If you like revenge games, Marshall’s 2013 home football schedule could be up your alley. If you like sunshine and sandy beaches, you’re cool with the away schedule.
The Thundering Herd’s 2013 schedule got fleshed out Wednesday with Conference USA announcing its home and away conference schedules. Marshall gets C-USA foes ECU, Southern Miss, UAB and UT-San Antonio at home and FAU, FIU, Tulsa and Middle Tennessee on the road. That joins home games Aug. 31 versus Miami (Ohio) and Sept. 7 versus Gardner-Webb and road games Sept. 14 at Ohio and Sept. 21 at Virginia Tech.
Let’s look at it first from a competitive standpoint: Six teams with winning records in 2012, including four bowl teams. MTSU (didn’t get picked) and UTSA (ineligible for postseason) had winning records without bowl berths. The combined 2012 record of Marshall’s 2013 opponents is 67-81 (.453). C-USA-wise, Marshall’s foes were 44-55 (.444). Just looking at it from that perspective, if Marshall’s offense remains potent and its defense improves to OK, there’s the potential for a pretty successful season.
Of course, I’ve seen some folks on the message boards who are absolutely livid that Marshall is on the road at Tulsa and soon-t0-be-departing ECU gets the Golden Hurricane at home. But at Mick ‘n’ Keef once told us, you can’t always get what you want. With Southern Miss, UAB, FAU and FIU on the docket, plus a UTSA team whose 8-4 record was a bit deceiving considering its schedule, it could have been a lot worse.
Now let’s look at it from a fan’s standpoint. Marshall has three drivable away games — in Athens, Blacksburg, Murfreesboro — plus trips to Boca Raton and Miami, which should be no problem to reach by air. And if you haven’t been to South Florida in the fall, there ain’t much to complain about. And as much as folks might not like playing at Tulsa, it’ll be easier to get there than Ruston, La.
As for the home schedule … well …
If anything, Marshall has two revenge games at home. In losing two of its last three to miss the postseason, those two losses were at UAB and ECU. And I’m sure Herd fans would love to send the Pirates out of C-USA and into the Big East with a loss. Past that, you have four other home opponents with a combined record of 15-32, which should allow Herd fans to leave the Joan happy more times than not.
This is just a surface look at the schedule. When these games are played and what each team has coming back will factor into this as the season draws nearer. But on the surface, this slate should lead to plenty of wins at home and some attractive trips abroad.