COUGAR TRACKS

Predicting TV Channels, Kick Times For 2022 BYU Football Schedule

Apr 21, 2022, 1:39 AM | Updated: 1:41 am
BYU Football Schedule - ESPN Camera - TV Predictions...
The 2022 BYU Football schedule will be the Cougars last as an FBS Independent. (Mitch Harper/KSL Sports)
(Mitch Harper/KSL Sports)

PROVO, Utah – If you’re like me, you wish that every game on the 2022 BYU football schedule already had a kick time and TV info established.

Sadly, we will be relegated to not knowing kickoff times for most of the season until 12 days before gameday. The good news is that the first three or four games typically get announced by the TV networks before Memorial Day. So we’re about a month away from seeing some kick times and TV channel designations.

TV & Kickoff Predictions for the 2022 BYU football schedule

So why not predict which channels and kick times BYU football will have this season? Last year, I did this same exercise, and six of my predictions were within one hour of the kickoff time. I’ll try to improve on that number this year.

BYU at USF

Date: Saturday, September 3rd

TV & Kickoff Prediction: ABC, 10 a.m. (MT)

When BYU travels to the east coast, you can eliminate the late-night time slot, making it a little easier to forecast. I’ll call for the season opener to be a 10 a.m. game to open the Week 1 Saturday slate on network television.

The American Athletic Conference will have the TV rights to this broadcast, and through their TV deal with ESPN, the AAC has a minimum of 20 games on either ABC, ESPN, or ESPN2. This might be the most attractive spot to feature a new-look USF team against a BYU squad that could be in the preseason Top 25 polls.

If BYU-USF does get played at Noon (ET)/10 a.m. (MT), it would be the first 10 a.m. season opener since 1996 against Texas A&M.

Baylor at BYU

Date: Saturday, September 10th

TV & Kickoff Prediction: ESPN, 5 p.m. (MT)

How does a BYU home opener against a future Big 12 rival in primetime sound? When you look at the week two college football schedule, it would seem that’s a good possibility.

Alabama at Texas is the one clear-cut marquee game that will garner more national headlines than BYU-Baylor. But the Tide’s visit to a future SEC foe will likely end up on FOX, clearing the path for a potential Saturday night primetime game at LES.

BYU is looking for revenge against Baylor this season as the Cougars lost to the Bears in Waco, 38-24.

BYU at Oregon

Date: Saturday, September 17th

TV & Kickoff Prediction: ESPN, 8:15 p.m. (MT)

ESPN always loves an excellent non-conference matchup. BYU-Oregon fits that billing as the Cougars travel to Eugene for the first time since Ty Detmer rolled into Autzen during his Heisman Trophy season in 1990.

This game screams a late-night tilt on ESPN with probably Dave Fleming, Rod Gilmore, and Stormy Bounantony on the call. Let’s just hope the C-grade ESPN cameras aren’t used for the telecast.

Wyoming at BYU

Date: Saturday, September 24th

TV & Kickoff Prediction: ESPN2, 8:15 p.m. (MT)

An old WAC and Mountain West Conference rivalry is renewed when Wyoming travels to Provo for the first time since 2010. Unless the game ends up on ESPNU, I don’t see any other spot for this game other than a late-night ESPN2 telecast.

Utah State at BYU

Date: Thursday, September 29th

TV & Kickoff Prediction: ESPN, 5:30 p.m. (MT)

Thursday night college football has the potential to be revived again on linear television. With the NFL moving to Amazon, college football has a chance to become a bigger player on a night they once owned.

BYU used to be synonymous with Thursday night football on ESPN. But that was a long time ago.

This will only be the third Thursday night game of the Kalani Sitake era, the first since the Utah game in 2019.

BYU vs. Notre Dame (Las Vegas)

Date: Saturday, October 8th

TV & Kickoff Prediction: KSL 5 TV (NBC), 5:30 p.m. (MT)

As part of Notre Dame’s “Shamrock Series,” we already BYU-Notre Dame will air on NBC (KSL 5 TV in Salt Lake City). The question will be, what time does the game kick-off?

In the past, many of the Shamrock Series games have kicked off in primetime at 5:30 p.m. (MT). It’s hard to imagine NBC putting the two teams in an early game in the pacific timezone. But, Primetime in Sin City, that just seems right.

Arkansas at BYU

Date: Saturday, October 15th

TV & Kickoff Prediction: ESPN, 8 p.m.

If we know one thing about ESPN, they love the SEC. ESPN has a sizeable financial commitment coming up in future years where they will own the rights to all SEC games.

Having an SEC team travel west in the middle of the season doesn’t happen often. But, it creates an opportunity to have SEC football playing from sun up to sundown. So that’s why I see BYU-Arkansas ending up in a late-night kick.

There’s also a recent history to this. BYU versus Mississippi State in 2016 kicked off at 8:15 p.m. on a Friday before. The SEC just means more, so their fans will be tuning in whatever time an SEC team plays.

BYU at Liberty

Date: Saturday, October 22nd

TV & Kickoff Prediction: ESPN+, 1:30 p.m.

BYU travels to Lynchburg, Virginia, to face fellow Independent Liberty. Like BYU, Liberty has a television contract with ESPN for their home games.

Unlike BYU, ESPN always airs a guarantee of one Liberty home game on a linear ESPN network. The Flames have a home game against Virginia Tech in November, which is the game I bet ends up on a linear network.

If both BYU and Liberty have good records, it could get picked up on an ESPNU. But I would not be surprised if this ends up on ESPN’s premium streaming service, ESPN+.

East Carolina at BYU

Date: Friday, October 28th

TV & Kickoff Prediction: ESPN2, 8:15 p.m. (MT)

BYU-East Carolina is the only Friday night game on the college football schedule. ESPN networks will likely have NBA regular-season telecasts earlier in the evening, which would leave this revenge opportunity for the Cougars in a late-night spot on the deuce.

BYU at Boise State

Date: Saturday, November 5th

TV & Kickoff Prediction: FS1, 7:45 p.m. (MT)

FOX has the rights to Boise State home football games. Unless both teams are in the national rankings, this seems like a game destined to end up in a late-night window on FS1.

The 2022 matchup between BYU and Boise State is expected to be the last for the foreseeable future between the two rivals.

Utah Tech at BYU

Date: Saturday, November 19th

TV & Kickoff Prediction: BYUtv, 1:30 p.m. (MT)

BYUtv changed up its FCS game kick time last year, moving from its typical 1 p.m. kick to 1:30 p.m., to fall in line with the other kickoffs around college football in that time slot. So you can likely plan on that kick time again when BYU welcomes the Trailblazers from Utah Tech to Provo for the first time.

BYU at Stanford

Date: Saturday, November 26th

TV & Kickoff Prediction: Pac-12 Network, 2 p.m. (MT)

This game is a tough one to predict. It’s a cool matchup, pairing BYU and Stanford against one another for the first time since 2004. But what will be at stake? BYU-Stanford falls to the backburner in a week of games that will feature iconic rivalries and conference titles being determined. Unless the two teams have New Year’s Six aspirations on the line or national rankings next to their name, this screams day game on the Pac-12 Network.

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.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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