The Utah Utes football program announced today that they will play a home-and-home series against the Houston Cougars in 2026 and 2027 and will host the Weber State Wildcats on Thursday, Aug. 31, 2023 pending Pac-12 approval (which has the option to move the game Sept. 1 or Sept. 2). Utah will play at Houston to start the series on Saturday, Sept. 5, 2026 then the Cougars will come to Rice-Eccles Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2027. Utah previously announced a game against Weber State on Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021 at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
Utah is 4-0 all-time against Weber State, last playing them in 2013 when the Utes won 70-7. Utah is 0-4 all-time against Houston, but the two teams have not met since 1978. Three of the four games against Houston have been played at Houston, while all four games against Weber State have been played in Salt Lake City, Utah.
I am fine with the Weber State series, though I would rather see Utah play a lower level FBS team than an FCS team. If Utah is going to play FCS teams, I prefer it being in-state schools because these games help the athletic departments financially.
I really like the Houston series. Houston is a great Group of Five opponent and is in fertile recruiting territory, and one that Utah recruits a lot. Houston is a great B opponent on the schedule for Utah. Utah currently does not have any other opponents scheduled in 2026 or 2027. I hope instead of BYU Utah schedules a Power Five opponent in 2026 and 2027 with Houston already scheduled as the “B” opponent. Also, Utah really only needs to play one team with a Cougar mascot a year in nonconference play, two would just be overkill.