Why College Gameday should come back to the FCS


If you are like me, you are a fan of ESPN’s College Gameday and use the show to help get you ready for games every Saturday, even if there is minimal to no talk about FCS schools on the show. With this weekend being having two of the bigger matchups in recent FCS history with #1 Georgia Southern at #5 Appalachian State and #2 Northern Iowa at #3 North Dakota State, you would think that it would’ve been a perfect time for College Gameday to visit an FCS school and show that their venues and games can be just as exciting as some of the ones offered by their FBS brethren. Instead, College Gameday will be visiting Los Angeles for the Stanford-USC game. Not a bad choice on their part, but either of the aforementioned FCS games would’ve been better in my opinion.

If you have been watching ESPN recently, you would’ve noticed the great slate of games they have been offering on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. And by great, I mean the exact opposite. They usually feature two mid-level Sun Belt conference foes facing off in barely half-filled stadiums. Even last night’s battle between UConn and Pitt barely filled the stadium. Why not take a big FCS game and put it in that time slow instead to show the nation what FCS football is all about? Right now, the ESPN only talks about the FCS on their playoff bracket show on ESPNU and in select playoff games. Why not try to give these schools more of a chance? It could start by hosting Gameday at an FCS school.

This wouldn’t be the first time College Gameday would visit a non-FBS school. In fact, they have done it three times in the past:

Nov. 16, 2002 – Harvard vs. Penn
Nov. 10, 2007 – Amherst vs. Willaims (D-III)
Nov. 15, 2008 – Hampton vs. Florida A&M

Why did they not do it this week? I’m sure the atmosphere in LA will be fine, but I highly doubt it would’ve matched what they would’ve gotten in Fargo or Boone. Hosting Gameday at an FCS institution would be great for all. Say ESPN has a very poor slate of FBS games. Give some more attention then to the smaller schools. Allow people to learn about the teams, traditions and what it’s like to actually have a playoff system determine your champion instead of computers. As important as it is to any FBS school to be privileged enough to host Gameday, I guarantee an FCS school will see that as ten times more important. The atmosphere would be electric and help give some validity to the FCS on a national stage. It couldn’t hurt to try, right ESPN?

So, where would be the best places to host College Gameday? I got five for you, and in no particular order:

1. Montana – Remember how awesome the atmosphere and playoff game between Montana and App was a few years ago? It’s like that all the time there.
2. Appalachian State – Boone is already arguably the best atmospheres in the FCS and puts many small FBS schools to shame.
3. Georgia Southern – It is hard to find a more loyal fanbase than Eagle Nation. There is a reason they call Paulson Stadium the “prettiest little stadium in America.” Why not show it off?
4. James Madison – Have you seen what their upgraded stadium looks like?

That alone should be enough, but there are plenty more reasons on top of that.

5. North Dakota State – Fargo loves their Bison and would be sure to put on a show. Let’s show America exactly what Fargo has to offer.

Why not give the FCS another shot ESPN? It has been nearly four years. Surely we are due for another visit from the Gameday crew. I promise that you will not be disappointed.