The Utah Utes will host the Baylor Bears in a non-conference contest during the 2024 football season, both schools confirmed on Wednesday.
Utah and Baylor originally scheduled a non-conference home-and-home football series back in 2015. The first game of the series was played earlier this season at McLane Stadium in Waco, Texas, on Sept. 9, 2023. The Utes defeated the Bears in that contest, 20-13.
The second and final game of the series is scheduled to be played at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Sept. 14, 2024. However, with Utah joining Baylor in the Big 12 Conference next season, the status of that contest was in question.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Big 12 announced its conference scheduling matrix for the 2024 through 2027 seasons. In conjunction with that announcement, both Utah and Baylor confirmed that their non-conference contest in 2024 will remain as scheduled instead of becoming a Big 12 game or being canceled altogether.
Below are the statements from each school:
“Utah’s scheduled game against Baylor on Sept. 14, 2024 in Rice-Eccles Stadium will remain a non-conference game for next season.”
“Baylor will also play three non-conference games, hosting Tarleton State on Aug. 31 and Air Force on Sept. 7, before hitting the road to face Utah in a non-league game on Sept. 14 in Salt Lake City.”
This is not the first time that two league members have met on the gridiron in a non-conference contest. North Carolina and Wake Forest did so in a pair of matchups in 2019 and 2021 since they were not scheduled to play in conference action those seasons.
For Utah and Baylor, keeping the 2024 contest in Salt Lake City allows both schools to keep their contractual obligations instead of forcing a cancellation that might result in a financial penalty.
Another future Big 12 vs. Big 12 matchup will also remain intact as a non-conference matchup, according to Kansas State Director of Athletics Gene Taylor in September. Following Arizona’s announcement that they were joining the Big 12, Taylor stated that K-State and Arizona will play their non-conference series as scheduled in 2024 and 2025.