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Published: July 9, 2015 at 11:13 a.m.
Updated: July 9, 2015 at 12:27 p.m.

15 for '15: College football's worst non-conference matchups

» Complete 15 for '15 series

We have been celebrating college football with our "15 for '15" series, but today we have come to shame it with a look at the 15 most embarrassing games of the season.

Forget picking from among flotsam and jetsam such as Ohio State-Hawaii, FSU-Texas State, Oklahoma-Akron, Oregon-Georgia State and Florida-New Mexico State; those games actually are intriguing compared to the ones we're spotlighting. What we don't like is FBS teams scheduling games against bad FCS teams.

We know that some of the FBS teams we're picking on do have some good non-conference games. And we're aware that some of these spotlighted games were scheduled at the last minute. But that in no way absolves anyone of blame.

15 Photos Total

  • <b>When:</b> Sept. 26<br />
<b>The skinny:</B> Raise your hand if you knew Incarnate Word had a football team. (Heck, raise your hand if you've even heard of Incarnate Word, a school of about 8,600 students in San Antonio.) The school started playing football in 2009 as a Division II school, and this will be its third season as an FCS member. This also will be the Cardinals' first game against an FBS team. One thing to note: Incarnate Word has won 19 games in six seasons, but 16 of those wins have come over Division II schools, and the three FCS wins have come over Houston Baptist (a team that has played just two seasons of college football) and Nicholls State (which has a horrible program; more on the Colonels in a minute). UTEP should be embarrassed. 15

    Ross D. Franklin/Associated Pres

    15. Incarnate Word at UTEP

    When: Sept. 26
    The skinny: Raise your hand if you knew Incarnate Word had a football team. (Heck, raise your hand if you've even heard of Incarnate Word, a school of about 8,600 students in San Antonio.) The school started playing football in 2009 as a Division II school, and this will be its third season as an FCS member. This also will be the Cardinals' first game against an FBS team. One thing to note: Incarnate Word has won 19 games in six seasons, but 16 of those wins have come over Division II schools, and the three FCS wins have come over Houston Baptist (a team that has played just two seasons of college football) and Nicholls State (which has a horrible program; more on the Colonels in a minute). UTEP should be embarrassed.

  • <b>When:</b> Sept. 5<br />
<b>The skinny:</B> Alabama A&M was a solid SWAC program in the middle of the past decade, but has had back-to-back losing seasons. This will be just the third FBS opponent for Alabama A&M; the first two contests did not go well, as the Bulldogs were outscored 107-21. One thing that should make Cincy QB Gunner Kiel's eyes light up: Alabama A&M was 92nd (of 121 teams) in the FCS ranks in pass defense last season. Kiel threw six TD passes in the 2014 season opener, which gives him something to shoot for in this season's opener. 14

    Tom Uhlman/Associated Press

    14. Alabama A&M at Cincinnati

    When: Sept. 5
    The skinny: Alabama A&M was a solid SWAC program in the middle of the past decade, but has had back-to-back losing seasons. This will be just the third FBS opponent for Alabama A&M; the first two contests did not go well, as the Bulldogs were outscored 107-21. One thing that should make Cincy QB Gunner Kiel's eyes light up: Alabama A&M was 92nd (of 121 teams) in the FCS ranks in pass defense last season. Kiel threw six TD passes in the 2014 season opener, which gives him something to shoot for in this season's opener.

  • <b>When:</b> Sept. 4<br />
<b>The skinny:</B> Nothing like a season-opening game on a Friday night against a bad FCS opponent to get the hometown fans fired up. Gary Andersen's first game as Beavers coach will come against a Big Sky also-ran. Weber State has suffered through four consecutive losing seasons, winning just 11 games in that span, including back-to-back 2-10 records the past two seasons. The Wildcats have played seven FBS foes in the past four seasons, and the good news is they've scored 99 points (an average of 14 per game) in those contests. The bad news? They've allowed 356 (an average of 51 per game). 13

    Associated Press

    13. Weber State at Oregon State

    When: Sept. 4
    The skinny: Nothing like a season-opening game on a Friday night against a bad FCS opponent to get the hometown fans fired up. Gary Andersen's first game as Beavers coach will come against a Big Sky also-ran. Weber State has suffered through four consecutive losing seasons, winning just 11 games in that span, including back-to-back 2-10 records the past two seasons. The Wildcats have played seven FBS foes in the past four seasons, and the good news is they've scored 99 points (an average of 14 per game) in those contests. The bad news? They've allowed 356 (an average of 51 per game).

