Power 5 programs playing games at Group of 5 schools in 2020

By Amy Daughters -

If the 2020 college football season is played as scheduled, the 130 FBS teams will play a combined 1,560 regular-season games. Of these, a mere 19 will feature a Power 5 member visiting a non-Power venue. It amounts to a mere one percent of the total.

By conference, eight of the matchups feature an ACC program, seven include a Pac-12 member, three involve a Big 12 team, and one includes a Big Ten team. No SEC schools are slated to visit a non-Power foe this season.

On the receiving end, eight Mountain West schools will serve as hosts, five hail from C-USA, and two are from the Sun Belt and American. That leaves one representative apiece from the MAC and independents.

The most frequent matchup is a Pac-12 team visiting a Mountain West venue, accounting for seven (or 39%) of the 18 games.

UNLV and Old Dominion both host two Power programs in 2020 and UCLA visits two Group of 5 schools.

ARIZONA STATE at UNLVSaturday, Sept. 12

Seating differential: 21,578, Sun Devil Stadium (57,078) vs. Sam Boyd Stadium (35,500; tentative site)

Arizona State visited a Group of 5 venue as recently as 2018, when it rolled into San Diego and fell 28-21 to the Aztecs. Its last such win came two seasons earlier, in 2016, when it visited UTSA and won 32-28.

CAL at UNLVSaturday, Aug. 29

Seating differential: 9,533, Cal Memorial Stadium (62,467) vs. Allegiant Stadium (72,000)

The Golden Bears last played at a Group of 5 school in 2016, suffering a 45-40 loss at San Diego State. Before that, it was 2010, when they fell 52-31 at Nevada. It last won a roadie at a non-Power venue in 2007, a 34-28 victory at Colorado State.

COLORADO at COLORADO STATESaturday, Sept. 5

Seating differential: 8,983, Folsom Field (50,183) vs. Canvas Stadium (41,200)

The Rocky Mountain Showdown won’t be played in Denver this season for the first time since 2009.  The Buffaloes haven’t visited a non-Power program since making the trek to Hawaii in 2015 and suffering a 28-20 defeat. They haven’t won such a game since their last visit to Ft. Collins, a 48-34 victory in 1996.

FLORIDA STATE at BOISE STATESaturday, Sept. 19

Seating differential: 43,173, Doak Campbell Stadium (79,560) vs. Albertsons Stadium (36,387)

The Seminoles’ most recent road trip to play a Group of 5 opponent was in 2016, a 55-35 win at South Florida. Their last road loss to a program that’s not currently a Power 5 member came 37 years ago, in 1983, when they visited Tulane (an independent at the time) and fell 34-28.

KANSAS at COASTAL CAROLINASaturday, Sept. 26

Seating differential: 35,071, Kansas Memorial Stadium (50,071) vs. Brooks Stadium (15,000)

The Jayhawks visited a Group of 5 venue as recently as 2018, scoring a 31-7 win at Central Michigan. They last lost such a game in 2017, a 42-30 defeat at Ohio University.

NORTH CAROLINA at UCFFriday, Sept. 4

Seating differential: 5,677, Kenan Memorial Stadium (51,000) vs. Spectrum Stadium (45,323)

The Tar Heels’ last Group of 5 roadie resulted in a 41-19 loss at East Carolina in 2018. The most recent win came the season before, in 2017, when they visited Old Dominion and reigned over the Monarchs 53-23.

NC STATE at TROYSaturday, Sept. 19

Seating differential: 29,598, Carter-Finley Stadium (60,000) vs. Veterans Memorial Stadium (30,402)

NC State traveled to play a Group of 5 member in Week 4 of the 2018 season, scoring a 37-20 win at Marshall. Its last such loss came in 2016, a 33-30 defeat at East Carolina.

PITT at MARSHALLSaturday, Sept. 12

Seating differential: 30,173, Heinz Field (68,400) vs. Joan C. Edwards Stadium (38,227)

The Panthers most recently visited (13) UCF in 2018 and got beat 45-14. Their last win at a Group of 5 opponent came in 2015, a 24-7 win at Akron.

OKLAHOMA at ARMYSaturday, Sept. 26

Seating differential: 48,112, Gaylord Family OK Memorial Stadium (86,112) vs. Michie Stadium (38,000)

Oklahoma hasn’t visited a non-Power venue since traveling the 122 miles to Tulsa in 2014, beating the Golden Hurricane 52-7. Prior to that, it was a 24-7 win at UTEP to open the 2012 season. The Sooners haven’t lost at a current Group of 5 school in 24 years, or since 1996, when they fell 51-31 at San Diego State.

