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Looking at Week Two and Three of FCS versus FBS in 2016

Some of the FCS heavyweights have real good chances against their FBS opponents in the second and third weeks of the season.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday we started a look at the FCS versus FBS match-ups in 2016 with the 46 such contests of Week One. Despite the obviousness of the WEEK ONE label, someone was less than that I didn't cover the WEEK THREE North Dakota State at Iowa game.

Delete your account Dustin Moore.

Today, we will cover the 28 FCS versus FBS games of Week Two and the 12 that are in Week Three. The next installment will cover the last 24 such games for the rest of the season.

Here's the match-up tiers of upset possibility.

  • Tier 1 - Very Possible
  • Tier 2 - Eyebrow Raiser
  • Tier 3 - If The Ball Bounces Right
  • Tier 4 - Doubtful But Possible
  • Tier 5 - Good Grief

Week 2 – Saturday, September 10th

Charleston Southern at Florida State - The Bucs are one of the top teams in FCS, but Florida State doesn't lose these games. Tier 4

Mercer at Georgia Tech - All depends on which version of the Rambling Wreck shows up. When that option offense is rolling, it's hard to stop. Tier 3

North Dakota at Bowling Green - The Fighting Hawks (that's North Dakota FYI) upset Wyoming last season and the MAC Champs are recovering from losing Dino Babers to Syracuse. Tier 3

Elon at Charlotte - The Phoenix went 4-7 while the 49ers struggled in their first FBS season. Charlotte should have the offense to win this handily. Tier 3

South Carolina State at Louisiana Tech - Two straight FBS opponents to start 2016 for SCSU. That and a rising LaTech sqaud makes this a tough slog. Tier 5

Morgan State at Marshall - In no way do I see a mediocre MEAC team beating one of the top teams in CUSA. Tier 5

Bethune-Cookman at North Texas - North Texas was humiliated by FCS Portland State 66-7 last season. BCU finished in a five-way tie for the MEAC Title last season. Tier 1

Savannah State at Southern Miss - Savannah State is one of the worst FCS programs. It doesn't matter who the FBS team is. Tier 5

Stony Brook at Temple - The Seawolves' FBS game in 2015 versus Toledo can cancelled due to weather. I don't see their undefeated streak versus FBS continuing. Tier 4

Lamar at Houston - Lamar did put 31 on Baylor last season, but gave up 66. Houston will be coming off playing Oklahoma to their home opener. Tier 4

Southern at Tulane - Remember my comments last week about SWAC teams? That applies here. Tier 5

Youngstown State at West Virginia - The Penguins nearly knocked off Pitt last season, now they face the other half of the former Backyard Brawl. The Mountaineers are better than Pitt, but Dana Holgerson is squarely on the hot seat. Tier 3

Howard at Rutgers - From Maryland to Rutgers in the first two weeks, the Bison might as well get some of those B1G Network payouts. Tier 5

Indiana State at Minnesota - For some reason my funny bone is acting up about this game. The Sycamores aren't great, but Minnesota is breaking in a new coach. Tier 2

Illinois State at Northwestern - The Redbirds won the toughest league in FCS last season, the Missouri Valley. This is an in-state match-up and a very dangerous one. Tier 2

McNeese State at Louisiana-Lafayette - Another in-state game. The Cowboys will be ready for this game against a Cajun side that is rebuilding. Tier 2

Nicholls State at Georgia - This game should be declared a violation of the Geneva Convention. Tier 5

Jacksonville State at LSU - The FCS runner-up have a victory over Ole Miss and an OT near-hit at Auburn in recent memory. This will be a popular upset pick, although I'm not as convinced. Tier 3

Wofford at Ole Miss - The Terriers' wishbone is an FBS defensive coordinator's nightmare. Tier 4

Prairie View A&M at Texas A&M - Man's arrogance know no bounds. Tier 5

Idaho State at Colorado - The Bengals lost 80-8 at UNLV last season. Eighty to eight. Tier 5

Sacramento State at Fresno State - The Hornets have been shutout in three of their last four FBS games and went 2-9 in 2015. Fresno State's uncertainty prevents this from the lowest level. Tier 4

UT-Martin at Hawaii - The Skyhawks go from Cincinnati to Honolulu in their first two weeks. Hawai'i will be coming back from games at Sydney and Ann Arbor because they're insane. It'll be the battle of who has less jet lag. Tier 3

Portland State at San Jose State - The Vikings went 2-0 versus FBS last season, beating Wazzu and then a 66-7 destruction of North Texas. The Spartants went to and won the Cure Bowl as a 5-7 tam last season. Tier 2

Eastern Illinois at Miami of Ohio - The Panthers are a decent FCS team. The Redhawks were not good in 2015. Tier 2

Maine at Toledo - The Black Bears play the first week at UConn and might be facing a better team in the second week. Tier 4

North Carolina A&T at Kent State - The Golden Flashes didn't have a good 2015 while the Aggies were part of that five-way MEAC Title. This could be interesting. Tier 3

North Carolina Central at Western Michigan - The Eagles follow their short trip to Duke with a trip to Kalamazoo. Don't expect a good two weeks for NCCU. Tier 4

Week 3 – Saturday, September 17th

Liberty at SMU - The Flames face Virginia Tech in the first week, so it'll be two FBSers in three weeks. SMU lost a shootout to James Madison last season while Liberty has an FBS win in each of the last two seasons. Tier 1

North Carolina A&T at Tulsa - Yep, the Aggies are going back to back with the payday games. The Golden Hurricane will be a better team than the Golden Flashes though. Tier 4

North Dakota State at Iowa - Since moving to Division I in 2004, the Bison are 8-3 versus FBS opponents and two of those losses were by a combined four points. The Hawkeyes went undefeated in the regular season last year and went to the Rose Bowl. ESPN took notice as this'll be an ESPN/2 kickoff at Noon ET. I expect Iowa to win, but to deny NDSU's chances is foolish. Tier 1

Idaho State at Oregon State - If Colorado was the lowest tier for the Bengals in Week One, then Oregon State won't be much better. Tier 5

Portland State at Washington - As mentioned above, PSU went 2-0 versus the FBS in 2015 and have a good chance in Week Two versus SJSU. This one, the chances are slimmer, but still there. Tier 2

Northern Colorado at Colorado State - NoCo's last FBS game was a 13-12 defeat to UNLV in 2014. This in-state game won't be that close. Tier 3

UC Davis at Wyoming - Wyoming lost to North Dakota last season, but so did UC Davis. This won't be as bad as Oregon in Week One, but it won't be great. Tier 4

Eastern Kentucky at Ball State - I put EKU's Week One game at Purdue in the top tier, so it's only fair to do similar versus a 3-9 Ball State team. Tier 1

Monmouth at Kent State - The Golden Flashes deserve great shame to scheduling two FCS opponents in one season, let alone consecutive weeks. As far as I can tell, this is Monmouth's second-ever game against an FBS team after a 31-10 defeat at Central Michigan last season. Tier 4

South Carolina State at Clemson - Three straight FBS money games to open the season for SCSU. At least this one is in state. Tier 5

James Madison at North Carolina - This might as well be called the Everett Withers Classic. Some years, the Dukes would have a bigger chance, plus they beat SMU last season, but the Tar Heels are a team on the rise. Tier 3

Delaware at Wake Forest - The Blue Hens have fallen on hard times after being a top FCS team just a few years ago and amazingly, the same is true for the Deacons. Tier 3