FCS Schedules Are Not Built the Same: The Strength of All 130 Heading Into the 2022 Season
FCS

FCS Schedules Are Not Built the Same: The Strength of All 130 Heading Into the 2022 Season

Let’s face it, we all do it – we pan down our favorite team’s schedule and project upcoming results.

Win. Win. Loss. Win. Loss. Win. And so on.

And why not during the college football offseason, which is a time for optimism, whether you believe your team is the one to beat or being overlooked and will sneak up the opposition.

To get a stronger feel for the 2022 FCS football season, list below provides the combined win percentage of each school’s Division I opponents (opponents from D-II and levels below are not included in the percentages).

From 1 to 130, Cal Poly has the hardest schedule and Fordham the weakest among the record total of FCS teams this season.

FCS College Football – 2022 Strength of Schedule

Win percentage based on 2021 records of then-Division I-classified opponents (FBS and FCS)

1. Cal Poly (Big Sky) – .627 (84-50), all 11 opponents were D-I in 2021

Notable: In the Big Sky, only the Mustangs and Weber State will face all of the conference’s five 2021 FCS playoff qualifiers (Sacramento State, Eastern Washington, UC Davis, Montana and Montana State).

2. Jacksonville State (ASUN) – .594 (76-52), 11

Notable: No FCS team faces a higher win percentage at home (.729, 35-13) than the Gamecocks with Davidson, Kennesaw State, Southeastern Louisiana and Eastern Kentucky visiting JSU Stadium.

3. Brown (Ivy) – .592 (61-42), 10

4. Youngstown State (MVFC) – .589 (76-53), 11

5. Weber State (Big Sky) – .585 (72-51), 10

T6. South Dakota (MVFC) – .581 (79-57), 11

T6. Western Illinois (MVFC) – .581 (79-57), 11

8. Dixie State (to become Utah Tech on July 1; WAC) – .576 (68-50), 10

Notable: The Trailblazers’ schedule includes Sacramento State, Weber State, Northern Iowa, Stephen F. Austin, Sam Houston, UIW and BYU, yet may be slightly easier than last year’s slate.

9. Bethune-Cookman (SWAC) – .571 (72-54), 11

10. Samford (Southern) – .570 (73-55), 11

11. Butler (Pioneer) – .570 (57-43), 9

T12. Albany (CAA) – .563 (71-55), 11

T12. Wofford (Southern) – .563 (71-55), 11

T14. Indiana State (MVFC) – .560 (75-59), 11

T14. North Dakota (MVFC) – .560 (75-59), 11

16. Drake (Pioneer) – .559 (62-49), 10

17. Austin Peay (ASUN) – .558 (72-57), 11

18. Stetson (Pioneer) – .558 (53-42), 9

19. Mississippi Valley State (SWAC) – .558 (63-50), 10

20. Cornell (Ivy) – .553 (57-46), 10

21. Gardner-Webb (Big South) – .549 (62-51), 10

Notable: The Runnin’ Bulldogs are the only FCS team with three FBS opponents (Coastal Carolina, Marshall and Liberty).

22. Texas Southern (SWAC) – .547 (64-53), 10

23. South Dakota State (MVFC) – .545 (72-60), 11

Notable: The Jackrabbits have arguably the FCS’ toughest road schedule with Iowa, Missouri State, North Dakota State, North Dakota and Northern Iowa.

24. Southern Utah (WAC) – .543 (69-58), 11

25. Central Arkansas (ASUN) – .543 (63-53), 10

26. Presbyterian (Pioneer) – .542 (58-49), 10

27. Eastern Washington (Big Sky) – .541 (72-61), 11

Notable: A five-game stretch of at Oregon, Montana State, at Florida, at Weber State and Sacramento State makes you gulp.

