The Blitz: Five non-conference must-see games involving Texas Non-FBS teams in 2023

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We are less than 100 days until the start of the 2023 college football season. My anticipation for each season starts growing when Sam Herder at HERO Sports begins his jersey countdown. Most schedules for Texas Non-FBS teams are finalized except for the junior college ranks and Hardin-Simmons needing to add a game.

As we head toward Labor Day Weekend, here’s a look at five games you don’t want to miss next year. 

Week 2 - Colorado School of Mines at Angelo State

Not only is this game between two programs likely inside the Division II top 10, but it also has multiple intriguing storylines. This will be the fourth meeting all-time between the Orediggers and the Rams in a series that has decided the Super Region Four champion for the last two years. In addition, this game will be a big test for both programs, with Mines having a new head coach and ASU replacing multiple All-Americans that left in the transfer portal.

Week 2 - Mary Hardin-Baylor at Trinity

In an era where some coaches shy away from challenging their team against some of the best competition in the country, Larry Harmon and Jerheme Urban has gone the other direction. The Tigers will have an experience advantage with many starters returning this year, including quarterback Tucker Horn. Meanwhile, the Crusaders will plenty of new names on offense but return most of the defense from last year.

Week 3 - UIW at Abilene Christian

The Cardinals and the Wildcats met on the gridiron 11 times between 2010 and 2019, with ACU owning a 7-4 edge. The series renews this year and will have the eyes of the FCS world watching. The atmosphere could be electric inside Wildcat Stadium if the residents of Abilene and ACU’s students realize they have a quality Division I team and show up to the game.

Week 3 - Wisconsin-Whitewater at Mary Hardin-Baylor

UMHB will play two teams likely in the top 10 in back-to-back weeks during the regular season. UW-W is 7-2 all-time against the Cru, but a new man is on the sidelines for the Warhawks. Defensive coordinator Jace Rindahl was elevated to head coach following the retirement of Kevin Bullis. This game may be one of the most brutally physical games at any level this year, with both teams relying on their defense.

Week 4 - St. Thomas (Fla.) at Texas Wesleyan

The Rams and Bobcats felt snubbed when the NAIA released its playoff bracket last year. So, Joe Prud’homme and Bill Rychel decided to play each other in what is being affectionately dubbed the “Hosed Bowl.” All jokes aside, this game will have significant playoff implications for both teams, with TxWes holding the homefield advantage this year.

Southland Conference

United Athletic Conference

Sooner Athletic Conference

Southwestern Junior College Football Conference

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