Ohio Valley Football Non-Conference Schedule Analysis

Ohio Valley Conference
FCS Non-Conference Schedule Analysis
As far as scheduling goes, the Ohio Valley Conference does it as good as anyone. All non-conference games are taken care of before anyone gets started in conference play. Only the Big Sky and Missouri Valley accomplish this also. Every team in the OVC is also playing the maximum 12 game schedule. The biggest benefit about this is that the conference will have a true round-robin this season. During eleven-game years, Tennessee State misses one conference opponent so they can play three HBCU programs and one optional opponent. Yay 12!
Austin Peay: vs. North Carolina Central, vs. Central Arkansas, @ Mercer, @ East Tennessee State.
  • This is a very good schedule, especially for a team who took a minor step back last season after being one of the country’s sexy breakout picks a year earlier. The pressure should be toned down a bit, but the strength of this non-con schedule will not.
Eastern Illinois: @ Chattanooga, @ Indiana (FBS), vs. Illinois State, @ Indiana State.
  • The Panthers have two familiar MVFC foes on the schedule. Indiana is a solid neighboring FBS program to play. And Chattanooga gives them a shot against another AQ opponent.
Eastern Kentucky: vs. Valparaiso, @ Louisville (FBS), @ Indiana State, @ Presbyterian.
  • First look at this schedule and you might think EKU was trying to pad their win-loss record. Maybe they were. But three of these games are on the road, leading into conference play. And two of those roadies are against AQ opponents. So they aren’t total gimmes.
Jacksonville State: @ Southeastern Louisiana, vs. Chattanooga, vs. Eastern Washington, vs. North Alabama.
  • Now this is how you construct a schedule. Two neighboring AQ rivals. A road game a few states away, against a conference that doesn’t play many non-cons, Southeastern Louisiana. But the jewel here is Eastern Washington. A true national intersectional game that gets fans excited.
Murray State: vs. Pikeville (lower), @ Georgia (FBS), @ Toledo (FBS), vs. Morehead State.
  • This is a lousy, overly tough and overly weak schedule. The two FBS games are going to be ultra tough. The two home games against lower division and non-scholarship programs will show little to the Racers true value. Anything but 2-2 would be shocking.
Southeast Missouri State: vs. Southern Illinois, @ Montana State, @ Missouri (FBS), vs. West Virginia State (lower).
  • These first two games are terrific. Southern Illinois is a schedule staple and anything like last year’s game should always keep it there. Montana State is another intersectional game worth noting come playoff time. The other two games should result in a split, to no surprise.
Tennessee-Martin: vs. Northwestern State, @ Florida (FBS), @ Southern Illinois, @ Kentucky (FBS).
  • UTM has a nice home/road split with the MVFC and SLC. Those two SEC (FBS) games are not nice. Some are talking Florida approaching former levels of success and Kentucky ends the season, after FCS schools are less likely to pull upsets.
Tennessee State: vs. Mississippi Valley State, @ Middle Tennessee (FBS), vs. Jackson State, vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
  • For anyone else, this would be a paltry, terrible schedule. But Tennessee State is the one HBCU that doesn’t reside in the MEAC or SWAC, so they get their fill in non-conference action. The money game at Middle Tennessee gives them very little travel and a paycheck. All three SWAC games are showcases played at neutral sites.
Tennessee Tech: vs. Samford, @ Miami, OH (FBS), vs. Virginia-Wise (lower) @ Western Illinois.
  • Tennessee Tech needs to get better with their scheduling, unless just making money off others paying to beat them is the modus operandi. The lower division opponent will give them a real good shot at a win. Those other three are going to be brutal.
Ohio Valley Numbers
2 vs. Big Sky
2 vs. Big South
1 vs. MEAC
6 vs. MVFC
2 vs. Pioneer
5 vs. Southern
3 vs. Southland
3 vs. SWAC
9 vs. FBS
3 vs. Lower Division (Div-II, Div-III, NAIA, NCCAA)