Iowa AD Gary Barta on Thursday confirmed the school in the future will not be "scheduling any other FCS schools," following through on a policy the Big Ten first discussed earlier this year. Barta appeared on ESPN's "College Football Live" and said, "We just want to make sure that our conference is well positioned, so we just talked about strengthening our schedule." Barta noted every school in the conference is "taking a look at contracts they already had in place" regarding FCS opponents. Iowa is scheduled to play Northern Iowa in '14 and '18, and Barta said the school could "look at the possibility of an exception because they’re an in-state school and because they’ve perennially been in the top 10 in the country at that level” ("College Football News," ESPN, 5/9). In Iowa, Marc Morehouse noted the Hawkeyes play Missouri State this year and have future games scheduled with Illinois State and North Dakota State (THEGAZETTE.com, 5/9). Meanwhile, in Baltimore, Jeff Barker cites sources as saying that Maryland may "drop at least some of their planned games with FCS schools in future seasons" once it enters the Big Ten in '14. The schools include James Madison, Richmond and Howard. While it is "too soon to say which games might be cut, the school said it would honor all existing contracts." UM's FCS games "typically don't draw as well as others." The school opened '12 with a game against William & Mary that drew 31,321 to Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium, marking the program's "lowest home attendance of the season" (Baltimore SUN, 5/10).
FINANCIAL LIFELINE FOR SMALL SCHOOLS: ESPN’s Mark May said games against FCS schools should not be eliminated and that each FBS school "should be allowed to play one FCS school" per year, but no more than one. ESPN’s Andre Ware said FCS schools financially benefit more than the FBS schools from these matchups, as they "run part of their football budget on these types of games and scheduling." May said, “Monetarily for the smaller schools, it's a huge pay day. ... They make more in that one big game against an Alabama or an Arkansas than they do for the rest of the season” (“College Football Live,” ESPN, 5/9).