Iowa hosted Ohio State.
(Reporting by Jesse Gavin KCNZ Cedar Falls)