The most likely FCS over FBS upsets in week one

College football is right around the corner! Step up to our roundtable and let’s talk college football as TSS associate editors Bart Doan and Terry Johnson join staff writer Kevin Causey in our weekly roundtable discussing all things college football.

This spring and summer we’ve been discussing and debating all about college football. Finally, we are ready to deep dive into week one games. Last year North Dakota State beat Iowa State and Bethune-Cookman beat FIU. In 2013, Towson beat UConn, North Dakota State beat Kansas State, Eastern Washington beat Oregon State, McNeese State beat USF, Northern Iowa beat Iowa State, and Eastern Illinois beat SDSU. Upsets happen every year; who will get bitten in the opening week of the 2015 season?

Question: Which FBS team will be upset by an FCS team (not named North Dakota) in week one?

Bart Doan:
On Twitter @TheCoachBart

I’m going to go to the Hawkeye State for my answer but not include the actual Hawkeyes. Northern Iowa vs. Iowa State looks like one hell of a 2014-2015 basketball game, by the way. UNI brings back 7 starters and is an 8-point underdog against ISU, which brings back much of a fairly putrid defense and still probably is searching for consistency on offense.

This isn’t uncharted territory for UNI, who has registered two wins over the Cyclones since 2007, with the latest coming in 2013. I know it will be talked about below, but Villanova is actually favored over FBS UConn, and you’ve also got South Dakota State (Kansas) and Fordham (Army) as other FBS teams with under 10-point underdog spreads. I think you’ll start to see fewer and fewer of these upsets as conferences move away from scheduling FCS teams due to perception, but as for 2015, give me UNI with a puncher’s chance at a noticeable upset.

Kevin Causey:
On Twitter @CFBZ

There are certainly some opportunities here. I look to the bottom of the Big 12 for two likely upsets with South Dakota State over Kansas and Northern Iowa over Iowa State, but for my actual pick I’m going with…

Villanova over UConn.

It was just two years ago that UConn fell to Towson. Last year, Bob Diaco went 2-10 in his debut season. This year, the Huskies will be better, but they face a really tough challenge in week one.

Villanova is ranked as the No. 3 FCS pre-season team. They are also coming off of a 11-3 season. They lost those three games by a total of five points. This Nova team knows how to win. We don’t know if UConn does.

Look for Villanova and John Robertson to beat UConn by double-digits.

Terry Johnson:
On Twitter @SectionTPJ 

I agree with Kevin that Villanova will beat UConn. The Huskies have dropped a game against an FCS opponent in each of the last two seasons. Considering that the Wildcats nearly upset Syracuse in the Carrier Dome a year ago, its not a stretch to think that they could beat an opponent from college football’s upper subdivision this fall. The ‘Nova ground game will cause all sorts of problems for the Connecticut defense, which allowed 277 rushing yards against lowly SMU in last season’s finale.

Since that game’s been selected already, I’ll say that Illinois State will upset Iowa. After all, the Redbirds throttled Northern Iowa by 3 TDs last year, whereas the Hawkeyes had to hold off a fourth quarter rally to win by eight. With quarterback Tre Roberson (4,250 yards total offense) and Marshaun Coprich – who led the FCS in rushing with 2,274 yards rushing last year – Illinois State has more than enough firepower to trade scores with just about anyone. Expect them to beat Iowa in a shootout.

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