NFL Flex Schedule Move Sends BYU’s New Mexico Bowl To Primetime

Dec 5, 2022, 1:22 PM | Updated: 2:29 pm
New Mexico Bowl Logo...
BYU vs SMU will take place at 5:30 p.m. (MT) on December in primetime on ABC. (Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images)

PROVO, Utah – BYU football will get a primetime spot on network television thanks to the NFL flexing around its schedule.

On Monday, the NFL announced that the December 18 game between the Raiders and Patriots in Las Vegas was moving from a Sunday Night Football spot to a 2:05 p.m. (MT) kick time. So now you’re probably thinking, what does this have to do with BYU’s game?

The New Mexico Bowl occurs on the same day as the Las Vegas Bowl, December 17. That is one day before the Raiders/Patriots game. ESPN announced that they would switch the kickoff times of the New Mexico and Las Vegas bowls if the NFL moved the Raiders game.

New Mexico Bowl moves to primetime

The switch is because it allows the Allegiant Stadium staff more time to flip the stadium from the LV Bowl decor and field to have it ready for a Raiders game day.

So now BYU versus SMU at the New Mexico takes over the Las Vegas Bowl’s previous timeslot, 5:30 p.m. (MT) on ABC. The Las Vegas Bowl featuring Oregon State versus Florida moves to 12:30 p.m. on ESPN.

It’s the first game on ABC for BYU this season. The Cougars have had two network television games this season when they faced Oregon on FOX and Notre Dame on NBC. BYU is 0-2 in network games this season.

BYU and SMU are each 7-5 entering the New Mexico Bowl. The two programs have had three meetings all-time, with BYU coming away victorious in all three. One of those meetings includes a win in the 1980 Holiday Bowl. A game that saw BYU down 45-25, and they roared back to claim a 46-45 victory led by quarterback Jim McMahon.


2022 New Mexico Bowl

Date: December 17, 2022

Kickoff Time: 5:30 p.m.


Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico

Stadium: University Stadium (Capacity: 39,224)

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Mitch will be in Albuquerque for the 2022 New Mexico Bowl between BYU and SMU. Follow his coverage on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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NFL Flex Schedule Move Sends BYU’s New Mexico Bowl To Primetime