View Full Version : Playing FBS schools

09-11-2007, 05:57 AM

Youngstown has had its share of Division I football upsets
Penguins have beaten top-tier opponents 19 times

By Terry Vandrovec
tvandrovec@argusleader.com (tvandrovec@argusleader.com)
Published: September 11, 2007

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - Although it has never beaten, say, Michigan, four-time national champion Youngstown State wrote the book on Football Championship Subdivision teams getting the best of the Football Bowl Subdivision.

Even after losing five in a row, the latest a 38-6 setback at Ohio State last week, the Penguins are 19-21-1 against FBS teams since moving to the NCAA Division I level in 1981. That's the most wins by an FCS school, though coach Jon Heacock noted that all but two of those victories - both against Cincinnati in the early 1980s - came against members of the middling Mid-American Conference.

So what kind of advice might Youngstown State impart on future Gateway Football Conference brethren South Dakota State, now less than one year away from its inaugural FBS game at Iowa State?
"We're always going to try to win," said Heacock, whose team is limited to the FCS max of 63 scholarships, 22 lower than FBS clubs. "I don't downplay it, I don't overplay it. When you play at our level, we're playing to get into the playoffs."

A rash of recent upsets aside, FBS programs generally schedule FCS opponents as a way to gain an easy home game and the revenues that go with it. Ohio State paid the Penguins a guarantee of $650,000 - and will again next year - and drew 105,038 fans.
Having played at Pittsburgh, Penn State and Ohio State the past three years, Youngstown State isn't as awed as it once was by the hoopla of major-college football, but it isn't impervious to the atmosphere, either.

''There were a lot of 'Ahhhs' and 'Wows' at first,'' Penguins linebacker Jeremiah Wright told the Tribune-Chronicle newspaper of Warren, Ohio. ''We just had to bring the team down and told them, 'They're men, just like you. Just go out, hit them and play hard.'"

The difference between teams in the MAC and the Gateway is minimal, Heacock said, while the difference between FCS and the BCS is numerical. Youngstown State used 44 players against Ohio State; the Buckeyes used closer to 60 and many were top-100 recruits.
As for the final margin, Heacock called it "humbling," but it wasn't embarrassing, and the only major injury in the game was a broken leg suffered by an Ohio State defensive lineman. . . . (read more)

Go State! :)