College Football

10 best nonconference games in the FCS

By CRAIG HALEY

STATS FCS Senior Editor

(STATS) - The best nonconference games are the ones in which each side goes into it saying, and worrying, it's a risky matchup.

There are some doozies across FCS college football in 2019.

Just as it should be.

Following is a Top 10 of the best nonconference games (those between teams within the same conference that count as nonconference games aren't considered for this list):

10. Towson at The Citadel (Aug. 31): Towson quarterback Tom Flacco and The Citadel's triple option offense figure to make it a track meet, like a year ago (Towson won 44-27).

9. North Dakota State at Delaware (Sept. 14): Having handled Delaware at the Fargodome last season, the Bison's FCS dynasty makes the most-eastern trip in program history.

8. James Madison at Chattanooga (Sept. 21): James Madison needs to improve its nonconference scheduling, and a trip into the Southern Conference is a start.

7. Eastern Kentucky at Indiana State (Sept. 14): Two teams that fell just shy of the FCS playoffs a year ago last met in the 2014 first round (Indiana State won 36-16 on the road).

6. Montana at South Dakota (Aug. 31): It starts early: One of the season's first Big Sky-Missouri Valley Challenge matchups is pivotal for both teams' playoff resumes.

5. Maine at Colgate (Sept. 21): Even the fans will be nursing aches and pains after this physical matchup of conference champs last season.

4. Southern at Florida A&M (Sept. 21): One of oldest nonconference rivalries among historically black colleges and universities renews for the first time in seven years. FAMU holds a 33-26-1 series lead.

3. Northern Iowa at Weber State (Sept. 28): Who will wear the purple best as the Big Sky-Missouri Valley Challenge wraps up?

2. Eastern Washington at Jacksonville State (Sept. 14): Two of the winningest FCS programs this decade have met once previously - a 35-24 EWU triumph in the 2013 quarterfinals.

1. UC Davis at North Dakota State (Sept. 21): Big Sky offensive player of the year Jake Maier leads the potent Aggies against the vaunted Bison defense.

Honorable mention: Elon at North Carolina A&T (Aug. 31); Southeast Missouri at Montana State (Sept. 7); Chattanooga at Jacksonville State (Sept. 7); Duquesne at New Hampshire (Sept. 28)

Updated June 10, 2019

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