Illinois fills future non-conference schedule with non-Power Five teams
During the fall, the B1G mandated that schools play at least one Power Five team per year during non-conference play.
But Illinois didn’t add a bunch of Power Five matchups to its future schedule.
The Illini announced that it filled its schedule through 2022, but none of the eight additions were Power Five teams. In fact, under its current agreement, Illinois won’t play a Power Five school from 2017-2020.
The team announced these eight additions:
- Aug. 31, 2019 vs. Akron
- Sept. 14, 2019 vs. Eastern Michigan
- Sept. 5, 2020 vs. Florida Atlantic
- Sept. 19, 2020 vs. Bowling Green
- Sept. 4, 2021 vs. UTSA
- Oct. 2, 2021 vs. Charlotte
- Sept. 17, 2022 vs. Wyoming
- Sept. 24, 2022 vs. Central Michigan
Illinois will cover its scheduling quota with UConn in 2019 and 2020 because the Huskies were one of the exceptions made by the B1G. And from 2021-2026, Illinois already has a real Power Five matchup set up.
What remains to be seen is what will happen with the 2017 and 2018 schedule, which doesn’t feature a Power Five opponent. Matchups with USF, Kent State, Ball State, Western Kentucky and Western Illinois won’t cover the quota.
Will there be a future announcement about a scheduling change? Or will the Illini be allowed to proceed because the agreements were in place before the rule was established?
Add this issue to the ever-growing to-do list for new athletic director Josh Whitman.