The Rice Owls and the Stanford Cardinal will open the 2017 season in Australia, both schools announced on Monday.
Rice and Stanford will meet in the College Football Sydney Cup on Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017 at 5:00pm PT/8:00pm ET (Sunday, Aug. 27 in Australia). The game will be played at Allianz Stadium.
“We’re excited for the opportunity to kick off the college football season in Australia against Rice in what will certainly be a fantastic experience for our fan base and alumni,” said Bernard Muir, Stanford’s Jaquish & Kenninger Director of Athletics. “I’m especially thrilled that our student-athletes will have this unique opportunity before fall classes begin to visit a new country and experience a different culture.”
In the inaugural College Football Sydney Cup last season, California defeated Hawaii 51-31. Two other college football games were also played in Melbourne, Australia in the past — Wyoming-UTEP in 1985 and BYU-Colorado State in 1987.
“This is a unique opportunity for us, one that I’m not sure we will have again in the near future,” Rice Director of Athletics Joe Karlgaard stated. “The Pac-12 has been expanding its outreach in the Pacific Rim the last few years, and we are excited to partner with Stanford for the game in Australia this fall. For our football players, many of whom have never been abroad, this trip will be as much about experiencing a new culture as it will be about the game itself.”
Rice and Stanford were originally scheduled to play their game in 2017 at Rice Stadium in Houston. Last season, the Cardinal defeated the Owls 41-17 at home. Rice still leads the overall series 3-2.