Opening Weekend: Your FCS Team Is Awesome

Your Team is AWESOME.

No, wait, YOUR team is AWESOME.

It’s the best weekend of the year, where everyone’s team is awesome.

Everyone’s undefeated*. Everyone has potential to be undefeated*, conference champions, and heck, even maybe national champions.

(*) Except for Charleston Southern, who lost in overtime to the No. 1 team in the country last weekend in a thrilling 23-17 game. You are not awesome. You will not go undefeated. In fact, if you’re a Charleston Southern fan, you might just want to skip this article entirely For your own sake, skip it. Please.

Leading the world in sacks? Completion percentage? Touchdown runs? That would be YOU. YOUR TEAM. YOUR TEAM IS AWESOME.

“Can You Keep It Within 40?”


UC Davis fans: Are you down, because you are struggling to find a compelling narrative where your Aggies, who went 2-9 last season, are competitive with Oregon after the first five minutes of the game?

Are you low because you have to face Dakota Prukop one more time, the same Montana State QB that torched you in a 77-37 win last season to the tune of 361 yards, 4 passing touchdowns and 148 rushing yards? Prukop, who became the latest Big Sky quarterback in consecutive years to transfer to the Ducks, won’t be an easy guy to cover, to say the least.

But Aggies, you are still awesome! Today, you are undefeated! Today, you still have the potential to make it competitive for a quarter against Oregon, whose price tag for its Hatfield-Dowlin football complex could fund the entire expenditure for the entire UC Davis athletics department for multiple years.


Savannah State vs. Georgia Southern, 2014 (Gambrell Photography)
Savannah State vs. Georgia Southern, 2014 (Gambrell Photography)

But no, YOU, Savannah State, YOU ARE AWESOME!

Certainly, Savannah State, the odds are stacked against you vs. one of the better Sun Belt teams, recent FCS powerhouse Georgia Southern. One website has you as a 54 1/2 point underdog.

And even you, Savannah State fans, you have to admit that you’ve had your struggles in the past.

Your two wins over the last three years meant Earnest Wilson III is not longer with the program, which might not be that surprising, due to the fact that Savannah State has only enjoyed five victories in the last six years.

But Wilson is now gone, and Tiger Nation’s eyes now turn to Erik Raeburn to improve matters.

Raeburn’s opening-day task? To win the first game of the Raeburn era versus against a fearsome triple-option team that beaten them 11 times (out of 11) in the past.

Georgia Southern were hard enough to beat when they had 63 scholarships to split. Now, with 85, they are most likely harder to upset.

How long are Savannah State’s odds?

The most points the Tigers have ever scored against the Eagles in a game are 14. In the last two times these teams met, Savannah State was outscored 160-18. Three times in their last five meetings, most of them as an FCS school, Georgia Southern hung more than 60 points on the Tigers.

But YOU, Savannah State, are AWESOME. You are undefeated! Your quarterback can still be the best in the MEAC! Your defense still hasn’t yielded a single yard! You can still defy the oddsmakers and cover the spread and shock the world!


“We must find a way to beat the Moundbuilders!”

No, you, Missouri State, are AWESOME!

Sure, Missouri State, you play in the toughest conference in all of the FCS. You have the honor of playing both Dakota States, North and South, both perennial Top 25 teams and national championship contenders. You get Northern Iowa. You get Illinois State and Indiana State, all teams that have been in the playoffs in the last few years – unlike yourselves.

In Missouri Valley Conference play you get Bo Pelini, not @FauxPelini.

But this week, you are undefeated in Missouri Valley play! You haven’t faced off against any of these heavyweights, and this week, you won’t either!

Instead, you get the Moundbuilders!

The Moundbuilders are from Southwestern College in Kansas, an rural institution with an enrollment of 1,323. They do indeed have a football team, a historic program that was picked to finish ninth in the KCAC, an NAIA conference.

According to their website, the Moundbuilders are young. Very young. In fact, there are only seven seniors listed on their roster.

What could this scrimmage possibly tell us about the Missouri State Bears? That they could contend for a title in the KCAC? That Missouri State might keep things within a couple of touchdowns at Kansas State of the Big 12, whom they face a few weekends from now? That senior quarterback Brodie Lambert should be a shoo-in for the Payton award, the Heisman award of the FCS?

Never mind that, Missouri State! YOU ARE AWESOME! You’ll pull in your fans on Thursday night, called Bearfest (even no Chicago Bears will actually be in attendance). You’ll have a nice early-season party and tailgate, your team will win, most likely by more than five touchdowns, and you’ll head home – still undefeated.


(* Not Charleston Southern. Sorry, Bucs, better luck in 2017.)