by Chuck Pool (email@example.com) -
Rice will open its 13th season of Conference USA football on the road in El Paso on September 9, kicking off an eight-game slate that will feature the return of UAB to the gridiron as well as Rice's first ever football game in Virginia when the Owls travel to Norfolk to take on Old Dominion in November.
The Owls will open their 2017 C-USA home schedule on September 23 when the FIU Panthers make their first appearance at Rice Stadium. Rice will also host Louisiana Tech (October 28) and Southern Miss (November 11) before wrapping up the regular season against North Texas on November 25.
The Mean Green will be playing at Rice Stadium in consecutive seasons as a result of the return of UAB's football program as the seventh team in the Western Division.
In addition to the conference opener at UTEP, Rice will also travel to UTSA (October 21), UAB (November 4) and ODU (November 18).
The 2017 alignment will feature seven teams in the East Division and seven teams in the West Division. Charlotte, FIU, Florida Atlantic, Marshall, Middle Tennessee, Old Dominion and WKU comprise the East Division, while Louisiana Tech, North Texas, Rice, Southern Miss, UAB, UTEP and UTSA make up the West Division. Each school will play every team in its division once for six games, while playing two cross-over opponents from the opposite division.
After having stand-alone schedules for the past four seasons due to realignment, the 2017 season marks the return to a multi-year schedule rotation that will be in place for the next several seasons. Due to the move from 13 teams to 14 teams for 2017, a couple of teams will play division opponents at the same location as 2016, a situation that was unavoidable with the West Division moving from six teams to seven.
Rice's C-USA lineup for 2018 will flip, with the Owls hosting ODU, UAB, UTSA and UTEP and traveling to FIU, LA Tech, North Texas and Southern Miss.
The 2017 schedule complies with C-USA scheduling policies as approved by the Board of Directors. In addition, the schedule provides the following:
· All teams finish their Conference schedule with two games of one at home and one away.
· Nearly all teams have two home games and two away games in the first half of the Conference schedule as well as the second half of the Conference schedule; and
· All bye weeks take place between weeks four and nine.
It is important to note that all games are subject to date changes and some dates are expected to move in the coming weeks in order accommodate national television.
A schedule of televised games will be released at a later date. Conference USA's 13th annual Championship Game, pitting the champions of the East and West Divisions, is scheduled for Saturday, December 2.
With the completion of the conference schedule, Rice will soon launch its 2017 season ticket renewal campaign soon, with new season ticket sales slated to go on sale later in the spring. Anyone with season ticket questions should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Sept. 9||UTEP||El Paso, TX||TBA|
|Sept. 23||FIU||Rice Stadium||TBA|
|Oct. 21||UTSA||San Antonio, TX||TBA|
|Oct. 28||LA Tech||Rice Stadium||TBA|
|Nov. 4||UAB||Birmingham, AL||TBA|
|Nov. 11||Southern Miss||Rice Stadium||TBA|
|Nov. 18||ODU||Norfolk, VA||TBA|
|Nov. 25||North Texas||Rice Stadium||TBA|