Football games are not played on paper, they are played on grass. But all we have right now is the paper schedule, so it is time to start counting wins and losses.
The Wildcats start off with a game against Concordia College in Shotwell Stadium, which should be money in the bank. ACU begins with a comfortable win and fans rejoice.
A week later, McMurry comes to the north side, looking to shake off a 51-0 beat down the Wildcats put on them last season. However, I am imagining a similar result this season, and a 2-0 start for the men in purple and white.
The third game on the schedule is a talented New Mexico Highlands team that is coming off of a 7-2 season. These Cowboys will pose the first real threat to the Wildcats in 2013, but I think ACU gets by and stays undefeated.
Next, ACU travels to Illinois to take on their first Div. I team. Illinois State put together an impressive season last year, including a playoff win against Football Championship Subdivision juggernaut Appalachian State. This is a winnable game for the ‘Cats, but they will have to play clean football.
Seven days later, ACU will face Tarleton in a neutral site. With the future of this rivalry in jeopardy, this could be the last installment of the game for a while. Two years ago, the Wildcats intercepted a pass in the end zone to finish off the Texans. Last year, wide receiver Taylor Gabriel’s unbelievable touchdown catch ripped out Tarleton fans’ hearts at the Cowboy Stadium. I expect another close one, and another ACU win.
The next game will be against a talented Pitt State team on the road. The Gorillas are ranked 21st in the American Football Coaches Association poll. ACU will have their hands full for four quarters, but can definitely win the game with a strong showing.
On October 12, ACU travels to Houston to take on Houston Baptist. HBU is a future Southland Conference opponent and could be quarterbacked by ACU transfer Jonathan Fleming.
The Wildcats will play Incarnate Word twice this season. The Cardinals were a Lone Star Conference opponent and will also move conferences with the Wildcats to the Southland Conference next season. Former ACU quarterback Mitchell Gale broke a conference record against the Cardinals last season. Go ahead and put down a couple of wins for the Wildcats.
The most notable team on the schedule is November 9 in New Mexico. ACU will take on Football Bowl Subdivision opponent New Mexico State. The Aggies are coming off a 1-11 season, and have chosen ACU for their homecoming game.
The final game on the schedule is Prairie View A&M, which is an FCS school and member of the Southwestern Athletic Conference. The Wildcats must come out firing on all cylinders, but they are capable of a victory to close the season.
ACU put together a 7-4 season in 2012, and their schedule is more difficult than it was a year ago. However, a winning season is definitely not out of the question for the ‘Cats in their first year as a Div. I team, which would be an overwhelming success.