Week one of the 2016 college football season saw four FCS victories over FBS teams, including three Power Five victims, plus Buffalo.
There were certain very obvious themes that ran through the FCS victories over FBS teams in week one. Illustrative of those themes was the first such win in 2016, which saw Albany win at Buffalo, 22-16. The themes in play were an in-state battle for regional bragging rights and an FCS team from a top-notch conference, in this case, the Colonial. The Great Danes did the capital of New York right in this battle of Upstate New York. The below film is from the Buffalo Bulls’ perspective.
The regional and in-state bragging rights battles continued through the next three games which each saw a Power Five conference member fall to the FCS. An added theme was also introduced. These wins were all by powerhouse FCS programs from those top-flight FCS conferences. These are definitely dangerous games for struggling and even good Power Five, FBS teams.
In a preppy battle, Richmond, also of the Colonial, took out Virginia, of the ACC, at Virginia, and in the process ruined the debut of the Cavaliers’ new head man Bronco Mendenhall, former BYU head coach. It was not that long ago (2008) that Richmond won a national championship in the FCS. Final score, Richmond Spiders 37 at Virginia 20. The amount of points Virginia gave up to the Spiders will surely be worrisome and undoubtedly proved painful. However, probably not as painful as the constant one-upmanship the Cavs will endure until next time.
Northern Iowa won at Iowa State, 25-20. Again, the debut of a new head coach was ruined, this time that of Matt Campbell, fresh from Toledo. It seems like losing to the Panthers happens to Iowa State, of the Big 12, constantly. Historically, the Panthers are 6-20-3 against the Cyclones. However, with three losses to Northern Iowa, of the Missouri Valley, since 2007, the Iowa State fans must feel like it is every game.
Eastern Washington looked like a Power Five member in the whupping they put on Washington State, of the Pac-12. Truly a very regional grudge match, the echos of this game will be heard on the howling plains of the Palouse for some time to come. Troubling for Washington State is the fact that this is the second year in a row opening with a FCS loss, last year to Portland State, and the fourth year in a row with an opening loss, in general. (Insert zombie-like, heartless, hound-dog face here.) As for Eastern Washington, this game bodes very well. The hitting, the physicality, the execution and the play-making (say the name, “Cooper Kupp”) were at championship levels for the Eagles of the Big Sky. Can the Eagles repeat their 2010 FCS National Championship? September will provide some answers as the next two games are at North Dakota State and at home against the above-mentioned Northern Iowa. Now that is one tough non-conference schedule. Final score: Eastern Washington 45, at Washington State 42.