The Rutgers University Scarlet Knights have canceled a two-game home and home series with Miami in 2018 and 2019.
The series was agreed to in 2009. Rutgers will pay Miami a $100,000 buyout. They chose to replace the Hurricanes with another former Big East rival, Boston College. Rutgers has been in the Big Ten since the dissolution of the Big East football conference in 2014.
That leaves the Hurricanes with a big hole in their schedule. Although Rutgers has been consistently near the bottom of the Big Ten, finding a Power Five conference team to replace them will be difficult.
Power Five schools in Miami’s non-conference that are coming up in the next few years include Notre Dame this fall, LSU in 2018 in the season opener at AT&T stadium in Arlington, Texas, against Florida in Orlando in 2019, and a two-game series with Michigan State, Texas A&M and Notre Dame in the 2020s.
The likelihood is that Miami is going to have to pursue a team in a nonpower five conference in the Football Bowl Subdivision or someone in the Football Championship Subdivision. This could have big implications going forward as Mark Richt tries to build a championship team.
This could have big implications going forward as Mark Richt tries to build a championship team. How much would the Playoff Committee hold this against the Hurricanes in those two seasons if they are in the playoff hunt?
In 2018, the Hurricanes open with the LSU game, then travel to Toledo on September 15. They will likely add two more non-conference games now that Rutgers backed out. Most of the conferences will have nine-game schedules by 2018. The majority of the teams have their non-conference schedules filled out for 2018.
Almost all of the Big Ten teams have their 2018 schedules complete. Michigan State is the lone exception. With games already scheduled against the Spartans, the Hurricanes are going to have to look somewhere else for games.
There are ten teams from Power Five Conferences with openings in 2018. Oklahoma State, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina, Auburn, Mississippi, Oklahoma State, Stanford, USC and Utah are all possibilities. It will likely depend on if Blake James and Richt decide to replace Rutgers with a Power Five School or go outside the Power Five.
The most intriguing would be Kentucky, Georgia or Oklahoma. Former Hurricanes assistant coach Mark Richt is currently the Head Coach at Kentucky, The Canes and OU had some epic battles in the 1980’s and Mark Richt going against Georgia is something fans of both schools probably want to see.
James and Richt are likely to take their time making a decision who replace Rutgers on the schedule in 2018 and ’19. A lot will depend on what kind of team they want to play. It will be interesting to see if its a Power Five team, a team from one of the group of five conferences or an FCS team.