PROVO — BYU’s future football schedules have added another high-profile opponent.
The Cougars have agreed to a home-and-home series with Michigan State in 2016 and 2020, the two schools announced Wednesday.
BYU and Michigan State will collide at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing, Michigan, on Oct. 8, 2016, which will mark the first-ever meeting between the two programs. The Spartans will visit LaVell Edwards Stadium on Sept. 12, 2020.
“I’m excited about this series with one of the top programs in the Big Ten,” said BYU Athletic Director Tom Holmoe. “We haven’t played many games in the Great Lakes region and I like scheduling opponents like Michigan State that we’ve never played in football. It’s exciting for Cougar Nation and it’s a great experience for our coaches and players.”
Kickoff times and broadcast plans for the series will be announced later.
The Cougars had been scheduled to play UMass on Oct. 8, 2016, so that game will be moved to another date. BYU is also scheduled to face Arizona, Utah, UCLA and West Virginia in 2016 prior to taking on Michigan State.
"We continue to be aggressive and innovative in our approach to non-conference scheduling as we work to bring the top programs in college football to our state as well as provide our student-athletes with an opportunity to compete nationally at the highest level," said MSU Athletic Director Mark Hollis. "The BYU series also provides MSU alums in the Rockies and the West with an opportunity to see the Spartans play against a national program."
According to the Detroit News, the 2016 meeting between BYU and Michigan State required moving the Michigan State-Wisconsin game to September. In 2016, the Big Ten will return to a nine-game conference schedule for the first time since 1982-84.
Michigan State is one of four Big Ten opponents that the Cougars will face in coming years, along with Nebraska, Michigan and Wisconsin.
BYU will also take on opponents from the Southeastern Conference (Missouri and Louisiana State), Pac-12 (UCLA, Arizona, Utah, California, Washington, USC, Washington State, Arizona State and Stanford), Big 12 (West Virginia) and the Atlantic Coast Conference (Virginia).