The next few days are shaping up to be one of the busiest draft weekends so far this year. With that in mind, let's take a look at some of the schedule oddities for 2009.
While every school seems to be in the habit of scheduling FCS teams now a days (71 by my count), seven teams play two FCS teams this fall. The lucky season ticket holders are fans of the following schools: South Florida, Rutgers, Kansas State, Duke, North Carolina, North Carolina State and Mississippi.
Of course not all FCS teams are created equal. Just ask Kansas State, North Carolina State and Michigan, teams that have recently dropped a game to the so-called cupcakes. Even Wisconsin had trouble putting away Cal Poly last year. While these tilts are often good for keeping your offensive studs on the field, don't automatically consider these games as defensive fantasy feasts.
The 13th Game
Except for Wisconsin and Fresno State, every team that plays at Hawaii not only get to have a luau in the sand, they will also have the benefit of playing an extra game. Hawaii, Boise State, Utah State, New Mexico State and Navy all play 13 games this season.
Watch out for Week Five
Pay close attention to week five. Florida, Fresno State, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma State, Texas, Troy, Utah and a number of other schools are all on a bye week. There will be a lot of talent sitting on the bench, and a lot of owners looking for help on the waiver wire. Plan ahead on draft day.
Big Ten and Week Thirteen
Besides week 14 when only a few teams play, week 13 has the most bye weeks on the schedule. Mainly due to the fact that the Big Ten (except for Illinois and Wisconsin) will be done playing. Week 13 also happens to be Championship Week for most fantasy leagues. The good news is you don't have to worry about Ohio State players botching another Championship game.
Home Game Bonanza
While most teams play either six or seven home games, that are a few gluttons out there that play eight: Auburn, Michigan, North Carolina State, Oklahoma State, Penn State and Tennessee.
Conversely there are a few teams that are unfortunate to only play five home games: .Arkansas State, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Fresno State, La-Monroe, La-Tech, Miami (Oh), Missouri, Northern Illinois, Troy, UAB, Utah St., Washington State and Western Michigan.
Smooth Sailing Down the Stretch
Once the non-conference slate is over, start looking to the C-USA, MAC, Sun Belt and WAC for waiver wire help. Teams like Rice, Toledo, Middle Tennessee State and Fresno State have a tough road to hoe early on, and owners will be pulling the ripcord on players that see their schedule get softer down the stretch. UTEP is a good example last year. Those that held onto Trevor Vittatoe as the quarterback went through an early rough patch were rewarded handsomely late in the year.