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BYU football opponents are dwindling after Big12 announcement

(Players practicing for the upcoming season. Credit: Jaren Wilkey, BYU, August 10, 2020.)

PROVO, Utah – BYU football fans are disappointed.  Any chances of the university scheduling a game with a Big 12 opponent are fading very quickly.  However, some sportswriters say there are other options for the school to pursue. 

Wednesday morning, officials with the Big 12 Conference gave their Twitter followers a “first look” at their 2020 schedule.

It was their conference-only schedule and BYU wasn’t on it.  KSL Sports Writer Mitch Harper says four of those schools haven’t released their non-conference games, yet, but, we shouldn’t expect BYU to fill any of those spots.

He says, “Most of those Big 12 teams are scheduling non-conference opponents that are regional-based.”

Harper reported BYU might have better luck looking at the American Athletic Conference.  Currently, the Cougars are already set to face two AAC schools this year, namely Houston and Navy.

“They are still going forward with a 12 game season, as are the Sunbelt Conference and Conference USA.  So, there are still some scheduling opportunities out there for maybe BYU to pick up,” Harper says.

Harper says there are teams with the Atlantic Coast Conference that have some non-conference openings, like Clemson, Wake Forest and Notre Dame.  The Fighting Irish already owe BYU a game because of an agreement reached between the two schools in 2010.  They were set to play six games, although that was whittled down to three. 

Harper says, “They’ve been dangling this on BYU for years.  This series was supposed to be completed in 2019.”

Two of those games have already been played, both in South Bend, Indiana.  However, due to ACC regulations, if BYU were to play Notre Dame this year, they would have to agree to play on Notre Dame’s turf and Harper says BYU really wants to play in Provo.

Some fans have asked if Nebraska could be an option for the Cougars.  Officials from that school expressed their frustration after the Big Ten postponed the 2020 football season, and mentioned they might want to plan a season on their own.  However, Harper says that just ain’t gonna happen.

“The problem is that the Big Ten commissioner has come out and said that if Nebraska goes out on their own and plays their own season, they’re no longer a member of the Big Ten Conference,” he says.

Harper believes Nebraska has too much to lose by taking the risk of going against the Big Ten.



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