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MAC Football's 2011 Nonconference Schedule: Observations And Notes

I missed this last week, but the games aren't for many months, much to the chagrin of all us, so it remains fresh. But the complete 2011 slate of nonconference games was unveiled by the MAC this week. Most of these games were already known, however for the first time they all are in one compact URL.

Ivan Maisel noted the disparity of home- and away- games against AQ conference teams, but that's nothing new.

Home and away games, by conference (our PDF version):

Big Ten (8)
Big East (7)
Big 12 (4)
SEC (3)
WAC (2)
ACC (2)

FCS (12)
FBS Independent (4)
Big East (2)
Big Ten (2)
Mountain West (2)
Sun Belt (2)
Conference USA (1)

Big Ten (1)

More breakdowns after the jump.

• Only two trips will be made out West, both to Mountain Standard Time and both on the opening Saturday (September 3): Bowling Green at Idaho, and OHIO to New Mexico State

• Army has four MAC games, which isn't weird, except that all four are at MAC sites. Weird. And three of 'em are going to be tough games: at NIU, at Miami, at Temple.

• The most prevalent FCS conferences are the Big South and the MEAC, each who will send three schools to different MAC schools for beatdowns.

• The oddest nonconference opponent has to be South Alabama. Read up on this rising program if you have a chance. They've only been in existence for two years, and their record is 17-0. Last year they were an "unclassified" team, meaning they didn't belong to a division. This year they're an independent team in the FCS, and their goal is to make the Sun Belt by 2013. Their first two FBS opponents ever will be NC State and Kent State, in that order, meaning the Flashes probably won't get the chance to drop the first L on USA's football program. (Oh yeah, and also their acronym is USA. Ballsy.) It may look like an easy win now, but don't fret; in five years they should beat a MAC team in a bowl game.

• Teams with just one nonconference home game, meaning just five at home overall: CMU and WMU. Teams with three nonconference home games: Temple and NIU, if you count…

• …the one semi-home game, which is NIU vs. Wisconsin in Soldier Field.

• Teams who didn't schedule an FBS opponent: Ball State and Miami. Teams who scheduled two: EMU.

• Schools who get multiple MAC games: four for Army, and two each for Ohio State, Michigan, and Penn State.