Y11 Notes: EMU Adds Indiana Road Trip to Future Schedules
EMU formally announces this, and other future games.
Y11 Notes: Thursday, May 25
Indiana road trip added in 2028
Eastern Michigan formally recognized its new future non-conference games yesterday as it added Indiana and a pair of FCS home games to be played down the road.
Now added to EMU’s future schedules: a road trip to Indiana for a one-off Big Ten game in 2028, and will host FCS-level schools Long Island in Week 2 of the 2025 season, and Lindenwood in Week 3 of 2026.
EMU also formally addressed its home-and-home series with San Jose State which has been on the books since last summer. The game will be played in Rynearson in 2026, and will be at San Jose State in 2029.
From EMU’s press release:
Eastern Michigan University Vice President/Director of Athletics Scott Wetherbee and the football program announced multiple non-conference schedule additions today, May 24. The Eagles added home contests versus Long Island University on Sept. 6, 2025, and Lindenwood University on Sept. 19, 2026. Eastern also added home-and-home series with San Jose State (2026/2029) and a trip to Indiana University in 2028.
"We are pleased to announce a number of great games with quality opponents in future years," Wetherbee said. "The games provide the right schedule strength, offer a number of quality home opponents for our fans, and include some high-profile road games that are in strong alumni areas and provide convenient travel for our fans."
Over the past decade, EMU has reevaluated its overall non-conference scheduling philosophy for football. An emphasis was placed on securing home-and-home series with other members of the so called "Group of Five" which includes the American Athletic Conference, Conference USA, the Mountain West Conference, and the Sun Belt Conference. In addition, the Eagles will still play at least one road contest versus a "Power Five School" which includes members from the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Big Ten Conference, the Big 12 Conference, the Pacific 12 Conference, and the Southeastern Conference.
The last time EMU talked about its future schedules was back in 2021. Since then, EMU’s home-and-home with Liberty (2023 & 2024) was replaced with Jacksonville State (which is entering its first season as an FBS program), filled up its 2025 schedule, almost finished its 2026 schedule (without yet leaving the state in September), and has a good-looking board, so far, moving forward.
Replacing Liberty with Jacksonville State so suddenly, and so quietly, was good strategy, I think, by Wetherbee. A lesser opponent, sure, but it’s still an FBS-level opponent and a chance at an easier win. Malik Willis’ don’t grow on trees for Liberty, but that’s a program that’s set up for a ton of sudden success within its new conference, even after outgoing coach Hugh Freeze helped lead this program to a 34-15 record and four-straight winning seasons. The jury’s still out on Jax State, and EMU gets to try the team out in its first and second seasons as an FBS squad.
Two summers ago during the last announcement, the P5-level schools to look forward to were at Arizona State (2022), at Minnesota (2023), at Washington (2024), at Kentucky (2025), and at Michigan State (2026). Now, we add another (beatable) Big Ten squad to face five years from now. Generally speaking, this is exactly what football fans at this level really want for their teams: a chance at a competent and beatable Power 5 team in any given year.
The 2026 home opener vs. San Jose State (and the road trip in 2029) is a nice add, it just would’ve been nicer, for marketing purposes, if this game could’ve happened in 2027. That would’ve allowed the two schools to sell it as the 40th anniversary of the 1987 Cal Bowl, and the 5-year anniversary of the 2022 Potato Bowl. No complaints about having the home-and-home series with San Jose begin on the 39th and 4th season anniversaries, but marketing and branding is easier with numbers that go by 5’s and 10’s.
For EMU fans that live in the state of Michigan, 2026 should be a fun time through the first three weeks — all games so far are in the home state. The Michigan State trip is a game fans generally like taking every once in a while, and 2026 is as good a time as any to see how far this squad has come since 2014.
Hopefully San Diego State’s truly handcuffed to coming to Ypsi in 2027. If it moves up to the Pac-12, how much new money could help afford to get this team out of a future, potential upset situation on the road?
There’s really no incentive to add schools to the future schedules this year unless a very good-looking opportunity is ahead. With all the structural changes in the sport coming up, there’s time to read the field and see what athletic changes in the sport look like this year. Plus, if we are mentally adding home games against FCS foes to its 2027, 2028, and 2029 schedules, what’s the rush?