Even the Nittany Lion finds it hard to believe that Penn State opens its season against lowly Idaho
FCS teams show up on the schedule for an abundance of FBS teams each season. Such games can benefit both sides. For FCS teams, it means a huge paycheck that helps with the athletic budget and a chance to score a season-defining upset victory. With FBS teams, playing an FCS team usually offers a guaranteed victory for the home crowd.
Still, some FCS vs. FBS games should never happen. Many such games are bad enough mismatches on paper that the FBS opponent can virtually name the final score. These "bodybag games" turn into an unofficial bye week for the host school.
Here is a look at the most shameful games on the schedule for the 2019 college football season:
10. Houston Baptist at UTEP, Aug. 31
How does the worst FBS program over the last two seasons try to start off a new season with a victory? By scheduling an equally hopeless FCS opponent in the season opener. UTEP has lost 23 of 24 games over the last two seasons. Houston Baptist lost 18 of 20 in the same stretch. This could be the pillow fight of the century.
9. Tennessee Tech at Miami (Ohio), Sept. 7
Playing an FCS opponent doesn't always equal a victory for the RedHawks. They are 3-2 in their last five games against FCS teams, with losses to Eastern Illinois in 2016 and Eastern Kentucky in '14. Beating Tennessee Tech should be a whole different matter. The Golden Eagles are coming off back-to-back 1-10 seasons and are 2-34 all-time versus FBS teams – with the last win coming in 1980.
8. Northern Colorado at Washington State, Sept. 7
Back-to-back games against FBS foes highlight the Bears' schedule after going 2-9 a year ago. Normally, San Jose State would get blasted for scheduling Northern Colorado for its season opener. Washington State is the bigger offender here. The Cougars earned a school-record 11 wins last season and are expected to be a bowl team again in 2019. There's no need to devour this cupcake.
7. Arkansas-Pine Bluff at TCU, Aug. 31
The Horned Frogs led the Big 12 in both total defense and passing defense last season. The Golden Lions, on the other hand, coughed up 90 points in a loss to South Dakota State a year ago. TCU should have no trouble breaking in a new quarterback in this laughable opener.
6. Sacramento State at Fresno State, Sept. 21
Fresh off winning a Mountain West Conference championship, Fresno State filled out its 2019 schedule with in-state school Sacramento State. Sounds nice until you remember that Sacramento State went winless in Big Sky Conference play last season. The Bulldogs are coming off a 12-win season and aren't likely to get stung by these Hornets.
5. Tennessee-Martin at Florida, Sept. 7
The Skyhawks have lost 12 straight games against FBS opponents dating to 2012 and none of those losses have been particularly close. Last year's losses to Missouri and Middle Tennessee came by an average margin of 30.5 points. Florida is notorious for rarely leaving its home state in non-conference play and the Gators overlooked better FCS foes within the SEC footprint to bring in a team coming off a two-win season.
4. Western Carolina at Alabama, Nov. 23
The Catamounts fill the spot of Alabama's annual cupcake ahead of the Iron Bowl. This isn't an unusual position for Western Carolina. The Crimson Tide hosted the Catamounts in two other late November specials in 2012 and '14. They averaged 48.5 points in the two victories. It's a safe bet that a similar outcome is in the cards for Alabama this time around.
3. Idaho at Penn State, Aug. 31
For a second straight season since dropping down to the FCS ranks, Idaho is playing a pair of FBS opponents. The Vandals also face Wyoming in September. Idaho was not competitive in this situation a year ago, giving up 142 combined points in losses to Fresno State and Florida. It will likely be a similar story facing the Nittany Lions, who get to open the season with a glorified scrimmage.
2. Stephen F. Austin at Baylor, Aug. 31
The Bears dramatically improved last season after scraping together a single win two years ago. Opening up with a bad Lumberjacks team will give them a head start on getting to another bowl game. Stephen F. Austin has rolled over and died multiple times against FBS opponents. Over the last 11 seasons, the Lumberjacks have allowed 56.5 points per game against FBS opponents while scoring only 10.0 points per contest.
1. VMI at Army, Nov. 16
Army is playing a pair of FCS opponents for a second straight year. VMI, the second of those two foes, is arguably the worst FCS program in the country. The Keydets have not posted a winning season since 1981 and have earned one victory in the past two years. Marshall also scheduled VMI this season, but Army deserves a bigger share of criticism. VMI is one eyesore among many on the Black Knights' marshmallow-soft schedule. Only three Army opponents for 2019 posted a winning record a year ago.
— Written by John Coon, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Coon has more than a decade of experience covering sports for different publications and outlets, including The Associated Press, Salt Lake Tribune, ESPN, Deseret News, MaxPreps, Yahoo! Sports and many others. Follow him on Twitter @johncoonsports.