FBS college football teams with non-conference openings in 2023

By Kevin Kelley -

Most Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) teams have their non-conference football schedules set for the 2023 season, but a handful still need one game or have not revealed their final opponent.

Two schools, Jacksonville State and Sam Houston, are currently in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) but are moving up to the FBS and will compete in Conference USA beginning in 2023. Both schools have yet to announce their fourth and final non-conference opponent.

The New Mexico State Aggies, which are joining Conference USA after five seasons as an FBS Independent, are actually over-scheduled by a few games based on public announcements and records searches to date. We currently have seven non-conference opponents listed for NM State, but that will need to be whittled down to four. However, the Aggies have the option to play five non-conference opponents if their game against Hawaii remains on the schedule.

A tweet by Las Cruces Sun-News reporter Jason Groves indicates that NM State will play five non-conference games in 2023 with previously scheduled contests against Louisiana and San Diego State dropping off the slate. If that is indeed finalized, both Louisiana and San Diego State will need one game.

The 12 other opponents that play Hawaii could also play a 13th game in 2023 due to the Hawaii Exemption, but that is the exception rather than the norm so we won’t speculate on that. Currently, none of those 12 teams are set to play 13 games next season.

Below are the teams that currently have one non-conference opening in 2023, or their final opponent has not been officially announced (as of Jan. 6, 2023).

BAYLOR

Texas State (9/2), Utah (9/9)

Baylor has two of their three non-conference opponents scheduled. Their third game will likely be against an opponent from the FCS.

UPDATE (Jan. 31): Baylor added a home game against LIU to complete their schedule.

JACKSONVILLE STATE

at Coastal Carolina (9/9), Eastern Michigan (9/23), at South Carolina (11/4)

Jacksonville State has three of their four non-conference opponents scheduled. Their fourth game will likely be against an opponent from the FCS.

UPDATE (Jan. 13): Jacksonville State added a home game against ETSU to complete their schedule.

LOUISIANA

Northwestern State (9/2), at UAB (9/16), at Minnesota (9/30)

Louisiana’s game against New Mexico State will not be played in 2023 due to the Aggies moving to a conference and having to trim games. Expect Louisiana to schedule one of the available teams listed here since they already have an FCS opponent.

MIAMI (Fla.)

Miami Ohio (9/2), Texas A&M (9/9), at Temple (9/23)

A source told FBSchedules.com recently that Miami has still not finalized their fourth opponent for 2023. It could be against an FCS opponent or from one of the other FBS teams that need a game.

UPDATE (Jan. 13): Miami added a home game against Bethune-Cookman to complete their schedule.

OHIO

LIU (9/2), at Florida Atlantic (9/9), Iowa State (9/16)

Ohio already has an FCS opponent scheduled, LIU, so their fourth and final opponent should come from one of the other teams mentioned here.

UPDATE (Jan. 18): Ohio added a game at San Diego State to complete their schedule.

SAM HOUSTON

at BYU (9/2), Air Force (9/9; in Houston, TX), at Houston (9/23)

Sam Houston has three of their four non-conference opponents scheduled. Their fourth game will likely be against an opponent from the FCS.

UPDATE (Jan. 20): Sam Houston added a home game against Kennesaw State to complete their schedule.

SAN DIEGO STATE

Idaho State (8/26; Week Zero), UCLA (9/9), at Oregon State (9/16)

Like Louisiana, San Diego State also needs a non-conference opponent in 2023. Their game with NM State was scheduled for Sept. 2, but NM State later scheduled a home contest against Western Illinois on the same date.

UPDATE (Jan. 24): San Diego State added a game vs. Ohio to complete their schedule.

SMU

Louisiana Tech (9/2), at Oklahoma (9/6), at TCU (9/23)

SMU has three of their four non-conference opponents scheduled. Their fourth game will likely be against an FCS school.

UPDATE (Jan. 24): SMU added a game vs. PVAMU to complete their schedule.

SOUTHERN MISS

at Florida State (9/9), Tulane (9/16), at Mississippi State (11/18)

Southern Miss athletics director Jeremy McClain said last month on a radio show that the school is in the process of adding Alcorn State to their schedule, but the contract has not been finalized yet.

TULANE

South Alabama (9/2), Ole Miss (9/9), at Southern Miss (9/16)

Tulane head coach Willie Fritz said on Thursday that they will host Nicholls in 2023. The game will likely be on Sept. 23.

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Comments (12)

Kennesaw St is in the transition phase… And needs a lot of games. Do they count as an FCS or FBS opponent?

ETSU needs to hit up Miami or Jacksonville State. Liberty bounced them from their 2023 schedule when they joined CUSA, so ETSU needs an FBS money game on their schedule.

If I recall correctly, Miami (Fla.) had a 2020 game at Michigan State scrapped due to Covid. Has that game been cancelled, or will it be rescheduled?

By my quick research, there are five P5 programs that are not playing a P5 OOC opponent (Boston College, Michigan, Oklahoma, Oregon State, and UCLA). BC plays Army, so I guess that satisfies the (unofficial?) requirement, though it really shouldn’t. No excuse for the other four programs, though I’ll cut UCLA a little slack since Michigan pulled the rug out of their scheduled series a few weeks back.

San Diego State is close to P5 status if P12 expands and they play Oregon State and UCLA

Ha! When I first read the headline, I thought…
“Don’t 95% of teams open with a non-conference game?”

It would be interesting to see the FCS teams that have openings.
I know that Sac State and Weber State have openings, but they already have FBS opponents scheduled, so they’re unlikely to schedule another FBS team.

Albany has a TBA on 9/2 and a bye on 9/16. They have one more game possible due to their Hawai’i Exemption (play them on 9/9).

This site shows Marshall with only eleven games, with openings on both of those days.