Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Elsewhere In The FCS

The NCAA Division I Council is expected to vote this week on whether to allow FCS teams to schedule a 12th game each year. (Depending on how the calendar falls, teams are already allowed in some years to play a 12th game according to current rules.) STATS has the story HERE.

Should the measure pass, it could be a good news/bad news situation for the Ivy League, which is limited to 10 games.

On the good news side, FCS teams playing 12 games will be looking to schedule another nonconference game. For the Ivies, who have had increasing difficulty scheduling outside of the league, that could open up more possibilities, although some FCS schools would probably be looking at adding a "money" game against FBS schools instead.

On the bad news side, 12 games a year would mean over the course of their careers other FCS players could play eight more regular-season games than Ivy players. For potential recruits who love the game of football and those hoping to attract NFL interest that – like the opportunities to play against FBS schools and to go to the playoffs – could be a strong incentive to take a scholarship and forgo the Ivy League.

FBS teams are already allowed to play 12 games.
The NCAA has released its football attendance numbers from the fall and they aren't good for the Ivy League. The average attendance at Ancient Eight games plummeted by 1,261, by far the biggest decrease in the country. It's almost double the drop of any other FCS conference.

Overall, the Ivy League was ninth of 12 FCS conferences with an average of 7,604 fans per game. The Patriot League was 11th at 5,694 (an increase of 119 last year).

The Southwestern Athletic Conference led the way with 14,132 per game while the Northeast Conference was at the bottom with 2,392, a drop of 270 per game from the year before.

The Pioneer Football League, the only non-scholarship DI conference other than the Ivy League, was next-to-last with 3,304 per game.

2016 Ivy League home attendance
Harvard 14,742
Princeton 8,990
Yale 8,795
Cornell 7, 445
Dartmouth 5,638
Penn 5,590
Columbia 5,212
Brown 4,419

Dartmouth's 2017 opponents
Holy Cross 7,211
Stetson 3,438
Sacred Heart 2,375