Before we get into this year's selection, let's take a look back and see how last season's shameful scheduling worked out. The biggest blowout was courtesy of Cincinnati, who nipped Southeast Missouri State 70-3. That was a little bit better than South Florida's 59-0 hogswagglin' of Charleston Southern. The closest of the contests...West Virginia only beat Liberty 33-20 while Syracuse pulled away late to beat Maine 41-24. However Rutgers, who appeared four times on the list, had the closest call with a 23-15 win over lowly FIU.
Of course, of the 13 games I listed last year the Big East won all of them. I guess that's why you play'm. So let's find out which sacrificial lambs have been lined up this year...*
*Syracuse remains the lone team in all of the FBS to have an open slot on the schedule. That slot will almost undoubtedly be filled with a 1-AA opponent and when it does, we'll add it to the list. But, we can't sit around waiting for SU to get off it's butt all day. We've got teams to embarrass.
(By the way, check out how many of these games takes place on September 11th. You might want to go outside or read a book that weekend.)
#12 - New Hampshire @ Pittsburgh, September 11th - New Hampshire is the two-time defending CAA champion and coming off a 10-3 campaign. In 2008, they even beat FBS Army 28-10. Pittsburgh may have gone 1-AA but they went with a strong choice.
#11 - Rutgers @ Florida International, September 11th - Good old FIU. The 3-9 Panthers gave Rutgers a run for their money last year, losing only 23-15. This year the game heads to FIU Community Stadium (actual name) for the revenge match.
#10 - Florida International @ Pittsburgh, October 2nd - If FIU does one thing well it's schedule bigger programs to cash in on the paychecks. They've got no problem loading up and this year is no exception. Along with Pitt and Rutgers, they'll also play Maryland and Texas A&M. Pitts gets them after they've already been softened up by the other three teams. It should be go-time.
#9 - Florida Atlantic @ South Florida, October 2nd - There's nothing inherently terrible about FAU. There's just nothing inherently all that good either. The Owls got smoked by Nebraska 49-3 and South Carolina 38-16 last season. A 56-29 loss to UAB doesn't help the resume either.
#8 - Maine @ Syracuse, September 18th - The Orange won four games last season and Maine (41-24) was one of them. The 5-6 Bears put up more of a fight than the Orange were expecting. That said, when Syracuse can win a game simply because it has better athletes on the field than you, you know you don't have much of a chance.
#7 - Eastern Kentucky @ Louisville, September 11th - The Colonels aren't half-bad. Last season was a rare losing one, though they played FBS Indiana tough in a 19-13 loss. The year before that they got walloped by Cincy 40-7, so as tough as they might be, they're still who they are and Louisville is who they are.
#6 - Texas Southern @ UConn, September 11th - You may remember Texas Southern from hits like "Rutgers 42-0" last season. To their credit, they're a team that has improved leaps and bounds since going 0-11 in 2007. That said, they haven't improved so much that they can track meet with a FBS school.
#5 - Coastal Carolina @ West Virginia, September 4th - Coastal Carolina is a glutton for punishment. In 2008 they scheduled Penn State (66-10) and now they'll travel to West Virginia for more of the same. The program is coming off their third-straight mediocre year (5-6). Things don't bode well.
#4 - Norfolk State @ Rutgers, September 2nd - The Spartans aren't that shabby for a 1-AA team, coming off a 7-4 season. These two tangled in 2007 when they were an even better 8-3. Final score: Rutgers 59, Norfolk 0.
#3 - Western Kentucky @ South Florida, September 25th - South Florida has the luxury of playing at Western Kentucky last year and helped themselves to a 35-13 win. This time the game is in Tampa and the Hilltoppers are coming off a dismal 0-12 season in which three different opponents scored 60+ on them in a game. This one could get ooogly.
#2 - Stony Brook @ South Florida, September 4th - The Seawolves are the very picture of FCS mediocrity. They have finished either 6-5 or 5-6 every season since 2005. As for how they ended up on South Florida's schedule...good question. It's their first foray into the world of FBS scheduling (first season was 1969). The school will also play Army in 2011 and Buffalo in 2012. They might have wanted to start with one of them rather than USF. This could get ugly.
#1 - Indiana State @ Cincinnati, September 11th - Cincy sure knows how to pick'm. The Sycamores went 1-10 last season, their FIFTH-straight season with double-digit losses. They lost 30-10 to Louisville in their FBS game last season. No matter how much the Bearcats might drop off this year, they're not going to have any problem beating these guys by 50.