SoCon Football Non-Conference Schedule Analysis

Southern Conference
FCS Non-Conference Schedule Analysis
SoCon territory was marked by the Terriers of Wofford last season. But, that doesn’t mean it was an exclusive club. Top to bottom, it might have been as competitive as anywhere on the FCS map last season. And the conference’s opponents outside its framework know how tough this group was. It’s safe to say a repeat performance would be needed if the conference is going to stay this even during conference play. And that’s the best way to get teams with marginal records in the post-Thanksgiving party.
Chattanooga: vs. Eastern Illinois, @ Jacksonville State, @ Tennessee (FBS), vs. James Madison.
  • This right here is a potential resume builder schedule. At the same time, it’s a potential killer. There’s a thin line between risk and reward and the Mocs will get a chance to skate it.
The Citadel: vs. Towson, @ Elon, @ Georgia Tech (FBS), vs. Charleston Southern.
  • This is a very solid schedule also. The FBS game not included, there are teams from three AQ conferences and they get two of those at home. Though Charleston Southern plays in the same city.
East Tennessee State: @ Appalachian State (FBS), vs. Shorter (lower), vs. Austin Peay, @ Vanderbilt (FBS).
  • 2018’s kings of the three-point win will have ample opportunity to get a big signature win, with two FBS games ahead. The lower division game with Shorter will ensure a win but won’t help the resume.
Furman: vs. Charleston Southern, @ Georgia State (FBS), @ Virginia Tech (FBS), vs. Point (lower).
  • Two FBS games highlight the slate and give a shot at a big signature win. Like ETSU, there’s a lower division game that will be meaningless later on.
Mercer: vs. Austin Peay, vs. Campbell, @ North Carolina (FBS).
  • Playing only an eleven game schedule overall, there’s only three non-conference games here. Those first two games will be a huge importance. The FBS game at North Carolina will end the season, which will give ultimate prize potential, but a likely late season loss.
Samford: vs. Youngstown State, @ Tennessee Tech, vs. Alabama A&M, @ Auburn (FBS).
  • Samford kicks the FCS season off with Youngstown State at a neutral site, but it’s realistically a home game as it’s in nearby Birmingham. The other two FCS games should be wins but the season finale with FBS Auburn will be a tall order.
Virginia Military: @ Marshall (FBS), vs. Mars Hill (lower), vs. Robert Morris, @ Army (FBS).
  • VMI doesn’t have a realistic shot at the postseason, but the two home games give them real shots at less than frequently seen victories. The two FBS games are straight money grabs.
Western Carolina: @ North Carolina State (FBS), vs. North Greenville (lower), vs. Gardner-Webb, @ Alabama (FBS).
  • This is a rotten schedule for a team who’s been on the cusp of qualifying for the playoffs in the last few years. The two FBS games are double tough. The North Greenville game means almost nothing.
Wofford: @ South Carolina State, vs. Gardner-Webb, @ Clemson (FBS).
  • Wofford is playing an eleven game schedule, like Mercer. The two FCS games should be wins. The FBS game is against the FBS defending National Champion. We’ll call that one a loss.
Southern Numbers
5 vs. Big South
3 vs. CAA
1 vs. MEAC
1 vs. MVFC
1 vs. NEC
5 vs. OVC
1 vs. SWAC
13 vs. FBS
4 vs. Lower Division (Div-II, Div-III, NAIA, NCCAA)