  • <b>When:</b> Sept. 5<br />
<b>The skinny:</B> Southeast Missouri has had two winning records in the past 20 seasons. The Indians won five games last season -- and that's tied for the third-most wins in a season in that time span. SEMO is 1-19 all-time against FBS schools; the win came in 2002 against Middle Tennessee State, and in the 14 games vs. FBS foes since that victory, SEMO has been held to 13 or fewer points 12 times and to three or fewer six times. 12

    USA TODAY Sports/Associated Press

    12. Southeast Missouri State at Missouri

    When: Sept. 5
    The skinny: Southeast Missouri has had two winning records in the past 20 seasons. The Indians won five games last season -- and that's tied for the third-most wins in a season in that time span. SEMO is 1-19 all-time against FBS schools; the win came in 2002 against Middle Tennessee State, and in the 14 games vs. FBS foes since that victory, SEMO has been held to 13 or fewer points 12 times and to three or fewer six times.

  • <b>When:</b> Sept. 5<br />
<b>The skinny:</B> Wake Forest has been scuffling for the past few seasons, but good news for Demon Deacons fans is that the team almost certainly open 1-0 this fall. Elon is coming off a one-win season, and that came on the heels of five-, three- and two-win seasons. Elon has opened each of the past three seasons against ACC schools. The damage: Opponents 184, Elon 13 (that's 61-4 for an average score). Elon's nickname is the Phoenix, but we don't think this Phoenix will be rising any time soon. 11

    Chuck Burton/Associated Press

    11. Elon at Wake Forest

    When: Sept. 5
    The skinny: Wake Forest has been scuffling for the past few seasons, but good news for Demon Deacons fans is that the team almost certainly open 1-0 this fall. Elon is coming off a one-win season, and that came on the heels of five-, three- and two-win seasons. Elon has opened each of the past three seasons against ACC schools. The damage: Opponents 184, Elon 13 (that's 61-4 for an average score). Elon's nickname is the Phoenix, but we don't think this Phoenix will be rising any time soon.

  • <b>When:</b> Sept. 12<br />
<b>The skinny:</B> Howard has had just two non-losing seasons in the past 10 years, and the Bison are 0-9 all-time against FBS schools, including an 0-3 mark against Eastern Michigan (which, frankly, is an FBS program in name only). This is the second of back-to-back games against FCS schools to open the season for Boston College, whose season opener is against Maine. Color us skeptical, but we're not sure if opening vs. Maine and Howard will get BC ready for its third game, against Florida State. 10

    Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

    10. Howard at Boston College

    When: Sept. 12
    The skinny: Howard has had just two non-losing seasons in the past 10 years, and the Bison are 0-9 all-time against FBS schools, including an 0-3 mark against Eastern Michigan (which, frankly, is an FBS program in name only). This is the second of back-to-back games against FCS schools to open the season for Boston College, whose season opener is against Maine. Color us skeptical, but we're not sure if opening vs. Maine and Howard will get BC ready for its third game, against Florida State.

  • <b>When:</b> Sept. 19<br />
<b>The skinny:</B> Western Carolina is coming off a seven-win season and is expected to be a middle-of-the-pack team in the Southern Conference this fall. But last season's seven wins was one more than the Catamounts had won in the previous five seasons <i>combined</i>, and last year marked just Western's second winning record in 16 seasons. Western has allowed at least 48 points in five of its past six games against FBS foes and at least 36 in all of them. 9

    Associated Press

    9. Western Carolina at Tennessee

    When: Sept. 19
    The skinny: Western Carolina is coming off a seven-win season and is expected to be a middle-of-the-pack team in the Southern Conference this fall. But last season's seven wins was one more than the Catamounts had won in the previous five seasons combined, and last year marked just Western's second winning record in 16 seasons. Western has allowed at least 48 points in five of its past six games against FBS foes and at least 36 in all of them.

