The Coastal Carolina football team now knows the challenges it will face this upcoming fall in its first season as an NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) member in the Sun Belt Conference.
The team’s schedule was completed Wednesday with the Sun Belt’s release of its league schedule, and the Chanticleers’ slate includes eight conference games and six home games.
Coastal is in the second year of its two-year transition to the FBS and will be eligible to play for a conference title but not a bowl game.
The Chants enter the FBS level coming off a 10-2 record in their final season with an FCS schedule, suffering only a pair of one-point losses to ranked opponents Jacksonville State and Charleston Southern.
The Chants have a balanced schedule with six home and six road games, alternating each with the exception of consecutive road games on Oct. 14 and 21 at Arkansas State and Appalachian State.
CCU has bye weeks following its opening game at home against Massachusetts on Sept. 2 and before its final game at home against Georgia Southern on Dec. 2, so it has 10 games in between.
“While we will have two bye weeks for the first time ever, we would have preferred to have one of those breaks closer to the middle of the season,” sixth-year Coastal Carolina coach Joe Moglia said. “However, we will adapt and adjust to that, just as we will to all the new opportunities our new status as an FBS program presents.”
Coastal’s four non-conference games includes the opener at home against UMass, a trip to Alabama-Birmingham on Sept. 16, a Sept. 23 visit from its lone FCS opponent Western Illinois, and a Nov. 4 trip to Arkansas.
The Chants will receive a guaranteed $1.5 million for the Razorbacks contest, which is its largest payment from an FBS Power Five conference school. It will be CCU’s first game against a Power Five conference program since 2013.
The Chants’ Sun Belt schedule will be played between Sept. 30 and Dec. 2 and includes home games against Georgia State, Texas State, Troy and Georgia Southern, and road games against Louisiana-Monroe, Arkansas State, Appalachian State and Idaho.
“I’m excited about our schedule,” Moglia said. “It gives us an opportunity to jump headfirst into league competition and gives our guys an opportunity to see some different parts of the United States, and we play a competitive non-league schedule that includes Arkansas.”
The game Nov. 18 in Moscow, Idaho at the Kibbie Dome will be the longest distance traveled by the Chants for a football game, surpassing a playoff game at Montana in 2013.
Of the 12 teams on Coastal’s schedule, five played in a bowl last season and produced a 4-1 record. Coastal will face those five teams over its last seven games of the season and play four of them on the road. The list of bowl teams include: Arkansas State (defeated UCF in the AutoNation Cure Bowl), Appalachian State (defeated Toledo in the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl), Arkansas (played Virginia Tech in the Belk Bowl), Troy (defeated Ohio in the Dollar General Bowl) and Idaho (defeated Colorado State in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl).
Coastal has previously faced just three opponents on the 2017 slate in Western Illinois, Appalachian State and Georgia Southern.
Coastal is in the process of a required expansion of Brooks Stadium for its move to the FBS, and stadium seating will be expanded from 9,214 seats to at least 15,000 seats before the opener against UMass.
“This will be a historic season for both our program and Coastal Carolina University,” Moglia said.
Fans can contact the CCU athletics ticket office at 843-347-8499 to inquire about season tickets.
CCU 2017 Schedule
at Arkansas State*
at Appalachian State*
* – Sun Belt Conference game