The 2023 College Football Playoff is full of programs the Illinois football team will play in coming years.
Over the past few months, conference realignment has been a big topic of discussion. Teams are finding their place in the college football landscape and, thankfully, the Illini have a home in the Big Ten.
The Big Ten is also going to be home to a few new teams starting in 2024. USC, UCLA, Oregon, and Washington are all going to be a part of the conference.
On Sunday, the 2023 College Football Playoff was officially set. There was a tough decision among the committee on which teams to put in, but the final four are final and will be Michigan, Washington, Texas, and Alabama.
Illinois football is going to be playing multiple teams from the 2023 College Football Playoff
While the Illini didn’t quite make the final four this season, that doesn’t mean we won’t play some of these programs moving forward.
In fact, the Big Ten schedules are set for the next couple of seasons, and Illinois will be facing some of the teams that were involved in the selection process.
Illinois will be taking on the No. 1 overall seed in Michigan next season. We take on the Wolverines on October 19. This game will be one week prior to Illinois heading out to Eugene to take on the Oregon Ducks. If Oregon would have beaten Washington, it is likely they would have been in the College Football Playoff.
Let’s also not forget about Penn State. The Nittany Lions, while not in serious talks about getting into the final four, did finish in the top 10 in the final College Football Playoff rankings. Illinois takes on Penn State in 2024 as well.
On top of the 2024 schedule looking tough, Illinois also plays two other teams in the College Football Playoff rankings in 2025. While the dates aren’t set, the Illini will welcome in Ohio State in 2025. They finished just outside of the College Football Playoff this season. Illinois also has to travel to Washington in 2025. The Huskies are the No. 2 overall team entering the 2023 College Football Playoff.
Illinois is not going to compete for a national title this season, but Illini fans should take a hard look at some of these teams. This will just be a glimpse of what the future will hold for the Orange and Blue.