The Louisville Cardinals have added two non-conference opponents to their 2026 football schedule, FBSchedules.com has learned.
Louisville will host the Charlotte 49ers at L&N Stadium in Louisville, Ky., on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2026. The Cardinals will pay the 49ers a $1.1 million guarantee for playing the game, according to the copy of the contract obtained from the University of Louisville via a state open records request.
In their first and only meeting on the gridiron back in 2016, Louisville defeated Charlotte 70-14 at home. At the time of the game, the 49ers were a member of Conference USA and playing only their second season at the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) level. Charlotte begins play in the American Athletic Conference this season.
Louisville has also added a home game against the Villanova Wildcats on Saturday, Sept. 5, 2026, which will be the season-opener and first-ever gridiron meeting between the two schools. Louisville will pay Villanova a $500,000 guarantee for playing the game, per the contract copy.
Villanova competes in the Coastal Athletic Association (CAA), which recently changed its name from the Colonial Athletic Association. The Wildcats finished the 2022 season 6-5 overall and 4-4 in CAA action.
With the addition of games against Charlotte and Villanova, Louisville has tentatively completed its non-conference schedule for the 2026 season, which also includes a pair of SEC opponents. The Cardinals are slated to host the Georgia Bulldogs on Sept. 19 and will visit the in-state rival Kentucky Wildcats on Nov. 28.
Charlotte also has also tentatively completed its 2026 non-conference schedule with the addition of the Louisville contest. Other opponents include The Citadel (Sept. 5) and Ole Miss (Sept. 12) at home and Appalachian State (Sept. 19) on the road.
- Future Louisville Football Schedules
- Future Charlotte Football Schedules
- Future Villanova Football Schedules