FCS vs FBS – Just the facts
There has been a lot of talk in 2011 about FCS and FBS games. One would believe that these are cupcake rollover with 100% winning rates and that these games are being played with increased frequency. If you assumed that last sentence to be correct you are mistaken.
Please let me take a few minutes to set the number straight and to the point. As games have been added to the schedules (11 to now 12 or 13 games per season), it is only natural to have more games between the two divisions. The current system really drives it as winning is the most important aspect in the system. One can complain about these types of games, but what is worse, a national power scheduling one or two cupcakes or a top 10 team being ranked there by beating 9 to 12 sub top 50 teams?
You can see in the chart below that in 2003 there were more of these games played than in 2010 (blue line). 2009 was the peak, but look through the totals and at the PERCENTAGE OF TOTAL GAMES PLAYED. That is the green line, and while it is slightly trending up, it is clearly not at a significant nor alarming rate.
These are all locks right? Pencil in a win every time? No, not every time and certainly not for elite teams, The winning ratio of these games (purple) has been as high as 14% and as low as 2%. It is not a 99% sure thing. In this time period it has actually been a 91.4% sure thing. So, if you are betting on these games for fun, be sure you get odds of better than 9 to 1 and stay away from Idaho and Middle Tennessee which ruined their seasons before the first Saturday of the college football season.