(Stats Perform) – Maybe you’re ready to reach the end zone. Or perhaps you’ll be punting.
For the fifth straight offseason, we’re testing your knowledge by asking: How well do you know FCS college football?
There are 10 questions plus a diabolical bonus question. The answers follow, so don’t scroll to them before it’s time.
1. How many conferences are in the FCS – 12, 13 or 14?
2. Last season, North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance became the first freshman to receive the Walter Payton Award as the FCS offensive player of the year, adding to his Jerry Rice Award as the national freshmen of the year. Name the only other two players to receive both Stats Perform awards in separate seasons. Take a half point for each correct answer.
3. What FCS program has a 37-game league winning streak entering the 2020 season?
4. The loss of most college pro days this year led to the FCS having only six players selected in the NFL Draft – the all-time low. Since the draft dropped below 12 rounds beginning in 1993, what is the high for FCS draft selections: 29, 30 or 32?
5. Who are the two new FCS programs – both independents – in 2020? Again, each correct answer is worth a half point.
6. Only one program other than North Carolina A&T has won the Celebration Bowl. Who is it?
7. With 61 career field goals, this place-kicker will begin his senior season just 14 shy of the FCS all-time record. Is it James Madison’s Ethan Ratke or Weber State’s Trey Tuttle?
8. This question is a repeat from past quizzes, so it should be easy (yeah, right): In 2020, the FCS will be played at 127 schools across 37 states and the District of Columbia. What is the most common nickname: Bears, Bulldogs or Tigers?
9. Which Big Sky program owns the largest win over an FBS program: Idaho State, Montana State or Portland State?
10. To earn a point, name the FCS all-time leader in at least two of the following statistical categories: passing yards, rushing yards and receiving yards. One player was involved in an earlier question.
Bonus Question: Consider it 4th-and-25, so you may need a miracle. In 1978, Florida A&M defeated Massachusetts in the first FCS (then Division I-AA) championship game? Which conference title did FAMU win that season?
1. There are 13 FCS conferences: Big Sky, Big South, CAA, Ivy, Mid-Eastern Athletic, Missouri Valley, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Patriot, Pioneer, Southern, Southland and Southwestern Athletic.
2. Villanova quarterback John Robertson received the Jerry Rice (2012) and Walter Payton (2014) awards, as did Cooper Kupp in 2013 and 2015, respectively.
3. San Diego enters the 2020 season with a 37-game winning streak against Pioneer Football League opponents. The Toreros are two league wins shy of the FCS record set by Duquesne with 39 straight MAAC wins from 1999-2006.
4. There were 30 FCS selections in both the 1996 and ’97 NFL drafts. The ’96 draft included a first-round pick, North Carolina A&T offensive tackle Jamain Stephens (Pittsburgh Steelers, No. 29 overall), while the first FCS player selected in ’97 was Columbia defensive end Marcellus Wiley (Buffalo Bills, second round, No. 52).
5. Dixie State in Utah and Tarleton in Texas are moving into the FCS from Division II this year.
6. Grambling State, the SWAC champ, beat North Carolina Central, the MEAC champ, in the 2016 Celebration Bowl. North Carolina A&T has won the other four years of the bowl played in Atlanta each December.
7. Weber State’s Trey Tuttle enters the 2020 season with 61 career field goals and within striking distance of FCS record-holder Dan Carpenter, who kicked 75 at Montana from 2004-07. Ratke isn’t far behind Tuttle with 58 field goals entering his senior season.
8. An FCS-high nine schools share the Bulldogs nickname – Alabama A&M, Bryant, Butler, Drake, Gardner-Webb (Runnin’ Bulldogs), Samford, South Carolina State, The Citadel and Yale.
9. Portland State beat North Texas 66-7 in 2015 for the largest win by an FCS program over an FBS program.
10. To earn this point, you must be correct with at least two of these three FCS all-time leaders: passing yards (Samford’s Devlin Hodges, 14,584 from 2015-18), rushing yards (Georgia Southern’s Adrian Peterson, 6,559 from 1998-2001) and receiving yards (Eastern Washington’s Cooper Kupp, 6,464 from 20013-16).
Bonus Question: Florida A&M won the first FCS championship game in 1978 after capturing the Division II Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Wait, huh? The university had successfully petitioned the NCAA for classification, and while it took effect on Sept. 1, the Rattlers played a final season as a SIAC member before being made the at-large selection in the four-team FCS playoffs.
STARTER, BACKUP OR KEEP TRAINING
So how did you do?
The questions were a little harder than past offseasons. With six or more correct answers, consider yourself a starting player. Five right and you are on the two-deep. Less than five, well, keep following the FCS.