After the release of the Ball State football schedule, one thing is certain -- there will be plenty of chances for fans to tailgate. 

The Mid-American Conference released the 2018 lineup of games Thursday, and there are a few differences between this year's schedule and the previous two seasons, mainly the four Saturday home games. 

Five of the Cardinals' first eight games will be played at home. Ball State opens up the season Aug. 30, a Thursday, against Central Connecticut State before traveling to Notre Dame and Indiana the next two weekends.

While official times have yet to be released, four out of five weekends feature Saturday games at Scheumann Stadium, including Family Weekend against Western Kentucky (Sept. 22), Kent State, Northern Illinois and Homecoming versus Eastern Michigan (Oct. 20), with the one exception being a road test against Central Michigan (Oct. 13). 

Following the home stretch, Ball State will travel to Ohio and Toledo, host one mid-week game against Western Michigan and then finish the season at Miami. 

Four of the team's five games will be featured on national television. The Notre Dame game is set to be on NBC with the Ohio, Toledo, Western Michigan and Miami games set for ESPN2, CBSSN and/or ESPNU.

Full 2018 schedule

vs Central Connecticut State - Thurs, Aug. 30

at Notre Dame - Sat, Sept. 8

at Indiana University - Sat, Sept. 15

vs Western Kentucky (Family Weekend) - Sat, Sept. 22

vs Kent State - Sat, Sept. 29

vs Northern Illinois - Sat, Oct. 6

at Central Michigan - Sat, Oct. 13

vs Eastern Michigan - Sat, Oct. 20

at Ohio - Thurs, Oct. 25

at Toledo - Wed, Oct. 31

vs Western Michigan - Tues, Nov. 13

at Miami - Tues, Nov. 20

Contact Robby General at or on Twitter @rgeneraljr.