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BYU Continues To Be One Of College Football’s Most Televised Teams

Head coach Kalani Sitake and his players sing to the fans high up in the upper deck as they celebrate their win over Tennessee in Knoxville on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019. BYU won 29-26 in double overtime. (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News)

PROVO, Utah – When BYU began its independent path in 2011, television exposure was one of the biggest reasons for the move. Despite some up-and-down results on the field in recent years, BYU continues to be among the nation’s most televised teams.

Since 2016, Kalani Sitake’s first year as head coach, BYU has appeared in 31 nationally televised games on ESPN, ABC, ESPN2, CBS, FOX, and NBC. This number doesn’t include games on FS1, CBS Sports Network, ESPNU, BYUtv, and other networks that televise college football.

The 31 appearances since 2016 are good for the 19th most nationally televised games in the country. With teams out west, BYU’s 31 appearances on national TV are good for the third most behind only USC (39) and Washington (32).

The national leader for most appearances since 2016 is Alabama with 51 followed by Notre Dame (49), Clemson (47), and Oklahoma (47). All of those teams have had College Football Playoff appearances in the past two seasons.

Since 2011, BYU’s first year as an FBS Independent, the Cougars have played a total of 69 games on the six nationally-televised networks. Good for an average of seven broadcasts per season.

By comparison, in BYU’s final nine years as a member of the Mountain West Conference from 2002-2010, produced only 26 nationally-televised games. So Independence has accomplished what BYU had hoped it would do by giving them the exposure they’ve always wanted.

2020 BYU Football games on TV

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, no TV designations have been given to college football games for the 2020 season yet. BYU signed a new seven-year contract with ESPN that begins this fall. ESPN will have first pick for all BYU home football games.

College Football programs with most national TV appearances since 2016

1. Alabama – SEC – 51

2. Notre Dame – Independent – 49

T-3. Clemson – ACC – 47

Oklahoma – Big 12 – 47

5. Ohio State – Big Ten – 44

6. Georgia – SEC – 43

7. Michigan – Big Ten – 40

T-8. USC – Pac-12 – 39

Miami – ACC – 39

10. LSU – SEC – 38

T-11. Florida State – ACC – 37

Wisconsin – Big Ten – 37

Auburn – SEC – 37

14. Florida – SEC – 35

15. Penn State – Big Ten – 34

T-16. Texas A&M – SEC – 32

Iowa – Big Ten – 32

Washington – Pac-12 – 32

T-19. BYU – Independent – 31

Texas – Big 12 – 31

Mississippi State – SEC – 31

Boise State – Mountain West – 31

T-23. UCLA – Pac-12 – 30

West Virginia – Big 12 – 30

25. Oklahoma State – Big 12 – 29

Most national TV appearances out west

USC – Pac-12 – 39

Washington – Pac-12 – 32

BYU – Independent – 31

Boise State – Mountain West – 31

UCLA – Pac-12 – 30

Stanford – Pac-12 – 28

Washington State – Pac-12 – 27

Oregon – Pac-12 – 25

California – Pac-12 – 21

Arizona State – Pac-12 – 20

Utah – Pac-12 – 20

Arizona – Pac-12 – 18

Colorado – Pac-12 – 16

Colorado State – Mountain West – 14

Fresno State – Mountain West – 13

Hawaii – Mountain West – 12

San Diego State – Mountain West – 12

Utah State – Mountain West – 12

Wyoming – Mountain West – 12

New Mexico – Mountain West – 9

Air Force – Mountain West – 8

Nevada – Mountain West – 7

Oregon State – Pac-12 – 5

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

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