Every year, football programs try to manufacture the perfect schedule and the teams below didn’t make the cut. While there is no “perfect schedule,” there are schedules that treat its fans like they are a Comcast customer.
Discarding the conference slate, as schools don’t have control on those games, here are several non-conference schedules that are ripping off fans and their conference rankings.
The Thundering Herd are a front-runner in Conference USA this season but does not play a single power conference school. Instead, Marshall loaded up on three MAC schools and FCS Rhode Island. If Marshall wants to make a splash it will have to go undefeated before pollsters notice them. Maybe the weak schedule will help the Herd obtain the coveted mid-major spot in the four big bowls. Then again it might cause Marshall to fade away into obscurity.
The PAC 12 has nine games in league play allowing just three games out of conference. Oregon State took that opportunity and converted it into FCS Portland State, at Hawaii and San Diego State. Hawaii only won one game last year so way to push the envelope there Beavers. With that said, Oregon State lost to FCS Eastern Washington a year ago so maybe it’s tough enough.
Baylor won the Big 12 last season so why in the world are Bears afraid to play anybody? It’s toughest out of conference game is at Buffalo of the MAC. SMU and FCS Northwestern State round out an unimpressive trio. This is not great for the Big 12’s strength of schedule rankings.
Middle Tennessee State
The Blue Raiders open against FCS cupcake Savannah State and then travel to their toughest non-conference foe on the season in… Minnesota? MTSU is also at Memphis of the AAC and at Old Dominion of the Sun Belt. Not a slate that will impress people and the weakest team is the only home game.
My alma mater in Ball State has the issue of playing two FCS programs this year. BSU does play at Iowa but that doesn’t really make up for the fans having to see Colgate and Indiana State. There is no value in beating two FCS schools as the second win does not count towards bowl eligibility.
The Cougars are another school playing two FCS programs (Grambling State and Tennessee Tech) that I’m sure fans are dying to see. UTSA is Houston’s best non-conference opponent at home as BYU is away. Did I mention this is only the fourth year UTSA has had a football program?
For the second straight year the Yellow Jackets will be playing two FCS opponents. It’s as if Georgia Tech is conceding multiple losses in ACC play and the rivalry game to Georgia with that attitude. Tech also traverses to AAC Tulane which could be a trap game costing it bowl eligibility if it falters there.
North Carolina State
Another ACC school topped Georgia Tech as NC State will play 2 FCS schools too. NC State’s sexiest home game out of conference is Old Dominion of the Sun Belt. There is a trip to South Florida but that does nothing to accommodate the fans at home. For an ACC school to go this soft is a giant white flag in confidence coming off a 3-9 season. Hope the people in Raleigh like cupcakes because they’re about to get a lot of them.
Other flimsy non-conference schedules: Buffalo, Florida International, Air Force, Vanderbilt, Western Kentucky