28. New Hampshire (CAA) – .541 (66-56), 11

29. Robert Morris (Big South) – .540 (68-58), 11

30. Missouri State (MVFC) – .538 (71-61), 11

31. Arkansas-Pine Bluff (SWAC) – .538 (50-43), 8

32. Charleston Southern (Big South) – .536 (60-52), 10

33. North Alabama (ASUN) – .531 (60-53), 10

34. Northern Iowa (MVFC) – .530 (70-62), 11

35. Idaho State (Big Sky) – .523 (69-63), 11

36. Morehead State (Pioneer) – .523 (58-53), 10

37. Illinois State (MVFC) – .522 (70-64), 11

Notable: The Redbirds kick off the season at Wisconsin and have MVFC road dates at Northern Iowa, Indiana State, North Dakota State and South Dakota State. The .682 win percentage (45-21) of those five opponents is the highest among FCS road schedules.

38. Harvard (Ivy) – .519 (54-50), 10

39. Campbell (Big South) – .516 (63-59), 11

40. LIU (Northeast) – .513 (60-57), 10

41. Penn (Ivy) – .510 (52-50), 10

42. Yale (Ivy) – .510 (53-51), 10

43. Furman (Southern) – .509 (57-55), 10

T44. The Citadel (Southern) – .509 (58-56), 10

T44. North Carolina A&T (Big South) – .509 (58-56), 10

Notable: The Aggies have to survive a September schedule of rival North Carolina Central in Charlotte, at North Dakota State, at Duke and South Carolina State.

46. Southern Illinois (MVFC) – .508 (66-64), 11

47. Tennessee State (Ohio Valley) – .505 (54-53), 9

48. Norfolk State (MEAC) – .504 (64-63), 11

49. Northern Arizona (Big Sky) – .504 (65-64), 11

T50. Alabama A&M (SWAC) – .500 (58-58), 10

T50. Delaware (CAA) – .500 (62-62), 11

T50. Lehigh (Patriot) – .500 (61-61), 11

53. UC Davis (Big Sky) – .496 (65-66), 11

Notable: The Aggies’ first five opponents were a combined 41-23 last year, but the last six only 24-43.

54. Montana (Big Sky) – .496 (64-65), 11

55. Portland State (Big Sky) – .496 (58-59), 10

56. Southern (SWAC) – .495 (52-53), 9

57. Merrimack (Northeast) – .495 (49-50), 9

T58. Montana State (Big Sky) – 492 (63-65), 11

Notable: Last year’s FCS runner-up has only one previous meeting with its three non-conference opponents (McNeese – a playoff loss in 2002 – Morehead State and Oregon State).

T58. UIW (WAC) – .492 (63-65), 11

60. Valparaiso (Pioneer) – .491 (52-54), 10

61. Dartmouth (Ivy) – .490 (51-53), 10

62. Kennesaw State (ASUN) – .488 (61-64), 11

Notable: The Owls will host six teams that were a combined 22-43 last year, but their five road opponents went 39-21.

63. Rhode Island (CAA) – .488 (60-63), 11

T64. Abilene Christian (WAC) – .487 (57-60), 10

T64. Murray State (Ohio Valley) – .487 (57-60), 10

66. Alabama State (SWAC) – .487 (55-58), 10

67. Wagner (Northeast) – .486 (54-57), 10

68. Lamar (WAC) – .484 (62-66), 11

69. Eastern Kentucky (ASUN) – .484 (61-65), 11

T70. Houston Baptist (Southland) – .484 (45-48), 8

T70. Richmond (CAA) – .484 (60-64), 11

72. Northern Colorado (Big Sky) – .481 (63-68), 11

73. Hampton (CAA) – .477 (53-58), 10

74. Idaho (Big Sky) – .477 (62-68), 11

75. William & Mary (CAA) – .476 (59-65), 11

76. Bucknell (Patriot) – .475 (58-64), 11

T77. Maine (CAA) – .472 (59-66), 11

T77. Mercer (Southern) – .472 (59-66), 11

79. Eastern Illinois (Ohio Valley) – .470 (54-61), 10

T80. Sam Houston (WAC) – .465 (53-61), 10

Notable: A state of Texas championship? Only two of the Bearkats’ 11 games are outside the Lone Star State.