  • <b>When:</b> Nov. 14<br />
<b>The skinny:</B> Another game involving the Catamounts and an SEC team -- and this one is in mid-November. Even the most ardent Aggies fan will have trouble getting excited for this one. Then again, given the tradition of an Aggies corpsman kissing his date after every A&M touchdown, heck ... well, we'll let you write your own line for that one. 8

    Associated Press

    8. Western Carolina at Texas A&M

    When: Nov. 14
    The skinny: Another game involving the Catamounts and an SEC team -- and this one is in mid-November. Even the most ardent Aggies fan will have trouble getting excited for this one. Then again, given the tradition of an Aggies corpsman kissing his date after every A&M touchdown, heck ... well, we'll let you write your own line for that one.

  • <b>When:</b> Nov. 21<br />
<b>The skinny:</B> South Carolina will prepare for its annual showdown against in-state archrival Clemson by playing another in-state school. Unlike Clemson, though, The Citadel isn't good. The Bulldogs have had only two winning records in the past 17 seasons. The Bulldogs are 0-20 against FBS opponents since the beginning of the 2000 season, with the average score of 44-10. 7

    Brett Flashnick/Associated Press

    7. The Citadel at South Carolina

    When: Nov. 21
    The skinny: South Carolina will prepare for its annual showdown against in-state archrival Clemson by playing another in-state school. Unlike Clemson, though, The Citadel isn't good. The Bulldogs have had only two winning records in the past 17 seasons. The Bulldogs are 0-20 against FBS opponents since the beginning of the 2000 season, with the average score of 44-10.

  • <b>When:</b> Sept. 5<br />
<b>The skinny:</B> Rhode Island has finished with a losing record in 18 of the past 19 seasons -- only once winning more than four games in those losing seasons -- and 26 of the past 29. The Rams have won four games in the past three seasons. What this means, of course, is that Syracuse is going to open 1-0. 6

    Associated Press

    6. Rhode Island at Syracuse

    When: Sept. 5
    The skinny: Rhode Island has finished with a losing record in 18 of the past 19 seasons -- only once winning more than four games in those losing seasons -- and 26 of the past 29. The Rams have won four games in the past three seasons. What this means, of course, is that Syracuse is going to open 1-0.

  • <b>When:</b> Nov. 21<br />
<b>The skinny:</B> Charleston Southern has won 18 games the past two seasons and could contend for the Big South title this season. But forgive us: We don't think one of the nation's best FBS programs should be playing an FCS team on Nov. 21. In the past five years, Charleston Southern has been outscored by an average of 50-10 in eight games against FBS schools -- and that includes a one-point loss to Vanderbilt last season. Lest you get the wrong idea, Georgia beat the Bucs 55-9 last season -- and Georgia obviously is much closer, talent-wise, to Alabama than Vandy. Speaking of Vandy ... 5

    Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

    5. Charleston Southern at Alabama

    When: Nov. 21
    The skinny: Charleston Southern has won 18 games the past two seasons and could contend for the Big South title this season. But forgive us: We don't think one of the nation's best FBS programs should be playing an FCS team on Nov. 21. In the past five years, Charleston Southern has been outscored by an average of 50-10 in eight games against FBS schools -- and that includes a one-point loss to Vanderbilt last season. Lest you get the wrong idea, Georgia beat the Bucs 55-9 last season -- and Georgia obviously is much closer, talent-wise, to Alabama than Vandy. Speaking of Vandy ...

