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Looking at Week Four and Beyond of FCS versus FBS in 2016

FCS versus FBS slows down after the first three weeks, but there's still some interesting match-ups.

Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

Here we are, at the end of the FCS versus FBS in 2016 series. The games get fewer and fewer the later on in the season we go, but they're out there nonetheless. Week Six is the only week with no such games.

And this time, I might remember who the Conference USA Champion is.

Here's the tiers for everyone's viewing pleasure.

  • 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 4 – Saturday, September 24th

Western Illinois at Northern Illinois - The Leathernecks made the FCS Playoff last year, but Northern Illinois remains one of the toughest teams in the MAC. Tier 3

Delaware State at Missouri - The Hornets went 1-10 last season, defeating Howard in the final game. Mizzou might be down, but this would be a huge low if they lost this one. Tier 4

Missouri State at Kansas State - Last season, the Bears didn't get a single D1 victory and lost to Arkansas State 70-7. Kansas State has the Wizard. Tier 5

Central Arkansas at Arkansas State - The Bears only lost by 24 at OK State last season and have a monstrosity of a field. The Red Wolves are defending Sun Belt Champs, but this won't be as easy at Missouri State. Tier 4

Nicholls State at South Alabama - The Colonels face Georgia earlier in the season in a ridiculous game. This one isn't as bad, but Nicholls State lost both their FBS game last season by a combined score of 95-0 to teams that went a combined 6-20. Tier 5

Wagner at Boston College - The Seahawks go into this game after hosting Saint Anslem and Concordia, neither D1. This could end up being like Wagner's 7-3 near-hit at FAU in 2012, but I doubt it. Tier 4

Week 5 – Saturday October 1st

Alcorn State at Arkansas - The defending SWAC Champions look decent on paper, but did lose 69-6 to Georgia Tech last season. Tier 5

Incarnate Word at Texas State - UIW, which played their first season in D2 in 2009, had a 27-17 loss at UTEP last season, but there should be plenty parties in the end zone for the home team. Tier 4

Houston Baptist at Western Kentucky - Speaking of new D1 football teams from Texas, the Huskies are in their fourth year of football and this is their first ever FBS opponent. Have fun against the real defending Conference USA Champions. Tier 5

Week 7 – Saturday, October 15th

Lafayette at Army West Point - With Lafayette College and several other Patriot League schools offering football scholarships starting in 2015, that made those schools counters for FBS opponents. Such, this is the Leopards' first FBS opponent since they last played Army in 1997. The Black Knights did lose to another Patriot League team in 2015, 37-35 to Fordham and only beat Bucknell 21-14, not to mention a 2014 loss at the 100th anniversary of the Yale Bowl 49-43 in OT. The Leopards only went 1-10 last season though, so one would think Army should win this. Tier 3

Week 8 – Saturday, October 22nd

Tennessee State at Vanderbilt - This is the Tigers' first FBS game since 2010 versus Air Force. The Dores shouldn't overlook anyone, but it's hard to see TSU staying in this. Tier 4

UT-Martin at Georgia State - The Skyhawks will live up to their name in 2016 with three FBS games at Cincy, at Hawai'i and finally, at Georgia State. UTM did have a solid 2015 going 7-4, but were blown out in their two SEC games. However, until we see otherwise, any FCS game with Georgia State is on upset alert. Tier 2

Prairie View A&M at Rice - At least it's an in-state game. The Panthers went 8-2 last season, but did get blown out 63-24 by a bad Texas State team. Tier 4

Week 9 – Saturday, October 29th

Wagner at UMass - Second time we see the Seahawks. This time, they face the newly-independent Minutemen in Amherst. UMass should win, but with the unknown of an indy schedule, it's not a slam dunk. Tier 3

Samford at Mississippi State - Battle of the Bulldogs. Samford is a decent FCS team, but Clanga is for real. Tier 4

Week 10 – Saturday, November 5th

Houston Baptist at UTEP - This would be the second FBA game every for the Huskies. This one could be winnable if HBU is actually decent. Tier 2

Tennessee Tech at Tennessee - The Golden Eagles went 4-7 last season. The Vols could win the SEC East. Tier 5

Week 11 – Saturday, November 12th

Southern Utah at BYU - Again, FBS independence creates weird scheduling quirks. The Thunderbirds, defending Big Sky Champs, will play both sides of the Holy War in 2016 after battling the Utes in the first week. This could be interesting with the in-state dynamic. Tier 2

Week 12 – Saturday, November 19th

The Citadel at North Carolina - Remember when El Citadel knocked off South Carolina in this same weekend last season? The Tar Heels should be better than those Gamecocks. Tier 3

Chattanooga at Alabama - The shameful SEC tradition of playing FCS teams before rivalry week returns. These two teams have played in this spot in 2009 and 2013 and UTC didn't score a point in either game. One day Bama will lose this game and it will be amazing. But as Aragon once said, it is not this day. Tier 5

Presbyterian at Florida - The Blue Hose went 2-9 last season. I guess FAU was too much trouble the week before the Seminoles last season? Tier 5

Austin Peay at Kentucky - The Governors went 0-11 last season. AP's only hope is that Kentucky plays a basketball game at the same time and the football team attends. Tier 5

Western Carolina at South Carolina - By the time this game is played, the Catamounts will have played 12 FBS opponents in the last five seasons. They're gonna knock someone off one day as they're getting better. Plus, the whole El Citadel thing from last year happened to the Gamecocks. Not to mention Will Muschamp did lose to then-FCS Georgia Southern while at Florida. Tier 2