Arizona Football

Arizona Wildcats potential future football non-conference opponents: Big Ten Conference



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The Arizona Wildcats’ football program, the only Pac-12 team without an opponent from the Power 5 conferences between 2015-2020, has seven non-conference slots to fill in those six years. Over the next few days, this site will look at potential teams from Power 5 conferences other than the Pac-12, who could play against the Wildcats. The other four conferences include the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12 and SEC. Notre Dame is a major independent that will play five ACC opponents each year. BYU is also an independent and it plays Arizona in 2016, 2018 and 2020. The Cougars have recently competed in the Mountain West and Western Athletic Conference.

Atlantic Coast Conference

— Mississippi State and North Carolina State schedule series in 2020 and 2021
— Georgia and Notre Dame schedule series in 2017 and 2019
— Colorado completes non-conference series through 2019
— Rice to open 2016 and 2017 seasons against Stanford


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*Glendale, Ariz. **UA can play 13 games due to Hawaii Exemption Rule.
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Arizona’s overall regular-season record against: 15-24-1

Last regular-season game: Sept. 18, 2010, defeated Iowa 34-27 at Arizona Stadium

Most played in regular season: Iowa, 13 times. Arizona has 7-6 record.

Never played in regular season: New members Maryland and Rutgers. Arizona has played all other 12 teams in the regular season.

Chances for scheduling a Big Ten team: Should be good. Discounting new members Maryland and Rutgers, the Big Ten is the only conference in which Arizona has played every team at least once in the regular season. The Pac-12’s Rose Bowl affiliation with the Big Ten should add to the enticement.


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The Wildcats have played 40 games overall against the Big Ten, which trails only the Big 12 (66). Texas Tech, an old Border Conference rival, is the reason why that number is so large. The Red Raiders have a 25-4-2 record against the Wildcats. Take them away and the Big Ten ranks as the No. 1 non-conference scheduler in Arizona’s history.

Forget about it: Although fans would love it if they met in the Rose Bowl, Michigan and Arizona will not meet again in the regular season as long as Rich Rodriguez is coach and David Brandon is Michigan’s athletic director. Rodriguez, who was fired by Brandon after the 2010 season, would love to play the Wolverines but the Ann Arbor, Mich., school is not game. “We have other teams we want to play,” Brandon told the Ann Arbor News in 2012. Arizona has played the Wolverines twice, losing both games at Ann Arbor in 1970 and 1978. … Scheduling Indiana and Penn State is difficult. Neither team has a Pac-12 team scheduled in the next six years. The Hoosiers and Nittany Lions have also played the fewest games against Pac-12 schools. Indiana has only played 13 games against Pac-12 teams, the last against Oregon in 2004. Penn State, which played a home game against Arizona in a made-for-TV game in 1999, has played only 26 with the last game at home against Oregon State in 2008. The only true road game against a Pac-12 team in the last 41 years: Penn State at USC in 1991. The Nittany Lions had a four-game series against Stanford from 1973-76 and they played only the first game (1973) at Palo Alto, Calif. … Nebraska’s coach Bo Pellini was a good friend of Mike Stoops because of their Youngstown, Ohio, background. Chances are Pellini would not grant a home-and-home against a team that fired his friend.

Arizona’s last regular-season game against a Big Ten team: Iowa in 2010

Intriguing: Games against Michigan would tip the intriguing scale, but without that happening, potential matchups with Iowa (because of the robust series), Illinois (four games in the 1990s) and Purdue (a program rebuilding like Arizona) make the most sense. … Arizona has not played Minnesota since 1939, Michigan State since 1949, Indiana since 1974 and Northwestern since 1976. A series against any of those programs would be fresh as would of course games against Rutgers or Maryland. The Spartans recently finalized a series with ASU for 2018 and 2019. They play at Oregon this season and host the Ducks in 2015. They may have their fill of Pac-12 schools with those series.

Big Ten upcoming games vs. Pac-12 through 2020: Illinois finishes its home-and-home series with Washington at Seattle in the upcoming season. … Michigan plays a home-and-home with Utah, hosting the Utes this season and traveling to Salt Lake City in 2015. The Wolverines also host Oregon State in 2015 and Colorado in 2016. … Michigan State travels to Oregon this season and hosts the Ducks in 2015. The Spartans play at ASU in 2018 before hosting the Sun Devils in 2019. … Minnesota hosts Oregon State in 2016 and plays at Corvallis, Ore., in 2017. … Nebraska has home-and-home arrangements with Oregon in 2016 and 2017 and former Big 12 rival Colorado in 2018 and 2019. The Cornhuskers will host Oregon and Colorado in the initial matchups. … Northwestern has four games upcoming against Stanford after playing the other Bay area team — Cal — at home this season to complete a home-and-home arrangement. Northwestern hosts Stanford in 2015 and 2019 and travels to Palo Alto in 2016 and 2020. … Ohio State starts a home-and-home with Oregon in 2020 with a game at Columbus, Ohio. … Rutgers plays five games against Pac-12 teams in the next six years. They play Washington State this season at Seattle before hosting the Cougars in 2016. The Scarlet Knights return to Seattle in 2016 to play Washington before hosting the Huskies the following season. Rutgers starts a home-and-home with UCLA in 2020 with a game at Pasadena, Calif. … Wisconsin plays at Washington in 2018. The Badgers later host the Huskies in 2021.

Source: Number in parenthesis is number of openings. *-UA does not have an opening.
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Source: Number in parenthesis is number of openings. *-UA does not have an opening.
[table “” not found /] publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He also writes articles for Bleacher Report and Lindy’s College Sports.

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