What is This Whole FCS Thing About?
Football > Not Football
As many of you know, I am a true believer in any and all football being better than no football. This manifests itself in the mindset of loving Spring Ball, following MACtion, and following any and all bowl games (especially the obscure ones). I do so because I know there is a dark period in the Spring where there is usually no football…..which blows. This year has been different, as many of you know…
Covid sucked. No breaking news there. It took so much from so many people….but it will provide the slightest reprieve for non football times by gifting us a Spring Season. Spring Season you say……Go on…….FCS baby. For people who don’t know, FCS (football Championship Subdivision) is a Division One league formerly known as Division 1AA. It is made of up smaller schools who can compete against 1A schools, but have separate Conferences, League Championships, and an expanded playoffs. Schools from Ivy league, Patriot League, CAA, and others play some incredibly competitive football. As some of you know, I was lucky enough to play at the FCS level for 4 years at The College of the Holy Cross Crusaders, and have been very open about it here. As an avid follower of FCS football, this year brings an incredible opportunity for the leagues, players, and even fans to experience the joys of these games as well. The next couple months Covid won’t be gone, and you will still be sitting on your couch….craving football. Well folks, here is your chance.
What is Different about FCS?
Top level FCS football is comparable to the lower level FBS competition, in my opinion. You are rarely getting any players over 3 stars, but you do get some diamonds in the rough of guys who went under the radar. The leagues generally lack the “freaks” but consistently produce NFL caliber talent, many of whom I played against. Those players do tend to dominate at this level. A couple in my personal experience of playing against include Cameron Brate out of Harvard, Terrance West out of Towson, or Holy Cross’s own Kalif Raymond. That is what makes these leagues fun, honestly. It is fierce competition with some NFL caliber talent and up and coming coaches. I STRONGLY encourage you to tune into some games, as it will satisfy your itch for football and will be full of incredibly competitive games. There is also an AWESOME playoff which normally features 24 teams, which will be down to 16 this year. You can find a breakdown of the leagues and schedules below https://www.ncaa.com/news/football/article/2021-02-09/how-2020-21-fcs-football-season-will-work
What Teams Should You Be Watching?
First and foremost, I welcome and encourage ALL OFD and other fans to root for Holy Cross this year. They are a team on the rise, with a hot young coach in Bob Chesney and a caliber of talent that is unusually dynamic for Patriot League. They made an early exit from the playoffs in 2019, and look to make a return again this year with a ton of experience returning on both sides of the ball. A couple players to watch out for include Defensive End Benton Whitley, QB Connor Degenhardt, and a pair of returning freshman All-Americans in WR Ayir Asante and LB Jocob Dobbs. Holy Cross will enter the 2021 season as the favorites to win the league and represent the Patriot League in the playoffs come end of April. Get a little hyped below….
(Serious question….who on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish has taken a pass like the one below and turned on the jets. Asante can BURN).
Who is this rookie?!
— Holy Cross Football (@HCrossFB) October 26, 2019
Some of the heavy hitters and teams to follow include North Dakota State (the most dominant FCS team over the last decade +), Villanova, James Madison, Montana/Montana State, Eastern Washington and their red turf, and Illinois State among others.
What does it mean for OneFootDown?
Each week, I will be providing a 2 part article, that breaks down a couple of FCS games to watch, and recaps/previews every Holy Cross Game. I hope this can be a way for you to follow Spring football and go into it with a point of view as well as some excitement. This is definitely new and probably the only time this will ever happen (hopefully) but provides an incredibly unique and fun situation. You can follow me along on Twitter and get in on the FCS action this Spring. Remember, folks….always remember…..if you think about complaining about FCS…..Football > Not Football.
As FCS football is starting to ramp up, expect to see some expanded coverage coming to @OneFootDown, with an obvious bias towards @HCrossFB. And anyone who doesn’t love this remember….football > not football.
— Philip G OFD (@Philip__G) February 17, 2021
As always GO CROSS (and Irish)!