Credit where credit is due. The guys over at The Belt caught this before I did. They also talk a bit about Ball State's matchup versus Penn State so if you're interested in other MAC teams and their OOC schedules pop over there for a read. Here I will be talking about UB and their future games / philosophy.
This is a rematch from a rather painful to watch 2015 game in which neither team really managed to get their offense going. The weather was miserable, Penn State was reeling from a loss against Temple, and UB's offense was still anemic under new head coach Lance Leipold.
Hopefully, Buffalo shows up for the next game.
Penn State is one of three Big 10 games announced this summer. The others being Rutgers and Nebraska. The Bulls have most of their out of conference set until 2020. Here it is below.
|2016||09/02 - Albany||FCS|
|09/17 - at Nevada||MWC|
|09/24 - Army||IND|
|10/01 - at Boston College||ACC|
|2017||08/31 - at Minnesota||B10|
|09/09 - at Army||IND|
|09/16 - Colgate||FCS|
|09/23 - Florida Atlantic||CUSA|
|2018||09/01 - Delaware State||FCS|
|09/08 - at Temple||AAC|
|09/22 - at Rutgers||B10|
|09/29 - Army||IND|
|2019||09/07 - at Penn State||B10|
|08/31 - Robert Morris||FCS|
|09/14 - at Old Dominion||CUSA|
|09/21 - Temple||AAC|
|2020||09/05 - at Kansas State||B12|
|09/12 - Old Dominion||FCS|
|10/24 - at Army||IND|
|2021||09/11 - at Nebraska||B10|
Notice a trend here? Cause I think I see something.
More and more of our non-conference "headline" games are in the North East corridor. Even our non P5 OOC road games are starting to take hold more in UB's huge Boston to DC alumni base.
And this is a very, very good thing.
I like Albany as an FCS opponent because even though we have "everything to lose" we are playing one of maybe two or three FCS teams that UB students might care about.
A lot of freshmen may have been considering Albany or Stoney Brook before being accepted by UB. (mandatory dig, don't take it personally smAlbany fans)
Colgate is not quite the same as Albany but it's close enough to Buffalo (3-hour drive) that their fans may come and make a weekend of it.
The Army series is great. Home and homes covering 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2020. West Point is very close to NYC from which more UB students come than from any other region and as a home game, we play someone that has a big fan base everywhere.
Let's just hope our defense plays better than on our last visit to West Point.
Temple home and home is a good series, even though I am traumatized by the last few times we played them and they completely dismantled UB. But the coaching change should, I hope, make a difference.
The same can be said for the Old Dominion series. There are a lot of UB Alumni in DC, they are a beatable team, and it's a 1:1.
The other G5 games on our schedule are the remnants of 1:1's.
FAU made sense because it got us into Florida for a game and they are beatable. Nevada... Meh. I don't get the Nevada Series geographically but it's sill a 1:1 vs a team we should have beaten the last time around.
Our "Payday games" are mostly either winnable, regional, or both (I'm looking at you, Rutgers).
Winnable: Minnesota, Rutgers, Boston College.
Now winnable does not mean I expect UB, as they are playing, will win these games. It means by the time the game is played UB can develop into a mid-major with "a punchers chance". These three teams are not football powers by any means.
Regional: Rutgers, Penn State.
I'm not throwing Penn State in "winnable" because I think the Lions are primed to get out from under the scandle and develop back into aa upper tier B10 program. Could UB get good enough by 2019? Sure. But I've not seen anything yet to give me the confidence that they *WILL* be that team.
Other: Kansas State, Nebraska
Nebraska is at a low point now but I suspect by 2021 they will have things back up to par. Kansas State has been solid for awhile. The positives here is that Nebraska is a high exposure game and their check will clear.
The only "throw away games" I see here are Delaware State and Robert Morris. Both of whom are FCS teams that almost nobody cares about.