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Top 5 Opponents For BYU Football The Cougars Have Never Played

Jul 20, 2020, 11:29 AM | Updated: 11:31 am
BYU Football, Tennessee Volunteers...
KNOXVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 7: Tennessee Volunteers wide receiver Jauan Jennings (15) being guarded by Brigham Young Cougars linebacker Chaz Ah You (3) catches a pass to tie up the game in overtime during a college football game between the Tennessee Volunteers and Brigham Young Cougars on September 7, 2019, at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, TN. (Photo by Bryan Lynn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
(Photo by Bryan Lynn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – In the span of a few days, BYU lost five of the twelve games on their schedule in 2020. The Big Ten and Pac-12 announced they would play conference-only games for the upcoming season, leaving the Cougars with holes to fill and little time to do it.

Scheduling a home-home series can take years to pull off and is typically done many years in advance. Needless to say, AD Tom Holmoe has his work cut out for him.

In the midst of so much schedule uncertainty, I began to think of some of the great opponents BYU has never faced. So here we are, with a Top 5 of the opponents BYU needs to schedule that they have never played before.

Some of these match-ups cannot be played in 2020, but they would make for great football and intriguing schedules for Cougar Nation.

South Carolina

The SEC is the heart and soul of college football and the Cougars have only played 8 of the 14 teams in the conference. In fact, BYU has only played one team from the Carolinas, splitting a series with East Carolina just a few years ago.

Scheduling the Gamecocks would give the Cougars a great match-up against an always competitive SEC team. Last year, RB Tyโ€™Son Williams transferred from South Carolina to BYU for his senior season. Perhaps Tyโ€™Son and a home-home series with the Gamecocks would boost BYUโ€™s reach into the Carolinas.

Auburn

One-half of the Iron Bowl rivalry in Alabama, Auburn would be another big-time SEC match-up for BYU.

The Tigers have been one of the best teams of the last decade in college football, boasting an 87-45 record, making a bowl game in every season except 2012 and appearing in two national title games, winning the national championship in 2010 with Heisman QB Cam Newton.

Auburn is scheduled to play fellow independent UMass in 2020, so how about adding a much better independent team to your non-conference schedule in BYU?

Army

The Black Knights are the only service academy that BYU has not played and with a fellow independent needing to fill a few games, this seems like a match-up we could see this season.

Army already plays fellow independents in UConn and UMass and adding BYU to fill one of the available spots is a no brainer.

Imagine the Cougars in West Point on September 4th for the first-time match-up between these great teams to start the season? Listen, it wouldnโ€™t be the BYU/Utah kickoff we all would prefer, but thatโ€™s not a bad substitute in what would be a competitive game.

Florida

BYUโ€™s rival Utah announced in September that they had scheduled a home-home series against the Florida Gators in 2022-23. Those games will replace the traditional in-state game between the Utes and the Cougars. If the Gators are willing to come out to Salt Lake City, whose to say Tom Holmoe canโ€™t make his own deal to bring a big-time SEC program into Provo.

In 1984, Florida was recognized as national champs by many publications and experts, but came in 3rd in the AP poll, behind the national champion BYU Cougars. These teams are in very different positions in 2020, but a game between Florida and BYU would be an all-timer.

Clemson

Tom, itโ€™s time to go big or go home. Over the last 5 years, no team has had a better winning percentage than the Clemson. The Tigers, led by head coach Dabo Swinney, are 69-5 over that span, including 29-1 in the last two seasons. Their lone loss came in the national championship game last season against Joe Burrow and a historic LSU squad.

Clemson typically plays a cake-walk of a non-conference schedule against teams like Troy, Furman and The Citadel. If you want to add a good non-conference game that helps elevate your schedule, BYU is your guy.

For BYU, the national attention of playing Clemson is a win in its own right. Kalaniโ€™s teams have been able to pull off some big upsets, 2018 Wisconsin for example. Who’s to say BYU couldnโ€™t pull off the greatest upset in school history and beat the best team in college football?

Tom Holmoe has his work cut out for him over the next few weeks. As we wait to hear from the other Power 5 conferences, BYU sits in a precarious position. They may potentially find themselves on the outside looking in on the power structure of college football and the security of conference relationships. Whatever the schedule looks like this year, BYUโ€™s players and coaches just want an opportunity to play football.

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