The Texas A&M Aggies have announced their next home-and-home non-conference football matchup, and it’s
doozy football game. The Aggies will host the Louisville Cardinals at Kyle Field to open the 2028 season before making the return trip to Louisville to open the season in 2029. A&M now has a Power 5 non-conference opponent on the schedule for the next 10 years, starting with Colorado in 2020/21, Miami in 2022/23, Notre Dame in 2024/25, Arizona State in 2026/27 and now Louisville.
The double-edged sword of non-con scheduling
It’s easy to look ahead at these matchups and see a lot of “meh,” Obviously many of these games are years away, and a program’s trajectory can change quickly, but as of now, none of these games really move the needle outside of Notre Dame. But is that necessarily a bad thing?
A&M fans saw this season the downside of aggressive non-conference scheduling. A September game against a national title contender thrown on top of an already tougher than normal conference schedule (thanks Georgia) can derail a season before it even begins. And if you’re wondering when A&M next gets Georgia added to their schedule, it’s 2024...when they’re also playing Notre Dame. Yikes.
So the point is, while this may not be a home game that draws national attention, or a road trip that gets the fans excited, that’s not really relevant. It certainly seems that for the most part, A&M is leaning toward scheduling respectable but also very winnable non-conference games, and that is OK. In college football terms, the strength of your schedule needs to be easy enough that a 10+ win season is feasible, but hard enough so that it’s strength won’t be questioned come playoff/bowl selection time. When you play in the SEC West, the latter will never be a serious concern (at least for the foreseeable future), so it makes sense that the best way to set your team up for success is to schedule a team that’s unlikely to wreck your title changes. One with some name recognition, but still appears very beatable.
Wait a minute...