Who should Michael Kelly get to fill the 2022 & 2023 OOC openings? (Options included)

Florida - check
Miami - check
Bama - check

Michael Kelly has been busy lately, and thanks to his hard work and visionary mind, we now have one of the most complete and toughest future schedules in the G5. Our upcoming schedules starting in 2020 and through 2025 are as follows:


@ Texas


@ NC State


@ Florida
@ Louisville




NC State


Boise State
@ Florida
@ Miami
San Jose St

Our next 6 years are full of quality OOC opponents, however, there is still work to be done. With 2020 not being complete this soon to 2020, and the fact that we'll be starting a new quarterback, I think it's safe to assume that the opening will turn into an FCS team. 2021, 2024, and 2025 are all set, and there is no arguing 2024 and 2025 are playoff worthy OOC schedules as long as the coaches do their part.

I am looking at the openings in 2022 and 2023 and wondering who we could slot in there. an FCS team would be a waste for 2022 since our starting QB will likely be either a Senior Battle or McCloud, or Junior Evans. It would not make sense to waste a prime year of theirs on an FCS team. 2022 needs to be a home game as well so that we have 6 home games that year. With the next openings in our OOC schedules not coming until 2026 and 2027, both 1 opening each that both need to be home games, the ideal situation here I would think would be to have a home-home series with a low to mid-pack P5 team.

So, if I'm Michael Kelly in need of a team to come to Tampa in 2022 and then go visit in 2023, and fit the series into our already scheduled games, where do I look and what are my options?

Option 1: Spite UCF Again

While this would be a 2-1, FSU does have openings in 2022 and 2023 and further down the line that could make this a possibility. We might as well complete the scheduling of all the Florida Power 5 teams since we already have 2 of 3 scheduled, right?

Option 2: Lower-half ACC School

The lower end of the ACC seems to be the most willing to schedule home-home series with American teams, so this is where we would most likely find a suitor. The following school's have openings that would work for both schools in 2022 and 2023:
- Syracuse
- Virginia

Not a big selection, but both teams could make a 2022 and 2023 home-home series work. Personally, I'd like to play our old friends Syracuse again.

Option 3: Maybe A Bottom-of-the-Barrel SEC Team?

Not an option. SEC teams don't screw around when it comes to scheduling, except for ensuring cupcake week is indeed a cupcake. No "bad" SEC teams have scheduling openings that would work in 2022 & 2023.

Option 4: Is anyone else out there?

Well time to rummage through the rest of the Power 5 for possible options

Big 12?
No. 9 conference games and a tendency to only schedule one away OOC game makes this a dead end.

Big Ten?
No. 9 conference games, again, and like the SEC, the Big Ten doesn't screw around when it comes to getting their OOC schedules done.

Maybe. 9 conference game conference as well, but they do screw around when it comes to scheduling. Our possibilities:
- Stanford
- Washington

Two possibilites, which I consider a lot this close to the 2022 season for a 9 conference game conference. Stanford is home-home friendly with G5 teams, but Washington may not be. Was not able to find a precedent since outside of BYU they don't have any potentially dangerous non-P5 teams scheduled for home-home or 2-1 currently. So, Stanford is likely the only realistic option.

Option 5: @MWC, You up?

We already have Boise coming up, but are other noteworthy MWC teams available?

Fresno State?
- Probably a no. Already has teams scheduled on dates we most likely would need game to be played in 2022.

Utah State?
- No. A game in Tampa in 2022 gives Utah St 5 home games that year.

San Diego State?

Option 6: Noteworthy Independents

Nothing here. Already have BYU scheduled. Notre Dame looks to have their away schedule set for 2022, and do you schedule Army when you already have Navy in your conference?

So where are we at?

4 viable Power 5 options. Not a lot of options, but it would be a shame to waste a prime year of one of our QBs on an FCS team if we could avoid it. I am sure C-USA, MAC, and the Sun Belt have teams full of options those years, but the idea is to look for a needle moving team to help our case for either NY6 or playoffs.

Anyone else agree with going after another Power 5 school, or should we just settle for an FCS or G5 team?

Edit 6/20: Added dates of FAMU and Bethune-Cookman games

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