The college football offseason sucks, because while there are things to do to help the dog days of the year go by quicker, there are only so many t-shirts a man (or woman) can purchase.
We all try to occupy our days as we can, and one of the things that we at Underdog Dynasty like to do is analyze our teams' 2015 schedules. I am the Arkansas State beat writer; thus, my analysis of the 2015 Red Wolves schedule. It's time for #expertanalysis, yes.
Arkansas State football schedule
9/5 at USC
9/12 vs. Missouri (Paint the Town Red)
9/19 vs. Missouri State (Agriculture/Parents Day)
9/26 at Toledo
10/3 vs. Idaho (Homecoming)
10/13 at South Alabama (ESPN2)
10/20 vs. Lousiana-Lafayette (ESPN2)
10/31 vs. Georgia State (Howl-O-Ween)
11/05 at Appalachian State (ESPNU)
11/14 at ULM
11/28 at New Mexico State
12/5 vs. Texas State (Senior Day)
ESPN loves A-State
I look at the names and the dates and know that these are what is important about this little piece of history known as the Sun Belt schedule... but! But, my eyes keep going back to those four capitalized letters that appear thrice. E-S-P-N! ESPN!!
Damn right. Last season's games against Lousiana, USA and App State were competitive, or at least entertaining, and I'm hoping for more of the same. But it sure appears that the football gods have worked it out that they want to guarantee that many, many people watch head coach Blake Anderson work his magic.
Unless A-State gets down by 20 in any of these games. Then, turn off your television and go play outside.
Do Red Wolves travel in pack?
Arkansas State has been a good program that has won plenty of football games recently. But the one weakness it has had has been away from Centennial Bank Stadium; every college football program is better at home, sure, but not every program wins just 27.6% of its away games since 2003. Put it this way, A-State isn't Boise State. (Nor Oregon, if we focus only on the games since 2010.)
This upcoming season, the red wolves would do well to become bowl eligible before November. The team closes the season home against Texas State for Senior Day, but that game comes after a three-game road trip.
The out-of-conference schedule is such that A-State has three possible opportunities for an upset against USC, Toledo and Missouri, but possible isn't the same as plausible or likely. I've already said it once, but let me double down. A-State gets the Missouri Tigers at home early in the season and will unleash an offense that could #scoreallthepoints. Hell, it's the "Paint the Town Red" game, and I choose to believe that it'll be red from tiger blood.
Of course, you now know whom to blame for jinxing the team.
#Badpuns on Halloween
One other thing that I notice is that there's just about one name for every home game on the schedule. Senior Day? Check. "Paint the Town Red" for that likely possible Missouri upset? Why the heck not. I look at Agriculture/Parents Day, Heroes Day and Homecoming and think that maybe, just maybe, A-State could have used some creative help for this exercise.
Then, I see the Georgia State game on Halloween and see the downfall to being creative. Howl-O-Ween. I'm as much of a fan of #badpuns as the next guy, but no. My soul hurts.
No Georgia Southern... again.
It's great, because the excuse is already there, gift-wrapped. Oh, sure, maybe the Eagles will soar high once again and reach the firmament of the Sun Belt Conference—but how can they be called champions when they haven't played A-State??