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


Grace Nets 9-0 Soccer Win

The Grace Academy Lady Golden Eagles kept themselves in a tie for first place in district 5-A/AA with a 9-0 win over Sweetwater High School Tuesday night. It took Grace Academy about 15 minutes to net its first goal, but then the goals came quickly. Kayla Bibbs and Maddie Ferrel led the way for Grace scoring two goals each while five other Lady Golden Eagles scored once.  ... (click for more)

Men’s Golf Will Play This Weekend In NAIA Fall Preview

Dalton State men’s golf will have a chance to see many of the top golf teams in the NAIA this weekend. The Sun Conference and the Daytona Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau will host the 2014 NAIA Golf Fall Preview at LPGA International Course from Friday through Sunday. This weekend’s competition will feature 19 teams from 18 different schools. The 54-hole tournament ... (click for more)

Man Found Floating Near Manufacturers Road Was Steven Paul Calhoon, 34

The body found floating in the Tennessee River on Sunday morning downtown has been identified as 34-year-old Steven Paul Calhoon. C hattanooga Police are awaiting the results from the Medical Examiner’s Office to determine the cause of death. At 8:31 a.m.,  the Chattanooga Police Department was dispatched to 530 Manufacturers Road on a found body. Police said ... (click for more)

Bare Majority On County Commission Approves Support For Abortion Amendment

A bare majority of the County Commission on Wednesday morning voted to support an upcoming ballot amendment curbing abortion in Tennessee. Several commissioners said the issue was out of the commission's purview, and the vote should not have taken place. In favor were Sabrena Smedley, Randy Fairbanks, Jim Fields, Marty Haynes and Chester Bankston. Greg Beck and Warren Mackey ... (click for more)

How To Reform The City Industrial Development Board - And Response (3)

My aims is to bring to the public’s attention the need for procedural changes that, if implemented, would significantly improve the information available the public, to the City Council and to the City Industrial Development Board about the verifiable benefits and costs of tax incentive financing structures and to make the entire process transparent. The public, the City ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My October Garden

Hark! It is the first day of October and, as I make my monthly stroll through the garden, I find a growing numbers of leaves and acorns. Autumn leaves are beautiful while acorns are nuts, thus you will get the idea as we make our monthly awards: A PRETTY LEAF to Phil Hughes after the Minnesota Twins pitcher came within one inning of earning a $500,000 bonus this season. The deal ... (click for more)