T80. South Carolina State (MEAC) – .465 (53-61), 10

Notable: The reigning MEAC and Celebration Bowl champion doesn’t play a home game until Oct. 8.

82. Howard (MEAC) – .464 (51-59), 10

83. VMI (Southern) – .460 (57-67), 11

84. Lafayette (Patriot) – .459 (56-66), 11

85. Georgetown (Patriot) – .458 (55-65), 11

86. Florida A&M (SWAC) – .456 (52-62), 10

87. Morgan State (MEAC) – .455 (51-61), 10

88. Sacramento State (Big Sky) – .453 (58-70), 11

89. Villanova (CAA) – .451 (55-67), 11

T90. Grambling State (SWAC) – .448 (56-69), 11

T90. Towson (CAA) – .448 (56-69), 11

92. Southeast Missouri (Ohio Valley) – .447 (51-63), 10

93. Princeton (Ivy) – .447 (46-57), 10

Notable: The defending Ivy co-champ’s non-league opponents (Stetson, Lehigh and Lafayette) went a combined 9-23 last season.

94. Columbia (Ivy) – .446 (45-56), 10

95. ETSU (Southern) – .445 (49-61), 10

96. McNeese (Southland) – .443 (47-59), 9

97. Davidson (Pioneer) – .443 (43-54), 9

98. Western Carolina (Southern) – .443 (54-68), 11

99. Tennessee Tech (Ohio Valley) – .442 (46-58), 9

100. Stephen F. Austin (WAC) – .440 (55-70), 11

101. Monmouth (CAA) – .434 (53-69), 11

102. UT Martin (Ohio Valley) – .431 (50-66), 10

103. Southeastern Louisiana (Southland) – .430 (49-65), 10

104. Jackson State (SWAC) – .430 (52-69), 11

105. Northwestern State (Southland) – .427 (50-67), 10

106. San Diego (Pioneer) – .427 (47-63), 10

107. Tarleton (WAC) – .426 (49-66), 10

108. Chattanooga (Southern) – .423 (52-71), 11

109. North Dakota State (MVFC) – .414 (53-75), 11

Notable: Highlights on the reigning FCS champion’s schedule: a trip to Arizona (the Bison have defeated their last six FBS opponents) and a home game against South Dakota State.

110. Nicholls (Southland) – .414 (48-68), 10

111. Holy Cross (Patriot) – .412 (49-70), 11

112. Stony Brook (CAA) – .410 (50-72), 11

113. Delaware State (MEAC) – .408 (40-58), 9

114. Stonehill (Northeast) – .408 (31-45), 7

115. Alcorn State (SWAC) – .405 (51-75), 11

116. Texas A&M-Commerce (Southland) – .402 (41-61), 9

117. Sacred Heart (Northeast) – .402 (43-64), 10

118. Dayton (Pioneer) – .393 (42-65), 10

119. Colgate (Patriot) – .390 (48-75), 11

T120. Bryant (Big South) – .385 (42-67), 10

T120. Saint Francis (Northeast) – .385 (42-67), 10

122. Marist (Pioneer) – .385 (45-72), 11

123. Prairie View A&M (SWAC) – .382 (47-76), 11

124. Duquesne (Northeast) – .376 (38-63), 9

Notable: Pack the sunscreen, the Dukes have FBS trips to Florida State and Hawaii.

125. Central Connecticut State (Northeast) – .369 (41-70), 10

126. Elon (CAA) – .369 (45-77), 11

127. St. Thomas (Pioneer) – .367 (36-62), 9

128. Lindenwood (Ohio Valley) – .367 (29-50), 7

129. North Carolina Central (MEAC) – .364 (36-63), 9

130. Fordham (Patriot) – .333 (41-82), 11

Notable: Seven of the Rams’ opponents finished at least five games below .500 last season.

Sam Hovland of Stats Perform contributed research to this story.