Though ten years from now seems like a long time, 2029 will be here before we know it.
Think about it this way, do you remember when (2) Texas met (1) Alabama in the BCS Championship/Rose Bowl? That was the game when Longhorn quarterback Colt McCoy got injured in the first quarter and was replaced by Garrett Gilbert. After being held scoreless for the first 15 minutes, the Crimson Tide reeled off 24-unanswered points in the second stanza and never looked back, ultimately beating Texas 37-21. That season’s Heisman Trophy winner, Alabama’s Mark Ingram II, rushed for 116 yards and two scores.
Despite seeming like it just happened, that game was a full decade ago – wrapping up the 2009/10 season.
What follows are a dozen future blockbuster matchups that are scheduled for at least two seasons from now, or from 2021 through 2030. They aren’t one-time-only kickoff games, instead each is a home-and-home series slated for back-to-back years.
This is the future of college football. And the future looks good.
When: 2021 (in State College) and 2022 (in Auburn)
A rematch of the 2002/03 Capital One Bowl (a 13-9 win for Auburn) and the 1995/96 Outback Bowl (Penn State won 43-14), the 2021 game will be the first-ever regular-season meeting between the two schools.
When: 2021 (in Norman) and 2022 (in Lincoln) – also 2029 (in Norman) and 2030 (in Lincoln)
Oklahoma and Nebraska shared membership in the Missouri Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Association (1921-27), the Big 6 (1928-47), the Big 7 (1948-59), the Big 8 (1960-95) and finally the Big 12 (1996-2010) before the Cornhuskers jumped ship for the Big Ten.
That’s 89-years of in-conference action that ended when the two schools met for the last time in the 2010 Big 12 title game. The then (10) Sooners edged the (13) Huskers in that final meeting, also Oklahoma’s fifth win in six tries.
When: 2022 (in Austin) and 2023 (in Tuscaloosa)
The 2022 game between Alabama and Texas in Austin will mark the first time the two programs have met during the regular season in 100 years. Of the nine total games in the series, the only matchups that weren’t in the post season came in 1922 (a 19-10 Longhorn win in Austin), 1915 (a 20-0 Texas win) and 1902 (a 10-0 Longhorn win in Tuscaloosa).
It’s also a rematch of the 1947/48 Sugar Bowl, the 1960 Bluebonnet Bowl, the 1964/65 Orange Bowl, the 1972/73 and 1981/82 Cotton Bowls as well as the 2009/10 BCS Championship. Texas won each of these meetings except for the 1960 game (a 3-3 tie) and the most recent, the BCS title match (a 37-21 Crimson Tide win), also Alabama’s only win in the series.
When: 2022 (in Columbus) and 2023 (in South Bend)
Despite their campuses being only 250-miles apart, these two giants have only met six times previously with only four coming in the regular season.
The two-last clashed in the 2015/16 Fiesta Bowl (a 44-28 Buckeye win). Prior to that it was the 2005/06 edition of the Fiesta – another OSU win. Then there were home-and-homes in 1995 and 1996 (both Buckeye wins) and 1935 and 1936 (Notre Dame’s only two victories in the series).
When: 2024 (in College Station) and 2025 (in South Bend)
The Irish and Aggies last met in a home-and-home in 2000 and 2001, the host team winning on each occasion. The balance of the five-game series came in three Cotton Bowls played in a seven-year span. Notre Dame won in back-to-back appearances in 1993/94 and 1992/93 and Texas A&M was victorious in the 1987/88 game – also the first-ever meeting between the two schools.
When: 2025 (in Clemson) and 2026 (in Baton Rouge)
The 2025 game between Clemson and LSU will mark the first time the two Tigers have during the regular season. The three previous matchups came in the 2012 Peach Bowl (a narrow 25-24 Clemson victory), the 1996 edition of the Peach Bowl (a 10-7 LSU win) and then the 1958/59 Sugar Bowl (a 7-0 LSU win). The Sugar Bowl win over Clemson sealed the deal on LSU’s first-ever national championship.
When: 2025 (in Austin) and 2026 (in Columbus)
A rematch of the 2008/09 Fiesta Bowl (a 24-21 Texas victory), the only other action between these two storied programs came in a home-and-home in 2005 and 2006. The visiting team won on each occasion.
When: 2025 (in Norman) and 2026 (in Ann Arbor)
Michigan and Oklahoma have only met on the gridiron once in history, in the 1975/76 Orange Bowl. The then (3) Sooners edged the (5) Wolverines 14-6, capturing the fifth of their now seven national titles.
When: 2027 (in Norman) and 2028 (in Baton Rouge)
Another first-time regular-season meeting between two Powerhouse programs, the Tigers and Sooners have only clashed twice, both occurring in the postseason. The most recent matchup came in the 2003/04 Sugar Bowl, a 21-14 win for LSU. That victory earned the Tigers their second national title. Before that, it was all the way back in the 1949/50 Sugar Bowl a 35-0 shutout for Oklahoma. That win capped a perfect 11-0 campaign for the Sooners, who despite running the tables finished No. 2 in the final AP. Notre Dame, Cal and Army also went undefeated during the regular season, the Irish were awarded the national championship despite not participating in a bowl game.
When: 2028 (in South Bend) and 2029 (in Tuscaloosa)
A rematch of the 2012/13 BCS Championship (a resounding Alabama victory) as well as the 1974/75 Orange Bowl and the 1972/73 Sugar Bowl (both wins for the Irish), the 2028/29 home-and-home represents the fifth time the two powerhouses have met during the regular season. The 2029 game will be the first-ever game in Tuscaloosa.
The two met in a home-and-home in 1986/87 but the Alabama portion of the game was played in Birmingham. The only-other regular-season action came in 1976 (in South Bend) and 1980 (again in Birmingham). Notre Dame leads the series 5-2, the Tide’s only win besides the BCS title game coming in the 1986 meeting.
When: 2028 (in Austin) and 2029 (in Athens)
If this one looks familiar, it’s a rematch of the just-featured 2018/19 Sugar Bowl – a 28-21 upset win for Texas. That game was the first time the two schools had met since the 1983/84 Sugar Bowl, a narrow 10-9 Georgia victory, also its only win in the five-game series.
The two also played a home-and-home in 1957/58 and clashed in the 1948/49 Orange Bowl. By the time the latest home-and-home kicks off, it will be nine years since the two have met and 70 years since they squared off during the regular season.
When: 2029 (in Clemson) and 2030 (in Athens)
Clemson and Georgia have met a whopping 64 times during the regular season, a series that started in 1897 and was last played in 2014. The two schools are located a mere 74 miles apart and briefly shared membership in the Southern conference from 1921-32.
The 15-year gap between their last on-campus meeting and the scheduled 2029 game will be, if it holds, the longest in series history. Georgia holds a dominating 42-18-4 lead and has won six of the last seven.
Historical data courtesy of Sports Reference – College Football.