BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The SEC has no immediate plans to follow the Big Ten’s lead and prevent its football programs from scheduling FCS teams in the future.
SEC commissioner Greg Sankey told reporters at the Associated Press Sports Editors’ southeast regional meeting Monday the conference has “not had a hard and fast discussion about eliminating those opportunities,” but talks could be on the horizon.
“It’s a conversation piece, but we have not eliminated those,” Sankey said. “Our schedule is set up across the season, rather than toward the end, so each conference is allowed to have its scheduling philosophy. Sometimes you have to fit pieces in where there are openings to play games. There’s relatively speaking a limited number of those FCS games. Some of those are quite challenging opponents, relatively speaking.”
SEC programs scheduled the third-highest percentage of FCS teams (23.2 percent) among the Power 5 conferences in 2015, according to CBSSports.com.
The Big Ten eliminated FCS opponents from the schedule, starting in 2016. Three of the Power 5 conferences play nine conference games in a season, while the SEC plays eight in-conference opponents. The SEC requires its schools to schedule at least one non-conference game against a team from a Power 5 conference each season.