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The Drive of The Penguins
Narrowing the Gap?
- Gap Shrinks Between FCS, FBS--Youngstown Vindicator
". . . “The [difference in the] level of competition isn’t as great as it once was and I just don’t think it’s that big of a shock when a FCS program beats an FBS program,” said Southern Illinois coach Dale Lennon, . . . "
Worth The Price?
They're called "Guaranteed Games" or "Money Games". A BCS, formerly Division I-A, team will give an FCS, the former Division I-AA, team a guaranteed payout to come and play them. The games are usually lopsided affairs, but there have been exceptions.
One of the first was in 1992, when The Citadel defeated Arkansas. The Citadel would advance to the second round of their division's playoffs, and lose to Youngstown State University.
The most famous would have to be in 2007, though, when Appalachian State stunned the college football and sports world by defeating the mighty University of Michigan! Appalachian State had won their division's national championship the previous season, along the way defeating Youngstown State University.
This year, it was Youngstown State's turn! On September 1st, they headed to Pittsburgh to play Pitt. Pitt had outscored Youngstown State 79-3 in their previous two meetings, so when Youngstown turned a turnover into a touchdown, they had scored more points on one play than in two previous games. There were more where that came from; Youngstown State never looked back and walked off Heinz Field 31-17 victors.
As an alumni and life-long fan of Youngstown State, I am ecstatic at what these young men have accomplished. But also wonder "what's next?"
I was watching ESPN and former Notre Dame coach Lou Holtz was having a lot of fun picking on Pitt great Mark May. A former Pitt player now in the NFL tweeted that he'd been ribbed a bit. Penn State fans, smarting at their loss to a "mid-major", took consolation in that Pitt had lost to a smaller school. Youngstown State may find itself getting mentioned more and more on ESPN, etc. A great boost for recruiting and for the school itself.
But there's also the matter of the bulls-eye that Youngstown State may have inherited. The conference Youngstown State plays in may be one of the toughest in their division. The defending National Champions, North Dakota State. are on the schedule. Northern Iowa, who gave Wisconsin a scare, is a rival.
What Youngstown State did is a marvelous accomplishment, but it was one game. There are still 10 more games to play in the regular season, and then hopefully four or five more playoff games.