BYU Could Still Play Utah, Big 12 Requires One P5 Opponent In Non-League Play

Jun 3, 2022, 9:35 AM
Micah Bernard versus BYU (Photo: Getty Images)
(Photo: Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – BYU is getting a taste of life in the Big 12 by being an observer at the spring meetings in Irving, Texas, this week. The Cougars are unable to vote on any league business as they are not officially members of the league.

This year’s meeting is not normal and soon-to-be-former Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby acknowledged that “this meeting has got some weirdness to it.”

The league is still navigating who will be members over the next few years with BYU joining for the 2023 season, there is the shadow of Texas and Oklahoma’s eventual move to the SEC but that date is to be determined, and the three AAC schools of Houston, UCF, and Cincinnati are also negotiating with the American about when they can leave.

Scheduling is a working issue as well with decisions about whether or not the Big 12 will go with divisions and if the conference will remain at nine league games or drop to eight. All of that is still being hammered out and BYU, at the moment, has no official say in what is going on.

KSL Sports BYU Insider Mitch Harper is at the meetings in Texas and he provided some insight into at the non-conference football schedule when he joined Unrivaled.

He provided some good news for fans who like to see BYU play Utah on the football field regularly as the conference wants to make sure its teams play a competitive non-conference schedule.

“Teams in the league going forward will need to have one autonomous five – Power Five – opponent in the non-conference every single year,” Harper said. “Any notion of BYU dumbing down the schedule by playing a bunch of Group of Five and FCS teams in the non-conference schedule, that can’t happen and they have to have at least one P5 going forward when they are in the Big 12.”

Playing a Power 5 opponent in football is nothing new for the Big 12 as the league has required it since 2015. Keeping this in place is a good move for the Big 12 as the league is going to take a step down in prestige with Texas and Oklahoma leaving.

So, requiring teams to play a Power 5 team is a way for Utah versus BYU to stay on the schedule more often than not, and it won’t matter if the Big 12 plays eight or nine non-conference games as they must play a Power 5 opponent.

By keeping this mandate in place, it will also help the Big 12 stay relevant on the national scene in non-league play, and it will bolster the league’s chances of getting a team into the College Football Playoff.

Tune into Unrivaled every Monday through Friday, 3-7 p .m. on 1280 The Zone and 97.5 FM, or subscribe to the podcast. Also, download the all-new KSL Sports app on iOS or Android.

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