Illinois State to host Butler in 2021, Valparaiso in 2022

By Kevin Kelley -

The Illinois State Redbirds have added games against the Butler Bulldogs in 2021 and the Valparaiso Crusaders in 2022 to their future football schedules, has learned.

Copies of contracts for both games were obtained from Illinois State University via a state Freedom of Information Act request.

Illinois State will host the Butler Bulldogs at Hancock Stadium in Normal, Ill., on September 4, 2021. Illinois State will pay Butler a $100,000 guarantee for the game, according to the copy of the contract.

Illinois State, a member of the Missouri Valley Football Conference, and Butler, a member of the Pioneer Football League, first met on the gridiron in 1949 and have played twice overall. Illinois State won the most recent meeting in 2017, 45-0, and currently leads the series 2-0.

Illinois State has tentatively completed their non-conference schedule for the 2021 season with the addition of Butler. The Redbirds are also slated to play at Western Michigan on Sept. 11 and at Eastern Illinois on Sept. 18.

The Redbirds are the first known non-conference opponent for Butler’s 2021 football schedule.

The Valparaiso Crusaders will travel to take on the Illinois State Redbirds in Normal on September 3, 2022. The Crusaders will receive a $115,000 guarantee from Illinois State, per the contract copy.

Illinois State and Valparaiso last met on the gridiron in 2016, which resulted in a 50-13 Redbirds victory. After four contests, the series is all square at two games apiece.

Valparaiso is the second scheduled non-conference opponent for Illinois State in 2022. The Redbirds are scheduled to play at Wisconsin on Sept. 24 that season.

The Crusaders, who compete in the Pioneer Football League, now have two schedule non-conference opponents for 2022. Valparaiso is slated to play at Dartmouth on Sept. 17, two weeks after opening the season at Illinois State.

Football Schedules