BYU Should Schedule Independent UConn In Football

Jul 29, 2019, 11:55 AM
PROVO, UT - OCTOBER 2: Intended receiver Maroni Laulu-Putuau #1 of the Brigham Young Cougars nor de...
PROVO, UT - OCTOBER 2: Intended receiver Maroni Laulu-Putuau #1 of the Brigham Young Cougars nor defender Jhavon Williams #6 of the Connecticut Huskies can catch this ball in the end zone during the 2nd quarter at LaVell Edwards Stadium on October 2, 2015 in Provo Utah. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)

PROVO, Utah – For BYU Athletic Director Tom Holmoe, success is defined by relationships.  Since BYU has been an FBS Independent in 2011 the Cougars have worked hard to strengthen their relationships with programs around the country.

One athletic department that I would expect BYU to start enhancing their relationship within the near future is the UConn Huskies.

UConn completed their buyout with the American Athletic Conference last week and the Huskies will officially be moving to the Big East Conference in the 2020-21 academic year.  The Big East has no football offerings in their league so the Huskies are now taking the path of being an FBS Independent.

BYU has had a history of lending a helping hand to fellow FBS Independents in the past.  The Cougars have scheduled a four-game series against UMass, two games against Liberty, and a three-game series against New Mexico State.  BYU understands the challenges of scheduling in the first handful of years as an independent.

When the Cougars declared their independence in 2010, they needed the Western Athletic Conference to agree to a scheduling agreement for the first two years.  Had it not been for the WAC, BYU would not have been able to go independent.

BYU should schedule UConn Football in the future.  The two programs have already had a two-game series in the 2014 and 2015 seasons where BYU won both games.

Basketball Series?

UConn has a tradition-rich basketball program that has won a handful of national championships over the last two decades.  Would BYU be willing to schedule a long-term football series with UConn for the chance to get a home-and-home with the Huskie basketball program?  That would be a huge basketball scheduling coup for the Cougars and it’s one that should definitely be discussed in potential negotiations.

When Could They Play?

BYU is full for the 2020 and 2021 seasons.  The earliest open dates for the Cougars appear in 2022.  BYU currently has 11 games scheduled for the 2022 season, with six scheduled to be played in Provo.  This could be an opportunity for BYU to have seven home games at LaVell Edwards Stadium.  The Cougars haven’t had seven home games in Provo since the first year of independence in 2011.

Realistically, a four-game series from 2022 to 2025 would make a lot of sense.  Grant of rights and TV contracts start to expire for Power Five conferences in 2024 and 2025, and the possibility of conference realignment could be at the forefront again.  Having a four-game series would show that the two programs are committed to playing each other but also gives them flexibility for the potential realignment wave in the future.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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BYU Should Schedule Independent UConn In Football