Monday, February 2, 2015

Observations on Charlotte 49ers' 2015 football schedule

Observations on the Charlotte 49ers 2015 football schedule, which was released Monday afternoon. The 49ers' first Conference USA game will be at Middle Tennessee on Sept. 19:

-- First, the schedule (with last season's record):

Sept. 3, at Georgia State (1-11, 0-8 Sun Belt)

Sept. 12, Presbyterian (6-5, 2-3 Big South)

Sept. 19, at Middle Tennessee (6-6 5-3 C-USA

Sept. 26, Florida Atlantic (3-9, 2-6 C-USA)

Oct. 3, Temple (6-6, 4-4 AAC)

Oct. 10, BYE

Oct. 17, at Old Dominion (6-6, 4-4 C-USA)

Oct. 24, Southern Mississippi (3-9, 1-7 C-USA)

Oct. 31, Marshall (13-1, 7-1, C-USA)

Nov. 7, at Florida International (4-8, 3-5 C-USA)

Nov. 14, Texas-San Antonio (4-8, 3-5 C-USA)

Nov. 21, at Kentucky (5-7, 2-6 SEC)

Nov. 28, at Rice (8-5, 5-3 C-USA)

-- The 49ers will play in Conference USA's seven-team East Division, taking the spot vacated by Alabama-Birmingham, which discontinued football in December. There was speculation that the league would assign the 49ers what UAB's league schedule would have been based on last season -- a slate that would have included games at Marshall and Louisiana Tech, last season's two divisional champs. I'm told the 49ers lobbied hard for not that not to happen.

-- As it is, Charlotte's schedule includes the league's past three champions -- Marshall (2014) at home on Oct. 31, at Rice (2013) on Nov. 28 and Southern Miss (2011) at home on Oct. 24. The 49ers don't play Louisiana Tech.

-- The Sept. 3 date for the season opener at Georgia State in the Georgia Dome remains tentative until the NFL schedule is announced. The Panthers will be Charlotte's first against an FBS team and should be a good measuring stick. Georgia State also started football recently (in 2010), and was 1-11 in 2014 in its first season in FBS' Sun Belt Conference.

-- Aside from Georgia State, two other opponents also started football recently -- UTSA (2011) and ODU (2009). UTSA is the only school in NCAA history to make the move from FCS startup to FBS faster than Charlotte's two seasons. The Roadrunners did it after one year. 

-- Remember, the 49ers are eligible for the C-USA championship next season, but can't play in a bowl until the 2016 season.

-- No game times are set. Installation has begun on lights at Richardson Stadium. They're scheduled to be ready for the 49ers spring game on April 18.

-- Here's how the conference schedule works (courtesy Charlotte sports information):

"Each school in the (six-team) West Division will play every team in its division once for five games, while playing three cross-over opponents from the opposite division.  Three schools in the East Division will play every team in its division once for six games, while playing two cross-over opponents from the opposite division. 

"Four schools in the East Division will play five opponents in its division once for five games, while playing three cross-over opponents from the opposite division.  East Division schools playing five division games were randomly selected by a computer scheduling application and two intra-division matchups in the East will not take place this season (Charlotte-WKU and Middle Tennessee-Old Dominion)."

-- There should official word soon on two nonconference games against Power 5 conference teams -- at Tennessee in 2018 and Clemson in 2019.


Anonymous said...

Unc concord MIGHT win 1 game in 2015.

The lack of fans will go even lower, from 3-4K per game to 1-2K.