The schedule for the Bengals was released a couple of weeks ago, so let's take a look and see what lies ahead for them this season.
I think Coach O'Brien and the Idaho St athletic department has done really well putting things together, creating a nice mix of home and away games.
“Our nonconference schedule is one that will test us and help us prepare for what will be a very competitive schedule Big Sky Conference,” O'Brien said. “Our staff is excited to get the team back on campus this fall to begin preparation for the upcoming year.”Key home games include: Loyola Marymount (who could be solid in the WCC), Utah St. (a tournament participant year in and year out), North Dakota (a future Big Sky competitor), and Wyoming (a team in the area from a solid conference).
That is not a ton of marquee games, but it looks better than the home non-conference slate for Montana St. and Eastern Washington. The bad thing is that I am not sure Idaho St. will actually be favored in any of those 4 games, but they should certainly have a puncher's chance.
On the road, they have some challenges as well.
They will travel to Oklahoma, North Dakota, New Mexico, Boise St., Wyoming, Loyola Marymount, and Utah. They will also have an away Bracket Buster game. Certainly they are not afraid to challenge themselves in the non-conference, which Coach O'Brien should be commended for, especially in a season where he is possibly fighting to save his job.
Last year Idaho St. went 5-8 out of conference, but their wins were against Troy, Great Falls, Montana Tech, UMKC, and Cal-State Fullerton. It seems as if things will be significantly harder this time around, and 3-4 wins out of conference is a more reasonable goal.
What does everyone else think of their schedule? Like it, hate it? What is a reasonable number of games that the Bengals will win before Big Sky Conference play begins?