2018 FCS vs. FBS: Northeast Conference

(STATS) – Behind Wagner’s lead, there’s been a push among Northeast Conference programs in recent years to play games against FBS opponents.

No NEC team has pulled an upset in 11 attempts (Wagner is 0-8), but the games are thrilling to the coaches and players, and financially beneficial to the athletic departments.

FCS programs earned nine wins against FBS programs last season, and as they seek to make their mark again in this year’s 111 matchups, here’s a look at the ones involving NEC teams:

The Matchups (4) – Central Connecticut State: Ball State (Aug. 30); Duquesne: Massachusetts (Aug. 25) and Hawaii (Sept. 22); Wagner: Syracuse (Sept. 8)

Glamour Game – Duquesne at Hawaii (Sept. 22). Win? Lose? Does it really matter for the Dukes? Life is good.

Upset Alert – Duquesne at Massachusetts (Aug. 25). UMass’ 4-8 record last year was its best since moving to the FBS in 2012. With an entire summer to focus on opening against one of the worst teams in the FBS, Dukes running back A.J. Hines and Co. have a chance for an upset.

Notable – Bryant, Robert Morris, Sacred Heart and Saint Francis are not facing FBS opponents. Robert Morris will face Buffalo next year and Bowling Green in 2020, while Saint Francis has a date at Buffalo in 2020. … Central Connecticut State, the defending NEC champion, is playing an FBS opponent for just the third time. Last year, the Blue Devils fell to Syracuse 50-7. … Wagner’s second all-time game against Syracuse (the Orange won 54-0 in 2013) marks the seventh consecutive season they will face at least one FBS opponent. Future matchups include UConn and Florida Atlantic in 2019, Kansas in 2020 and Buffalo in 2021.