Re: Willing to play certain FCS schools?
My god, do you people seriously not get the question?
I don't want to answer this topic because I'm torn. I have so many opinions because it is such a hypothetical situation. But to show everyone who doesn't understand the question (or refuses to answer it correctly), I will give it my best shot.
Obviously I know that we can beat North Dakota State, and other premier FCS teams. However, depending on the stage of the game (beginning of the season, middle of season between SEC games, or end of season between SEC and Clemson) it could cause a bit of a stir in Columbia.
I mean shit, we could beat the brakes off everyone 100000000-0 every game and when we play Citadel 90% of our fans will act like little girls running around screaming that the big bad wolf is coming to town. I know that's a bit of an exaggeration...but still. I get that the Citadel, Wofford, and other FCS games are considered "trap" games. I completely understand that. But North Dakota State, and other premier FCS teams are way better than the Citadel, Wofford, and South Carolina State. Sorry for all those alumni and ex-players I just insulted by saying that, but in my opinion it's true.
For this instance I will pretend like we're about to play them in the middle of the season randomly between two SEC opponents. If it is late October, or early November and we have to travel up to North Dakota State (Fargo, ND), I would be pretty pissed off. (1) That's a far ass game to travel too. (2) Why the **** are we playing North Dakota State, one hell of a program, in the middle of an already tough SEC schedule? I'd rather play a crappy FBS team. (3) Why would we put ourselves in a situation where we have NOTHING to gain. We win, we beat an FCS team - hooray!?! We lose though, and it's all over ESPN, and other media outlets, and it's hanging over our head for the rest of the season.
I would go in worried - seriously worried. I would go into this game more worried that I would if we were in the playoff or National Championship simply due to the fact that we have nothing to gain from it. I would fear our players would realize this, and as much as we preached (as fans) and the coaches preached "Don't over look them", it's hard not to overlook a group of men that weren't even offered scholarships at podunk FBS schools. I would also fear that we would get off to a slow start, and the high energy of a team like NDS would have when they played a SEC power would drive us into a hole early. In these games I worry more about our offense than defense. I think our defense will forever take care of it's self just form simply being faster and stronger than most FCS teams we will ever play (Furman in 2010 did move the ball with ease on us for a little bit). However...unless NDS (or any premier FCS team) could put us in a HUGE hole due to self-inflicted mental errors, I feel like in the end the speed and strength would turn the game in the favor of us. It may take a little bit for our guys to get their heads in the game, but once they realize that this team isn't a joke, they'd take over and take care of business. The score on the field won't reflect how much better we really were on the field, if you know what I mean.