Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany speaks at Big Ten NCAA college football Media Day in Chicago, Monday, July 24, 2017. (AP Photo/G-Jun Yam)


G-Jun Yam

Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany has softened his stance on conference teams scheduling FCS opponents.

Speaking Monday at Big Ten Media Days in Chicago, Delany said going forward it’s OK for conference teams to play FCS opponents in years where teams play only four league home games.

Three years ago, the Big Ten announced a policy to stop scheduling Football Championship Subdivision opponents. Some FCS games remained on Big Ten teams’ schedules because of prior contracts.

In pulling back on the policy, Delany mentioned the fact no other conferences joined the Big Ten in discouraging or banning FCS scheduling. What’s more, it’s not always easy for FBS teams to schedule seven home games in years when they play only four conference home games.

Nebraska this season has five conference home games. It has only four in 2018, but the schedule already is filled. The 2019 schedule, featuring five league home games, also is filled.

The Huskers’ 2020 schedule includes non-conference home games against Cincinnati (Sept. 12) and Central Michigan (Sept. 19), but a season-opening opponent hasn’t been announced.

That could theoretically become an FCS team in the wake of Delany’s comments Monday.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7440 or ssipple@journalstar.com.