Given the amount of chatter regarding programs looking to move up to FBS (as presently constructed) and the idea that FCS is a "sinking ship" has caused a little loss of perspective imo; well at least potentially. Depending on who the the ultimate defections are I'm of the belief FCS could come out ahead of whatever the second tier of FBS football amounts to. Especially if the AAC and MWC is able to hitch their wagon to the "upper-crust" of college football if a defining line is drawn within FBS.
Even if this current power program/smaller program FBS model continues to exist there's a good chance FCS will be home to more flagship/land grant institutions than the second tier of FBS. The amount of national universities (schools with more academic/cultural breadth) along with the historically significantly HBCU's could potentially be in favor of FCS in the longer term. Not to mention numerous AAU affiliated institutions. So long as Delaware, Maine, New Hampshire, Stony Brook, Montana, Montana State, North Dakota, North Dakota State, South Dakota, South Dakota State, William & Mary, UC-Davis, Cal Poly (I know I'm missing schools) remain committed to the sub-division there's an excellent foundation. These are schools with political and financial influence well beyond your typical SBC, CUSA (Rice!!), ASUN, WAC etc member. The reality is, the second tier of FBS has the potential to be home to far more lost souls than FCS in terms of regional schools with little pull and small endowments lost in the shadows of their in-state brethren.
The kicker for FCS remains the enigma that is the Ivy League. If they would enter the playoffs it completely re-energizes it due to the public's and media's curiosity with the Ancient 8. Their inclusion would immediately drive up the value of the playoff broadcasting and rights and help FCS maintain attention during early and mid December. NDSU vs Montana State on ESPN2 is still MUCH better theater than Temple vs Georgia Southern in the Boca Bowl. A Harvard or Yale or Princeton vs Delaware semifinal would result in a giddy ESPN. ESPN has proven they're willing to give FCS some exposure via Game Day's, August kick-off games, playoff games etc. Add the Ivies in the playoffs and those bones tossed FCS's way come with more meat on 'em.
Even without the Ivies inclusion in the playoffs just their presence in FCS keeps it relevant in terms of having world renown institutions with tremendous resources, a high level of recruiting, excellent staff pay, top notch facilities etc. Not to mention the Ivy League's overall influence in college athletics and academia. The Big 10 and Notre Dame act as a similar influential guide among the academic AND athletic elite.
The history and importance of the HBCU's can't be ignored. As long as their history and tradition remains connected to FCS I'm grateful. Likewise, the Harvard-Yale and Lehigh-Lafayette rivalry games.
The established playoff format is in FCS's favor. As long as FBS operates with great entitlement FCS's way of crowning a champ (even if it's the same one) will always have value and general public favoritism. The current FBS bowl/playoff system is a disaster relative to their Division 1 little brother's setup.