|« Contract Extended through 2013 for Stony Brook Head Coach||Bill Would Mandate Towson, Morgan St. Football Match-ups with FBS Maryland »|
FBS Arizona State "Pleased" Portland State Said Yes To 2010 Matchup
Arizona State will open its football season against Portland State on Sept. 4 and play two Football Championship Subdivision teams for the first time.
ASU can count only one win vs. a FCS opponent - Portland State or Northern Arizona
– toward bowl eligibility. So the Sun Devils must at least split its 10 games against Football Bowl Subdivision teams to end a two-year bowl drought.
ASU’s FBS opponents are Wisconsin, Oregon State, Washington, California, Southern California and Arizona on the road and Oregon, Washington State, Stanford and UCLA at home.
The Sun Devils were forced to pick up a second FCS opponent because San Jose State dropped ASU in July to play at Wisconsin for up to twice the $450,000 payout it would have received from ASU. San Jose State paid $250,000 to break a contract signed in 2005.
Even with the help of conference and television officials, ASU was unable to find a FBS replacement. Deals with Nevada, Kansas State, South Florida and Cincinnati were close at times but could not be finalized.
With even FCS opponents hard to find at this late date, ASU negotiated with Portland State to move a game originally scheduled for 2011 and shift the NAU game to Sept. 11. That leaves the Sun Devils with two non-conference openings to fill for 2011 when they also play at Illinois.
Colorado, New Mexico, UNLV, Nevada, San Diego State, schools in Texas, Air Force and Brigham Young are among those who could play future home-and-home series against ASU. Illinois, Wisconsin, Notre Dame, Louisiana State and Colorado are on ASU’s schedule from 2012-19.
“We’re pleased Portland state said yes, and we’ll make it work,” ASU Vice President for Athletics Lisa Love said. “We’re playing a western regional team. Our fans can appreciate that instead of bringing a (FBS) team from another part of the country they may not be familiar with.”
Last season, ASU mutually agreed to drop a game with BYU and played FBS Louisiana-Monroe of the Sun Belt Conference instead. The Sun Devils finished 4-8 with half of their wins over Louisiana-Monroe and FCS Idaho State.
Love said that playing more than one FCS opponent is becoming more common because of guarantees up to $1 million being paid by some FBS schools.
Seven FBS schools played two FCS opponents in 2009. Mississippi, Rutgers and North Carolina were 8-4 and South Florida 7-5 with all advancing to bowl games. Kansas State was 6-6 and missed out on a bowl because only four wins were against FBS teams. Duke and North Carolina State also were not eligible for postseason with 5-7 records, and Duke lost to FCS Richmond.
Love said that fourth-year ASU coach Dennis Erickson is “completely understanding,” of the need to schedule a second FCS opponent. “He’s ready to play the schedule as presented. He understands the dynamic and is ready to go.”
ASU football forced to schedule a second FCS opponent
by Jeff Metcalfe, the Arizona Republic