Opening Week FCS Preview

August 21, 2022 by Staff

After a hectic offseason of realignment activity, the actual 2022 FCS football season kicks off this Saturday with 10 of the 130 members in action.

Austin Peay at Western Kentucky will officially launch the season on CBSSN with an 11 a.m. local time kickoff in Bowling Green, Kentucky  (noon eastern time). The Governors are ranked 23 in the opening FSC Congrove Computer Rankings.

Three-and-half hours later, Rich Rodriguez begins his Jacksonville State HC career when the Gamecocks face Stephen F. Austin in the FCS Kickoff Classic on ESPN. That game will take place at Montgomery's Cramton Bowl which serves as the home of the annual Camellia Bowl. Jacksonville State is essentially an FCS independent this year as the program moves to Conference USA in the FBS in 2023, along with Sam Houston State. The Gamecocks are not eligible to compete for the FCS playoffs this season. SFA was ranked 11th in the preseason by HeroSports.

Rodriguez won't be the only new head coach on the sidelines Saturday.  Idaho State's Charlie Ragle debuts at UNLV, and Eddie Robinson Jr. will grace the sideline for the first time as the head coach of Alabama State when his team faces Howard in Atlanta in the SWAC/MEAC Challenge on ESPN at 7 p.m. eastern.

Another 7 p.m. kickoff will take place in Macon, Georgia when No. 30 Mercer hosts No. 39 Morehead State.

Duquesne on Saturday will try to do what Jacksonville State did last year - score a huge upset win at Florida State. The Dukes are 39.15-point computer underdog. The Gamecocks were a 23.57-point computer dog last year when they pulled off the 20-17 win on a 59-yard walk-off TD pass.

Also See: Complete Schedule/Picks


2 FBS teams played 2 FCS teams last fall (UConn and UMass), and 115 teams played 1 FCS school for a total of 117 such matchups.

There will be 118 FBS vs. FCS matchups this season with App State, Army and Marshall each playing two such games, and 115 other FBS schools playing one apiece.

FBS teams finished the 2021 season 105-12 vs. the FCS and are 1,574-140 (.918) since we began tracking this in 2003.

in the 2020 Covid season, 30 FBS teams played a total of just 34 games against FCS schools and the FCS won just 1 game (1-33).

Jacksonville State has victories at Florida State (2021) and FIU (020) over the last two seasons and visits Tulsa this season. The Gamecocks will move up to the FBS next season and join Conference USA, along with Stephen F. Austin. Jacksonville State hired former West Virginia/Michigan/Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez to steer the move.

Another traditional FCS heavyweight, James Madison, has made that switch for this season as a new member of the Sun Belt.

These were the FCS wins in 2021:
September 2: UC Davis 19, Tulsa 17
September 2: Eastern Washington 35, UNLV 33 (2 OT)
September 3: South Dakota State 42, Colorado State 23
September 4: Holy Cross 38, UConn 28
September 4: Montana 13, Washington 7
September 4: ETSU 23, Vanderbilt 3
September 11: Duquesne 28, Ohio 26
September 11: Jacksonville State 20, Florida State 17.
September 18: Incarnate Word 42, Texas State 34.
September 18: Northern Arizona 21, Arizona 19
November 6: Rhode Island 35, Massachusetts 22
November 13: Maine 35, Massachusetts 10

This was the only FCS win vs. the FBS in 2020:
October 23: Jacksonville State 19, FIU 10

In 2019, FBS teams were 111-3 (.974) in such games. These were the only FCS wins that season:
August 29: Central Arkansas 35, Western Kentucky 28
September 7: Southern Illinois 45, Massachusetts 20
September 14: The Citadel 27, Georgia Tech 24 (OT)


SAN DIEGO - Won 7 straight over-all (FCS longest)
Last: Won 41-16 at Stetson on Saturday, Nov. 20.
Next: Hosts D3 member La Verne on Saturday, September 3.

ALCORN STATE - Won 13 straight home games (FCS longest).
Last: Lost 24-10 at Jackson State on Saturday, Nov. 20.
Next: Hosts Stephen F. Austin on Saturday, September 3.

SOUTH CAROLINA STATE - Won 12 straight conference games (FCS longest).
Last: Won Celebration Bowl 31-10 over Jackson State on Saturday, December 18.
Next: at UCF on Thursday, September 1.

DARTMOUTH - Won 11 straight road games (FCS longest).
Last: Won 52-31 at Brown on Saturday, Nov. 20.
Next: Hosts Valparaiso on on Saturday, September 17.

TEXAS SOUTHERN - Lost 18 straight road games (FCS longest).
Last: Lost 24-21 at Alabama State on Saturday, Nov. 20.
Next: at Prairie View A&M on Saturday, September 3.

WAGNER -  Lost 20 straight overall, 14 straight conference games, and 10 straight at home (all are FCS longest).
LAST: Lost 44-0 at home vs. Duquesne on Saturday, Nov. 20.
Next: Hosts Fordham on Thursday, September 1.