Greetings, Lion fans. Even in the off season, there is football news to be had. National Signing Day is just around the corner on February 2, 2022, and we’ll have a deep dive on every Lion signee and transfer this year. We currently have a request in to head coach David Bailiff for an interview to learn more about recruiting in the realm of Division 1, and as soon as we know something, we’ll have a column up for you.
Meanwhile, the 2022 football schedule has been released, and congratulations are in order for AD Tim McMurray, his support staff, and the rest of the Athletic Department staff involved with the football program for producing what appears to be an outstanding yet challenging 11 game schedule in 2022.
Scheduling is never easy. We in Lion Nation have seen that the past few seasons, especially since the D2 National Championship season of 2017. Fewer and fewer D2 teams, along with some others from out of conference, as well as fewer Lone Star Conference teams fielding football programs. In 2022, it became even more difficult with the move to the Division 1 FCS, and the Southland Conference.
Schedules are often filled out years in advance. According to McMurray, the Lions have non-conference series scheduled all the way into the 2025 and FBS guaranteed commitments (as yet unsigned) for 2026, 27 and even one in 2030. So, in changing both classification and conference affiliation at this point in the process, just getting a full schedule can be beyond tough. The most recent examples of this are Texas A&M-College Station with their move to the Southeastern Conference in 2012, and Tarleton State’s move to the WAC this past season.
The Lions in 2022 will face just two non-FCS opponents. Lincoln (CA) is a division 2 member. North American University, established in Houston in 2007 is a transitioning NAIA member, according to McMurray. The remaining nine opponents are either members of the Southland or Ohio Valley Conference of the FCS. In 2023 and beyond, the Lions will face primarily D1 FCS teams. Also, it is not uncommon for teams in the Southland to face each other twice, as the Lions are facing Houston Baptist this season. As the conference fills out, and things settle down, we suspect that we’ll see far less of this.
So, let’s take a look at how the Lions schedule fared in 2022, and who’s what and where. We’ll have a further breakdown of each team after the spring, when rosters and transfers should be more stabilized.
Overall Record- 47-62
Lincoln (CA)/ 1-8; second season in Division 2
Tennessee Tech/ 3-8 in the Ohio Valley Conference
Sam Houston State-11-1, FCS Quarterfinalist in 2021, FCS National Champion in Spring 2021
North American- 5-4 NAIA
Southeastern Louisana- 9-4, SLC
McNeese State- 4-7 SLC
Houston Baptist- 0-11 SLC
Nicholls State- 6-5 SLC
Northwestern Louisana- 3-8 SLC
Houston Baptist- 0-11 SLC
Tennessee State- 5-6 Ohio Valley Conference
Notes, Interesting Facts
Lincoln-Faced SFA, Eastern New Mexico, UT Permian Basin, A&M Kingsville, Central Washington, and Western Oregon this past season.
Tennessee Tech-Faced SEC’s Tennessee Volunteers, Tennessee State.
Tennessee State-Faced SEC’s Mississippi State, Grambling State, and FCS perennial power Jacksonville State.
Notable Alumni from Tennessee State-Women’s Olympic Champion Wilma Rudolph is a Tigerbelle. State has a well-known Women’s track and field program. Also, Dallas Cowboys legend and All Pro defensive end Ed “Too Tall” Jones.