Fresno State added UCLA to its future schedule with a road game in 2024 to be played at the Rose Bowl. This single game deal adds on to a pair of existing games that will also send the Bulldogs to the Rose Bowl in 2018 and 2021.
“Anytime you can play an instate school like UCLA, you look hard and figure out the schedule and make it happen,” athletics Jim Bartko said in a released statement. “We have had some great games against the Bruins and the Red Wave loves to travel to SoCal.”
Hopefully for Fresno State they are getting paid in the neighborhood of seven-figures each time to play the Bruins on their home turf those years. Playing road games is one thing but the Bulldogs are not getting home games in return.
In July, Fresno State schedule a three-for-none series with USC that will send the Bulldogs to Southern California to open the 2019 season on Aug. 31 at the Los Angeles Coliseum, and the other two games are slated for Sept. 17, 2022 and Aug. 30, 2025.
Besides the pay check that Fresno State will get, and desperately need, this will help in recruiting by playing the talent-rich area nearly every year form 2018-2025. However, wins will be sacrificed for this decision to go on the road for these games.
Fresno State is not a program that needs to play every game on the road and have some level of history to at least get a two-for-one with Power Five schools and especially those power programs who are in their own state.
Starting in 2017 through 2025 the Bulldogs are playing 13 road games against Power Five schools. These are not middle of the pack teams either, the list includes traveling to Washington, Oregon, Alabama, USC, UCLA, Minnesota, Colorado and Texas A&M. There is just one Power Five team coming to Bulldog Stadium which is Minnesota in 2019.
It looks like the plan for Fresno State scheduling is to stay financially competitive within the Mountain West and fund the program, but doing so will make building a strong football program with this type of schedule.