LITTLE ROCK — Given the autonomy to help student-athletes, the five power conferences should expand their agenda and provide more attractive schedules for fans by banning football games against FCS schools.

LITTLE ROCK — Given the autonomy to help student-athletes, the five power conferences should expand their agenda and provide more attractive schedules for fans by banning football games against FCS schools.


Arkansas 73, Nicholls State 7 proves nothing. An FBS schools vs. an FCS opponent is a no-win for the big boys — the score either elicits yawns or yikes.


The Razorbacks simply performed as expected against an inferior opponent that gave up 539 yards rushing to Air Force a week earlier.


Prior to the game, the only questions involved back-up quarterback Austin Allen and attendance. The first was answered at 4:15 of the second quarter when Allen replaced older brother Brandon with the Razorbacks in front 49-0. The only other item of consequence was whether attendance would be over or under 65,000 and a co-worker texted 63,108 in the fourth quarter.


Other than ending the longest losing streak in Arkansas history, the game served mostly to pad stats and provide playing time for freshmen and backups. Relevancy to the rest of the Razorbacks’ schedule is zilch unless you count first-quarter snaps for freshman center Frank Ragnow, who did not play at Auburn.


For instance, the older Allen, whose completion percentage has topped 60 percent only twice, was good on 75 percent of his four throws for 79 yards and three touchdowns. Other outlandish numbers from the first half included Arkansas averaging 21.1 yards per play and Nicholls averaging 1.25.


Looking ahead to Texas Tech next week and Texas A&M two weeks after that, I’m pretty certain Arkansas will not make 115 yards on its first two snaps vs. the former Southwest Conference opponents and that neither the Red Raiders nor the Aggies will be three-and-out on their first four possessions.


Among other things, I doubt:


—SEC teams will be suckered by the flow and fail to defend the perimeter against an end-around like the Colonels did on Arkansas’ first play.


—The offensive line will flatten everybody for Alex Collins the first time he touches the ball.


—The secondary will cover all five receivers when the Raiders and the Aggies run the hurry-up.


—Undersized nose tackle Taiwan Johnson will go unblocked in Lubbock or Arlington.


—Arkansas will sack A&M’s Kenny Hill or Tech’s Davis Webb four times in the first half.


Choosing to cover the Razorbacks off TV, the first game of the SEC Network’s tripleheader was compelling viewing — Tennessee 31, Arkansas State University 19 deep in the fourth quarter. Scheduling a team from the Sun Belt or one of the other four lesser leagues is riskier and costlier — ASU got $1 million for visiting Knoxville vs. $425,000 Tech paid the University of Central Arkansas — but those opponents are more competitive.


Arkansas’ schedule is not singled out — each of the 28 teams in the SEC and the Atlantic Coast Conference have an FCS opponent this year — and athletics director Jeff Long said Saturday that the Razorbacks hope to phase out FCS opponents.


There is the occasional Appalachian State over Michigan and McNeese State scaring Nebraska, but when scholarships are 85-63, the game is supposed to be a purchased W or a scrimmage prior to a rivalry game, a tactic employed by Alabama, Auburn, Florida, and Georgia on Nov. 22.


Watching Arkansas rout the Colonels doesn’t provide a clue about how the Razorbacks will fare against Tech or A&M. By the same token, Tech 42, UCA 35, doesn’t diminish the Red Raiders’ chances against the Razorbacks.


Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany should take the lead on the scheduling upgrades since he has insisted that teams in his league stop scheduling FCS opponents.


Discussing the College Football Playoff in May, Delany said: " … I don’t have anything against FCS, but they have a different number of scholarships for gosh’s sakes. What is that about?


"We want our fans to come to games," he said. "We’ve got to give them good games."


Well put.


Harry King is sports columnist for Stephens Media’s Arkansas News Bureau. His e-mail address is hleonk42@gmail.com.