NEC Football Non-Conference Schedule Analysis

Northeast Conference
 FCS Non-Conference Schedule Analysis
Much like the Big South, the Northeast Conference is going through some change. The big difference is that schools have yet to exit their conference in the immediate history. In fact, the conference has added two teams. Long Island joins as a full member in 2019, after consolidating their two campuses. Merrimack will join as a transitioning member, becoming a full member in four years. They’ll play a sprinkling of games against NEC foes, but those games will not count in the conference standings. For this exercise, they will count as non-conference, as Merrimack will be treated as an independent.
Bryant: @ Stony Brook, @ Albany, vs. Fordham, vs. Brown, @ Merrimack (trans).
  • A double road stint to the Colonial is a rough way to begin the year. The other three games might supply a few wins.
Central Connecticut State: @ Fordham, vs. Merrimack (trans), @ Valparaiso, @ Eastern Michigan (FBS), @ Columbia.
  • Overall, not very friendly considering four of the five are on the road. One of which is a game with an FBS school. It could have the Blue Devils prepared for conference play though.
Duquesne: vs. Walsh (lower), @ Youngstown State, @ Dayton, @ New Hampshire.
  • Three road games and a lower division home game are part of their eleven game schedule. This might be one of the NEC’s tougher non-cons.
Long Island: @ South Dakota State, @ Villanova, vs. Merrimack (trans).
  • Their first year in FCS and the Northeast Conference, Long Island will only play a 10 game schedule. They do have a full NEC slate though, so that’s important. If you look at Merrimack as a future conference opponent, the only two strangers are South Dakota State and Villanova. That’s tough.
Merrimack (transition): vs. Virginia-Lynchburg (lower), @ Central Connecticut State, @ St. Francis, vs. Mayville State (lower), @ Lehigh, vs. Bryant, @ Delaware State, vs. Presbyterian, @ Rhode Island, vs. Franklin Pierce (lower), @ Long Island.
  • Scoring five home games in the first year of their FCS transition is a pretty good get. And two of them against FCS opponents is even better. The Warriors will play four of their future conference mates.
Robert Morris: @ Buffalo (FBS), vs. Kentucky State (lower), vs. Dayton, @ Virginia Military, @ Youngstown State.
  • The season opening game at Buffalo will be tough, as will the final game at Youngstown State. The other three games offer some realistic opportunity to win a couple games.
Sacred Heart: @ Maine, vs. Bucknell, @ Lafayette, @ Penn, vs. Lehigh.
  • No traveling outside New England on this schedule. These smaller budgeted schools have a luxury to do this with such a large collection of opponents within the area.
St. Francis: @ Lehigh, @ James Madison, vs. Merrimack, vs. Columbia, @ Delaware State.
  • Despite three of their five games being on the road, the prospects of having a winning record is decent. No long trips in those three road games.
Wagner: @ Connecticut (FBS), vs. East Stroudsburg (lower), @ Stony Brook, @ Florida Atlantic (FBS), vs. Monmouth.
  • Wagner has started a tradition of double-dipping against FBS teams. It is profitable but not very rewarding in the win column. Overall, a pretty stout schedule for them to face.
Northeast Numbers
2 vs. Big South
8 vs. CAA
4 vs. Ivy
2 vs. MEAC
3 vs. MVFC
8 vs. NEC, games involving Merrimack
7 vs. Patriot
3 vs. Pioneer
1 vs. Southern
4 vs. FBS
6 vs. Lower Division (Div-II, Div-III, NAIA, NCCAA)