Big South & Independents Football Non-Conference Analysis

Campbell: vs. Chowan (Low), @ Georgetown, @ Coastal Carolina (FBS), vs. Shaw (Low), vs. North Alabama, vs. Wagner.
For leaving the Pioneer and jumping into a scholarship conference, the schedule makers did them some real justice. Five of the six games are winnable, if you count the FBS road game as too much.
Charleston Southern: @ Florida (FBS), @ The Citadel, vs. Elon, @ Hampton, @ Savannah State, vs. Virginia-Lynchburg (Low).
The first three games will not be an easy experience and the fourth is a mystery, considering it’s a road game. The last two look like “have to win” games, if they want to have a winning record overall.
Gardner-Webb: vs. Limestone (Low), @ North Carolina A&T, vs. Western Carolina, @ Appalachian State (FBS), vs. Wofford, @ East Tennessee State.
Better take care of Limestone, because most of the rest of this set of games looks like a lot more than a lower- to middle-tiered Big South team can handle.
Kennesaw State: @ Georgia State(FBS), @ Tennessee Tech, vs. Alabama State, vs. Clark of Atlanta (Low), vs. Samford, vs. Jacksonville State.
Interesting schedule in the fact that every one of their non-conference opponents are within about a 150-200 mile radius. For a team ready to jump into the FCS hierarchy, it’s a big plus being close to home.
Monmouth: @ Eastern Michigan (FBS), vs. Hampton, @ Lafayette, @ Princeton, vs. Wagner, vs. Bucknell.
This is a very winnable slate for an FCS team. Even the road game to FBS Eastern Michigan is light by most standards, not that it’s a gimme.
Presbyterian: @ Austin Peay, vs. Stetson, vs. Bluefield College (Low), vs. Hampton, @ Wofford.
By electing to only play a ten game schedule overall, they have five non-conference games. Road games with Austin Peay and Wofford should be tough. They do play Stetson who will be a conference brother when they move to the Pioneer League in 2020.
Hampton (Independent, Big South in 2019): vs. Shaw (Low), @ Monmouth, vs. Tennessee State, @ Northern Iowa, vs. Charleston Southern, @ Presbyterian, vs. Virginia-Lynchburg, @ Mississippi Valley State.
Only eight games are scheduled so far and they are having a really tough time getting three more to complete it. Their departure from the Mid-Eastern definitely soured the mouths of all they abandoned and none of them stepped up to play them. Even long-time rivals Norfolk State and Howard said “No.”
North Alabama (Independent, Big South in 2019): @ Southern Utah, @ Alabama A&M, @ North Dakota State, vs. Azusa Pacific (Low), @ Campbell, vs. West Florida (Low), vs. Mississippi College (Low), @ Jackson State, vs. Shorter (Low), vs. North Greenville (Low), @ Incarnate Word.
This schedule is very well defined. All six games with FCS opponents are on the road, all five games with lower class teams are at home. Welcome to the FCS.
Big South Opponent Breakdown
1 vs. Colonial
1 vs. Ivy
2 vs. Mid-Eastern
2 vs. Northeast
3 vs. Ohio Valley
3 vs. Patriot
1 vs. Pioneer
6 vs. Southern
1 vs. Southwestern
4 vs. FCS Independents
5 vs. FBS
6 vs. Lower Class Opponents (Div-II, Div-III or NAIA)
The Big South is the ultimate in conference realignment and it’s not even close. Defections of Coastal Carolina and Liberty and the pending loss of Presbyterian to the Pioneer League have caused a huge ripple amongst the college football landscape. In recent years, Kennesaw State and Monmouth have joined. Campbell joins this year, from the Pioneer. Hampton will join fully next year, coming from the Mid-Eastern and North Alabama will join, transitioning this year from Division II. Kennesaw State plays the conference’s biggest non-conference tilt with Jacksonville State. Everyone except Presbyterian plays an FBS opponent and all but Monmouth play a lower class team.