Nam Y. Huh
September 27, 2016

(STATS) - As the college football season moves into the conference schedules of October this weekend, the FCS departs September with 10 wins over FBS programs.

It's not as many as the record 16 in 2013, but reaching double figures is significant. It's one more win than last season and there are some more matchups ahead.

But while most of the FCS-over-FBS wins are considered upsets, are they really surprising?

This season, there's been the perfect storm of quality FCS teams facing struggling FBS teams. Nine of the 10 FCS teams to beat FBS opponents are nationally ranked, and the exception, Central Arkansas, is 3-1 and in the 33rd spot. Only Iowa has a winning record out of the FBS 10, which are a combined 9-29.

Here's a ranking of the least surprising win to the most surprising:

10. Northern Iowa 25, Iowa State 20 (Sept. 3) - It's not like the Panthers were in foreign territory. They were making their fifth trip to Ames this decade, and they won there in 2013 and lost by a point in 2011.

9. Richmond 37, Virginia 20 (Sept. 3) - Considering their previous game was at the Fargodome and most of that starting lineup was back, the question was more, "How much are the Spiders going to win by?"

8. Western Illinois 28, Northern Illinois 23 (Sept. 24) - This was Western Illinois' seventh all-time win over both an FBS and Mid-American Conference program, and five are against NIU.

7. Eastern Illinois 21, Miami of Ohio 17 (Sept. 10) - There was some surprise because EIU third-year coach Kim Dameron had yet to beat a team outside the Ohio Valley Conference. But this was Miami of Ohio - a doormat in the MAC. Thank you, Cinderella, for wiping off the slippers.

6. Central Arkansas 28, Arkansas State 23 (Sept. 24) - After holding their own against Colorado, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State the last three years, the Bears were not too fazed by playing a winless Sun Belt team.

5. North Dakota State 23, Iowa 21 (Sept. 17) - Sorry, but not buying this was a shocker, even with Iowa entering at No. 13. The Bison had beaten five straight FBS opponents and won the last five FCS national titles. They didn't go to Iowa City to lose.

4. Eastern Washington 45, Washington State 42 (Sept. 3) - The high-flying Eagles had a quarterback (Gage Gubrud) starting for the first time behind an entirely new offensive line, and against the 2015 Sun Bowl champs. Oh, yes, they also had the best player on the field in wide receiver Cooper Kupp.

3. North Carolina A&T 39, Kent State 36, 4 OTs (Sept. 10) - A&T had lost to its three prior FBS opponents by an average of 39.7 points. If you knew beforehand the Aggies would need to go four overtimes with a third-string quarterback running the offense, even realizing they have a veteran roster wouldn't have swayed you into thinking upset.

2. Illinois State 9, Northwestern 7 (Sept. 10) - After Illinois State lost its two former FBS-level talents in the backfield - quarterback Tre Roberson and running back Marshaun Coprich - this didn't seem to be the year to beat a Big Ten opponent. It sure helped to have a defense that limited Northwestern to 277 yards.

1. Albany 22, Buffalo 16 (Sept. 2) - With Buffalo pounding Albany 51-14 last year in the Great Danes' first-ever game against an FBS opponent, it was hard to see this one coming. The Danes were a mere 3-8 a year ago. Then again, Buffalo coach Lance Leipold's old teams at Division III Wisconsin-Whitewater could probably beat the Bulls as well.

You May Like