Randy Smith: Is The End Of Big Time Teams Facing FCS Teams About To End?

Thursday, May 29, 2014 - by Randy Smith
Randy Smith
Randy Smith

If Florida head football coach Will Muschamp gets his way, in a few years the big-time college football programs will no longer face teams like UTC. (FCS teams) Speaking at the SEC spring meetings in Destin, Florida Muschamp said, “We’re probably going to move forward without playing any FCS opponents. And I think our fan base wants to see better opponents.”

It sounds a bit like Coach Muschamp is still stinging from that 26-20 loss to Georgia Southern last season. Even though a few SEC coaches support his idea not everyone is willing to give up playing the little brothers of college football; including Muschamp’s own athletic director. “I understand what Will is saying,” Florida Athletic Director Jeremy Foley said. “In a perfect world, you would play all D-1 schools, but you have to have 12 opponents.”

Getting 12 former BCS teams to play teams from the SEC is a lot tougher than you think. No team from the Pac-12, the Big-Ten or the Big-12, relish coming into the “Swamp” to face the Gators; though after a 5-7 season now might not be a bad time. Nevertheless, in 2016 all SEC teams will be forced to schedule at least one game against a school from either the Big-Ten, Pac-12, Big-12, or the ACC. When that happens, the FCS schools may get pushed aside.

Schools such as UTC depend upon those big pay-days. The Mocs have played at least one each year, for many seasons. This year it’s Tennessee on the schedule; a game that took years to become a reality. The Mocs will travel up I-75 for the first time since 1969 to face the Big Orange. Some UTC or UC fans as they were back then remember the infamous clash in 1959 when the Mocs stunned the Vols in Knoxville. In fact, the celebration on the field became so rowdy that fire hoses had to be turned on some the UC faithful, with many being arrested.

Now that UTC Coach Russ Huesman has built his Mocs into a very competitive program some fans are thinking it may be time to pull off another upset. We’ll see how that works out. The game is scheduled for October 11th.

Getting a lot of money is the only tangible benefit in playing a big-time program. Of course some of the players are excited to be playing in an SEC type stadium, against big-time players, but that feeling seldom lasts past kickoff; unless you’re a Georgia Southern player last year at Florida or an Appalachian State player at Michigan in 2007.      

I have a suggestion; since it’s all about money anyway, let the big schools fork out $200,000 each year to an FCS school. That would offset the loss of game revenue for playing one of those games against the little guys. Surely schools like Tennessee, Alabama or Florida can afford a mere $200,000 from their massive budgets. Don’t believe for one minute that a single BCS school will be willing to do it. The NCAA will have to legislate or even pay for it. Don’t look for that to happen either.

It may not happen; this total and complete split between the former BCS schools and the ones from the FCS. But as badly as the FCS schools need money to continue to fund their programs they need to be ready when and if Coach Will Muschamp gets his way. 

-----

Randy Smith has been covering sports on radio, television and print for the past 45 years. After leaving WRCB-TV in 2009, he has written two books, and has continued to free-lance as a play-by-play announcer. He is currently teaching Broadcasting at Coahulla Creek High School near Dalton, Ga.

His career has included a 17-year stretch as host of the Kickoff Call In Show on the University of Tennessee’s prestigious Vol Network. He has been a member of the Vol Network staff for thirty years.

He has done play-by-play on ESPN, ESPN II, CSS, and Fox SportSouth, totaling more than 500 games, and served as a well-known sports anchor on Chattanooga Television for more than a quarter-century.

In 2003, he became the first television broadcaster to be inducted into the Greater Chattanooga Area Sports Hall of Fame. Randy and his wife Shelia reside in Hixson. They have two married children, (Christi and Chris Perry; Davey and Alison Smith.) They have three grandchildren, Coleman, Boone and DellaMae.

To contact Randy: rsmithsports@epbfi.com


Larkin Brown Invited To U.S. Rowing Camp

Larkin Brown, a rising sophomore at Girls Preparatory School, has been invited to attend USRowing's Junior National Development Camp for three weeks this summer at Connecticut College. She will join 40 other rowers from across the country in what USRowing describes as a "Rowing Laboratory" where the focus is on “building a multidimensional skill set in a controlled environment.” ... (click for more)

GPS Coach Bartlett To Play On British National Tennis Team

GPS Director of Tennis and Varsity Tennis Coach Sue Bartlett will be representing Great Britain in the ITF Senior World Team Championships in Helsinki, Finland, June 18-26. This is the seventh year since her initial selection in 2009 that she has participated in the Senior World Championships for Great Britain, her native country. She did not play in 2012.  Coach Bartlett, ... (click for more)

1 Person Shot On Wilson Street On Wednesday Night

One person was shot on Wilson Street on Wednesday night. The incident was near Orchard Knob Avenue. A section of Roanoke Street near the shooting scene was blocked off, with multiple police units at the location. (click for more)

Woman Tells Of Having Shots Fired At Her When She Walked Into Disorder At South Germantown Road Apartment Complex

Officer Joel Gunn of the Chattanooga Police Department and a woman who was fired at after she walked into the scene of a shooting testified in court Wednesday concerning the shooting at the Chateau Royale Apartments on South Germantown Road on April 22. Coy Sims, 48, was arrested by Officer Gunn after police were called by residents of the apartment complex. On the night of the ... (click for more)

Thankful For The Vital Role Teachers Played In My Life

Re: Roy Exum: Teachers Day Tomorrow Roy, I am especially appreciative of your poignant column written in tribute to teachers.  It made me tear up, as I have encountered both as a student and a career educator-- teachers like the second-grade teacher who said, "I wish you were my little girl" and teachers like Mrs. Poindexter.   My teachers have played such a vital ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The DA’s Cold-Case Quest

It is clearly a job nobody can do for over an hour or two, but Neal Pinkston, working in hand with precise professionals from the county’s auditing department, is intent on doing the right thing. As I watched a revolving team of four people at a time open and study envelopes of autopsy photographs on Tuesday, the scene would have made a fascinating television documentary. But ... (click for more)