Feb. 23, 2012
Lobo football fans, rejoice. The team's travel plans during its non-conference schedule the next few years do not require more than an hour's adjustment in time-change. And it will help the program make inroads in places in which it hopes to attract student-athletes to come here to play.
With the union between the Mountain West and Conference USA in progress, regional rivalries in the non-conference portion of the schedule have taken on even greater significance for the University of New Mexico football program.
Three of the five non-conference opponents the Lobos will face in 2012 hail from the state of Texas - which is in the Central Time Zone: UNM plays at Texas and Texas Tech and hosts Texas State. The Lobos also will host Southern University (from Baton Rouge, La.) and travel to New Mexico State.
"The exciting thing about our non-conference schedule over the next several years," coach Bob Davie said, "is that it gives us the opportunity to develop rivalries in our primary recruiting areas."
The 2013 and '14 schedules both feature two opponents from Texas - UTEP and Texas-San Antonio. The Miners, however, currently are members of Conference USA. The series against UTEP, therefore, may change to an in-conference matchup, depending on how the new conference splits the division of teams.
The Lobos will travel to San Jose State (Pacific Time Zone) in 2013 and play host to Arizona State in 2014. Both matchups involve return games, with UNM traveling to Tempe, Ariz. (which fluctuates between Pacific and Mountain time zones), and San Jose State coming to University Stadium in 2015.
The Mountain West will release its schedule the first week of March, and it will re-release the schedule with game times and television approximately April 1.
The new conference, which will begin play in 2013, will focus on the creation of two divisions of geographically related schools. Travel is unlikely to be that extensive in league play - with the exception of the road trips to incoming football member Hawaii.
But who can complain about a trip to Hawaii?
UNM Future Non-Conference Schedules
Sept. 1 Southern University
Sept. 8 @ Texas
Sept. 15 @ Texas Tech
Sept. 22 @NMSU
Oct. 6 Texas St.
Aug. 31 UTSA
Sept. 7 @UTEP
Sept. 28 @ San Jose St.
Oct. 5 NMSU
Aug. 30 UTEP
Sept. 13 Arizona St.
Sept. 20 @NMSU
Oct. 4 @UTSA
Sept. 5 @Arizona St.
Sept. 19 San Jose St.
Oct. 3 NMSU
*still need one more non-conference game
Sept. 17 @NMSUonly game scheduled so far