2019 FCS vs. FBS: Big Sky
By CRAIG HALEY
(STATS) - There's no doubt the Big Sky is embracing the larger 12-game regular season this year. Every program is playing an FBS opponent and there's 19 matchups overall - the most in conference history.
The largest FCS conference often plays a part in the wins over the upper half of Division I. Last year, UC Davis (San Jose State) and Northern Arizona (UTEP) posted two of the seven victories.
As FCS programs seek to make their mark again this year, here's a look at the games involving Big Sky teams:
The Matchups (19) - Cal Poly: Oregon State (Sept. 14); Eastern Washington: Washington (Aug. 31); Idaho: Penn State (Aug. 31) and Wyoming (Sept. 14); Idaho State: Utah (Sept. 14) and BYU (Nov. 16); Montana: Oregon (Sept. 14); Montana State: Texas Tech (Aug. 31); Northern Arizona: Arizona (Sept. 7); Northern Colorado: San Jose State (Aug. 29) and Washington State (Sept. 7); Portland State: Arkansas (Aug. 31) and Boise State (Sept. 14); Sacramento State: Arizona State (Sept. 6) and Fresno State (Sept. 21); Southern Utah: UNLV (Aug. 31); UC Davis: California (Aug. 31); Weber State: San Diego State (Aug. 31) and Nevada (Sept. 14)
Glamour Game - Eastern Washington at Washington (Aug. 31): The only two previous meetings were close. Eastern Washington was the defending FCS champion in 2011 when it lost its season opener to the Huskies 30-27. The Eagles were No. 1-ranked in 2014 when it held a lead through three quarters before falling 59-52. Third-year coach Aaron Best was an assistant on both squads and led the Eagles to a national runner-up finish last season.
Upset Alert - Northern Colorado at San Jose State (Aug. 29) and Southern Utah at UNLV (Aug. 31): Struggling Mountain West teams are always at risk for #FearTheFCS losses. San Jose State, which lost to UC Davis last season, must handle Northern Colorado quarterback Jacob Knipp in the visitors' earliest opener in program history. Southern Utah seeks a similar result to its 41-16 win at UNLV in their most recent meeting in 2011.
Notable - Sacramento State, under first-year coach Troy Taylor, will play two FBS opponents (Arizona State and Fresno State) for the first time since 2013. Ironically, Fresno State beat Arizona State in the 2018 Las Vegas Bowl. … New Northern Arizona coach Chris Ball leads the Lumberjacks to Arizona in their second game. They're 1-14 all-time against the Wildcats, winning in 1932. … Oregon has a 7-0-1 series lead against Montana, winning the most recent game in 2005. … Portland State will venture into SEC country for the first time to face an Arkansas squad that was only 2-10 last season. The Vikings also take a 1-6 series record into its first matchup with Boise State since 2005. … Utah has won two previous meetings with Idaho State and both games - yes, both - occurred in 1944. The Bengals later take an 0-5 series mark to BYU. … UC Davis will face Cal for the first time since 2010, with more matchups scheduled for 2022 and '24. Cal has a 9-0 series lead. … Montana State and Texas Tech met once previously in 1938. … Idaho, embarking on a second Big Sky season since making its return, has two FBS games scheduled through 2022. … Cal Poly will take on Oregon State for the first time. The Mustangs' most recent FBS win was against Wyoming in 2012. … Weber State figures to handle its FBS games better than the last time it faced two in one season. In 2013, back-to-back losses to Utah (70-7) and Utah State (70-6) were the third- and second-worst in program history.
Updated May 6, 2019