FCS Independent Football 2020 Non-Conference Schedule Analysis

FCS Independents
FCS Non-Conference Schedule Analysis
Okay, before we get too far into this, technically, there are four FCS Independents in 2020. We have the three listed below and Merrimack. However, Merrimack plays all but one conference team in the Northeast Conference, where they will become a full-fledged member in 2021 or 2022, so I’m just going to include them there anyway. Almost did the same with Presbyterian in the Pioneer League, but they’re only playing two teams from their 2021 home, so I’m going to leave them here. Schedules here are usually very lopsided. Many road games against powerful FCS programs and home games against lower division foes. It’s the life of teams transitioning.
Dixie State: @ Southern Utah, vs. South Dakota Mines (lower), @ Montana State, vs. Drake, @ Sacramento State, @ Weber State, @ South Dakota, vs. Asuza Pacific (lower), vs. Western Colorado (lower), @ Illinois State, @ Tarleton State.
  • Welcome to Division I FCS. The Trailblazers will use this season of getting their feet wet by racking up many frequent flyer miles. There’s only four home games on the schedule. Home is St. George, Utah for those who don’t know. They were able to score one of those home games against FCS Drake, so it’s not an exclusive home diet of lower division opponents. It’s cool they finish the season with fellow FCS debuter, Tarleton State.
Presbyterian: @ Morehead State, @ Johnson C. Smith (lower), vs. Virginia-Wise (lower), @ Gardner-Webb, vs. Stetson, @ Incarnate Word, vs. Erskine (lower), @ Campbell, @ Furman, vs. Merrimack, vs. Virginia-Lynchburg (lower).
  • Not a fan of this schedule. It’s understandable when moving from one conference to another and playing as an independent, you’re probably going to have some lower class opponents. But Presbyterian was in an AQ (Automatic Qualifying) conference (Big South). Having four of these games is bad, especially when one of them is on the road. Their scheduling will be more stable next year in the Pioneer League.
Tarleton State: @ Sam Houston State, @ Murray State, vs. Texas-Permian Basin (lower), @ Kennesaw State, vs. Eastern New Mexico (lower), vs. Texas A&M-Kingsville (lower), vs. Midwestern State (lower), @ Bethune-Cookman, vs. Missouri State, @ South Dakota State, vs. Dixie State.
  • For playing their first season at the FCS level, this is an excellent schedule. Yes, they do have four lower division games, but they did manage to get Missouri State and Dixie State at home. The Dixie State game is actually scheduled on First Round FCS Playoff weekend. Are they trying to tell us something? “Get used to seeing us there eventually?”


 FCS Independents Numbers
4 vs. Big Sky
3 vs. Big South
1 vs. MEAC
4 vs. MVC
1 vs. NEC
1 vs. OVC
3 vs. Pioneer
1 vs. Southern
2 vs. Southland
2 vs. FCS Independents
0 vs. FBS
11 vs. Lower Division (Div-II, Div-III, NAIA, NCCAA)