‘Cupcake’ games may be squashed in Big Ten

AP Photo/Centre Daily Times, Nabil K. Mark
AP Photo/Centre Daily Times, Nabil K. Mark

Ohio State vs. Youngstown State. Wisconsin vs. Northern Iowa. Purdue vs. Eastern Kentucky.

These types of games might be going the way of the dinosaur. Try to contain your tears.

Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez said the Big Ten Conference is exploring the possibility of ending any and all early-season tune-up games against FCS (formerly Division I-AA) opponents. Citing a lack of appeal to the lopsided matchups, it appears Big Ten programs will need to reach out to Sun Belt or MAC schools for their tune-ups, possibly starting as soon as 2016.

Notice Alvarez didn’t say anything about the games being unfair — his Badgers nearly lost that game against Northern Iowa a year ago — he just said there’s a lack of appeal.

There’s two ways to look at this new edict. It could be good because teams traditionally learn very little about themselves when they’re beating a scrub team by 60 points. However, it could be bad for coaches who use the glorified scrimmages to get a better feel for their team, early in a season.

As a Florida State fan, I wouldn’t mind seeing the Seminoles follow suit. Just last season, they played two FCS opponents — Murray State and Savannah State. They won those two games by 66 points and 55 points, respectively. There was no reason to play either of those games, and the fans spent both afternoons hoping no key players would suffer major injuries. Against Murray State, star defensive lineman Brandon Jenkins suffered one of those season-ending injuries, which greatly affected the Seminoles’ defense for the rest of the year.

I’m seeking your opinion, because I could honestly see either side of the argument as valid. Would you prefer to see the power conferences ban games against FCS opponents, or is there value to these one-sided beatdowns?

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