A Canadian school founded in 1663, a Division II school, and a California Community College join seven FCS schools who we project would win about half their games against FBS teams.
10. College of San Mateo: Juniors good enough to play for national contenders were likely good enough as sophomores to beat some FBS schools. The top JUCO school hails from the California Community College ranks. Last year their backs ran behind a line that included Dominick Jackson (Saturday played fullback and tackle for Alabama against Florida) and Haniteli Lousi (now playing on the O-Line for Oregon). Does anyone doubt they could have led the College of San Mateo to some wins against FBS schools or that Cam Newton could have done the same for Blinn College just one year before he dominated college football as a junior? The freshman and sophomores would lose most of their games against FBS opponents, but we project they would beat some to be the 79th-best FBS school if given the chance.
9. Universite Laval: We would love the Syracuse football team to head up 81 North into Canada and to the beautiful and historic Universite Laval to challenge their Canadian record 21-game winning streak. Yes, they would have to play the first half 12-on-12 on the bigger Canadian field and speak in French, and switch to American rules for the second half to be fair. But don’t laugh off Canadian football – you could put together an entire NFL defensive line out of former Canadian college players with defensive ends Vaughn Martin and Israel Idonije and defensive tackles Stefan Charles and Corey Greenwood.
8. Youngstown St looked solid in a 17-28 loss at Illinois, and we projected they would win about 46% of their games against an FBS schedule. Jim Tressel is back at the school as president after his tenure as Ohio State head coach and then working with the Indianapolis Colts.
7. NW Missouri is the one Division II school in our Top 10 of non-FBS schools. Unfortunately, they will not have a chance to prove themselves against any FBS teams since the NCAA has discouraged any FBS vs. DII games. However, they already won big at Missouri Southern, which has produced two of 66 NFL players (T Allen Barbre and DT Brandon Williams) from the DII ranks.
6. Northern Iowa has come very close to upsetting two FBS schools with narrow losses at Iowa (23-31) and Hawaii (24-27). Youngstown State and the Top 6 teams on this list are all FCS teams.
5. Eastern Washington has dominated on the red “Roos Field” and put up 52 points against Washington in a 59-52 loss.
4. McNeese State narrowly missed an upset at Nebraska 31-24.
3. Missouri State did not embarrass themselves against Oklahoma State (40-23), which we have as a Top 10 team.
2. Villanova recently chose to stay at the FCS-level and stay in the Big East for basketball. They almost started the season with an upset of an old Big East foe who went to the ACC with a double overtime 26-27 loss at Syracuse.
1. North Dakota State (pictured celebrating another FCS championship) would rank as the 24th-best team in the FBS in our ratings. While the 10th-through-2nd teams on this list would win about half of their games against FBS teams, we project that North Dakota State would win 78% of their games if they played against all FBS teams.
The last five years they have won at Kansas (6-3), Minnesota (37-24), Colorado State (22-7), Kansas State (24-21) and this season spotted Iowa State 14 points before blowing them out 34-14. Iowa State then went into Iowa and beat the Big Ten team. Last season, the Bison received enough votes to rank 29th in the final FBS rankings.
Please follow our team on Twitter for breaking news and thoughts. I can be followed @jpudner, Tony Lee @TheTonyLee and Cole Muzio @ColeMuzio.