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Big 12’s 9+1 Schedule Leaves Some Opportunities For BYU To Pick Up Games

Brigham Young Cougars head coach Kalani Sitake walks off the sideline during a timeout in the second half of an NCAA football game at The Glass Bowl in Toledo, Ohio on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019. The Cougars fell 28-21 to the Rockets. (Colter Peterson, Deseret News)

PROVO, Utah – The Big 12 Conference didn’t want to partner with BYU, again. On Monday, the Big 12’s Board of Directors approved a 10-game that features nine conference games and will allow for one non-conference game played at a Big 12 program’s home venue.

With this news, it all but seals that BYU won’t host any Power 5 teams in Provo for the first time since 2015. But on the flip side, there a few Big 12 programs that could be in a sudden need for a game. Maybe.

Possibilities for games between BYU and the Big 12

There have been reports that Oklahoma State is a possibility to play BYU in Stillwater on September 3rd. The problem is that there would need to be some shuffling to let that game happen. Oklahoma State still has two non-conference home games against Tulsa and Western Illinois. Either one of those games would meet the requirement for the one non-conference game in Stillwater.

TCU and Texas Tech have each seen multiple games canceled from their non-conference schedules. Both had matchups lined up against programs from the Pac-12 and the FCS’ SWAC. The Pac-12 moved to Conference-only and the SWAC delayed fall sports altogether for this year leaving the Horned Frogs and Red Raiders with just one non-conference game.

Where it gets interesting with TCU and Texas Tech is that each of their last remaining non-conference games is on the road.

TCU is scheduled to go to SMU, a member of the AAC, on September 26th and Texas Tech plays at UTEP from Conference-USA on September 5th. What happens to those games? Do they get canceled and if they do go by the wayside, can BYU and its partnership with ESPN step in and land a game against one of these Big 12 programs?

According to 247Sports, TCU’s rivalry game against SMU is canceled. Leaving the Horned Frogs with zero non-conference games.

Everyone else in the Big 12 Conference currently has non-conference games that would meet the league’s new requirement for one home out of league matchup.

The one positive for BYU is that the Cougars can financially afford to adhere to any testing protocols the Big 12 Conference requires for its opponents. BYU Athletic Director Tom Holmoe said in July that BYU would meet any COVID-19-related requirements set by conferences.

Outlook for BYU’s 2020 Schedule

BYU currently has six games on its 2020 schedule with five of those games tied into three leagues that have yet to make decisions regarding their seasons this fall. The other coming against North Alabama from the FCS ranks.

All eyes will start to shift towards the Group of 5 ranks where decisions from the American Athletic Conference, Mountain West Conference, and MAC could be coming very soon.

Reports have surfaced that Conference-USA and Sun Belt Conference are eyeing a 12-game season with eight conference games and four out-of-conference matchups which would open up scheduling possibilities for BYU with those programs.

BYU opens up Fall Camp on Tuesday, August 4th, and who the Cougars will actually start preparing for later in camp is still a mystery.

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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