The UL Lafayette football schedule has been released and we now know the final details for the 2016 season. This season should shape up to be one of the tougher non-conference schedules the Ragin' Cajuns have played in recent years.
Those four non-conference foes include Boise State and McNeese State to open up the season, an in-state rival in Tulane during the fourth week of the season, and the University of Georgia in the month of November.
With the team having one giant question at the quarterback position, it'll be key to play in front of a home crowd early to get the offense's confidence up. This is exactly what the Cajuns have lined up with their first three games of the season all being at Cajun Field.
They will open with Boise State, McNeese State (Cajun Crown rival), and South Alabama before heading to Tulane to cap off September. The game against the Broncos finishes off their "home and home" series with the Ragin' Cajuns having played at Boise State in 2014 (34-9 loss).
The month of September sees UL Lafayette going no further than Tulane, but in October frequent flier miles will start to add up. While they will have to get on the road and head to New Mexico State and Texas State that month, those two teams accounted for just five conference wins last season with a combined record of 6-18 in 2015. Appalachian State, a team coming off 10 wins last season, is sandwiched between the NMSU and Texas State games. This game against the Mountaineers is their lone weekday game of the season after playing two in 2015.
October starts off with the newly kicked out Idaho Vandals at home, but then the Ragin' Cajuns face an unbelievably tough final four games. They face the 2014 SBC champion (Georgia Southern), the SEC's Georgia Bulldogs, the 2015 SBC champion (Arkansas State), and then their rival, UL-Monroe.
If you look at the Ragin' Cajuns first two months of the season and include the first game of November (Idaho), it's quite possible that this team heads into their toughest stretch of the season already bowl eligible. Games at home against McNeese State, South Alabama, and Idaho are ones in which UL Lafayette should be favored in, while games at Tulane, NMSU, and Texas State are very winnable.
It's too early to give a projection of how the team will fare, but if you're a Ragin' Cajun fan you have to love the high likelihood of becoming bowl eligible in 2016.
Here is the official 2016 UL Lafayette football schedule:
Sept. 3 - Boise State
Sept. 10 - McNeese State
Sept. 17 - South Alabama
Sept. 24 - at Tulane
Oct. 1 - at NMSU
Oct. 12 - Appalachian State
Oct. 22 - at Texas State
Nov. 5 - Idaho
Nov. 12 - at Georgia Southern
Nov. 19 - at Georgia
Nov. 26 - Arkansas State
Dec. 3 - at UL-Monroe