Sam Houston State is not a Division II university. Sam Houston State is a Division I university.
Just because the university is not as big and memorable as Texas A&M, Louisiana State or even Ohio State, it does not take away from the fact SHSU is still Division I.
In Division I football, there are two subdivisions: the Football Bowl Subdivision and the Football Championship Subdivision. The FBS includes conferences such as the Southeastern Conference, Big Ten, Big XII, Atlantic Coast Conference, Pac XII and many more. These teams play in games that can be seen every Saturday more than 10 channels and highlights of their games on ESPN and many other channels.
The FCS, on the other hand, includes conferences such as the Southland Conference, Big Sky, Ivy League, Missouri Valley League, and many more. These schools are rarely shown or discussed on ESPN, and known as “no-names” or “easy-wins” by the bigger FBS schools. Yes, the FCS has a hard time competing most of the time with the FBS schools, but the FCS can, and has, beaten the FBS many times. Maybe the most popular and notable FCS win over a FBS school was from 2007 when Appalachian State upset the No. 5 FBS ranked Michigan 34-32 after a block on a last-second field goal. Every sports fan can remember this game and how a national championship contender lost their first game of the season to the No. 1 FCS school, coming off of two straight national champions. These “lopsided” games are not always lopsided as almost witnessed when McNeese State upset No. 11 Nebraska 31-24 earlier this season. So yes, FCS-FBS games are more than likely going to be blowouts, but there is always a diamond in the rough. At some point these games will not be known as an easy win.
The media’s attention toward FCS teams is another story. SHSU visited Eastern Washington in the “ESPN FCS Kickoff” to open up all of college football. ESPN finally gave love to some FCS schools, right? Wrong. ESPN never talked about the game before it occurred and did not show highlights except for an under rated one-handed catch for a touchdown. One week later, ESPN shows another “2014 college football kickoff” game and during the whole game the broadcasters are calling it the first college game of the season. It is disturbing for ESPN to show some support to FCS schools by giving them a kickoff game for the season yet basically never talk about it and act like it never happened.
The FCS, although it may not be as flashy and popular as the FBS, is still the real deal. FCS players can still be drafted into the NFL and win Super Bowls. FCS games can be just as entertaining as most FBS games, and although FCS teams are paid to play FBS teams, the FBS teams can not always sleep on their small counterparts. SHSU should not be compared to Alabama University and Oregon University, but SHSU and other FCS universities have rivalries, traditions and championships just like the FBS schools all known and love. The FCS should be given more respect not just by the media and FBS schools but by all sports fans.
Sooner or later, these FCS schools will begin jumping into the FBS and find people forgetting that they were a “small” school.