Ohio Valley Football Non-Conference Analysis

Austin Peay: @ Georgia (FBS), vs. Presbyterian, @ Morehead State.
After losing three games against the FBS last year, 2018 looks like an easy schedule. Georgia will be a toughie, but the other two should be much easier, comparatively speaking.
Eastern Illinois: @ Arkansas (FBS), @ Illinois State, vs. Indiana State.
Like most years, neighbors Illinois State and Indiana State from the Missouri Valley appear as non-conference opponents. An opening game with Arkansas will be a big challenge.
Eastern Kentucky: vs. Morehead State, @ Marshall (FBS), @ Bowling Green (FBS), vs. Robert Morris.
A fourth non-conference game is scheduled this year, as they are the missing conference opponent for Tennessee State. Two winnable home games bookend a pair of FBS road games. Those should help prepare them for conference play.
Jacksonville State: vs. North Carolina A&T, vs. Mississippi Valley State, vs. Kennesaw State.
A national spotlight, Week 0 game with North Carolina A&T will kickoff the season for all of FCS. The season finale is a massive non-conference match-up with neighbor and upstart, Kennesaw State. Both games are at a neutral site.
Murray State: vs. Southern Illinois, @ Central Arkansas, @ Kentucky (FBS).
Murray State is scheduling tough for sure. Hosting Southern Illinois might be a must win to avoid going winless in non-conference play.
Southeast Missouri State: @ Arkansas State (FBS), vs. Dayton, @ Southern Illinois.
Two road games sandwiched with a home game against the Pioneer’s Dayton. The final contest at Southern Illinois could be a game where the winner enters conference play at 2-1.
Tennessee-Martin: @ Missouri (FBS), @ Middle Tennessee (FBS), vs. Chattanooga.
Talk about preparing yourself for conference competition? Two road games at FBS foes would normally be enough, but a home game with a Chattanooga squad looking to dismiss 2017’s woes, that’s a lot.
Tennessee State: vs. Bethune-Cookman, vs. Jackson State, @ Hampton, @ Vanderbilt (FBS).
Since they only play seven conference games, they always get an extra non-conference opponent. They usually use that extra game to play another HBCU, of which they are also. This year, they play three, then go to FBS Vanderbilt to finish the month of September.
Tennessee Tech: @ Chattanooga, vs. Kennesaw State, @ Utah State (FBS).
A road and home game with nearby opponents like Chattanooga and Kennesaw State will be difficult. Then they take a plane to the Beehive State for a game with Utah State from the FBS.
Ohio Valley Opponent Breakdown
3 vs. Big South
2 vs. Mid-Eastern
4 vs. Missouri Valley
1 vs. Northeast
3 vs. Pioneer
2 vs. Southern
1 vs. Southland
2 vs. Southwestern
1 vs. FCS Independent
10 vs. FBS
Every team but Jacksonville State plays at least one FBS opponent this year. That doesn’t mean the four-time undefeated, defending conference champions are ducking opponents, as they probably play in the two highest profile non-conference games. On the whole, the Ohio Valley is playing someone from eight different conferences. By season’s end, the OVC should be a pretty good barometer of the entire FCS.