The Arizona Wildcats have added the Northern Illinois Huskies to their 2026 football schedule, FBSchedules.com has learned.
A copy of the football game contract with Northern Illinois University was obtained from the University of Arizona via a state public records request.
Arizona will host Northern Illinois at Arizona Stadium in Tucson, Ariz., on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2026. The Wildcats will pay the Huskies a $700,000 guarantee for playing the game, according to a copy of the contract.
Arizona and Northern Illinois have never squared off on the gridiron.
With the addition of Northern Illinois, Arizona has tentatively completed their non-conference schedule for the 2026 season. The Wildcats are scheduled to open the season at home against the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks on Sept. 5 before traveling to Provo, Utah, to take on the BYU Cougars on Sept. 12.
Northern Illinois was previously scheduled to play at the Wake Forest Demon Deacons on Sept. 19, 2026, so that game will be rescheduled for another date or canceled altogether.
The Huskies are slated to open the 2026 season on the road against the Iowa Hawkeyes on Sept. 5. Other opponents include the Illinois State Redbirds at home at Huskie Stadium in DeKalb, Ill., on Sept. 12 and the UMass Minutemen on the road on Sept. 26.
Why would Northern Illinois take this game for a paltry $700K guarantee?