College Football: 5 Toughest Group of 5 Non-Conference Schedules in 2023

Parker Christensen, Wyoming Football (Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports)
Parker Christensen, Wyoming Football (Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports) /

Looking ahead to the 2023 college football season here are the five most difficult schedules among Group of 5 teams.

Choosing the top five schedules among Group of 5 college football teams was pretty difficult.  There are about 15 or 25 teams worthy of this list. The metrics for this list were: teams had to have two non-conference games against A5/P5 teams with one game being at home.  Here are the top five toughest non-conference schedules:

1. Wyoming

09/02 – Texas Tech
09/09 – Portland State
09/16 – at Texas
09/23 – Appalachian State

Wyoming will open the 2023 college football season against Texas Tech at home. The Red Raiders finished strong last season with wins over both Texas and Oklahoma, as well the Texas Bowl. The Cowboy’s first road game will be at Texas on Sept. 16. The Longhorns, who lead the all-time series 5-0, will be coming off a Sept. 9 game at Alabama. Wyoming will then host Appalachian State, who upset Texas A&M last year, on Sept. 23 before getting into conference play.

2. Tulsa

08/31 – Arkansas-Pine Bluff
09/09 – at Washington
09/16 – Oklahoma
09/23 – at Northern Illinois

Tulsa will travel to play Washington at Husky Stadium in Seattle on Sept. 9, 2023. The contest will be the first-ever meeting between the two schools Tulsa will host Oklahoma on September 16, 2023, while the Golden Hurricane will make trips to Norman on August 31, 2030, and Sept. 3, 2033. OU holds a 20-7-1 series advantage. Tulsa then travels to NIU which finished the 2022 college football season with a 3-9 record.


09/02 – Bryant
09/09 – at Michigan
09/16 – Vanderbilt
09/23 – at UTEP

UNLV will get $1.5 million to travel to Ann Arbor on Sept. 9, 2023, to play Michigan. The Rebels then host a Southeastern Conference opponent for the first time as Vanderbilt comes to Las Vegas on Sept 16th. UNLV then travels to El Paso to play in the Sun Bowl. The Rebels and Miners are playing for only the ninth time. UNLV owns a 6-2 mark against UTEP.

4. San Jose St

08/26 – at USC
09/03 – Oregon State
09/09 – Cal Poly
09/16 – at Toledo

USC will host San Jose State at the Coliseum on Aug. 26, 2023, in a “Week Zero” matchup. USC added the Spartans to replace BYU.USC leads the series 5-0.

San Jose State’s game with Oregon State has moved to Sunday, Sept. 3 because of a television commitment. The game was originally scheduled for Saturday.

Oregon State holds a 4-2 advantage over the Spartans and is coming off a 10-win season. The Spartans finish non-conference play against the defending MAC champion Toledo Rockets on Sept. 16th.

5. Old Dominion

09/02 – at Virginia Tech
09/16 – Wake Forest
09/23 – Texas A&M-Commerce
11/11 – at Liberty

​​Old Dominion travels to Blacksburg on Saturday, Sept. 2. The Monarchs are 2-2 all-time against the Hokies. On Sept. 16 the Monarchs host Wake Forest, a team who finished 2022  at 8-5 with a bowl win over Mizzou. ODU then hit the road to play Liberty on Saturday, Nov. 11. Former Coastal head coach Jamey Chadwell is the new coach of the Flames and takes over a team that went 8-5 last season and has had four-straight winning seasons. Liberty leads the all-time series 3-1.

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