Maybe you’re tired of hearing about it, but it just fascinates the hell out of me so I’ll keep writing about it.
I talked before about how UConn football would benefit from a postponement of their departure from the AAC, for reasons both financial and purely scheduling related, then hammered those points home again as the list of scheduling options shrank.
Another month has passed, and that discussion could use an update because the few just keep becoming the fewer.
As of now, the following is the entire list of FBS football programs with an opening on their schedule for the 2020 season:
- Florida State
- Florida International
- Virginia Tech
- Old Dominion
- Texas Tech
That’s nine, which is theoretically enough options to produce eight games, enough for them to tack on an FCS home game somewhere and call it a day, right? If only it were so simple.
Let me put that list down again, but add the details back in for each team.
Florida State – Has one open spot left on their schedule, and there’s a high likelihood that’s going to get filled by an FCS team since the ‘Noles have played one every year for quite some time (and need another OOC home game anyway).
TCU/SMU – These teams both have room, but they’ve also been playing each other in non-conference play every year but one for the past 30 years and much further back than that. If you think either of these teams is picking a game against UConn over a game against each other, we should talk. TCU has a second open spot, but just like Florida State, they have a long history of giving one of those to an FCS team.
UCF – As much as either team is keen on perpetuating the legacy of this conFLiCT, I really doubt UConn fills in the Knights’ open space. UCF gains nothing from traveling to Rentschler, and the Huskies aren’t an opponent that anyone on Orlando wants to see.
Florida International – Also has a single spot open. They’ve had plenty of instances in the past of not scheduling any FCS opponents, but they also have three road games scheduled. If UConn does play FIU, they’ll be traveling to Miami to do it.
ULM – The Warhawks also have one slot open, but when you combine already having three road games scheduled and their strong penchant for an FCS opponent, the odds are much higher of ULM pursuing a home game with someone like Jackson State that might get them closer to bowl eligibility.
Virginia Tech/Old Dominion – I put these two together for similar reasons as TCU and SMU. They had never played prior to 2017, but this season they’ll play for the third year in a row, and they’re now scheduled to play every single season from 2022-2031. These teams both have an opening left for 2020, and it’s no guarantee but there’s very little to stop them from looking no further than scheduling each other to fill that void.
Texas Tech – The Red Raiders now have an opening on their 2020 schedule, so they’re an option in theory, but this is another team that pretty much always schedules an FCS opponent each season and hasn’t done so yet.
We haven’t even considered scheduling yet. UConn already has their September booked up, which would rule out pretty much all of these teams unless the Huskies move/cancel their game against Maine.
So unless UConn can convince multiple teams to forego an FCS home game (by taking FCS money for the game) then they’re looking at a minimum of probably three FCS opponents if not more. They’re also looking at an absolute maximum of five home games, with less than that being likely.
This isn’t surprising, but it’s just another example of how the football team is being sold upriver in order to pretend that focusing on basketball will fix much of anything.