The Illinois football team dates back to the late 1800s, with some of the greatest players in the college game coming out of Champaign.
But there are quite a few teams that Illinois hasn’t played. Despite being around for over 130 seasons, the Illini haven’t had a chance to play a variety of programs. Spoiler alert, we have played every team in the Big Ten and Pac-12.
Believe it or not, Illinois football has never played these FBS teams
American Athletic Conference (AAC)
- UCF Knights
Four teams from the American Athletic Conference have never faced off against the Illini. The first of the bunch is the self-proclaimed 2017 National Champion, Central Florida Knights.
UFC has had a great program for much of the past 20 years. Thankfully, Illinois hasn’t played UCF or it could have been an ugly sight in recent years.
- Memphis Tigers
Moving from Independent to Conference USA in 1996 and then finding a home in the AAC in 2013, the Memphis Tigers have seen recent success. What was once a bad program has formed into a respectable team over the past decade. They have had two seasons of finishing in the top 25, and eight seasons of having at least seven wins.
- Tulsa Golden Hurricane
I am a bit surprised that Illinois hasn’t played the Tulsa Golden Hurricane considering they have been around since 1917.
Tulsa has been a mediocre team for quite some time. Yes, they have a randomly good season every once in a while, but they haven’t eclipsed seven wins in the past six seasons.
- Temple Owls
The Temple Owls is the final team in the AAC to have not played Illinois. Temple is more known for its basketball program, but it did have some good seasons in the past decade.
The Owls had back-to-back 10-win campaigns under Matt Rhule, now Nebraska’s head coach. Over the past three seasons, Temple hit a bit of a rough patch, though. They have seven wins in that span.