Georgia Southern has everything to prove this season. They’re coming off their third straight FCS semi-finals appearance, have a move to the Sun Belt come 2014, and are ineligible for the postseason. While the rest of their Southern Conference schedule is going to be daunting (games @ Appalachian State and @ Wofford), most of the Eagle faithful have their eyes set on this matchup in the swamp. This game is situated directly between the Gators’ matchup with South Carolina and their game against the Seminoles of Florida State. If the Eagles can surprise Florida early, we may have an upset on our hands.
4. Central Arkansas @ Colorado (9/7)
Central Arkansas had a standout season in 2012 with a second round appearance in the FCS playoffs, and a win over eventual FCS runner-up Sam Houston State. Colorado has been somewhat lackluster recently, and Central Arkansas has a great QB in Wynrick Smothers. Look for a low scoring affair with most of the yards coming through the air. Sorry, Buffs, but UCA has your number.
3. Old Dominion @ East Carolina (8/31)
With Old Dominion making the transition to Conference USA this season, this will be their first true test. Taylor Heinicke is, arguably, one of the best quarterbacks the FCS has seen, and the Walter Payton Award winner isn’t looking to slow down any time soon. ECU is coming off a bowl loss to Louisiana-Lafayette, and needs this win to stay on the right foot. Get ready to see a high scoring game between two potent offenses.
2. Montana State @ SMU (9/7)
Montana State may have made a few fans angry by pulling out of a game with North Dakota State for this game, but the Bobcat faithful have nothing to worry about here. SMU is coming off a 7-6 season with a win in the Hawaii Bowl against Fresno State. Montana State is coming off a great season with a quarterfinal appearance in the FCS playoffs. Look for Montana State to pull ahead early, and potentially shock the Mustang faithful at home.
1. North Dakota State @ Kansas State (8/30)
The defending two-time FCS national champions are taking on the reigning Big 12 champions in a game that is sure to make headlines. On one side, you have the Bison who are coming off their second FCS championship, and looking for a third. On the other, you have an incredibly powerful Big 12 team who are looking to make it to another BCS bowl, or even the national championship. This is going to be both teams’ first test, and could potentially go either way. The Wildcats definitely have their hands full with the Bison.