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Southern Illinois at Purdue: History is on the Boilers' Side

The Big Ten has long been dominant against the FCS, as expected.

Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports

The new College Football FCS poll was released this afternoon and Southern Illinois, our opponent on Saturday, comes in ranked 16th at 3-0. The Salukis are averaging over 43 points per game and they have beaten a Big Ten team before, knocking off Indiana in 2006. That IU team finished 5-7, missing a bowl because of their FCS loss, so it carried an even larger cost in the end.

No Power five conference team should ever lose to an FCS team. Period. FBS teams have 22 more scholarships and the sheer budgetary, training, recruiting, and home field (as it is EXTREMELY rare for an FBS team to play at an FCS team) are huge advantages.

Fortunately, the Big Ten has often been as dominant as expected against the lower division.

Big Ten Team W L T Last Loss
Illinois 14 0 0
Indiana 11 1 0 2006 Southern Illinois 35-28
Iowa 12 0 0
Maryland 14 0 0
Michigan 2 1 0 2007 Appalachian State 34-32
Michigan State 5 0 0
Minnesota 15 3 0 2011 North Dakota State 37-24
Nebraska 11 0 0
Northwestern 9 2 0 2006 New Hampshire 34-17
Ohio State 3 0 0
Penn State 7 1 0 1983 Cincinnati 14-3
Purdue 9 0 0
Rutgers 32 3 0 2004 New Hampshire 35-24
Wisconsin 12 0 0
TOTALS 156 11 0

That's an impressive record, with Rutgers and Minnesota causing most of the damage. Some other notes:

  • The Cincinnati win over Penn State was a technicality, as the Bearcats were only briefly classified at the FCS level for one season.
  • Rutgers, who is tied with Minnesota on three losses, lost to New Hampshire as mentioned above, Villanova in 2002, and Cincinnati during that same 1983 season. They played a lot more games against the FCS than everyone else because of their traditional rivalries in the Northeast and they were Independent for a long time.
  • At one point Minnesota dropped 3 of 5 to FCS schools, losing to NDSU in 2007 AND 2011 along with South Dakota in 2010.
  • Michigan in 2007 is the only team to recover from an FCS loss and reach a bowl game depending on how you view Penn State's loss to Cincy.
  • Michigan's win over Appy State this season is not included as they have since moved up to the FBS level.
  • Notre Dame, UCLA, and USC are the only FBS schools to have never played an FCS team.
  • Already this season Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Rutgers, and Wisconsin have played and beaten an FCS team, thus adding to this list, though those results are reflected here. the closest victory was Iowa over Northern Iowa.
  • Last season there were 7 FCS over FBS upsets, the biggest being Eastern Washington over No. 25 Oregon State and North Dakota State over defending Big 12 champ Kansas State.
  • North Dakota State has beaten an FBS team in five straight seasons. Do not schedule North Dakota State.
  • There have already been five FCS over FBS upsets this season.
  • If you consider results only when teams were official members of the Big Ten there have only been seven losses: all three by Minnesota, both by Northwestern, and one each for Indiana and Michigan.