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Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Big 12 morning links: Here come the body-bag games

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

The worst scheduling week in Big 12 history might be approaching.

Four Big 12 teams will be playing opponents from the Football Championship Subdivision in contests that have euphemistically been termed by many coaches as "body-bag games."

Coaches of those FCS schools know what they have to do in these games. Mainly, collect a big check and hope they emerge out of the game relatively unscathed for the rest of the season.

A 12-game season makes these games more necessary for the big boys from the Football Bowl Series, even if they aren't necessarily appealing, according to Texas coach Mack Brown.

"It's probably better if we didn't," Brown said, "but I don't know if it's possible right now."

Brown knows about these games after once coaching at Division I-AA Appalachian State, which then played two games against Division I-A teams as financial salvation for the rest of the school's athletic department.

"As tough as it is with the score and kids being mismatched sometimes," Brown said, "it is a positive for the university from the standpoint of exposure.

"And a lot of the kids I've talked to like the experience of going into big stadiums, even though they lose."

But try telling that to fans who pay full price, with increasing full costs, to travel to stadiums in order to watch these glorified exhibitions.

The difference is more than just the 22 extra scholarships that the FBS teams have -- 85 scholarship athletes on a roster compared to 63 for FCS teams.

During the first week of the season, FBS teams went 31-1 against their siblings from the FCS. The lone FCS victory was Cal-Poly's 29-27 triumph over San Diego State, coached by former Oklahoma assistant Chuck Long.

Baylor, Colorado, Kansas State and Missouri can only hope not to join the Aztecs on that dubious list this week.

Until then, here are a few morning links that are always competitive.