Of the approximate 1,570 games on tap for the 131 clubs at the FBS level in 2022, a mere 18 will feature a Power 5 member visiting a Group of 5 program.
While the practice of the bigger school traveling to play at a smaller venue is on the rise from a long- term perspective, it’s settled over the last several years with a comparable 19 such matchups scheduled for the original version of the 2020 season.
What follows are the ten P5 at G5 combinations with the widest gap in seating capacity, each an extreme case of stadium downsizing. It’s worth noting that six of the matchups feature an ACC club, two of which have two such roadies scheduled.
Seating capacity difference: 15,782
Arizona Stadium seats 50,782 vs. San Diego State’s Snapdragon Stadium which holds 35,000. The Wildcats visited a G5 school as recently as 2019 when they opened the season with a 45-38 loss at Hawaii. They have future dates booked at Colorado State (2027), at Hawaii (2029), at Air Force (2031), and at Wyoming (2033).
San Diego State welcomed a Power club just last season when they edged Utah 33-31 in triple-overtime. It’s set to host UCLA (2023 and 2031), Washington State (2024), Cal (2025), Oregon State (2026), Missouri (2027 and 2033), and Arizona State (2028).
The Wildcats and Aztecs have met 16 times previously, nine times in Tucson and seven in San Diego. Arizona leads the all-time series 10-6.
Seating capacity difference: 16,550
Vanderbilt Stadium has a capacity of 40,550 vs. Northern Illinois’ Huskie Stadium which maxes out at 24,000. The Commodores are also scheduled to play at Hawaii this season. They visited a G5 venue as recently as last year when they traveled to Colorado State and edged the Rams 24-21. Vandy has future dates booked at UNLV (2023), at Georgia State (2024), and back at Colorado State (2026).
Northern Illinois last hosted a P5 member in 2018 when Utah came to DeKalb and survived for a 17-6 win. As of now it won’t host another Power program until 2029 when Missouri is scheduled to visit.
The Commodores and Huskies have met four times previously, including a 1997 game at NIU, all resulting in wins for Vandy.
Seating capacity difference: 20,500
The second of the Tar Heels’ pair of visits to G5 destinations this season (which occur back-to-back in Weeks 2 and 3) Kenan Memorial holds 50,500 fans while App State’s Kid Brewer Stadium seats 30,000.
The Mountaineers last hosted a Power club in 2017 when Wake Forest came calling and escaped with a narrow 20-19 victory. The only future plans to host another P5 member is a 2033 visit from South Carolina.
UNC and App State have played twice previously both times in Chapel Hill. The Mountaineers won the most recent meeting in 2019 while the Tar Heels were triumphant in the first ever clash in 1940.
Seating capacity difference: 20, 794
Louisville’s Cardinal Stadium seats 65,000 vs. UCF’s Bounce House’s capacity of 44,206. The Cardinals visited a Group of 5 venue as recently as 2016 when they traveled to Marshall and scored a 59-28 victory. They have plans to visit a G5 destination in Florida again in 2024 at South Florida.
UCF double dips in hosting Power foes in 2022 with Georgia Tech also set to visit Orlando in Week 4. It last hosted a P5 member in 2019 when Stanford came calling and went home with a 45-27 loss. It’s set to host North Carolina in 2025 but by that time the Knights will be Big 12 members.
The Cards and Knights have met three times previously, all in Louisville, with a 2-1 advantage for UL.
Seating capacity difference: 26,167
North Carolina’s Kenan Memorial Stadium seats 51,500 vs. Georgia State’s Center Parc Stadium’s capacity of 24,333. The Tar Heels visited a G5 destination as recently as 2019, getting thumped 41-19 at East Carolina. They have future plans to play at Charlotte (2025) and at UConn (2027).
This is the first time Georgia State – which didn’t field a football team until 2010 – has ever hosted a Power opponent. The Panthers have future home dates booked vs. Vanderbilt (2024), Georgia Tech (2026), and Wake Forest (2030).
