I had talked several times over the last number of months about how UConn’s sudden shift to independent status put them in a pickle when it came to their immediate future football schedules.
Things had remained quiet, but within the past week we’ve suddenly learned a ton about what UConn was working on during those silent months.
- They got San Jose State and Army to cancel their 2020-2021 home-and-home series, and in turn, scheduled both teams for this season as well as Army for 2021, 2022 and 2027
- They then got Liberty and Virginia to postpone their 2020 game to 2023, in turn scheduling both teams for 2020 and a return game with Liberty in 2023.
- Lastly, they were successful getting Ole Miss to reschedule their 2020 game with Middle Tennessee State to 2023 in order that the Huskies could take that spot.
Clearly, this is an improvement for the Huskies. While they are still a few games shy of a full schedule, it’s significantly less stressful to need to schedule three games than it is to only have four games scheduled.
So I clearly underestimated the skillset of those in the UConn athletics department if they managed to to get five schools to cancel or postpone three games in order for them to generate matchups for next season.
Ole Miss makes sense – UConn is just an easier home win for them. Liberty and Virginia moving their single game so they could each get a game against the Huskies falls into the same boat; gaining an easy opponent without adding much in the way of travel.
The Huskies also added additional games against Army such that they are now playing the Black Knights of the Hudson in eight of the next ten seasons, and I’d be shocked if they didn’t polish off that decade worth of games in 2023 and 2026 given the ample space in each school’s schedule.
San Jose State makes no real sense, but you’ve got to put somebody on the schedule, and a November trip to the California coast isn’t the worst thing in the world.
As of right now, the Huskies will travel to Ole Miss, Illinois, Indiana, and Virginia. They will host Maine, UMass, Army, Liberty, and Indiana. Barring a drastic shift, Maine and UMass are the only clearly winnable games there, so I’d expect another rough season for the Huskies.
I’m not sure who they will round out their 2020 season with, considering that any further securing of games would require more in the form of other schools cancelling or postponing series with each other.
Maybe Boston College cancels or postpones their game with Purdue and UConn travels to both destinations? Perhaps the same action is taken by Syracuse and Rutgers, Pitt and Notre Dame, or Maryland and Northern Illinois.
The Huskies are much better off now than they were even a month ago, but the woods are still thick. It’s a sign of where the program is at that they’re receiving a $1.2 million check for their road game at Clemson in 2021, but also a nearly identical $1 million for their 2021 road game at UCF.
I don’t know where the remaining schedule will come from, but it’s liable to be all road games, which means a home slate of Maine, Liberty, Indiana, Army and UMass will have to do for the home fans for now.