CMU vs. SEC: Football to play Missouri/LSU in 2021, Alabama in 2023

Central Michigan head coach John Bonamego observes as his team plays in the Spring Game on April 21 at Kelly/Shorts Stadium.

Over a three-week period during the 2021 season, the Central Michigan football team will play two Southeastern Conference programs-- Missouri and LSU. 

Two years later, on Sept. 2, 2023, CMU will play Alabama in Tuscaloosa. 

“I said it last week, and I’ll say it again: We welcome the challenge to measure ourselves against the best,” CMU football coach John Bonamego said. “I’ve seen firsthand the passion SEC fans have for football, and it should be a great trip for our players and fans.” 

The Crimson Tide won the national championship in five of the last nine seasons, including a 26-23 victory over Georgia in the 2018 National Championship. 

“We embrace the opportunity of playing against a program with the storied tradition of the Crimson Tide of Alabama,” Bonamego said. “As competitors, we welcome any challenge to measure ourselves against the very best.” 

In 2021, CMU will play Missouri at Faurot Field on Sept. 4 and LSU at Tiger Stadium on Sept. 25. 

“We’ve never played Missouri,” Associate Vice President and CMU Director of Athletics Michael Alford said. “And we’ve never played LSU or Alabama.

"CMU alums are spread across the nation, and for many of them, this will be the first time they’ve been able to get to a CMU football game in a long time.” 

Missouri finished the 2017 season with a 7-6 record and was tied for third in the SEC East. The Tigers lost in the Texas Bowl to Texas, 33-16. Missouri and CMU have never played against one another.  

LSU has won three national championships in 1958, 2003 and 2007. 

Bonamego is excited to get back to Louisiana, which is where he coached on the New Orleans Saints staff for three seasons. 

“I had the honor of experiencing a game day at Tiger Stadium as a guest,” Bonamego said. “For our fans, it is a great road trip that I highly recommend. I love that we get a chance to introduce CMU football to that region of the country.”

Central Michigan's 2021 non-conference schedule includes playing at Missouri (Sept. 4) at South Florida (Sept. 11), against Florida Atlantic (Sept. 18) and at LSU (Sept. 25). 

The 2023 non-conference schedule currently consists of battling at Alabama (Sept. 2) and at South Alabama (Sept. 9). 

In the upcoming 2018 season, the Chippewas open the season at Kentucky on Sept. 1 and play for the first time at Kelly/Shorts Stadium on Sept. 8 against Kansas.