College Football

What FCS conferences are playing each other

By CRAIG HALEY

STATS FCS Senior Editor

(STATS) - Upsets of FBS programs early in the season are huge for the FCS, but the conference matchups are just as important, proving teams will cross intersectional lines and not shy away from facing each other.

The 2018 season is particularly rich in nonconference matchups.

Here's a quick synopsis of the fun ahead:

First Matchup: North Carolina A&T versus Jacksonville State (Aug. 25). N.C. A&T's longest winning streak in the FCS (12 games) is on the line against a JSU squad trying to win the FCS Kickoff for the second straight year.

Best Series: The Big Sky/MVFC Challenge Series has eight matchups, featuring Northern Iowa at Montana, Montana at Western Illinois, Western Illinois at Montana State, Montana State at South Dakota State and South Dakota at Weber State.

Biggest Reach: The Big South will play opponents from nine conferences - all but the Big Sky, Missouri Valley and Southland - plus four games against the two independent programs that will join the conference next year, Hampton and North Alabama.

Most Matchups: Patriot League teams play 10 games against the Ivy League and another nine against CAA Football teams.

Closest Matchups: Towson will travel to Morgan State - just over four miles away - for the Battle for Greater Baltimore. Staying within the city limits of Charleston, Charleston Southern will make the 16-mile drive south to The Citadel to renew their intense rivalry.

Farthest Matchups: Frequent flyer miles anyone? Brown heads west to Cal Poly (3,120 miles), while Harvard hosts San Diego (3,041).

Best Matchups: Take your pick because Northern Iowa at Montana, Jacksonville State versus Kennesaw State (in Atlanta) and Delaware at North Dakota State all whet the appetite.

Worst Matchups: Well, North Dakota State also is hosting FCS newcomer North Alabama and Jacksonville State will host Mississippi Valley State. Arkansas-Pine Bluff at South Dakota State isn't on the must-see list, either.

Potential Opportunities: It would be nice to see Southland games against the Missouri Valley or Southern Conference, Harvard against New Hampshire (they last met in 1939) and Georgetown versus Howard (located just over a mile apart in Washington, D.C.).

Updated June 20, 2018

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