When BYU accepted an invitation to join the Big 12 beginning in 2023, BYU AD Tom Holmoe said the Cougars would begin to "unwind" the future independent schedules that took years to put together. Instead of scheduling 12 games each season, BYU will only need to schedule 3-4 non-conference games per season.
That process has already started. BYU was scheduled for another home-and-home with Virginia in 2023 and 2025, but those games have been cancelled.
Today, we look at one game per season that we want BYU to keep on the schedule over the next five years. For the purpose of this article, Utah has been excluded from the list. In this author's opinion, that game should be played every season regardless of conference affiliation.
Author note: There are home-and-home requirements that will make this more complicated than picking and choosing the games to keep. But the purpose of this article is not to be practical!
2023 - BYU vs Tennessee
The opportunity to host a historic SEC program in Lavell Edwards Stadium for the first time is too much to pass up. The last time these two teams met, BYU pulled off a miracle comeback in the final seconds of regulation.
2024 - BYU @ NC State
BYU has never played NC State in football. That would change in 2024 if the Cougars and the Wolfpack honor their contract to play in North Carolina in 2024. This is the front half of a home-and-home that would conclude with a BYU-NC State matchup in Provo in 2030.
2025 - BYU vs Minnesota
Another Power Five team that BYU has never played. The Cougars and the Golden Gophers were scheduled to play each other in 2020, but the game was cancelled when the Big Ten cancelled all non-conference games due to COVID-19.
2026 - BYU @ Miami
In September of 1990, BYU took down the top-ranked Miami Hurricanes in Lavell Edwards Stadium. The all-time series between the two teams is tied 1-1. It's time to break the Ty, I mean tie.
2027 - BYU @ Boise State
One of the perks of being independent has been annual rivalry games with Boise State, Utah State, and Utah (most years). It's unlikely that BYU will play Boise State and Utah State every year once it joins the Big 12, but it would be fun to keep the BYU-Boise State rivalry alive by playing a game every 3-5 years.
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