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FCS Scheduling Problems: Salukis in search of season opener next year
Wanted: Football Championship Subdivision program to travel to Carbondale for a season-opening football game on Thursday, Aug. 28 or Saturday, Aug. 30.
SIU is still looking for a season-opening opponent, according to athletic director Mario Moccia, and may have to pay upwards of $100,000 to find one.
“Next year we can play 12 games again, and this will be the last time for a couple years,” Moccia said. “I would love to get an FCS team to come in here and play us. Then we go to Eastern Illinois, we’re at home against SEMO, go to Purdue, and then we start conference.”
Moccia estimated to buy a game against an FCS opponent, even one close like Murray State or Jacksonville State (Ala.), which could drive to Saluki Stadium, would run $100,000 or more. The Salukis have standing home-and-homes with Eastern Illinois and Southeast Missouri State, and could, possibly do another one if they found a suitable opponent for that kind of trade.
SIU is also still looking for a Football Bowl Subdivision opponent for the 2016 season and beyond. The Salukis are scheduled to go to Purdue in 2014 and Indiana in 2015. Even though the Big 10 Conference came out in the last year or so and said it did not want to play FCS teams, Moccia believes those two games will take place.
SIU’s Missouri Valley Football Conference schedule will shift a bit in 2014 and 2015, as the league enters its first rotation under the new 10-team league. Not all 10 teams play each other in the Valley after South Dakota joined in 2012. Teams rotate every two years, losing one opponent and gaining another. The Salukis will rotate between Youngstown State, South Dakota, South Dakota State and North Dakota State.
SIU will lose those pesky Jackrabbits of SDSU in 2014 and 2015. SDSU, you could make an argument, cost the Salukis a playoff berth in each of the last two seasons. SIU will now play South Dakota beginning in 2014 at home and at the DakotaDome in Vermillion, S.D. in 2015.