The University of Memphis Tigers' future non-conference football opposition will take on a completely different look over the next five seasons. Athletics Director Tom Bowen has added regional and national opponents to the future football schedule, which will also be impacted by the addition of BIG EAST Conference members.
"Coach Fuente and I felt that our non-conference football schedule could be reevaluated and expanded to give our program greater national visibility," said Director Bowen. "Fans want to see their teams compete against top level collegiate programs, and I believe that our future schedules will follow that trend."
Due to previous contractual agreements, the Tigers will face the same non-conference competition in 2013 that Memphis played in 2012. Duke, Arkansas State and UT Martin will serve as part of the Tigers' seven home opponents next season, while Middle Tennessee will be the lone non-conference road contest.
The 2014 campaign will feature first-time foe UCLA from the PAC 12, as well as SEC West member Ole Miss, Conference USA member Middle Tennessee and FCS opponent Austin Peay. UCLA and Ole Miss are slated as early-season road contests.
In 2015, the Memphis Tigers will open the season at home against the Missouri Tigers, travel to Kansas and Bowling Green for road contests and will return to Memphis to host Ole Miss in mid-October.
Missouri and Ole Miss will be contested as away games for Memphis in 2016, while Kansas and Bowling Green will be hosted in the Liberty Bowl as part of the home schedule.
Playing perhaps the strongest non-conference home schedule since the 1985 season, Memphis will host UCLA, Tennessee and Ole Miss during a three-week span in September of 2017. The Tigers hosted Ole Miss, Alabama and Tennessee at the Liberty Bowl in 1985.
"As a member of a BCS (Bowl Championship Series) Conference, we must position ourselves to challenge national competition on a regular basis and be competitive in the BIG EAST Conference. This schedule will certainly require the Tiger football program to be at its best each and every week of the season," Bowen stated.
Future Non-Conference Opposition:
9/14 at Middle Tennessee
9/21 ARKANSAS STATE
11/9 UT MARTIN
8/30 AUSTIN PEAY
9/6 at UCLA
9/20 MIDDLE TENNESSEE
9/27 at Ole Miss
9/12 at Kansas
9/19 at Bowling Green
10/17 OLE MISS
9/3 at Missouri
9/10 at Ole Miss
9/24 BOWLING GREEN
9/30 OLE MISS