Big South Football 2020 Non-Conference Schedule Analysis

Big South Conference
FCS Non-Conference Schedule Analysis
Last season, I made mention of the Big South’s never ending cycle of change. Defections, additions, every year is a new thing. It appeared that 2020 was to finally be the end of that - wrong. Yes, Presbyterian is still leaving the conference to compete as an FCS Independent before joining the Pioneer League in 2021. However, now a new arrival comes from the Mid-Eastern Conference, once again, in 2021. North Carolina A&T is following former conference mate, Hampton, to the Big South. On top of that, the Big South Conference has announced a new gigantic co-mingling with the Atlantic Sun Conference, which deals primarily with basketball. However, down the road, the door is open for an even larger influx on the gridiron. Don’t change Big South, wait, do change. You keep everyone on their toes.
Campbell: vs. Davidson, @ Georgia Southern (FBS), @ Elon, vs. Mercer, vs. Presbyterian.
  • The Fighting Camels, who doesn’t love that name, did a great job putting together this year’s non-conference slate. Three home games and one FCS game at in-state Elon. The Presbyterian game happens on Halloween. So looking at the overall schedule, Campbell will leave North Carolina just for the FBS Georgia Southern game before their road game at Hampton on October 17. Enjoy that home cooking, friends. BBQ time!
Charleston Southern: vs. North Greenville (lower), vs. Furman, @ The Citadel, @ Arkansas (FBS), @ Mercer.
  • Charleston Southern has a rough patch in their schedule. These first two home games precede a month long stretch on the road. Of course, the one, The Citadel is in the same city, so that’s a slight technicality. The Mercer game takes place in November, to avoid the late bye week.
Gardner-Webb: vs. Limestone (lower), @ Georgia Tech (FBS), @ Western Carolina, vs. Presbyterian, vs. Wofford.
  • As far as travel is concerned, this is about as good of a schedule as the Runnin’ Bulldogs can get. Except for the FBS game at Georgia Tech, G-W won’t have to leave the state. The game against Wofford takes place in November, most likely as a way for each school to avoid a late season bye in their odd-numbered conference member situation.
Hampton: vs. Virginia Union (lower), @ Old Dominion (FBS), vs. Howard, vs. Fort Valley State (lower).
  • For moving up from the non-playoff Mid-Eastern Conference to the Big South, Hampton is still scheduling like a non-playoff entity, with two lower division opponents. Howard is on the schedule to continue “The Real HU” series. For an FBS opponent, Old Dominion is perfect. Not a big travel game for the check. Hampton still has the option to add another opponent, but seems to be leaning to just a 10-game schedule overall now.
Kennesaw State: vs. Point (lower), @ Kent State (FBS), vs. Alabama State, vs. Tarleton State, vs. Samford.
  • Lower division Point does nothing but ensure a win that will not mean much except padding stats. The road game to Kent State, from FBS, is a return to a game played last season. The final three non-conference games are all at home. Two of the three should be slam dunk wins, the other, Samford, should be in their favor as well. A solid schedule for a team hoping to be fighting for a playoff berth later.
Monmouth: @ Rutgers (FBS), @ Albany, @ Maine, vs. Fordham, vs. Wagner.
  • A good mix of home and road here. Both FCS road games go to Colonial Athletic schools. Both FCS home games are direct New York City metro-area opponents. The season opener at FBS Rutgers is in their own state of New Jersey. So a good paycheck and minimal travel. Schedule maker did them good here.
North Alabama: @ Western Illinois, vs. Jacksonville State, @ Chattanooga, @ Virginia Tech (FBS), @ Brigham Young (FBS).
  • This is a tough non-conference schedule, for anyone. Even though Western Illinois has fallen on hard times, it’s a road game against a Missouri Valley school. Jacksonville State and Chattanooga are awesome local rivalries. Hopefully these games continue to stay on the schedule for years to come. The Brigham Young game is a regular season finale.
Big South Numbers
3 vs. CAA
1 vs. MEAC
1 vs. MVFC
1 vs. NEC
1 vs. OVC
1 vs. Patriot
1 vs. Pioneer
8 vs. Southern
1 vs. SWAC
3 vs. FCS Independents
8 vs. FBS
5 vs. Lower Division (Div-II, Div-III, NAIA, NCCAA)