RUTGERS at TEMPLE – Saturday, Sept. 19

Seating differential: +16,722, SHI Stadium (52,454) vs. Lincoln Financial Field (69,176)

The Scarlet Knights last visited a Group of 5 opponent when they traveled to West Point and defeated Army 31-21 in 2015. The Big Ten now counts Army as a Power 5 opponent for scheduling purposes.

SYRACUSE at WESTERN MICHIGANSaturday, Sept. 26

Seating differential: 19,062, Carrier Dome (49,262) vs. Waldo Stadium (30,200)

The Orange visited a Group of 5 opponent as recently as last season, playing at Liberty and extinguishing the Flames 24-0 in the opener. It also kicked off the 2018 season with a G5 roadie, winning 55-42 at Western Michigan. Its last such loss came in 2015, a 45-24 defeat at South Florida.

TEXAS TECH at UTEPSaturday, Sept. 5

Seating differential: 8,954, Jones AT&T Stadium (60,454) vs. Sun Bowl Stadium (51,500)

The Red Raiders haven’t traveled to a Group of 5 venue since making the trip down to Houston early in the 2017 season and edging the Cougars 27-24. They haven’t lost at a non-Power school since 2009, another roadie to Houston, resulting in a 29-28 loss to the then No. 17 Cougars.

UCLA at HAWAIISaturday, Sept. 5

Seating differential: 42,542, Rose Bowl Stadium (92,542) vs. Aloha Stadium (50,000)

The Bruins visited a Group of 5 school as recently as last season, opening with a 24-14 loss at Cincinnati. It also fell 48-45 at Memphis in 2017. It hasn’t won such a game since 2015, when it played at UNLV and won 37-3.

UCLA at SAN DIEGO STATESaturday, Sept. 19

Seating differential: 38,542, Rose Bowl Stadium (92,542) vs. SDCCU Stadium (54,000)

UCLA has visited San Diego State seven times previously and has never lost.

UTAH at WYOMINGSaturday, Sept. 19

Seating differential: 16,626, Rice-Eccles Stadium (45,807) vs. War Memorial Stadium (29,181)

The Utes last hit the road to play a non-Power team in 2018, making the trek to Northern Illinois for a 17-6 win. Their most recent loss at a Group of 5 school came in 2012, a 27-20 defeat at Utah State.

VIRGINIA at OLD DOMINIONSaturday, Sept. 24

Seating differential: 39,020, Scott Stadium (61,500) vs. S.B. Ballard Stadium (22,480)

The Cavaliers’ most recent visit to a Group of 5 venue came in 2017, a 42-23 win at Boise State. The most recent loss came the season before, a 13-10 defeat at UConn.

VIRGINIA TECH at MIDDLE TENNESSEE – Saturday, Sept. 19

Seating differential: 35,445, Lane Stadium (66,233) vs. Johnny “Red” Floyd Stadium (30,788)

The Hokies last hit the road to play a non-Power school in 2018, suffering a 49-35 loss at Old Dominion. The most recent win came the season before, in 2017, a 64-17 beatdown of East Carolina in Greenville.

WAKE FOREST at OLD DOMINIONFriday, Sept. 4

Seating differential: 9,020, BB&T Field (31,500) vs. S.B. Ballard Stadium (22,480)

The Demon Deacons played at a Group of 5 school last season, beating Rice 41-21 in Houston. They haven’t lost such a game since rolling into Louisiana-Monroe in the 2014 season opener and falling 17-10.

WASHINGTON STATE at UTAH STATEThursday, Sept. 3

Seating differential: 7,852, Martin Stadium (32,952) vs. Maverik Stadium (25,100)

The Cougars last visited a non-Power program in 2018, winning 41-19 at Wyoming. The most recent defeat at a Group of 5 venue came in 2016, a 31-28 loss at Boise State.

Historical data courtesy of Sports Reference-College Football.

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Comments (8)

Cal’s game at UNLV will not be played at Sam Boyd Stadium; it will be played at Allegiant Stadium. The ASU game still hasn’t been decided which stadium it will be played at.

UConn and BYU also have games at home against power conference teams. Maybe they weren’t included because those games meet the B10 power conference scheduling requirements?