With Northern Illinois' 2014 game against Idaho moved to 2018, it leaves the Huskies with two open non-conference slots next season.
NIU is currently scheduled to play at Wake Forest Sept. 13, and at Arkansas Sept. 20. One of the non-conference games will certainly feature an FCS team, but who fills Idaho's slot? Considering the state of the Vandals at the moment, the fact that the game is being moved certainly isn't a bad thing.
The Daily Chronicle staff took some time Thursday afternoon to take a look at 2014 schedules from around the country via FBschedules.com, to see who has open dates next year. Of course, there are plenty of factors in play, but here's what we found in terms of teams with non-conference games available.
American Athletic: Connecticut, Houston, UCF
ACC: Miami (2), North Carolina (2), Syracuse (3)
Big Ten: Northwestern, Penn State (open date in 2014 or 2015), Wisconsin
Big 12: Oklahoma, TCU
Conference USA: East Carolina (wouldn't happen for obvious reasons), Louisiana Tech, Middle Tennessee, North Texas, Rice, Southern Miss., Tulsa, UAB
Mountain West: Air Force, Colorado State, San Diego State (3), San Jose State, UNLV, Utah State
PAC-12: Cal (2), Stanford
SEC: Alabama, Auburn, Kentucky, LSU, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt
Sun Belt: Arkansas State, Georgia State, Texas State, Louisiana-Monroe, New Mexico State (Joining SBC in 2014, currently has four games scheduled)
Certainly some nice and interesting possibilities. Who knows what other schools could pop up on this list. Any matchup you would like to see?