Every season has its share of embarrassing non-conference schedules and, ironically enough, it's often the biggest programs in the country that should be ashamed of their out-of-conference matchups. Here are nine of this year's most pathetic, including a Big 12 team that hasn't scheduled a tough non-conference game since seemingly the turn of the century and an SEC powerhouse with the nerve to schedule two FCS foes at home in September.
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9. Eastern Michigan
|at Coastal Carolina||Aug. 31|
|at Kentucky||Sept. 7|
|at Illinois||Sept. 14|
|vs. Central Connecticut||Sept. 21|
Considering the Eagles are no longer an FBS laughingstock, having played in two bowls games since 2016, this is the best the athletic department could do for its players and loyal fans: One lousy home non-conference game versus an FCS squad that went 6-5 last year?
|vs. Indiana State||Aug. 31|
|vs. Coastal Carolina||Sept. 7|
|at Boston College||Sept. 13|
On the bright side, the Jayhawks have a legit chance of going 3-0 entering Big 12 play.
7. Texas Tech
|vs. Montana State||Aug. 31|
|vs. UTEP||Sept. 7|
|at Arizona||Sept. 14|
An FCS school, a Miners' program with one win over the past two seasons, and a Wildcats' squad that finished 5-7 last year.
6. Washington State
|vs. New Mexico State||Aug. 31|
|vs. Northern Colorado||Sept. 7|
|vs. Houston (NRG Stadium)||Sept. 13|
And this is how Cougars' QBs light it up at the start of each season.
|vs. Portland State||Aug. 31|
|vs. Colorado State||Sept. 14|
|vs. San Jose State||Sept. 21|
|vs. Western Kentucky||Nov. 9|
Seems like easy sledding for the Razorbacks until we remember they lost 34-27 at Colorado State last year and North Texas thrashed them 44-17 in Fayetteville.
|vs. Duke (Mercedes-Benz Stadium)||Aug. 31|
|vs. New Mexico State||Sept. 7|
|vs. Southern Miss||Sept. 21|
|vs. Western Carolina||Nov. 23|
Enough with the late-November FCS matchups already, and the September schedule is a joke.
3. Ohio State
|vs. Florida Atlantic||Aug. 31|
|vs. Cincinnati||Sept. 7|
|vs. Miami (OH)||Sept. 21|
Meanwhile, conference-mate Purdue faces three bowl teams from a year ago: Nevada, Vanderbilt, and TCU.
|vs. Stephen F. Austin||Aug. 31|
|vs. UTSA||Sept. 7|
|at Rice||Sept. 21|
2018: Abilene Christian, UTSA. 2017: Liberty, UTSA. 2016: Northwestern State, SMU, Rice. 2015: SMU, Lamar, Rice. 2014: SMU, Northwestern State, Buffalo, 2013: Wofford, Buffalo, Louisiana-Monroe. 2012: SMU, Sam Houston State, Louisiana-Monroe.
Other than a home-and-home series versus Duke during this span, this is the best the Bears could do?
|vs. Miami (Camping World Stadium)||Aug. 24|
|vs. UT Martin||Sept. 7|
|vs. Towson||Sept. 28|
|vs. Florida State||Nov. 30|
The Gators get a hall pass for playing two FCS teams last year considering Idaho was still an FBS member when the contract was signed, but there is no excuse whatsoever for playing both UT Martin and Towson at home even with the other non-conference matchups against Miami and Florida State.