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Coming Soon: FCS Spring Football

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Need a college football fix? It’s not Alabama. It’s not the SEC. It’s not Power-5 or even FBS. But it’s college football.

2020 NCAA Division I Football Championship
The North Dakota State Bison beat the James Madison Dukes in the FCS Football Championship on January 11, 2020, a year ago to the day that Alabama beat Ohio State this year.
Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

It has been three weeks since the final whistle blew in Miami and the Crimson Tide once again hoisted the National Championship Trophy. Hopefully, FBS spring camps will begin in March or April leading up to the spring games that give us a preview on the next season. Until that time, there is a fix for your college football needs. Although a few FCS teams had fall games, it appears that most FCS Conferences will follow through on their spring football promise with a large chunk of teams participating.

For compete details, NCAA.com has laid out how the 2020-21 FCS football season will work. A website called herosports.com has some excellent coverage as well.

WHEN?

The first game is Saturday, February 13, McNeese at Tarleton 6pm CT/ 7pm ET.

Powerhouses South Dakota State and Northern Iowa face off on Friday, Feb 19, followed by ten games the next day.

HOW TO WATCH

The only mystery is what networks will be airing the games. ESPN will surely pick up some games on one or more of their networks. However, the airwaves will be jammed with coverage of NBA, NHL, MLS, NASCAR, PGA, the beginning of MLB, and of course March Madness. ESPNU seems like a likely source. ESPN3 will likely carry some games. Your local Fox networks (i.e. Fox Sports South, Fox Sports Southeast, The CW) may be the best bets, though no announcements have been made as of yet.

WHO IS PLAYING?

Big Sky
Eastern Washington, Portland State, Northern Colorado, Idaho, Weber State, Idaho State, Montana, Northern Arizona, Montana State, UC Davis, Southern Utah, Cal Poly

The Big Sky will play six conference games over an eight-week period beginning Feb. 27 and ending April 10. Twelve of the 13 teams will participate with Sacramento State opting out. Teams will not be permitted to play non-conference games in the spring.

The schedule maintains key rivalry matchups and bus trips to help reduce travel while each team faces at least three opponents from its original Fall 2020 schedule.

Big South
Charleston Southern, Gardner-Webb, Kennesaw State, Monmouth and Robert Morris

The Big South spring schedule will feature five teams playing a four-game conference slate. Teams can play up to four non-conference games in the spring.

Teams opting out are Campbell, North Alabama and Hampton.

CAA
Elon, James Madison, Richmond, William & Mary, UAlbany, Delaware, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Stony Brook and Villanova.

The CAA will play a six-game conference schedule with the option for schools to add up to two non-conference games. Conference play begins March 6 and ends April 17.

The North Division will include seven teams. There will be four teams in the South Division. Teams in the North will face each other once (three home, three away), while teams in the South will meet twice, with each team getting a home and an away game. Towson announced on October 19 that it would not compete during the 2021 Spring season.

Ivy League

The Ivy League will not have a spring football season.

MEAC
Delaware State, Howard, Morgan State, Norfolk State, Bethune-Cookman, Florida A&M, North Carolina A&T, North Carolina Central, South Carolina State

Teams will play six regional conference games starting Feb. 27, with teams split into divisions. The first-ever MEAC championship game will be held the weekend of April 16-18.

MVFC
North Dakota State, Southern Illinois, Illinois State, Missouri State, North Dakota, Northern Iowa, South Dakota, South Dakota State, Western Illinois, Youngstown State

The Valley will play an eight-game conference-only schedule over a nine-week period beginning Feb. 19.

The scheduling model follows a “Southern Start” with early-season games played either at domes or at institutions in the southern-most part of the league footprint. The first few weeks has games on a Thursday, a Sunday and on Fridays and Saturdays to accommodate domes. The final six weeks has every game on Saturdays.

NEC
Bryant, Duquesne, LIU, Merrimack, Sacred Heart, Saint Francis (PA)

The NEC plans to play a four-game conference schedule starting on March 5-7.

Central Connecticut State University has bowed out.

OVC
Austin Peay, Tennessee Tech, Eastern Illinois, UT Martin, Jacksonville State, Tennessee State, Murray State, Southeast Missouri

The OVC will begin conference play on Sunday, Feb. 21. The spring schedule will feature eight teams playing seven league games over an eight-week period. Games will be played on Sundays with the exception of Easter weekend when the games will be played that Saturday.

Teams can play one non-conference game which would take place on the weekend of February 13-14.

Patriot
Bucknell, Colgate, Fordham, Holy Cross, Lafayette, Lehigh

Games set to begin on Saturday, March 13.

Georgetown will not play this spring.

Pioneer
Morehead State, Butler, Stetson, Davidson, Valparaiso, Dayton, Marist, Drake, San Diego, Presbyterian

The Pioneer Football will play a six-game conference season starting March 13. Individual members may schedule non-conference games prior to the league’s March 13-April 17 window.

The PFL’s six-week schedule will see each of its 10 members – including Presbyterian, who joins the PFL for the spring 2021 schedule – play three home and three away contests.

SoCon
The Citadel, East Tennessee State, Furman, Samford, VMI, Wofford, Chattanooga, Mercer, Western Carolina. The Citadel played four games this past fall, Western Carolina three, Mercer three, and Chattanooga one – all resulting in defeats.

The SoCon’s nine teams will complete a full conference schedule over nine weeks, beginning Feb. 20 and ending April 17.

Southland
Lamar, McNeese, Nicholls, Northwestern State, Sam Houston, Southeastern La., UIW only. Stephen F. Austin (10 games played in fall), Central Arkansas (9 games played), Houston Baptist (4 games played), Abilene Christian (6 games played) are not participating.

Southland play begins Feb. 20 and ends April 10 with six league games for its participating seven members – UIW, Lamar, McNeese, Nicholls, Northwestern State, Sam Houston State and Southeastern Louisiana.

Southland programs have the opportunity to schedule two non-conference games.

Abilene Christian, Central Arkansas, Houston Baptist and Stephen F. Austin chose to play last fall (ED.NOTE: as God intended) and not in the spring.

SWAC
Alcorn State, Alabama A&M, Southern, Alabama State, Mississippi Valley State, Jackson State, Texas Southern, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Prairie View A&M, Grambling State

The SWAC begins conference play the weekend of Feb. 27. Each team will play six conference games, four against division opponents and two against non-division opponents.

The schedule includes one non-conference open date for each team.

Poll

Will you watch?

This poll is closed

  • 14%
    No interest.
    (92 votes)
  • 39%
    I may peek in from time to time.
    (250 votes)
  • 22%
    I’d probably watch a game or two per week.
    (140 votes)
  • 23%
    I’m watching a lot!
    (144 votes)
626 votes total Vote Now