ORONO — The University of Maine will once again battle a Football Bowl Division opponent and will host a pair of national Football Championship Division powers in the fall of 2010, according to the team’s schedule, released Tuesday.

The Black Bears, who finished second last season in the Colonial Athletic Association’s north division, will play five games at home and six on the road.

“As always, it will be an incredibly challenging endeavor,” Maine coach Jack Cosgrove said in a news release Tuesday. “In addition to the rigors of the CAA schedule, we face an FBS opponent, Syracuse, and two outstanding teams from the NEC, Albany and Monmouth. All of us know the type of attitude and the amount of effort it will take for us to produce a championship season in 2010.”

The Black Bears will open their season for the second-consecutive year on a Thursday evening at home with a game against Albany, which has won two out of the last three Northeast Conference championships.

Maine then plays two-consecutive games on the road, with a game at Monmouth on Sept. 11 before a showdown at the Carrier Dome against Big East foe Syracuse on Sept. 18. The Black Bears have a 1-7 all-time record against FBS schools with the win coming in 2004 against Mississippi State.

Maine opens its CAA season when William and Mary visits Alfond Stadium on Sept. 25. The Tribe are coming off a national semifinal appearance.

The Black Bears host rival New Hampshire on Oct. 2 with the winner taking home the Brice-Cowell Musket. The last two games between the two teams were decided by a combined seven points.

Maine returns to the road to play at Delaware on Oct. 9 before a showdown with defending FCS national champion Villanova on Oct. 16. The game will mark the third time in six seasons that Maine will be playing the defending national champion and the fourth-consecutive season that the Black Bears will be playing a team from the FCS national championship game the season before.

Maine goes on the road to battle Rhode Island on Oct. 23, will sit through a bye week on Oct. 30 before another road game on Nov. 6 at the University of Massachusetts.

A Nov. 13 matchup against Towson completes the road portion of the Black Bears’ schedule before Maine hosts James Madison on Nov. 20.

The Black Bears return 16 starters and 43 letterwinners.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.