Penn State football has never played these FBS teams

The Penn State Nittany Lions have played 93 different FBS teams and have beaten 85 of them, but that still leaves an additional 34 teams that the Nittany Lions have never matched up against. With the expanded playoff, maybe Penn State could meet some first-time opponents, but the limited non-conference schedule will make it tough.

Penn State fans cheer on the Nittany Lions before playing Iowa in a White Out football game at Beaver Stadium
Penn State fans cheer on the Nittany Lions before playing Iowa in a White Out football game at Beaver Stadium / DAN RAINVILLE/USA TODAY NETWORK-PA / USA
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The Big Ten is expanding, and with that could come more and more conference matchups for Penn State in the future. With a dwindling number of non-conference matchups and a desire, at least from certain parts of the fanbase, to rekindle old rivalries, it will be tough for Penn State to add new opponents to the schedule. 

The way that the Nittany Lions hope to face first-time opponents is in the expanded 12-team College Football Playoff. This season, with a No. 10 finish in the CFP rankings, the Nittany Lions would have been in. Instead, they faced the Ole Miss Rebels in the Peach Bowl, the first time that they have faced Mississippi and that leaves just one SEC team that Penn State has never matched up against. 

The Nittany Lions have their 2024 schedule already out, and while it includes new Big Ten member, it does not feature a first-time opponent for the 131st season of Penn State football.

Let’s dive into the teams that Penn State has never faced, starting with the AAC

American Athletic Conference

  • Charlotte
  • FAU
  • North Texas
  • UAB
  • UTSA
  • Tulsa

Last season, Tulsa was the only opponent from the AAC that Penn State had not played, but with the conference expanding and absorbing much of the C-USA, the list is much longer. The Nittany Lions are 30-9 all-time against the conference and 1-1 in bowl game matchups.

ACC

  • Duke
  • Virginia Tech

Penn State was scheduled to play a home-and-home with Virginia Tech and former defensive coordinator Brent Pry starting in 2020, but the pandemic canceled that agreement. If Pry continues to build the program up, then this could be an intriguing non-conference matchup or a potential bowl game opponent in the future.

The Nittany Lions are 54-8-1 against the ACC and 2-1 in bowl games.