The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of FBS-FCS Week 1 Matchups

For those of you new to any blog I’ve had, this is a series that started on my other blog “Gallagher’s Word“.

Week 1 of the college football season doesn’t have a lot of great matchups. Some Power 5 schools tend to schedule weaker FBS opponents and some are still paying FCS schools to get beat by 70.

Here’s how it works…

The Good: FCS schools that flipped the script and won while laughing all the way to the bank.

The Bad: The FCS team lost, but it could have been worse.

The Ugly: You’re usually turning off the game in the 2nd quarter.


Screenshot: ESPN

This upset wasn’t a sexy “Appalachian State beating Michigan in 2007” game and wasn’t seen by many, but Central Arkansas of the Southern Conference beat Western Kentucky, who plays in Conference USA 35-28.


No. 21 Iowa State 29, Northern Iowa 26

We ALMOST had a bigger upset in Ames, as Northern Iowa of the Missouri Valley Conference used defense and miscues by No. 21 Iowa State and almost beat them for the second time since 2016.

Sadly (pending on your rooting interest), the Cyclones held on and won in triple overtime.

Other than Oregon-Auburn, and if you subtract Iowa State’s awful play and Northern Iowa’s lack of offense in regulation, it was one of the best games of the week.

West Virginia 20, James Madison 13

You think the Mountaineers miss Will Grier (and maybe Dana Holgorsen) yet? Luckily for them, the game aired regionally, so many didn’t see it.

It doesn’t get any easier for WVU. They visit Missouri this upcoming Saturday and it will be aired nationally on ESPN 2.

Fun Fact: Will Grier’s brothers are “social media influencers”, which I guess is a nice way of describing people who can’t get jobs and convince stupid people to give them money for posting their product on Instagram.

Minnesota 28, South Dakota State 21

In Minnesota, the Gophers survived South Dakota State, a Missouri Valley Conference team with a pretty good FCS playoff record Thursday night.

Connecticut 24, Wagner 21

Connecticut, who is about to be a football program without a conference when the school moves to the Big East for the sake of basketball, escaped Wagner, out of the Northeast Conference.

I saw this now shell of a program embarrass Notre Dame in South Bend in 2009. I’ve seen some awful performances by the Irish live in my life, but that was the worst!

Look at Charlie Weis in his stupid hoodie trying to be Bill Belichick. I’ve never seen a coach make so much money from schools while not coaching there.


Washington 47, Eastern Washington 14

The Huskies will make a push for the Pac 12 title and the Eagles, out of the Big Sky, are often contenders for the FCS title. In 2016, they upset Washington State to make my list that year.

Fun Fact: Eastern Washington has that “blood red” turf because blue wasn’t hard enough to watch on television.


No. 17 UCF 62, Florida A&M 0

I have all the love in the world for Brandon Wimbush. As a Notre Dame fan, I loved watching him play for the Irish and he should be commended for helping them get to the College Football Playoff last season but saw Ian Book become QB 1 by season’s end.

In his first start with Central Florida, it went perfect because the Knights unleashed him against a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference team that didn’t have a prayer.

Wimbush will see tougher competition this season but if he leads UCF to another American conference title and undefeated year, the playoff committee will be left to again consider them for a spot. Next week, they get Florida Atlantic, who got tattooed by No. 5 Ohio State.

No. 15 Penn State 79, Idaho 7

Idaho gets a participation trophy in 79-7 loss to No. 15 Penn State

Idaho, another Big Sky team playing the big schools, flew 2,400 miles to collect a check and get throttled by Penn State, who will play Buffalo, who finished as the runner-up in the MAC last season and Pittsburgh, who lacks an accurate quarterback right now to round out their non-conference schedule. Those two games will also be in Happy Valley.

Also, Penn State wasn’t just happy keeping the foot on the throat. They shattered the windpipe with a touchdown with less than 3 minutes to go.

Screenshot: B1G Newtork

Maryland 79, Howard 0

Maryland will be an average team this year looking to qualify for a bowl game.

Howard, who went 4-6 last season, is out of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.

At least Maryland pumped the brakes after going up 79 early in the 4th quarter. They could have hung 100 on this team.

Screenshot: B1G Network

Fun Fact: Former high school teammate of mine and former Terrapins quarterback C.J. Brown is now a color commentator for the Maryland radio broadcasts. Congrats, C.J.!


There are still a good number of FBS-FCS games coming up in week 2.

William and Mary could be in for a tough Friday night against Virginia, Kent State could stumble against Kennesaw State and it doesn’t count, but Old Dominion could upset Virginia Tech again.

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