On Thursday, the Georgia Southern Eagles announced future home games with FCS opponents New Hampshire and Presbyterian in 2017 and 2018, respectively. On the surface, it's not the worst thing as FCS opponents help fill holes in schedules and give teams extra home games.
However, these two games are becoming the latest in a worrying trend for Georgia Southern.
Here's the non-conference schedule for the Eagles' next three seasons.
09/03 – Savannah State
09/24 – at Western Michigan
10/15 – at Georgia Tech
11/05 – at Ole Miss
09/02 – at Auburn
09/09 – New Hampshire
09/23 – at Indiana
10/21 – at UMass
09/01 – Presbyterian
09/08 – UMass
09/15 – at Clemson
09/22 – at Kent State
Four home games in the next three seasons. Three of those against FCS teams. The next game in Statesboro against a non-conference FBS team is in 2018. When the Sept. 8, 2018 date against UMass happens, it will have been almost three calendar years, 1,092 days, between FBS non-conference home games. The only other team with a streak that long is Kent State, who hasn't won more than four games in a season since 2012.
While 2016's five home games are mitigated by having two road games in Atlanta, Georgia Southern's biggest alumni city, versus Georgia Tech and Georgia State, 2017's closest road game is (likely) Coastal Carolina, 230+ miles away, and far from its alumni epicenter.
GS Athletic Director Tom Kleinlein has stated over and over that Georgia Southern calls anyone and everyone trying to get games. It's clear whatever he's pitching doing isn't working. Almost every FBS program has been able to get home non-conference games with FBS foes.
This isn't about teams being "scared" of Georgia Southern's offense, this is about the inability of a program to schedule for its fans and having to take money games instead. That excuse might have played well a year or two ago, but now it's just a cover.
Either Georgia Southern is really desperate for money and needs the money games that badly, or its athletic department just can't schedule.
Eagle fans, who will be making treks to Michigan, Mississippi, Indiana, Massachusetts and Ohio in the next few years just for non-conference, deserve their fair share of home games too.