April 12, 2010

Breaking down the 2010 schedules

The end of the college basketball season brings about this stark reality: We're about 4 1/2 months from the start of the college football season.

To help pass the time, we'll begin breaking down 2010 football schedules.

Today, we'll have a broad overview of each league's non-conference schedule. Tuesday, we'll look at the 12 best non-conference games of the season. Wednesday, we'll look at the 12 most embarrassing non-conference games of the season.

One thing: While Notre Dame isn't a member of a "Big Six" conference, we are including the Irish when we talk about "Big Six" schools.

For the third season in a row, the number of games played by "Big Six" schools against FCS schools has increased from the season before. In 2005 - the last season before the 12-game regular season became standard - there were 31 such games; this season there are 57, an increase of one from '09.

The "Big Six" leagues
ACC
For the third season in a row, the ACC gets the ignominious honor of playing the most FCS schools of any FBS conference: 13, one fewer than last season. Every league team is playing at least one FCS opponent, and Virginia is playing two. The flipside is that for the second season in a row, the ACC gets to boast that it is the "Big Six" league playing the most non-conference games against other "Big Six" teams, with 19. Miami is playing three such games, Virginia Tech none. Maryland has just five home games, one of just three "Big Six" schools with fewer than six.
Big East
Syracuse still has one more game to fill on its schedule. As of now, Big East schools are playing eight games against FCS opponents, one fewer than last season. Every league member is playing at least one, and the potential exists, obviously, for Syracuse to play two. Big East teams are playing 15 non-conference games against other "Big Six" opponents, one fewer than last season; each league team is playing two except Rutgers, which has one. Big East members have seven road games against non-"Big Six" schools; that's tied for the most of any "Big Six" conference with the Big 12.
Big Ten
Big Ten members are playing 10 games against FCS schools, one more than last season. Ohio State is the only league team not playing a FCS opponent. League schools are playing 12 non-conference games against other "Big Six" schools, two fewer than last season. Indiana is the only league school with no non-conference games against "Big Six" foes. The Big Ten is tied with the Big 12 for the fewest non-conference games against "Big Six" foes. Ohio State has eight home games, while Northwestern has just five. The Wildcats are one of just three Big Six teams with fewer than six home games.
Big 12
There are eight games against FCS schools, a decrease of two from last season. Every league school except Colorado, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas has one game against a FCS foe. There are 12 non-conference games against "Big Six" opponents, but none of those for Baylor and Texas Tech. In fact, this is the fifth season in a row Texas Tech is playing no "Big Six" schools in non-conference play. The Big 12 is tied with the Big Ten for the fewest non-conference games against "Big Sixers." Colorado and Oklahoma each are playing two "Big Six" non-conference games. For the second season in a row, Big 12 schools are playing seven road games against non-"Big Six" members; that's tied for the most of any "Big Six" conference with the Big East.
Pac-10
League schools have seven games against FCS schools, an increase of three from last season but still the lowest of any "Big Six" league. Arizona State is playing two such opponents, while Oregon State, UCLA, USC and Washington are playing none. Pac-10 schools are playing 14 non-conference games against "Big Six" opponents, one fewer than last season.
SEC
There are 11 games against FCS opponents, the same number as last season. Vanderbilt is the only league school without an FCS foe. There are 16 non-conference games against "Big Six" opponents, an increase of two from last season. Ole Miss and Mississippi State are playing zero non-conference games against "Big Six" opponents, and Vanderbilt is playing three. Vandy and Miami are the only "Big Six" schools playing three non-conference games against other "Big Six" schools. Auburn has eight home games.
The other leagues
Conference USA
There are six games against FCS opponents - three fewer than last season. There also are 26 games against "Big Six" opponents, tied with the MAC and Sun Belt for the highest total nationally. Eleven of those "Big Six" matchups will be hosted by C-USA schools. East Carolina, Houston, Memphis and Rice each are playing three "Big Six" schools. It's the second season in a row ECU, Houston and Rice are playing three "Big Six" opponents. Interestingly, all three of Rice's will be at home.
Mid-American
