Former Miami Dolphins coach Don Shula, left, with the Don Shula Trophy at the first FAU-FIU game in 2002 with former FIU coach Don Strock, then Lt. Gov. Frank Brogan and former Owls coach Howard Schnellenberger. (File photo courtesy of Owl Pix)
No Shula Bowl in 2013
Owl Analysis: FAU's non-conference schedule is set and that means no game with FIU next season. Check out our full breakdown of the Owls' 2013 schedule.
Originally published on
Earlier this week, Owl Access was the first to report that FAU's 2013 football non-conference schedule would have games at Miami, South Florida and Auburn and a home game vs. New Mexico State.
Why that's important is that there are no more open slots for FAU after the four non-conference games combined with the eight-game Sun Belt conference schedule. There are 10 teams in the Sun Belt, but only eight games so, like this season teams will play everybody in the conference except for one team. This season for FAU, it was Arkansas State.
However next season, is one of change in the Sun Belt, with FIU and North Texas heading to Conference USA, while Georgia State and Texas State will be in their first year in the Sun Belt. The Sun Belt usually announces its schedule in the spring, but it will be interesting to see how the conference will pair up teams.
Here's a few thoughts on FAU's 2013 schedule...
- No room for FIU: Since FIU is moving to Conference USA and FAU's schedule is set, the Owls and the Panthers will not meet in 2013. There was some hope by FAU fans that the rivalry would continue in a non-conference series, but that won't be the case. FIU and FAU meet on Nov. 16 for the 11th and possible final time.
- Let's play one: The home game with New Mexico State is not believed to be part of a series, but just a single game. The Owls have played host to non-conference FBS teams before. UAB, Wyoming, Minnesota, South Florida and Oklahoma State have played games at FAU, but were part of packages when the Owls would play those opponents on the road. FAU also had the infamous “home” game vs. Michigan State in Detroit.
- Eager Aggies: New Mexico State was an easy target for a home game. The Aggies will be an independent next season after the WAC calls it quits after this season. There probably aren't many long-time FAU fans who remember that NMSU was once in the Sun Belt Conference and defeated the Owls 35-7 in 2007 at Lockhart Stadium. In some ways, it was the defection of New Mexico State, along with Utah State and Idaho to the WAC, that opened up a spot for FAU and FIU to be invited in 2003 to join the Sun Belt.
- Struggling now: How much of a chance will the Owls have in the non-conference games next season? Pretty good considering those teams have a combined 8-24 record so far this season. Miami is 4-4, South Florida is 2-6, Auburn is 1-7 and New Mexico State is 1-7. Interestingly enough, Auburn and New Mexico State play each other Saturday.
- Changes could be coming: FAU may also catch a break if they face one of their non-conference opponents in the first year of a new coaching regime. Auburn coach Gene Chizik is perhaps sitting on the hottest seat in the nation and some feel that he may not make it to the end of the season without being fired. And at USF, some fans, alums and even trustees are not happy with the Bulls program under Skip Holtz.
- Easy rides: The road games at Miami and USF should make the travel schedule easier next season for players and for fans. One would expect a sizable contingent at FAU's opener vs. the Hurricanes at Sun Life Stadium, FAU's home from 2001-02, on Aug. 31.