Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - It is hard enough to get some FCS programs to play risky out-of-conference matchups, so it's really bad when the unbalanced scheduling of bigger conferences prevent key games from happening.
Sure, there are plenty of big games in the 2015 season, but we're not afraid to say we're greedy about wanting more. (FCS conference-by-conference schedule: http://tinyurl.com/bqytgdn)
So greedy that here's a baker's dozen of matchups we wish were happening in 2015 (because one dozen wasn't enough):
North Dakota State vs. Illinois State - Well, we could see this one again in the national playoffs. But for the second consecutive season, last year's co- champs from the best FCS conference - the Missouri Valley - are not facing each other. Their national championship meeting in January was a classic, with NDSU winning, 29-27, for an unprecedented fourth straight FCS title.
Sam Houston State vs. Southeastern Louisiana - They tied for the Southland Conference title a year ago and have played tight matchups in the playoffs in each of the past two seasons. But they're not matched in the conference schedule for a second consecutive regular season.
New Hampshire vs. Villanova - CAA Football has the same problem as the Southland as last year's champion (UNH) and runner-up (Villanova) are not facing each other once again. There's always the playoffs ...
James Madison vs. Liberty - Their rematch of last year's Liberty playoff win was nixed when JMU pulled out of a scheduled meeting for a game against SMU. These two Virginia schools can taste a move to the FBS. Maybe the winner can take on Jacksonville State, which also eyes a move upward.
Chattanooga vs. Northern Iowa - Matchups of Southern and Missouri Valley conference teams occur in the playoffs. What's wrong with matching conference powers in the regular season?
Southeast Missouri State vs. Tennessee State - This selection is based on principle. Tennessee State has a deal with the Ohio Valley Conference in which it often plays one fewer OVC game than the rest of the conference. So another team is forced into that same scenario, and this year it's coach Tom Matukewicz's promising SEMO squad.
Jacksonville vs. San Diego - Both Pioneer Football League teams have let an FCS playoff appearance slip away at the last minute due to ineligibility over the league's financial aid rules - San Diego in 2013 and Jacksonville last season. Instead of a trophy, the winner could be given an extra compliance director.
Eastern Washington vs. Central Arkansas - No complaints with EWU because the Eagles tend to take on anybody and everybody (even their old quarterback this season). So let's send them to UCA to see what a striped field is like.
Montana vs. Youngstown State - It sure would be nice to see these two programs matched for the first time since the 1999 playoffs. Montana has made the most FCS title game appearances (seven) and Youngstown State's four national championships are the most among active FCS programs. Hey, Jim Tressel would be there again.
Montana State vs. Villanova - Quarterback matchups don't get much better than Montana State junior Dakota Prukop against Villanova senior John Robertson, the 2014 Walter Payton Award winner. Kind of mirror images.
Coastal Carolina vs. Sam Houston State - Neither team has been able to get past North Dakota State in recent playoffs, so they should compare notes and then take to the field.
Harvard vs. New Hampshire - Harvard beats Dartmouth and New Hampshire beats Harvard. Let's eliminate the middle men and put Harvard's FCS-best 14-game winning streak on the line in a non-league game that's a little tougher than what the Crimson usually have on their schedule.
Alcorn State vs. Morgan State - MEAC-SWAC matchups aren't frequent, but the new Celebration Bowl will start pairing the champions of the two historically black FCS conferences. Maybe these two defending champs will meet after all.