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Insider

Five storylines: Savannah State

9/6/2012

Savannah State travels to Florida State to face another heavyweight opponent just a week after an 84-0 loss at Oklahoma State.

Nonetheless, there are a handful of intriguing questions for the Tigers as kickoff approaches.

1. Can it get worse than 84-0?

That's probably the most-asked question of the week for Savannah State, which was blown out by the Cowboys in Week 1. Coach Steve Davenport said his team kept playing hard last week but missed a few chances to prove they belonged on the same field with Oklahoma State. He's hoping they can avoid similar embarrassment this time around.

2. Can they survive?

Davenport said none of Savannah State's goals for the season involved the first two weeks of the year, but it might be tough to be competitive in MEAC play if his roster is too beat up from lopsided losses to Oklahaoma State and FSU.

3. How will college football's leadership react?

The groans over the early cupcake games for big-name teams have been going on for years, but Savannah State's thumping in Week 1 turned up the volume and stirred a real debate about the value of money grabs for FCS programs. Another similar defeat will only add to the concerns, particularly if any serious injuries occur. Given the fact that players aren't paid for these games, and the teams are participating for purely financial reasons, there's plenty of ammunition for critics.

4. Will the cash grab actually help?

This won't be answered for a while -- years perhaps. But the first two weeks of the season will provide Savannah State with nearly $1 million -- or about 15 percent of its total athletics budget for the year. The players made the sacrifice to generate that income, but the ultimate value will be determined by what Savannah State does with the money, and how far the program can grow because of it.

5. Will these types of games be on the slate again in 2013 and beyond?

Davenport hasn't hidden his feelings that Savannah State simply wasn't ready to play in these types of games from a personnel standpoint, but the school hasn't ruled out scheduling top-tier opponents again in the future. But if there's another 84-0 loss in Week 2, will that be enough to make the program's leadership reconsider?