With Rocket football on the shelf until spring, we wanted to look ahead to the 2014 schedule and see what is a fair expectation for Matt Campbell and next year’s squad. Unfortunately, we will not have a full schedule until the spring (Thanks, MAC) but we can look at the slate of non-conference games as a start for understanding what we’ll face next year.
New Hampshire – August 30, Toledo
- 2013: 9-4, 6-2 CAA
- Post season: Currently, NCAA Division I FCS Semifinals
New Hampshire is still going strong well into December. After a solid campaign in the regular season, New Hampshire made the FCS playoffs and beat their first three opponents by a combined score of 106 – 45. IF the Wildcats beat North Dakota St. this weekend, they could move on to face a familiar opponent to Rocket fans: Eastern Washington.
Missouri – September 6, Toledo
- 2013: 11-2, 7-1 SEC (1st in the SEC East)
- Bowl: AT&T Cotton Bowl, #8 vs #13 Oklahoma St.
- 2014 Rivals Recruiting Rank: #31
We all know the story of Missouri in 2013. With former UT coach Gary Pinkel at the helm, Mizzou was one doinked FG away from entering the SEC Championship game undefeated before faultering against Auburn (arguably one of the most talented teams in the country this year). They lose James Franklin but will still have Maty Mauk and looks to be strong against next year if they can keep from letting down after having such a successful and validating season in 2013.
Cincinnati – September 13, Cincinnati
- 2013: 9-3, 6-2 AAC (3rd in the conference)
- Bowl: Belk Bowl, vs. North Carolina
- 2014 Rivals Recruiting Rank: #45
Cincinnati took little time to transition from former head coach Butch Jones to Tommy Tuberville. the Bearcats rolled down the stretch, with the exception of the Louisville game. Expect Cincinnai to be strong again next year but has a hefty out-of-conference schedule with games at OSU and Miami FL. This game will be difficult with the Bearcats playing their best football at home.
Iowa State – September 20, Ames
- 2013: 3-9, 2-7 Big 12 (9th in the Big 12)
- Bowl: None
- 2014 Rivals Recruiting Rank: #50
Iowa State had a tough season in 2013, losing 7 in a row to Big 12 opponents before taking out Kansas and West Virginia to end the season. With 7 home games next season, Iowa State looks to rebound and have a better showing. Though Toledo will have a bevy of new faces on offense, we will certainly have a shot in this one.