March 25-- West Virginia and Iowa State face the toughest nonconference schedules heading into the 2019-20 football season.
1. West Virginia
Aug. 31 James Madison; Sept. 7 at Missouri; Sept. 14 NC State
Overview: West Virginia opens the season at home for the first time since 2016 when it hosts James Madison out of the Football Championship Subdivision. It's the third meeting with the Dukes (2-0). The following week, the team travels to Missouri looking to make it four wins out of the past five meetings with the Tigers. The out-of-conference schedule wraps up with WVU looking to snap a three-game losing streak to NC State.
2. Iowa State
Aug. 31 Northern Iowa; Sept. 14 Iowa; Sept. 21 ULM
Overview: The Cyclones are 6-5 against nonconference opponents in the three seasons under coach Matt Campbell including 2-4 against teams from within the state of Iowa. They'll look to improve on that mark when they open the season against Northern Iowa. Iowa State holds a 22-6-3 mark over the Panthers but has split the previous four meetings. Bragging rights are on the line when Iowa State hosts in-state rival Iowa two weeks later looking to snap a four-game losing streak to the Hawkeyes.
Aug. 31 Indiana State; Sept. 7 Coastal Carolina; Sept. 13 at Boston College
Overview: Kansas has won 23 games since 2009 and 17 of those wins came against nonconference opponents. New Jayhawks coach Les Miles looks to continue that trend when his team hosts Indiana State and Coastal Carolina. It's the third meeting (2-0) with the Sycamores and first against the Chanticleers. Kansas travels to Massachusetts looking for just its third road victory in more than a decade that includes a 0-2 record against ACC teams on the road.
4. Kansas State
Aug. 31 Nicholls; Sept. 7 Bowling Green; Sept. 14 at Mississippi State
Overview: Kansas State has won 75 percent (51-17) of its games at home over the past decade including a 21-3 record against nonconference opponents. New Wildcats coach Chris Klieman looks to continue that trend when the team hosts Nicholls and Bowling Green in consecutive weeks to open the season. The out-of-conference schedule wraps up on the road with Kansas State looking to avenge last season's 31-10 loss to Mississippi State and snap a three-game losing streak to the Bulldogs.
Aug. 31 Louisiana Tech; Sept. 7 LSU; Sept. 14 vs. Rice
Overview: The good news for Texas and coach Tom Herman is that the Longhorns don't open the season against Maryland. The team lost its previous two season-openers against the Terrapins. This time around Texas faces Louisiana Tech with the program looking to remain perfect against Conference USA foes (18-0). LSU travels to Austin for the first time since 1954 as Texas looks to extend a four-game home winning streak against the Tigers.
6. Texas Tech
Aug. 31 Montana State; Sept. 7 UTEP; Sept. 14 at Arizona
Overview: Texas Tech is looking to start a new winning streak after seeing its 15-game season-opening streak snapped by Ole Miss in Houston last season. The Red Raiders open up against Montana State for the second time ever. A week later, the team looks to extend its seven-game winning streak over UTEP with the Miners looking for their first win in Lubbock since 1956. The out-of-conference schedule wraps up against Arizona in Tucson with Texas Tech looking for its first regular-season road win against a Pac-12 team.
Aug. 31 Houston; Sept. 7 South Dakota; Sept. 14 at UCLA
Oklahoma is 6-2 against nonconference opponents in the two seasons under Lincoln Riley with both of those losses coming in the semifinals of the College Football Playoff. The last regular-season out-of-conference loss came against Houston in 2016. The Cougars travel to Norman with a new head coach but a familiar one for OU fans in former West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen. The Sooners travel to the West Coast to take on UCLA, looking for their fifth win in the six-game series.
Aug. 31 Arkansas-Pine Bluff; Sept. 14 at Purdue; Sept. 21 SMU
Overview: TCU looks to continue a streak of 16 straight home openers when the Horned Frogs play host to Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Gary Patterson's team hits the road to take on Purdue looking to extend the program's streak of six straight nonconference road wins going back to 2011. The Horned Frogs wrap up the out-of-conference schedule looking to continue their recent dominance in their in-state series with SMU, having won 11 of the previous 12 meetings.
9. Oklahoma State
Aug. 30 at Oregon State; Sept. 7 McNeese; Sept. 14 at Tulsa
Overview: One of the bright spots on an otherwise disappointing season for Oklahoma State was its stellar play in nonconference (4-0). It was the second consecutive season in which the Cowboys were perfect out of conference, extending their winning streak to 10 games going back to 2016. The team opens things up on the road for the first time since 2015, making its first-ever trip to Oregon State. After a home showdown with McNeese, OSU travels to Tulsa where they've won six straight in this series.
Aug. 31 Stephen F. Austin; Sept. 7 UTSA; Sept. 21 at Rice
Overview: Baylor bounced back from a winless nonconference schedule in 2017 to win three out of its four games in 2018 including a win over Vanderbilt in the Texas Bowl. This time around, the Bears feature an out-of-conference schedule with three teams that won seven combined games total last season.
(c)2019 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.)
Visit The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.) at www.OrlandoSentinel.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.