Miami football non-conference schedule toughest nationally per 247 Sports

Nov 24, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 24, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

The Miami football team begins their season with the biggest challenge in college football against Alabama at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta. Miami will return home to host Appalachian State, Michigan State and Central Connecticut State. Miami’s 2021 non-conference schedule is the toughest nationally per 247 Sports.

Playing two games against Power Five opponents and one of the best Group of Five teams is nearly unprecedented by the other programs in the 247 top 10 2021 non-conference schedules. Alabama will likely enter 2021 number one, Michigan State is rebuilding and Appalachian State has previously beaten Power Five opponents.

Playing Alabama is the biggest test for any college football program. The Miami football team has to prove they can compete on the big stage. In recent seasons, the Hurricanes have struggled in big games over the last few seasons. Blowout losses to Clemson twice, LSU and North Carolina over the last four seasons are concerning.

Some observations nationally have slated Appalachian State as a trap game for Miami. Playing a top-flight Group of Five program a week after playing Alabama will be a challenge. Miami has to stay focused. Michigan State will likely be improved in its second season under head coach Mel Tucker.

Central Connecticut State opted out of the 2021 spring season. The Blue Devils finished 11-2 in 2019 and play Southern Connecticut State, Wagner who Miami was scheduled to play in 2020 and Southeastern Louisiana before they travel to South Florida. The Hurricanes’ non-conference schedule was analyzed by 247.

"1. MIAMI HURRICANESvs. Alabama (Atlanta)vs. Appalachian Statevs. Michigan Statevs. CCSUOutside of that matchup against CCSU, the Hurricanes will be tested greatly in non-conference play. Miami opens its season against the defending national champs, and that game will get most of the attention, but it’s not the only challenge on the slate.Appalachian State always competes for Sun Belt championships and regularly upsets Power Five programs. In the 2019 season alone, the Mountaineers defeated North Carolina and South Carolina. Finally, Michigan State may be down, but it’s not a game that the Hurricanes can afford to take lightly.None of these are true road games for Miami, but this non-conference slate stacks up well against any other in the country."

Alabama will be the biggest test for Miami in recent memory. Appalachian State finished 9-3 in 2018 and ended the season ranked 18th against the 19th toughest schedule. Miami has to come out focused against the Mountaineers. Miami defeated Appalachian State 45-10 in 2016 in their only meeting.

Michigan State finished 2-5 in Tucker’s inaugural season in East Lansing. The Michigan State and Miami football programs were supposed to play last season, but the game was eliminated with ACC teams only playing one non-conference game (Miami defeated UAB) and the Big 10 not playing any in 2020.

Next. Miami top 10 nationally in non-conference schedules. dark

While non of the 2021 non-conference games for Miami are road games, playing Alabama in Atlanta will feel like one. The majority of the crowd at Mercedes Benz Stadium will be Crimson Tide fans. Miami then returns home for the other three non-conference games. Miami will be favored in those three games.