UNC and Georgia State have met once previously, last season, a 59-17 win for the Tar Heels in Chapel Hill.
Seating capacity difference: 31,550
Vanderbilt’s second mention on our list, the Commodores’ home field holds 40,550 while Hawaii’s Ching Complex will only seat 9,000 this season. As noted above, Vandy also visits Northern Illinois this year.
Hawaii, a popular travel destination for Power clubs, last hosted a P5 member in 2019 when it opened the season with back-to-back visits from Arizona and Oregon State, both upset wins for the Rainbow Warriors. They have future home dates booked with Stanford (2023 and 2025), Oregon (2024), UCLA (2027), and Arizona (2029).
This is Vanderbilt and Hawaii’s first-ever football meeting.
Seating capacity difference: 36,488
Maryland Stadium seats 51,802 vs. Charlotte’s Jerry Richardson Stadium’s capacity of 15,314. That means you could fit over three of the 49ers’ arenas into the Terrapins’ home field. Maryland visited a G5 venue as recently as 2019, suffering a 20-17 defeat at Temple. It has plans to play at UConn in 2026.
Charlotte opened the 2021 season with a visit from Duke resulting in a 31-28 victory for the 49ers, also the first-ever win over a Power club in program history. Future home dates vs. P5 members include North Carolina (2025), Ole Miss (2026), and NC State (2031).
This is Maryland and Charlotte’s first-ever football meeting.
Seating capacity difference: 38,200
The Panthers share 68,400-seat Heinz Field with the NFL Pittsburgh Steelers. That’s more than twice the capacity of Western Michigan’s Waldo Stadium which holds 30,200. Pitt last visited a G5 destination in 2018 suffering a 45-14 beatdown at (13) UCF. While the Panthers have a roadie at Cincinnati booked for 2024, the Bearcats should be Big 12 official by then.
Western Michigan hosted a P5 club as recently as 2018, opening the season with a 55-42 home loss to Syracuse. WMU doesn’t currently have any plans to host another Power member.
The Panthers and Broncos only previous meeting came last season, a 44-41 upset win for WMU in Pittsburgh.
Seating capacity difference: 40,632
Liberty’s 25,000-seat William’s Stadium is almost two and a half times smaller than the Hokie’s home field. Prior to visiting Old Dominion in 2018, Virginia Tech played a roadie at East Carolina the season before, in 2017, scoring a 64-17 win.
The Flames hosted then (22) Syracuse to open the 2019 season, suffering a 24-0 defeat. It’s also the only time they’ve welcomed a P5 school since ascending to the FBS ranks in 2018. Liberty has home dates inked with Wake Forest (2025), and Virginia Tech (2030).
This is Virginia Tech and Liberty’s third meeting and the first-ever in Lynchburg, the series is tied at 1-1.
Seating capacity difference: 43,152
The first of two G5 roadies for Virginia Tech in 2022, Lane Stadium holds 65,632 vs. Old Dominion’s S.B. Ballard Stadium which seats only 22,480. The Hokies’ last visit to a G5 school was in 2018 when they also made the 300-mile trek to Norfolk only to suffer a 49-35 loss to ODU. They have future plans to visit Marshall (2023), ODU (2024, 2027, 2029 and 2031), and Liberty (2030).
Prior to hosting Virginia Tech in 2018, Old Dominion welcomed North Carolina in 2017 resulting in a 53-23 loss. Other than the four future home dates vs. the Hokies listed above, the Monarchs are also scheduled to host Wake Forest (2023) and Virginia (2028).
Virginia Tech and Old Dominion have met three times previously, twice in Blacksburg (in 2017 and 2019, both wins for VT) and once in Norfolk (in 2018, ODU’s only win in the series).
Historical data courtesy of Sports Reference/College Football.
Note: Stadium numbers were taken from our website. Some were outdated and have been corrected.