After the announcement that USC has scheduled an FCS opponent for 2021, that will leave both Notre Dame and UCLA football as the only programs to never play an FCS team, and it should remain that way.
Today it was announced that USC football scheduled their first-ever FCS opponent. Why is this a point of contention? Because they will no longer be one of the three teams that has never scheduled an FCS program which includes both Notre Dame and UCLA football.
Let’s get down to brass tacks; there is absolutely no point in scheduling an FCS opponent unless it’s to boost a team’s stats. Playing lesser teams does nothing for an FBS school except give them a guaranteed win, which is not always guaranteed.
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But there are several drawbacks to this. Taking on an FCS opponent gives a team lesser talent to go up against and will not adequately prepare them for the rigors of an FBS schedule, especially if a team is in a Power 5 conference. But above all, it could actually hurt a team at the end of the season.
For example, back in 2010, Arizona State finished the season 6-6, which means that they should technically be bowl eligible. But since one of their wins was against an FCS team, the Sun Devils were kept out of the postseason.
But aside from that, college football is deeply rooted in tradition. Not scheduling an FCS team has been a point of pride for USC, Notre Dame and UCLA, but the Trojans will break from the tradition as it has been announced that they have scheduled UC Davis to the 2021 schedule.
Though this should not be a big thing, seeing as almost every FBS school has scheduled a game with an FCS school, it clearly is a badge of honor with fans of the three programs as mentioned earlier. Just take a look at social media (you don’t have to look far) to see what fans of USC football have to say about breaking from tradition and finally scheduling an FCS team. It is madness, and they do not like it. And who could blame them? Irish and Bruin fans would be doing the same thing.
With that in mind, the UCLA football team should hang onto that tradition and continue to schedule only FBS opponents. Not only does it give them better competition, but it is something that they can hang their hat on.
Being one of only two FBS teams, in the history of college football, to never play an FCS school is something to brag about (albeit a small brag).