A fun part of life as an independent football program is the freedom to schedule 12 games each year against a revolving door of opponents, mixing regional rivals with far-flung teams that bring novelty interest. UConn athletic director David Benedict has done a good job of this, as the 2023 football schedule is complete with the announcement of a new series with UMass.
2023 UConn Football Schedule
|September 2||Duke||Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field||TBA||CBS Sports Network|
|September 9||Georgia State||Atlanta, GA||TBA||TBA|
|September 16||FIU||Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field||TBA||CBS Sports Network|
|September 23||NC State||Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field||TBA||CBS Sports Network|
|September 30||Utah State||Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field||TBD||CBS Sports Network|
|October 7||Rice||Houston, TX||TBD||TBD|
|October 21||USF||Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field||TBD||CBS Sports Network|
|October 28||Boston College||Chestnut Hill, MA||TBD||TBD|
|November 4||Tennessee||Knoxville, TN||TBD||TBD|
|November 11||James Madison||Harrisonburg, VA||TBD||TBD|
|November 18||Sacred Heart||Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field||TBD||CBS Sports Network|
|Rankings prior to October 31 via AP Poll|
|Rankings after October 31 via CFP|
The Huskies will face four Power 5 opponents, two of which are at home, while former Big East and American Athletic Conference rival USF is going to come to East Hartford, creating an intriguing slate that could produce competitive games and a few wins, as well. With that, let’s check in with what’s left to do with the next three years of schedules.
Potential opponents are based on non-conference openings according to FBSchedules.com. Transitioning FBS members and those changing conferences whose non-conference schedules are unclear, such as New Mexico State and Jacksonville State, are excluded from this speculative exercise. As of now, UConn is looking to fill four games over the next four years.
2024 UConn Football Schedule
|August 31||Maryland||College Park, MD||TBA||TBA|
|September 7||Army||Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field||TBA||TBA|
|September 14||Duke||Durham, NC||TBA||TBA|
|September 21||Florida Atlantic||Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field||TBA||TBA|
|September 28||Buffalo||Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field||TBD||TBD|
|October 5||Temple||Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field||TBD||TBD|
|October 12||Wake Forest||Winston-Salem, NC||TBD||TBD|
|November 2||Georgia State||Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field||TBD||TBD|
|November 9||UAB||Birmingham, AL||TBD||TBD|
|November 30||UMass||Amherst, MA||TBD||TBD|
|Rankings prior to October 29 via AP Poll|
|Rankings after October 29 via CFP|
UConn has 10 games scheduled for 2024, according to FBSchedules.com. Five of these contests are at home, including Army and Temple, in addition to road dates with Maryland, Duke and Wake Forest. Also according to FBSchedules, 21 programs have at least one opening in 2024, nine of which either have more than one opening, already have an FCS opponent on the schedule or do not typically schedule FCS schools.
With no Power 5 team at home, it’s possible that Benedict would want to bring one in as 2024 and 2025 are the only years without a Power 5 home game between 2019 and 2028. NC State and Syracuse, each of which have scheduled home-and-homes with the Huskies in recent years, are available. The return game could come in 2027 for the Wolfpack but would come later with Syracuse, as the two schools match up each year between 2025 and 2027.
Notre Dame and Tennessee also have openings, but it’s unlikely Notre Dame would play a true road game against UConn — it would likely have to take place at a neutral site like Gillette Stadium or MetLife Stadium. Tennessee has already canceled a visit to East Hartford and are unlikely to add another buy game against the Huskies to the schedule.
Group of 5 options include SMU, North Texas, Rice, Southern Miss and Utah State, the last of which is in the midst of a home-and-home with UConn. The Huskies have not played SMU since departing the American Athletic Conference and have never matched up with North Texas, Rice or Southern Miss. Any of the three would be unique and SMU, currently ranked No. 54 in SP+, could be a strong opponent.
2025 UConn Football Schedule
|August 30||CCSU||Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field||TBA||TBA|
|September 6||Syracuse||Syracuse, NY||TBA||TBA|
|September 13||Purdue||West Lafayette, IN||TBA||TBA|
|September 20||Ball State||Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field||TBA||TBA|
|September 27||Buffalo||Buffalo, NY||TBD||TBD|
|October 4||FIU||Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field||TBD||TBD|
|October 11||Army||West Point, NY||TBD||TBD|
|October 18||Ohio State||Columbus, OH||TBD||TBD|
|November 1||UAB||Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field||TBD||TBD|
|November 15||Liberty||Lynchburg, TN||TBD||TBD|
|November 29||UMass||Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field||TBD||TBD|
|Rankings prior to October 28 via AP Poll|
|Rankings after October 28 via CFP|
There are 11 games for 2025 already, leaving just one open spot. This is likely to be a home game, with just five currently scheduled. As there is no Power 5 opponent coming to East Hartford, it’s probable that this would be the focus and options are plentiful.
