College Football 2012: 10 Worst Home Schedules This Season
Every year, college football fans look at their respective team’s schedule and circle the best games.
Great matchups on the road are always exciting. Nothing, however, is more exciting than a great home schedule.
Unfortunately, every program doesn’t have a great home schedule every year. Be it by their own doing or by the conference’s, some teams inevitably end up with a home schedule that leaves a lot to be desired.
Season ticket holders don’t want to find their team on this list. Here are the 10 worst home schedules in 2012.
Home Games: Murray State, Savannah State, Wake Forest, Clemson, Boston College, Duke, Florida
Jimbo Fisher’s Seminoles will find themselves ranked near the top of many writers’ preseason polls. The pieces are in place for Florida State to have a return to national prominence.
Great games won’t be happening, however, at Doak Campbell Stadium on a weekly basis.
Due to circumstances beyond its control, Florida State has two FCS teams on the schedule in 2012. Instead of West Virginia making the trip to Tallahassee in early September, Savannah State will come calling. That will drop the schedule difficulty down a couple rungs.
The Seminoles get three of the bottom four in the ACC at home, and a Clemson team that is trending downward.
The Florida game is always a fun rivalry, but the Gators aren’t at Florida State’s level in 2012.
Home Games: Western Michigan, Charleston Southern, Louisiana Tech, Penn State, Indiana, Minnesota, Purdue
Ron Zook is out as the Illinois coach, and Tim Beckman slides into his place for 2012. The task won’t be easy though in year one as the Illini have Michigan, Ohio State, and Wisconsin on the schedule. To make matters worse, all three of those games are on the road.
Because of this, the Illinois home schedule is particularly weak. All four Big Ten home games feature teams in the bottom half of the conference. Add that to three non-conference home games, including one against an FCS school, and you have a home schedule lacking a marquee game.
Home Games: Arkansas State, Fresno State, Tennessee Tech, Arizona, Washington, Colorado, Stanford
The Pac-12 has a couple of very good teams at the top of the conference. After that is a considerable drop-off.
Oregon’s non-conference schedule won’t offer much resistance, as the Ducks should roll out of the gate.
In conference play, a home game against Stanford highlights the home schedule, but the Cardinal are due for a couple steps back in the post-Andrew Luck era.
Home Games: Howard, Connecticut, Syracuse, Kent State, Army, Louisville
Greg Schiano has moved on to the NFL with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and now Kyle Flood will try his hand leading the Scarlet Knights.
The Big East is going to look drastically different in the next few years. The current version lacks a top-flight team.
Couple a bad conference with very poor non-conference home games and you end up on this list. At least they have one game with what should be a quality Louisville squad.
Home Games: San Jose State, Duke, USC, Arizona, Washington State, Oregon State
As was mentioned before with Oregon, the Pac-12 is very top-heavy. USC is one of the preseason favorites to win the national championship and the Cardinal get them in Palo Alto. That’s the only game that draws any sort of intrigue.
San Jose State and Duke will provide very little challenge, and the other three foes will all be near the bottom of the conference.
The Cardinal are due to fall back in 2012, and most of the interesting games will take place on the road.
Home Games: Northwestern, Stony Brook, Pittsburgh, Connecticut, Louisville, Temple
The Orange have six home games during the 2012 season. However, three of those will take place on a Friday. That fact alone is enough to include them on this list.
A date with Louisville will at least bring one quality team to the Carrier Dome. Everyone else on the home schedule is mediocre at best. Plus, there’s a date with FCS Stony Brook to drag the schedule difficulty down.
Syracuse fans will get to see several good teams during the season, mostly away from the Dome though.
Home Games: Liberty, North Carolina, Army, Duke, Clemson, Boston College, Vanderbilt
It seems like a long time since the Demon Deacons won the ACC in 2006. Since then, Wake Forest has returned to its average state in the middle of a lackluster ACC.
The ACC has not measured up well with the top conferences in America of late. The Wake Forest home schedule features dates with bottom-feeders Boston College and Duke, along with Army and FCS foe Liberty.
It’s never a good sign when Vanderbilt is one of your best home games.
Home Games: Memphis, Alcorn State, Western Kentucky, South Alabama, Louisiana-Monroe, Middle Tennessee
Quick note: This list could have easily included all non-BCS schools. Instead, we picked the three worst.
Arkansas State had a fantastic 2011, going undefeated in Sun Belt play. Head coach Hugh Freeze used the success to get his new job at Ole Miss. In his place, the Red Wolves hired highly sought after Gus Malzahn.
Malzahn’s first season in Jonesboro won’t offer very much in terms of difficulty on their home turf. Included in their home schedule is Memphis, who has been one of the worst teams in America the last couple years, FCS member Alcorn State, and South Alabama, one of four teams making the transition to FBS in 2012.
Add in three other Sun Belt foes and you have one of the lightest home schedules in the country.
Home Games: Idaho, Rhode Island, Miami (OH), Eastern Michigan, Kent State
One quick glance at the Falcons’ home schedule and it’s easy to see there is not a single average team coming into Doyt Perry Stadium. It’s not easy for a MAC team to have a BCS program agree to come play on their turf, but several have managed it.
Ball State (South Florida), Buffalo (Pitt), Central Michigan (Michigan State), Northern Illinois (Kansas), Toledo (Cincinnati), UMass (Indiana) and Western Michigan (Connecticut) all have BCS programs playing at their stadiums this fall.
The only two non-conference foes coming to Bowling Green this season are Idaho and FCS Rhode Island.
Without a BCS foe on the home turf, this is easily one of the worst home schedules in the country.
Home Games: Troy, Tulsa, SE Louisiana, East Carolina, Marshall, Memphis
The Blazers of UAB struggled their way to just two wins in 2011, and things aren’t looking much better for 2012.
Case Keenum and Houston made headlines for Conference USA last season, going undefeated until the conference championship. In 2012, Conference USA won’t have a team that dominated like the Cougars did, but they do have several average or better teams.
Central Florida, SMU, Southern Miss and even Houston should all be formidable foes this fall. Unfortunately for the few who attend UAB games, none of those teams will be visiting Birmingham this year.
Instead, they’ll get to watch Troy, Southeastern Louisiana and a Memphis team that might be the worst in America. That will earn you a spot on this list.