Continuing its aggressive approach to scheduling as part of the move to Division I football, Stony Brook announced on Friday that it will open the 2011 season at the University of Texas-El Paso on Sept. 3 in the Sun Bowl. UTEP is a Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) school that plays in Conference USA.
The Miners went 6-6 this season and are scheduled to face BYU in the New Mexico Bowl on Dec. 18 in Albuquerque. UTEP plays all of its home games at the Sun Bowl in El Paso, where the 77th edition of that postseason bowl matches Notre Dame and Miami on New Year's Eve.
So, Stony Brook, which plays in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), will open its season in a historic venue for the second straight season. The Seawolves (6-5) opened the 2010 season against South Florida in Tampa's Raymond James Stadium, the site of several past Super Bowls, including the Giants' win at the end of the 1990 season. That marked SBU's first-ever game against an FBS opponent, and the UTEP game will be the second But next season's schedule also includes a date with Buffalo, another FBS school. In 2012, SBU's scheduled includes Army, and in 2013, it includes Boston College.
Scheduling up against FBS schools not only is a good financial move for Stony Brook, but it also signals the direction athletic director Jim Fiore and football coach Chuck Priore are trying to take the program The Seawolves tied for the Big South Conference title for the second straight season, and eight players earned all-conference honors, including first-team selections for Brock Jackolski (pictured) and Miguel Maysonet, the only pair of running backs at the Division I level to record 1,000-yard rushing seasons for the same team.