  • <b>When:</b> Sept. 19<br />
<b>The skinny:</B> Austin Peay was 1-11 last season -- and that was an <i>improvement</i> over 2013, when the Governors went 0-12. Austin Peay has had just five winning records since 1980, and only two of those winning records have come since 1985. The Governors have won a combined 14 games in the past seven seasons. In the past five seasons, Austin Peay is 0-9 against FBS foes and has been beaten by an average of 51-8 in those game. We get that the schools are only about 30 miles apart and that Vandy needs any win it can get. But come on. 4

    Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

    4. Austin Peay at Vanderbilt

    When: Sept. 19
    The skinny: Austin Peay was 1-11 last season -- and that was an improvement over 2013, when the Governors went 0-12. Austin Peay has had just five winning records since 1980, and only two of those winning records have come since 1985. The Governors have won a combined 14 games in the past seven seasons. In the past five seasons, Austin Peay is 0-9 against FBS foes and has been beaten by an average of 51-8 in those game. We get that the schools are only about 30 miles apart and that Vandy needs any win it can get. But come on.

  • <b>When:</b> Sept. 5<br />
<b>The skinny:</B> The Mike Bobo coaching era at Colorado State begins with a clown opponent. Perhaps that is too harsh; then again, Savannah State has been an FCS school since 2002, and in those 13 seasons the Tigers have won a total of 18 games. Savannah State was winless last season, and that came on the heels of four consecutive one-win seasons. Savannah State has played seven FBS teams in the past three seasons. The average score: 70-4. Yes, <i>70-4</i>. In three games last season against FBS foes, it was 208-16 (average score: 69-5). 3

    Associated Press

    3. Savannah State at Colorado State

    When: Sept. 5
    The skinny: The Mike Bobo coaching era at Colorado State begins with a clown opponent. Perhaps that is too harsh; then again, Savannah State has been an FCS school since 2002, and in those 13 seasons the Tigers have won a total of 18 games. Savannah State was winless last season, and that came on the heels of four consecutive one-win seasons. Savannah State has played seven FBS teams in the past three seasons. The average score: 70-4. Yes, 70-4. In three games last season against FBS foes, it was 208-16 (average score: 69-5).

  • <b>When:</b> Sept. 12<br />
<b>The skinny:</B> Lamar resurrected its football program in 2010 and is coming off an 8-4 season. But in five games against FBS teams in the past three seasons, Lamar has been outscored 253-22 (uhhh, that's 51-5 for an average score). And as far as we can tell, this is the first time in college football history that a team will play Bacone one week and Baylor the next (Lamar plays host to Bacone, a Division II school in Oklahoma, the week before it travels to Baylor). What in the world is a legit national title contender doing playing Lamar? 2

    Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

    2. Lamar at Baylor

    When: Sept. 12
    The skinny: Lamar resurrected its football program in 2010 and is coming off an 8-4 season. But in five games against FBS teams in the past three seasons, Lamar has been outscored 253-22 (uhhh, that's 51-5 for an average score). And as far as we can tell, this is the first time in college football history that a team will play Bacone one week and Baylor the next (Lamar plays host to Bacone, a Division II school in Oklahoma, the week before it travels to Baylor). What in the world is a legit national title contender doing playing Lamar?

  • <b>When:</b> Sept. 26<br />
<b>The skinny:</B> OK, Baylor-Lamar is bad. This one is worse. Nicholls State, from Thibodaux, La., has won a combined 16 games in the past seven seasons; the Colonels were 0-11 last season, when they were outscored 602-163 (average score: 55-15). That's right: Nicholls surrendered an <i>average</I> of 55 points per game. The Colonels have had a losing record in 22 of the past 26 seasons. In 12 games against FBS foes since the start of the 2010 season, Nicholls has been outscored 594-124 (average score: 49-10) and has surrendered at least 66 points five times. Colorado needs every win it can get -- and it is for sure getting one from this contest. 1

    David Zalubowski/Associated Pres

    1. Nicholls State at Colorado

    When: Sept. 26
    The skinny: OK, Baylor-Lamar is bad. This one is worse. Nicholls State, from Thibodaux, La., has won a combined 16 games in the past seven seasons; the Colonels were 0-11 last season, when they were outscored 602-163 (average score: 55-15). That's right: Nicholls surrendered an average of 55 points per game. The Colonels have had a losing record in 22 of the past 26 seasons. In 12 games against FBS foes since the start of the 2010 season, Nicholls has been outscored 594-124 (average score: 49-10) and has surrendered at least 66 points five times. Colorado needs every win it can get -- and it is for sure getting one from this contest.