Two (potential, not perfect, maybe not even feasible) FCS options for the Huskers on Oct. 27

September 6, 2018

Husker fans take cover as a severe thunderstorm rolls through Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018. The game between Nebraska and Akron was eventually canceled.

Let’s not call this a fully fool-proof exercise, but more of a nonexpert attempt.

After Nebraska athletic director Bill Moos said today that NU could at least look at filling in its Oct. 27 open date with an FCS team to make up for Sept. 1′s cancellation against Akron, we figured we’d do the same.

A cross reference of all FCS teams and the Oct. 27 slate left a preliminary list of nine teams with open dates that match Nebraska’s. Note: The cross-referencer is pretty handy with Microsoft Excel, but let’s leave open the possibility that the list is not absolutely exhaustive.

The problem is that you can’t just have an Oct. 27 bye week and decide Lincoln sounds beautiful that time of year. FCS schools are only allowed to play 11 games for the 2018 schedule. (Sometimes it’s 12, but not this year. That’s a different story.)

All nine of the teams identified in this search have full schedules, meaning none jumps off the page as a bona fide, obvious answer.

Two, though, have at least somewhat interesting scheduling quirks.

The most intriguing school is North Alabama, which has a full schedule but also Oct. 6 and Nov. 3 dates against Division II schools. Nobody likes backing out of an agreement, but, hey, money talks.

Then there is Duquesne, a partial-scholarship FCS program in Pittsburgh, has a full schedule but would theoretically be allowed to play a 12-game slate because it travels to Hawaii. The NCAA allows FBS schools that travel to Hawaii to play 13 games instead of 12 and FCS schools 12 instead of 11.

The question with Duquesne is if the school meets scholarship requirements for the game to count toward bowl eligibility.

Duquesne plays at Hawaii on Sept. 22 and then has both Sept. 29 and Oct. 27 open. Of course, agreeing to play the Huskers would mean giving up a bye week and, likely, playing an ugly game at Memorial Stadium. And it’s a moot point if it doesn’t help NU achieve bowl eligibility.

Moos on Wednesday called the idea of playing Akron on Dec. 1, “the most solid option” and it’s unclear if these are the same FCS schools NU would consider. But that doesn’t mean we can’t at least look around.

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