Four Teams Need a 2013 Non-Conference Football Game

By Kevin Kelley -
Syracuse Orange

Syracuse is the last ACC team that needs a non-conference game. Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

After a flurry of scheduling activity over the last week, only four teams remain that need a non-conference football game in 2013: New Mexico State, Syracuse, UL Lafayette, and Western Kentucky.

That number could easily be two as New Mexico State and UL Lafayette are reportedly discussing a game for Nov. 2, 2013.

Just last week, there were nine teams in need of a game. Let’s take a look at the four remaining teams:

New Mexico State

NMSU will be playing their first season as an FBS Independent. The Aggies have 11 games lined up and their 12th game could be a visit from UL Lafayette, according to a report from The Daily Advertiser.

New Mexico State had 12 games on their schedule, but Idaho replaced a Nov. 2 home game against the Aggies with a game against Texas State. That happened because Sun Belt members Florida Atlantic and Middle Tennessee left for Conference USA a year early. With all SBC teams needing a 5th non-conference game, Idaho answered the call and eliminated one of their two games against NMSU in 2013.


The Orange are currently slated to face Penn State at MetLife Stadium (Aug. 31), travel to Northwestern (Sept. 7), and host Tulane (Sept. 21).

Syracuse needs one non-conference game and has the option of adding an FCS team. They have been in discussions with Old Dominion, but nothing has materialized yet.

This game, plus a date for Troy at Duke, are the only two games that are holding up the release of the complete 2013 ACC football schedule.

UL Lafayette

The Ragin’ Cajuns need five non-conference games since the Sun Belt only has eight teams in 2013. They open the season at Arkansas (Aug. 31), play at Kansas State (Sept. 7), host Nicholls State (Sept. 14), and then travel to Akron (Sept. 21).

As mentioned above, UL Lafayette is in discussions to play at New Mexico State on Nov. 2, 2013.

Western Kentucky

WKU also needs five non-conference games, and there have been no published reports of a possible fifth opponent. The Hilltoppers are scheduled to play Kentucky in Nashville (Aug. 31), travel to Tennessee (Sept. 7), host Navy (Sept. 28), and play at Army (Nov. 9).

Listed below are teams that recently completed their 2013 schedule and who they added:

Update (2/7/13)

The game between New Mexico State and UL Lafayette is now official, so those two schools can be removed from the list. Syracuse and Western Kentucky are currently the only two FBS programs that need a non-conference game.

  1. Herandos
    February 6, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    The Final Four: Syracuse, New Mexico State, UL Lafayette, Western Kentucky sounds nice.

  2. Anonymous
    February 6, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    ULL vs New Mexico State, Western Kentucky vs Syracuse. Problem solved.

  3. Stuart
    February 6, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    There could be more movement. SMU wants out of their game with Texas A&M, and reportedly offered Louisville in their place. That is being mulled. (SMU has Tech, Baylor, TCU and A&M in a murderous OOC schedule.)

    If that happens SMU would need a game and Louisville will have to drop somebody like Eastern Kentucky.

    Also reported on this site, ODU @ UNC may move to 11/23.

    So adjustments will continue as schools need to balance schedules

    • Greg
      February 6, 2013 at 8:24 pm

      Pretty sure Louisville and SMU are in the same conference next season, so non-conference game between the two isn’t happening

    • Kro
      February 6, 2013 at 10:40 pm

      Let’s not forget that the MW teams which travel to Hawaii (an issue that should be hashed out much sooner in the future) are also in play except for Colorado State.

    • Mike
      February 8, 2013 at 5:35 pm

      Officials at SMU say there are no plans to cancel the Texas A & M game.

  4. Kevin Kelley
    February 6, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    Thanks. As of now this is how it shakes out. But as you stated, things can always change down the line.

  5. Kro
    February 6, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    Is there a hard deadline for when teams must report their finalized schedules?

  6. TopperFan
    February 6, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    WKU will probably pick up Div 1aa school for their 12th game. Would love to see EKU at Houchen’s/Smith Stadium again.

  7. chris earing
    February 6, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    Dick ‏@GodNolegod

    @mattsarz Jimbo Fisher says FSU/Pitt possibly moving to Labor Day.

  8. Bill
    February 7, 2013 at 11:59 am

    Both schools are open on Sept 14 (week 3). This is probably early enough in the year that the conference won’t be holding the date. WKU will still have 5 home games on campus, and a 6th (against UK) where WKU moved it across the state line to nearby Nashville.

    • Kevin Kelley
      February 7, 2013 at 12:40 pm

      It’s hard to tell because both the ACC and Sun Belt schedule conference games any week of the year. There was chatter of Syracuse playing ODU. If that happens, WKU will find an FCS foe as well.

  9. Travis
    February 7, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    i know it’s been this way for quite a few years now… but you must schedule 12 regular season games right? i remember when it was 11, but now every team schedules 12 unless they play at Hawaii, where they can schedule 13, is that correct? 11 is no longer the bare minimum?

    • Kevin Kelley
      February 7, 2013 at 3:25 pm

      I’m not aware of a bare minimum in the NCAA rulebook. I know that FBS teams have to play a minimum of 5 games at home. Schools could play 11 if desired, but more money is earned by playing a 12th game.

    • Brendan the Aspie
      February 8, 2013 at 9:27 pm

      Temple only played 11 last year – as mentioned earlier in the comments, they tried to schedule a 12th against Hawaii but ultimately weren’t able to do it.

  10. ykw
    February 20, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    As mentioned, schools visiting Hawaii can add a 13th game. USC and Colorado State already are at 13, that leaves Army, Fresno State, San Diego State and San Jose State as potential opponents for Syracuse or Western Kentucky.

    All these schools except Army show open dates on September 14th.

  11. Chris Earing
    February 21, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    sounds like cuse has filled its non conference with a game at home with wagner possibly 9/14