Coastal Carolina has added six teams to its future football schedules that have been previously unannounced, including Army and Buffalo.
The six teams total 11 non-conference games between 2018 and 2027.
Perhaps most notable among them, Army and CCU have a formal agreement that is pending a final contract to play a four-game home-and-home series between 2022 and 2027.
Army, an independent football program, is scheduled to travel to Brooks Stadium in Conway in 2022 and 2026 and the Chants are scheduled to travel to 93-year-old Michie Stadium in West Point, N.Y., in 2023 and 2027. Coastal has annually recognized the U.S. armed forces with a military appreciation game.
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“That one is an exciting one, number one because it’s a straight home and home, so we get home games and they’re an opponent that’s very recognizable,” CCU director of athletics Matt Hogue said. “… I think that will resonate with a lot of people in our market who have military connections. And it’s a really special place to go play at Michie Stadium. That’s a neat series and we’re excited to get that one worked out over a long-term basis.”
Coastal has eight Sun Belt Conference games scheduled per year for the foreseeable future, leaving four non-conference games per season. Hogue said the Chants’ general philosophy each year is to have one game per year against a team from one of the Power Five conferences with a road guaranteed payment of $1 million or more, one FCS opponent, and two games against either an independent or member of the Group of Five conferences.
The Chants have added a pair of home-and-home two-game series against Buffalo and Eastern Michigan of the Mid-American Conference.
The Chants host Eastern Michigan in 2019 and travel to Ypsilanti, Mich., in 2020, and travel to Buffalo, N.Y., in 2021 and host the Bulls in 2022.
The MAC is among the Group of Five conferences along with the Sun Belt, Conference USA, American Athletic and Mountain West.
The Sun Belt had an overall strength rating of third among the five conferences in 2016, and the conference and its programs hope to rise to the top in the near future, and Hogue said the Chants and other conference programs schedule strategically with that goal in mind.
Hogue said the Group of Five conferences receive a larger percentage of the FBS playoff payout based on their conference ranking.
“We’re trying to play two Group of Five teams from the other conferences that we’re competing against … that can help us become the strongest conference outside of the Power Five,” Hogue said. “The goal across the league from a scheduling standpoint is to build the schedule and build the league.”
The Chants, who move up to the Football Bowl Subdivision and begin Sun Belt Conference play this season, have also added future home games against Football Championship Subdivision teams Campbell in 2018, Charleston Southern in 2019 and The Citadel in 2021.
According to Hogue, CCU is paying Campbell a guaranteed $300,000, Charleston Southern $100,000 and Citadel $315,000 for the games. The CSU game is the second of a two-game series that began last season, when the Buccaneers earned $200,000. Hogue said CCU would like to schedule FCS opponents that have a history with CCU and/or are from drive markets that may help the gate.
“If we can find regional schools, in particular ones we’ve played in the past and had some good games with and maybe even a rivalry, that always helps,” Hogue said. ”And we have an area that people want to travel to as well.”
Coastal Carolina and Army will exchange $200,000 guarantees for each game, and CCU and Buffalo will exchange $150,000 guarantees. The payments are essentially for travel expenses, Hogue said.
Coastal has previously announced games at South Carolina in 2018 and 2020, at UCLA in 2023, at Arkansas this year and a three-game series with Kansas from 2019-21 that includes a home game in 2020. Those schools are all among the Power Five conferences of the ACC, SEC, Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac 12.
The Chants begin the 2017 season at 7 p.m. Saturday against FBS independent Massachusetts at Brooks Stadium. They complete a two-game series at UMass next year, and Hogue said another home-and-home series with the Minutemen is being negotiated to begin in either 2019 or 2020.
“There could be changes, but to be able to have some things planned over a period of years is certainly helpful because scheduling can be challenging at times if you’re trying to squeeze in a last game,” Hogue said. “I think one thing we notice as a major difference in this transition from the FCS rank is our schedules are a lot more standardized and built out than they’ve ever been before.”
CCU Future Non-Conference Opponents
09/02 - Massachusetts
09/16 - at Alabama-Birmingham
09/23 - Western Illinois
11/04 - at Arkansas
09/01 - at South Carolina
09/08 - Alabama-Birmingham
09/15 - Campbell
10/20 - at Massachusetts
08/31 - Eastern Michigan
09/07 - at Kansas
TBA - Charleston Southern
09/12 - at Eastern Michigan
09/26 - Kansas
TBA - at South Carolina
09/04 - The Citadel
09/11 - at Kansas
09/18 - at Buffalo
09/03 - Army
09/17 - Buffalo
09/16 - at UCLA
11/18 - at Army
10/17 - Army
10/23 - at Army