A new conference, a former conference foe and a clash of Commonwealth schools highlight the 2023 Murray State football schedule. The 2023 season will be the Racers' first in the nation's top FCS league, the Missouri Valley Football Conference.
The MVFC formally announced the 2023 league schedule Monday, the first of a six-year cycle that features 12 teams playing eight conference games per year. The new schedule guarantees that every team will play each of its 11 opponents at least four-times (two home, two away) over six years, supporting the continuation of league identity and increasing competitive fairness over time.
The league considered multiple options, including divisional play, four-team pods and a true rotation, before arriving at the current model, which utilizes agreed-upon scheduling principles, including maximizing bus trips to the greatest extent possible and protecting rivalries.
Murray State kicks off its 99th season of collegiate football on Sept. 3 when it welcomes Presbyterian to town for the home opener. Following the match-up with the Blue Hose, the Racers will travel across the Commonwealth to take on Louisville Sept. 9, followed by the first meeting with Middle Tennessee in over two decades Sept. 16 in Murfreesboro.
After a bye Sept. 23, the Racers begin their tenure in the MVFC with the league opener at home Sept. 30 against Indiana State.
In October, the Racers play at Roy Stewart Stadium just once, an Oct. 14 meeting with Southern Illinois. MSU begins the month at South Dakota Oct. 7, followed by back-to-back road games at Missouri State Oct. 14 and at nine-time national champion North Dakota State Oct. 21.
Murray State returns home Nov. 4 to host North Dakota, followed by a trip to Illinois State Oct. 11. The Racers close out their first season in the MVFC Nov. 18 when they welcome the Penguins of Youngstown State to the "finest place we know."
The 2022 football season, the Racers' last in the Ohio Valley Conference, kicks off Sept. 3 in Lubbock, Texas against Texas Tech.