Illinois announced a future football series with the Missouri Tigers on Monday morning.
The series will resume on Sept. 26, 2026, in Champaign. It will consist of four years of home-and-home games, so Illinois will host Missouri again in 2028.
The Illini and the Tigers have played 24 times, and Missouri has won 17 of those meetings.
Illinois Director of Athletics Josh Whitman is thankful for the opportunity to renew this rivalry.
"We are pleased to reestablish the football rivalry series against Missouri," Whitman said. "As our football program advances, it is important that we build our nonconference schedule accordingly. The opportunity to compete against an opponent from the Southeastern Conference and to play a geographic rival like Missouri will be exciting for our players, coaches, and fans.”
Illinois head coach Lovie Smith thinks bringing back the rivalry is a great idea.
"Resuming our series with Missouri will be a great thing," Illini Head Coach Lovie Smith said. "The schools represent great conferences, they represent border states, and the schools compete in several other sports, including the Braggin' Rights Series in basketball. This is just a natural fit."
The 2026 season would be Smith’s 11th year with the Illini.
Illinois and Missouri play in men’s basketball annually in the Braggin’ Rights game in St. Louis.
The Division of Intercollegiate Athletics announced the building of a Dick Butkus statue earlier this morning.