When it comes to the nuts-and-bolts science of building a football schedule, Conference USA is college football's reigning champion. Check out the measures C-USA was able to accomplish:
- No team starts conference play with consecutive home or away games.
- No team plays consecutive conference road games in back-to-back weeks.
- The majority of schools are able to alternate home-and-away games throughout conference play.
- Each of the 14 teams' primary and secondary special date requests was granted.
A few notes:
- Only three games are slated for weeknight kickoffs right now: Bowling Green at Western Kentucky on Thursday, Aug. 28, UTEP at Rice on Friday, Nov. 21 and Western Kentucky at Marshall on Friday, Nov. 28.
- The Bowling Green date doubles as Jeff Brohm's debut as the Hilltoppers' head coach. Other coaching debuts: UAB (Bill Clark) vs. Troy and Florida Atlantic (Charlie Partridge) at Nebraska. Partridge will have a challenging first month. After Lincoln, Florida Atlantic travels to Alabama, hosts Tulsa and then closes September by visiting Wyoming.
- Major non-conference games to keep an eye on: Rice at Notre Dame, Florida Atlantic at Nebraska, North Texas at Texas, Louisiana Tech at Oklahoma on Aug. 30, Florida Atlantic at Alabama on Sept. 6, Rice at Texas A&M, Southern Miss at Alabama and UTSA at Oklahoma State on Sept. 13, Louisville at Florida International on Sept. 20 and Louisiana Tech at Auburn on Sept. 27.
Televised games will be announced at a later date. C-USA's regular-season media package is split between Fox Sports 1 and CBS Sports Network, while the conference championship is broadcast by ESPN.
David Bailiff's Rice Owls are Conference USA's defending champions by virtue of a 41-24 win over Marshall in the 2013 Conference USA title game.