League schools are playing 10 games against FCS members, an increase of one from last season. Ball State is playing two FCS opponents, and Bowling Green, Eastern Michigan, Miami and Toledo aren't playing any. MAC schools also are playing 26 games against "Big Six" foes, tied with C-USA and the Sun Belt for the highest total in the nation; three of those will be on MAC campuses. Akron, Miami and Northern Illinois each are playing three "Big Six" opponents.
Mountain West
There are four games against FCS schools, two fewer than last season. Air Force, San Diego State, TCU and Wyoming are playing FCS foes. Mountain West schools also are playing 15 games against "Big Six" opponents, with five of those on MWC campuses. Every league school is playing at least one "Big Six" opponent, and Utah is playing three.
Sun Belt
There are two games against FCS schools, the lowest number nationally and two fewer than last season. There also are 26 games against "Big Six" opponents, tied with C-USA and the MAC for the most nationally. Five of those games are on a Sun Belt campus. Florida International and Western Kentucky each are playing four "Big Six" opponents - which means that every non-conference game for those two is against a "Big Six" foe. Arkansas State, Florida Atlantic, Louisiana-Lafayette and Louisiana-Monroe are playing three each. FAU is the only school in the nation with just four home games; everybody else has at least five.
Western Athletic
There are eight games against FCS foes, one more than last season. San Jose State has two FCS opponents and Boise State and New Mexico State aren't playing any. There also are 14 games against "Big Six" opponents, with four of those on a WAC campus. Every league team is playing at least one Big Six opponent, and Fresno State is playing three.
Independents
There are two games against FCS foes, with Army and Navy each playing one. Army and Navy each are playing three "Big Six" teams, while Notre Dame is playing seven - down three from last season.
INSIDE THE SCHEDULES
"Big Six" vs. FCS games
2010: 57 total
2009: 56
2008: 51
2007: 41
2006: 47
2005: 31
(NOTE: 12-game regular seasons started in 2006.)
Playing two FCS teams
(NOTE: Asterisks denote "Big Six" schools)
Arizona State*
Ball State
San Jose State
Virginia*
Playing four "Big Sixers"
Florida International
Western Kentucky
Playing three "Big Sixers" in non-conference action
(NOTE: Asterisks denote "Big Six" schools)
Akron
Arkansas State
East Carolina
Florida Atlantic
Fresno State
Houston
Louisiana-Lafayette
Louisiana-Monroe
Memphis
Miami*
Miami (Ohio)
Northern Illinois
Rice
USC*
Utah
Vanderbilt*
Playing no "Big Sixers" in non-conference action
Baylor
Indiana
Mississippi
Mississippi State
Texas Tech
Virginia Tech
(NOTE: This is the fifth year in a row Texas Tech is on the list and the second season in a row for Ole Miss.)
Teams with eight home games
(All are "Big Six" schools)
Auburn
Ohio State
Teams with four home games
Florida Atlantic
Teams with five home games
(NOTE: Asterisks denote "Big Six" schools)
Arkansas State
Army
Bowling Green
Central Michigan
Colorado State
Eastern Michigan
Florida International
Louisiana-Lafayette
Louisiana-Monroe
Maryland*
Miami (Ohio)
Navy
Northern Illinois
Northwestern*
Troy
Western Kentucky
Non-"Big Sixers" playing host to "Big Sixers"
USC at Hawaii, Sept. 2
Minnesota at Middle Tennessee, Sept. 2
Pittsburgh at Utah, Sept. 2
Arizona at Toledo, Sept. 3
Syracuse at Akron, Sept. 4
Washington at BYU, Sept. 4
Cincinnati at Fresno State, Sept. 4
Texas at Rice, Sept. 4
Wisconsin at UNLV, Sept. 4
West Virginia at Marshall, Sept. 10
Rutgers at Florida International, Sept. 11
Ole Miss at Tulane, Sept. 11
N.C. State at Central Florida, Sept. 11
California at Nevada, Sept. 17
Kansas at Southern Miss, Sept. 17
Northwestern at Rice, Sept. 18
Washington State at SMU, Sept. 18
Connecticut at Temple, Sept. 18
Indiana at Western Kentucky, Sept. 18
Baylor at TCU, Sept. 18
Oregon State at Boise State, Sept. 25
Baylor at Rice, Sept. 25
Louisville at Arkansas State, Oct. 2
Oklahoma State at Louisiana-Lafayette, Oct. 8
Mississippi State at Houston, Oct. 9
N.C. State at East Carolina, Oct. 16
Tennessee at Memphis, Nov. 6
Kansas State at North Texas, Nov. 27
Illinois at Fresno State, Dec. 4
BY THE NUMBERS
A look at the power leagues and how many FCS and "Big Six" opponents each has played in the past three regular seasons:
FCS opponents
League2010200920082007Total
ACC131414748 (1st)
Big East897731 (5th)
Big Ten1099836 (3rd)
Big 128910835 (4th)
Pac-10742215 (6th)
SEC11119940 (2nd)
Total57565141-
"Big Six" opponents
League2010200920082007Total
ACC1920232284 (1st)
Big East1516161562 (2nd)
Big Ten1214131352 (5th)
Big 121211151149 (6th)
Pac-101415141154 (4th)
SEC1614151459 (3rd)
Total88909686-

Mike Huguenin is the college sports editor for Rivals.com. He can be reached at mhuguenin@rivals.com.




 

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