NEC Football Non-Conference Analysis

Bryant: vs. New Haven (Low), @ Stony Brook, vs. Marist, @ Fordham, @ Howard.
A lot of hype is starting to surround this team. The second game should give everyone some kind of indication whether they’re a contender or a pretender.
Central Connecticut State: @ Ball State (FBS), vs. Lincoln, PA (Low), vs. Columbia, @ Fordham, @ Lafayette.
This looks like a decent schedule for a team trying to stay atop their conference. There’s a little of everything here. Finishing 2-3 or 3-2 should be the lower end of their goal.
Duquesne: @ Massachusetts (FBS), vs. Lock Haven (Low), vs. Valparaiso, vs. Dayton, @ Hawai’i (FBS).
Two FBS road games, including one at Hawai’i. Wise that they have a bye week after that travel game. Ironically, they could have added a twelfth game because of the “Hawai’i Vacation” rule, but didn’t.
Robert Morris: @ Dayton, vs. Virginia State (Low), @ James Madison, vs. Central State (Low), @ Eastern Kentucky.
These road games would be challenging for a mid-level conference team. For a school in the Northeast, it’s maybe a little too strong. Still, kudos for not playing multiple lower class opponents. Wait? Oops!
Sacred Heart: vs. Lafayette, @ Bucknell, @ Cornell, vs. Penn, @ Dartmouth.
Early on this schedule has the appearance of an identity crisis. The first two are against the Patriot League, the next three with the Ivies. The Bucknell game starts a nasty stretch, five of six road games.
St. Francis: @ Lehigh, vs. Delaware State, @ Richmond, @ Albany, vs. West Virginia Wesleyan (Low).
This looks like a cut and dry schedule here; the home dates should be victories, the road games are probably losses.
Wagner: vs. Bowie State (Low), @ Syracuse (FBS), @ Montana State, @ Monmouth, @ Campbell.
It’s been a tradition here to play seven or more road games and 2018 does not disappoint, unless you play for the team. There’s a fine line between funding your budget with road games or becoming road weary - they’re flirting with it.
Northeast Opponent Breakdown
1 vs. Big Sky
2 vs. Big South
4 vs. Colonial
4 vs. Ivy
2 vs. Mid-Eastern
1 vs. Ohio Valley
6 vs. Patriot
4 vs. Pioneer
1 vs. Southwestern
4 vs. FBS
7 vs. Lower Class Opponents (Div-II, Div-III or NAIA)
The Northeast is a fun gang to watch, as they play all over the place. They’re interesting because the FCS “big boys” will seek them out to try and add Division I wins to their resumes. At the same time, the NEC will look to the HBCUs and other non-scholarship leagues to do the same. It would be hard to pick a marquee game for the conference when the champion switches annually. We’ll go with Duquesne at Hawai’i and Bryant at Stony Brook. How often does an eastern team, especially one in lower-tiered FCS get to go to the islands? Not very often.