Football teams that compete on the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) level are supposed to be the cream of the crop. That reputation absorbed a hit this past weekend.
Six FBS schools suffered losses to programs from the Fooball Championship Subdivision (FCS) level. Towson's 33-18 defeat of Connecticut Thursday night got the ball rolling for the FCS.
To be fair, the majority of the FBS teams that played against FCS opponents this past weekend exerted their might. Still, Tigers coach Rob Ambrose agreed with the notion that the talent gap between FBS and FCS schools has been narrowing since FBS programs were limited to distributing 85 scholarships.
"While we're stuck at 63 scholarships and that's clearly a disadvantage, there's a lot of great players out there in the country as long as you spend the time, money and effort to find them," Ambrose said during a conference call Monday morning organized by the Colonial Athletic Association. "When you look at the guys who did well this week, when you take the top tier of [the FCS schools], for one game, we should be able to compete pretty solidly against almost anybody in the country. Where we lose the battle is when there are injuries. If we had to play that schedule against 85 scholarships week after week, the battle of attrition [becomes a factor]. At our level, a good senior who gets hurt is backed up by a freshman or a sophomore. When you've got 85 scholarships and that senior gets hurt, he's backed up by a senior or junior, and we would all lose in the battle of attrition. But in one game, we should make a run because we all have good football players."
Ambrose conceded that FCS teams would lose some tactical advantage if they scheduled tilts against FBS teams later in the season.
"Hopefully, you manage everything very well and you come out of [preseason] camp so that you can have a chance to compete for these games," he said. "But I know I wouldn't want to play an FBS team in November knowing that they're fighting for bowl spots and we're playing for playoff spots. I'm glad we get to do it in the early part of the season."