‘Keep An Eye On Us’: Tom Holmoe Making BYU’s Schedule Flexible Could Have Payoff
Nov 18, 2020, 10:16 AM | Updated: 3:30 pm
(Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)
PROVO, Utah – BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe has made the BYU football schedule “mobile and flexible” throughout this unprecedented 2020 college football campaign.
As the final month of the regular season is upon us, that decision to be flexible could deliver a huge payoff for BYU. A team looking to prove itself against anyone and everyone from a Power 5 conference.
BREAKING: @pac12 to allow non-conference opponents.
— KSL Sports (@kslsports) November 18, 2020
Reports emerged Wednesday morning from the “Czar of the Pac-12” Jon Wilner that the Pac-12 is on a course to allow its teams to schedule non-conference games. Wilner noted that the Pac-12 CEOs need to approve the move. If approved, it doesn’t guarantee that any non-conference games will be played. But it will provide flexibility to its league members.
With a scheduling brain trust of Holmoe, Kalani Sitake, and Stadium’s Dave Brown, BYU is all about flexibility.
BYU Football Schedule: Flexibility & Mobility
With only two games scheduled in the final five weeks of the season and only 10 games total on its schedule, BYU could add up to two more games on its 2020 slate. A schedule that has BYU in a position to play in a New Year’s Six bowl or maybe, if you look far enough into the distance, a spot in the College Football Playoff.
Back in October, after having the flexibility to add Mountain West rivals Boise State and San Diego State, Holmoe was asked if he’s had any conversations with the Pac-12 or any other Power 5 conferences about stepping in to fill a date if they need a game.
Exploring the schedule possibilities that are still out there for #BYU between now and the end of the regular season.
— Mitch Harper (@Mitch_Harper) November 10, 2020
Holmoe replied, “I really haven’t had the discussions, but I’ve talked to so many of those people through the scheduling process. What I’ve tried to convey to all the people in the country is we’re just going to be mobile; we’re going to be flexible. There are so many things that we can do by not being in a conference. So just keep an eye on us.”
BYU’s season opener at Navy came together in less than 24 hours and was given a coveted Labor Day night timeslot on ESPN. A matchup with LA Tech was scheduled two weeks before its Friday night ESPN window.
Holmoe hopes those examples can help down the stretch run.
“I hope that people are like, ‘If anything were to happen down the road, BYU’s pretty flexible.’ I know so many of the people out there that if it were to happen, I could make that call,” Holmoe said.
BYU vs. Utah?
One guy that Holmoe probably could make a phone call to in a hurry is Utah athletic director Mark Harlan.
Speculation has ramped up on the possibility of BYU playing rival Utah on November 28th. Now with the report from Wilner, that conversation won’t be slowing down anytime soon.
Utah currently has a game scheduled against Arizona State for November 28th, but the Sun Devils have had a severe COVID-19 outbreak within their program. The outbreak in Tempe even led to head coach Herm Edwards testing positive for the novel virus.
The situation within the ASU football program is dire. The facility is closed. An entire side of the ball has it. 6-staff members are positive. And they’re just at the beginning of the outbreak. When asked to describe it I was told: “This is bad. Really, really bad.”
— Matt Barrie (@MattBarrie) November 13, 2020
BYU currently has a bye week scheduled for the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
There’s still time for Arizona State and Utah to be played. The Pac-12 has shown a willingness to put games on Sunday if needed, as was the case this past weekend when UCLA and Cal put together a game in a matter of hours.
But if the Sun Devils can’t play, BYU has to be chomping at the opportunity to take their top ten football team to Salt Lake City for a chance to end the nine-game losing streak to their rival. The downside would be the possibility of allowing your rival to spoil your dream season.
If Utah needs a game or anyone in the Pac-12 Conference needs to make a call to BYU, the Cougars have stated they will meet any testing protocols set by Power 5 conferences this season. BYU is currently testing their players three times a week with saliva-based testing. The Pac-12 has daily point-of-care testing on each day of full practice, travel, and games.
It’s all about mobility and flexibility for BYU.
BYU Football Schedule 2020
Sept. 7 – at Navy – 55-3
Sept. 26 – TROY – 48-7
Oct. 2 – LA TECH – 45-14
Oct. 10 – UTSA – 27-20
Oct. 16 – at Houston – 43-26
Oct. 24 – TEXAS STATE – 52-14
Oct. 31 – WKU – 41-10
Nov. 6 – at Boise State – 51-17
Nov. 21 – NORTH ALABAMA – 1 p.m., BYUtv
Nov. 28 – BYE
Dec. 5 – BYE
Dec. 12 – SAN DIEGO STATE
Dec. 19 – BYE
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 p.m., KSL Newsradio). Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper and the KSL Sports app.
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