Most American Athletic football teams will play at least one powerhouse football team in nonconference action while still scheduling two or three teams from non-Power Five conference.
The marquis matchup this year is No. 13 Houston hosting No. 3 Oklahoma, which should be ranked in the top 5. Houston may be ranked in the Top 10 and will be favored to win its conference.
Another blockbuster game is Tulsa at Ohio State. The Buckeyes are a lock for a Top 10 preseason ranking and Tulsa is in the second year of a rebuilding process under Coach Phillip Montgomery.
Central Florida, which had a terrible season last year, is playing Michigan – another Top 10 team. Navy has its annual game against Notre Dame while South Florida will take on Florida State.
Houston has the toughest nonconference slate with Oklahoma and Louisville. SMU is not far behind with Big 12 powers TCU and Baylor, who will be ranked in the Top 25 if not the Top 10.
Temple takes on Penn State from the Big Ten and Central Florida will play Maryland. Memphis, with a new coach, will play Mississippi from the Southeastern Conference and rebuilding Kansas from the Big 12.
Cincinnati faces BYU and Navy plays Air Force.
The AAC nonconference schedule is also peppered with team like Western Carolina, Texas State, Southeast Missouri State, Fordham, Army, Towson, Liberty, Stony Brook, Charlotte, Massachusetts and North Carolina A&T.
Any wins over Oklahoma, Michigan, Florida State, Ohio State, Notre Dame, TCU, Baylor, Penn State and Mississippi would add to the prestige of the American Athletic Conference.
Toughest Nonconference Schedule
- Central Florida
- South Florida
- East Carolina
AAC Nonconference Schedule
South Carolina State, Michigan, Maryland, Florida International
University of Tennessee-Martin, Purdue, Miami of Ohio, BYU
Maine, Virginia, Syracuse, Boston College
Western Carolina, North Carolina State, South Carolina, Virginia Tech
Oklahoma, Lamar, Texas State, Louisville
Southeast Missouri State, Kansas, Bowling Green, Mississippi
Fordham, Air Force, Notre Dame, Army
Towson, Northern Illinois, Syracuse, Florida State
North Texas, Baylor, TCU, Liberty
Army, Stony Brook, Penn State, Charlotte
Wake Forrest, Southern, Louisiana, Massachusetts
San Jose State, Ohio State, North Carolina A&T, Fresno State