Before we start, I would like to make an appeal to the NCAA in the hopes that it will consider something very silly: promotion and relegation. Yes, I know, the likelihood of the NCAA ever adopting a system used most notably by soccer leagues in other countries is completely absurd, but college football is the most absurd sport on Earth, so I submit that it should be considered. SB Nation’s Bill Connelly has been at the forefront of this movement for some time. CBS Sports’ Tom Fornelli joined him on the pro/rel concept this year. Plenty of other folks have voiced their support. Now, the humble folks at UPROXX Sports are joining in.
What led to us deciding that we want promotion and relegation? Look no further than last week’s game between Iowa and North Dakota State game, in which the Bison went into Iowa City and beat the defending Big Ten West champs, 23-21. North Dakota State is not just a good FCS team, they’re a good football team, period.
And yet the Bison are forced to more or less toil away in FCS, where they have won five national titles in a row. One of those national title games was a one-possession contest (2014, where they beat Illinois State 29-27). Their other four featured margins of victory of 11, 26, 28, and 27. Additionally, the Bison have taken down six FBS teams since 2010. Again, this is a good football team, and if there was a program in FBS with the sustained dominance of NDSU, we’d be talking about it as one of the best dynasties in all of sports. Oh, and there is no place in the sport quite like the Fargodome.
So yeah, give us promotion and relegation, NCAA. Let North Dakota State, at the end of the season when it probably wins national title number six, replace the worst team in FBS. Let programs like Sam Houston State and Eastern Washington and some of the other great teams in FCS show what they can do against the “big boys.” I’m not saying throw them into the Big Ten or the SEC, but there are a bunch of Group of 5 conferences that can use some new blood.
What better place to find said new blood than the FCS?
Oh, and let Bob Stitt and his Montana Grizzlies in, too. We need Coach Internet and his delightful brand of offense in FBS as soon as possible. Heck, they can have a play-in game. All of these teams’ promotions can be contingent on play-in games. It give us an opportunity to watch more football, which is always good.
Hey, speaking of watching football, let’s get to the viewing guide.
FRONT AND CENTER
Noon: Georgia at Ole Miss, ESPN
Noon: Wisconsin at Michigan State, BTN
The day starts off with Ole Miss’ high-octane offense going up against a talented and well-coached Georgia defense. That’s the matchup to watch at least, especially because the Rebels offensive line will have to block noted eater of worlds Trent Thompson and a good Bulldogs linebacking corps.
On the other side of the ball, an Ole Miss defense that is looking for its first interception of the year will try to confuse true freshman signal caller Jacob Eason, but more importantly, it will try to stop Nick Chubb. Last week, the Rebs allowed 334 rushing yards to Alabama. Chubb is one of the best running backs in America. If Ole Miss can’t figure out whatever went wrong last week, Chubb could be in for a huge afternoon.
In Big Ten country, we have a matchup between two teams that want to play #hardnosed football in Wisconsin and Michigan State. Both of these squads are stout defensively and will try to run the ball – Michigan State with L.J. Scott, and the Badgers with a four-man rotation of Corey Clement, Dare Ogunbowale, Bradrick Shaw, and Taiwan Deal – so the winning team could end up being the one who gets better play out of its relatively green quarterback.
Michigan State redshirt senior Tyler O’Connor has played a little in the past, but for the most part, he has backed up Connor Cook for the last few years. Wisconsin’s redshirt freshman Alex Hornibrook will make his first career start after playing well in relief of Bart Houston last week. Both have been efficient while simultaneously being asked to not do too much – Hornibrook is 13-for-17 on the season (76.5 percent), while O’Connor is 32-for-44 (72.7 percent). Look for both defenses to key on in the opposing running game and try to make the quarterbacks win this one.