Conference USA has released the 2018 football schedule and FIU’s 2018 football schedule features some pretty notable games.
FIU will play two Power 5 opponents in 2018. The Big Ten’s Indiana Hoosiers will visit FIU in the season opener. While that game presents FIU an opportunity for a landmark win, every FIU fan as their eyes set on the September 22nd matchup against Miami.
The last time FIU and Miami played was in 2007. The 2006 matchup featured the infamous brawl between the two programs in 2006. A lot of that bad blood is now removed as Butch Davis used to coach the Canes and still holds a good reputation among the Miami fan base. With a large chunk of FIU’s roster representing South Florida, FIU will be more than hyped to play Miami.
FIU’s other two non-conference games are UMass and Arkansas-Pine Bluff. The Panthers will start conference play in Week 2 with a road game versus Old Dominion. To me this is FIU’s most important game (Shula Bowl aside) as it will be a tone setter for the season. A win here and FIU should feel good about their chances to compete in C-USA.
The Panthers will draw Rice at home, and UTSA on the road from C-USA West. With five road games and seven home games, on a scale of 1-10 I’d rate this a 7 in terms of difficulty. The Panthers get FAU, Marshall, and Middle Tennessee at home, three teams that will more than likely be projected to finish ahead of FIU in 2018. With the added bonus of having a bye week before Middle Tennessee, this is a pretty good schedule all things considered.
A road game to UTSA will be tough, but road trips to Charlotte and WKU should be more than manageable. Given how young FIU will be this season, having a conference slate that doesn’t feature too many imposing road games is a huge break.
After tying the record for most wins in a season with an 8-5 record last year, the future looks extremely bright for Butch Davis’ Panthers and with this schedule, FIU fans should expect another bowl game.