Overall, there are 54 schools with a schedule opening in 2025. Of those, 28 either have more than one opening, already have an FCS opponent on the schedule or do not typically schedule FCS schools, including 11 Power 5 programs.
Rutgers makes some sense here, as a regional program that, if UConn continues on an upward trajectory, may begin to compete with the Scarlet Knights for the same recruits. Rutgers has two openings in 2025 and could have a return game in New Jersey at any time, with no filled non-conference schedules.
Wake Forest, with which UConn has already scheduled for a home-and-home, is a possibility, as is Virginia, which has faced the Huskies in the past. UConn and Baylor had a home-and-home series in the 2000s and perhaps the Bears are open to returning to the venue which Robert Griffin III once said is the best environment in college football.
Other Power 5 options include Florida State, Notre Dame, TCU, Northwestern, Tennessee, Stanford and Washington State. It’s unlikely Florida State, Notre Dame, Tennessee or Stanford would be willing to come to Rentschler Field as a home-and-home. While TCU, Northwestern or Washington State may, UConn has never faced the three schools and there is little shared history.
As far as the Group of 5, should a Power 5 game not materialize, former conference mates ECU and SMU are looking for a game in 2025, as are several Sun Belt teams and Hawaii, which could make for an interesting home-and-home series.
2026 UConn Football Schedule
|August 29||Wyoming||Laramie, WY||TBA||TBA|
|September 5||Lafayette||Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field||TBA||TBA|
|September 12||Maryland||Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field||TBA||TBA|
|September 19||North Carolina||Chapel Hill, NC||TBA||TBA|
|September 26||Indiana||Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field||TBA||TBA|
|October 3||Syracuse||Syracuse, NY||TBD||TBD|
|October 10||Temple||Philadelphia, PA||TBD||TBD|
|October 24||UMass||Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field||TBD||TBD|
|October 31||Old Dominion||Norfolk, VA||TBD||TBD|
|November 14||James Madison||Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field||TBD||TBD|
|November 21||Florida Atlantic||Boca Raton, FL||TBD||TBD|
The Huskies are likely looking to add a sixth home game, with six road games already on the docket. A Power 5 team is not definitely a requirement, as Maryland and Indiana are already coming to Rentschler Field. As this is four years out, plenty of teams still have openings.
Overall, 73 teams have yet to fill their non-conference slots, which is more than half of FBS. Of those, 48 either have more than one opening, already have an FCS opponent on the schedule or do not typically schedule FCS schools. Utah State, SMU and UCF have yet to add a non-conference contest.
This is one of the few years in which UConn and Army do not face off and an extension of their series could fill out the schedule, while Boston College also has an opening. As fellow independents based less than 100 miles away from each other, UConn and Army should be playing each other more often than not, particularly late in the year when most other schools are deep in conference play. Once the current round of realignment stops, UConn, Notre Dame, Army and UMass will be the only four independent programs in FBS. Meanwhile, Boston College is New England’s only Power 5 team and is a good measuring stick for the UConn program.
Outside of New England, UConn could revive its dormant series with Pitt, while Duke, with which UConn has already added a home-and-home in 2023 and 2024, also has availability. Buffalo is on the docket in 2024, 2025, 2028 and 2029. Perhaps the teams decide to play six years in a row, rather than leave the gap.
Several SEC schools have an opening, including Auburn, South Carolina and Vanderbilt. UConn’s openings are concentrated at the end of the year and many SEC teams schedule a buy game in November, so if the Huskies opt for a seventh road game, one of these teams is a possibility, though Vanderbilt may be open to a road game, with two non-conference home games already scheduled.
Overall, the Huskies have intriguing options for its four open games over the next four years. A deal can be struck with familiar names, such as Army, Pitt or Rutgers, while there is a litany of schools with which UConn has never played on the gridiron that are available to begin a series, providing some additional novelty to Rentschler Field during the next few seasons.