SoCon Football Non-Conference Analysis

Chattanooga: vs. Tennessee Tech, @ Tennessee-Martin, @ South Carolina (FBS).
The two OVC opponent come around their conference opener. They finish the season at FBS South Carolina, a situation that will be addressed at the end here.
The Citadel: @ Charleston Southern, @ Towson, @ Alabama (FBS).
All non-conference games on the road, which means only four home games for the season. And, the season finale is at FBS Alabama. It doesn’t get much tougher than this.
East Tennessee State: vs. Mars Hill (Low), @ Tennessee (FBS), vs. Gardner-Webb.
Seems like lower class, Mars Hill, plays at least one SoCon team every year, this year, ETSU gets the honors. The following road game to FBS Tennessee should have them amped to be playing their state’s highest profile opponent.
Furman: @ Clemson (FBS), @ Elon, vs. Colgate.
Here’s the one traditional team in the conference, by the fact that they will be the only team to play all their non-conference games before hitting the meat of their schedule. The road games should very tough.
Mercer: @ Memphis (FBS), vs. Jacksonville, @ Yale.
The schedule here is good for a mid-level team trying to boost itself up slowly. For a SoCon team though, you’d rather see the Ivy League opponent at home.
Samford: vs. Shorter (Low), @ Florida State (FBS), @ Kennesaw State.
For the team many consider the conference favorite this season, this schedule has the extremes. The lower class game will do nothing except warm them up. The two road games are as two tough of road games as anyone should see on their schedule in 2018.
Virginia Military: @ Toledo (FBS), vs. Tusculum (Low), @ Old Dominion (FBS).
This struggling program will open and close the season against FBS opponents, which is not conducive to getting out of the hole. The one lower class home game should provide them a victory, at least.
Western Carolina: vs. Newberry (Low), @ Gardner-Webb, @ North Carolina (FBS).
Quite frankly, this is a horrible schedule. They open the season with a lower class team then have a bye. Ten consecutive games follow, the final being cross-state in the FBS.
Wofford: @ Wyoming (FBS), @ Gardner-Webb, vs. Presbyterian.
After a couple conference games, a long trip to the Rockies to play their FBS game will precede a bye. They finish the season with their one non-conference home game.
Southern Opponent Breakdown
6 vs. Big South
2 vs. Colonial
1 vs. Ivy
2 vs. Ohio Valley
1 vs. Patriot
1 vs. Pioneer
10 vs. FBS
4 vs. Lower Class Opponents (Div-II, Div-III or NAIA)
Never going to understand why the SoCon allows the FBS to manipulate them like pawns on a chessboard. Especially for teams working towards a playoff bid, taking a gigantic shellacking in the season finale is not a good look, nor is it good for morale. Four such incidents happen this season, two at the hands of the SEC, the greatest schedule villains of the FCS. Everybody plays at least one FBS opponent, Virginia Military plays two. The conference did pretty well, not scheduling too many lower class opponents. The six games they play against the Big South is three times more than they play against any other conference. Those games should hold some interesting weight during selection time when considering at-large bids.