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Jeff Kolpack, Published May 01 2013

Bohl: Big Ten alone in its FCS stance

FARGO – North Dakota State head football coach Craig Bohl said the Big Ten Conference’s decision to take Division I Football Championship Subdivision schools out of its scheduling model will not become a nationwide epidemic.

Bohl is one of 18 coaches on the Board of Trustees for the American Football Coaches Association that is meeting this week in Phoenix. Although he couldn’t divulge specifically which Division I Football Bowl Subdivision schools are in favor of retaining FCS schools on their schedule, he said there was a general consensus the Big Ten is alone on its mandate among the nation’s power conferences.

“What I’ve come to understand is the only FBS league to make that decision is the Big Ten,” Bohl said. “All the other leagues said they’re going to schedule like they’ve been scheduling.”

The Big Ten athletic directors voted to not schedule FCS teams starting in 2016. NDSU is slated to play the University of Iowa that year, and the fate of that game has not been determined.

“I think they are the minority, not the majority,” Bohl said of the Big Ten.

Leaving FCS teams off a schedule could impact the budgets of those schools, and in some cases significantly. The other major FBS leagues that consistently pay big money for guarantee games are the Southeastern, Big 12, Pac-10 and Atlantic Coast.

Bohl did say the revised playoff format that will determine a national champion could have an effect, since one of the criteria for making the playoff field is strength of schedule.

“That may come into play,” he said. “But some teams may or may not choose then to play FCS teams.”

Eleven of the 18 Board of Trustees are from FBS schools.

Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be reached at (701) 241-5546. Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia