Drawing Up The Perfect BYU Football Schedule For 2024 Season

Jan 11, 2024, 3:14 PM

BYU Football, 2024 Schedule, Big 12...

The 2024 schedule for BYU football features a home game against Mike Gundy and the Oklahoma State Cowboys. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

(Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

BYU football is back to the grind of preparing for the 2024 football season. One big question for the upcoming year: what are their 2024 football schedule dates?

The opponents are known, but there remains uncertainty on how the 12 games will stack up.

Back at the Big 12 Football Championship Game in December, the league’s vice president of football, Scott Draper, discussed the timeline of the 2024 schedule release.

“We’ll target around the first of the year, but we will take as long we need,” Draper said on the 2024 Big 12 schedule release in December.

Last year, the Big 12 schedule was released on January 31. So we should be getting closer to a reveal of the actual dates for Big 12 games.

BYU will face the top four Big 12 teams in the KSL Sports Way-Too-Early power rankings for the 2024 season (Arizona, Oklahoma State, Utah, and Kansas).

They also have league games against Kansas State and Houston and road games at Arizona State, Baylor, and UCF.

It’s a demanding schedule of opponents featuring two road games in nonconference play. BYU goes on the road at SMU from the ACC, plus a border state matchup against Wyoming.

The road trip to SMU doesn’t have an announced date yet. BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe told KSL Sports that the SMU date is already set in December.

Projecting the 2024 BYU football schedule

So, while we wait for the official schedule, let’s draw up the perfect BYU football schedule in 2024. Again, this is only a projection.

August 31 – Southern Illinois Salukis

BYU fans, you’ve entered a world where every season begins with an FCS team. The Salukis kick off the 2024 season.

I’m more intrigued by what kick time this game receives. Typically, BYU’s games against FCS teams land at 1:30 p.m. But that kick time in August? I’m already sweating.

September 7 – at SMU Mustangs

After Utah officially joined the Big 12, BYU needed a power conference opponent in the nonconference portion. Hello, SMU from the ACC. The Mustangs will return to Provo in 2027.

It’s a fun series that BYU has never scheduled before. Previous meetings against SMU were in bowl games or conference play (WAC).

The only knock is that another nonconference game was lined up on the road.

The thought process behind this date is that SMU has an opening for September 7. It was also the original date for BYU’s game against Utah. Plus, ACC teams all played nonconference foes in week two last season.

September 14 – at Wyoming Cowboys

You won’t find many power conference teams playing two road games in nonconference. Tom Holmoe has never budged on returning the visit to Laramie.

When BYU moved to the Big 12 in 2021 and bumped this game up from September 28 to September 14, 2024, it was clear that BYU football intended to keep this game.

It’s a risky move.

Ask fellow Big 12 member Texas Tech about the benefits of playing in Laramie.

September 21 – Arizona Wildcats

This is where we start getting into Big 12 games. How about the Way-Too-Early No. 1 Big 12 team, the Arizona Wildcats?

It’s ridiculous to think Arizona hasn’t played in Provo since 2007 when you think of how often these programs have faced each other. The two programs have met twice in Las Vegas since that game but none in Provo over the last 16 seasons.

“Big 12 After Dark” to close out the college football weekend in Provo with BYU and Arizona. Sounds right to me.

September 28 – BYE

Due to Labor Day’s early spot on the calendar this year, there will be two bye weeks during the 2024 season. The last time that happened was in 2019.

October 4 – Kansas State Wildcats

Come out of the bye week with a home game against Kansas State on General Conference weekend.

Some of the Big 12 members have rarely played weeknight games. That will have to change as Commissioner Brett Yormark is willing to play more weeknight games.

K-State has a history of weeknight contests, including last year at Oklahoma State.

Also, what’s going to pull a bigger audience? BYU vs. Kansas State on a loaded Saturday slate? Or BYU vs. Kansas State on a weeknight? The weeknight would be an excellent showcase opportunity for this matchup.

October 12 – at UCF Knights

How about a cross-country trip to face UCF for the first time in Big 12 play during the heart of the season? Regardless of when the UCF game lands, BYU fans will make this road game one of the top destinations with Disney World nearby.

October 19 – Kansas Jayhawks

Kansas has rivalries against Iowa State and Kansas State that were on my mind when picking this game for mid-October. So, assuming one or both of those games are in November, a road trip to Provo for the first time for Kansas in October makes sense.

October 26 – at Baylor Bears

Baylor hosted BYU football in 2021 in October. Let’s call for that again— as the friendliest rivals in the Big 12 square off on the banks of the Brazos.

November 2 – BYE

During the first handful of years in BYU’s time as an Independent, they often had bye weeks that landed on the week of Halloween. I’ll call for that again.

If these bye weeks lined up according to my perfect scenario, it would break up BYU’s schedule evenly in four-game stretches.

November 9 – Houston Cougars

The last two times BYU and Houston have faced off against one another was on a weeknight. Those games were in 2014 and 2020. Coming out of a bye week for BYU, plus a home game, a Thursday or Friday night All-Cougar matchup would make sense. But we will keep it on a Saturday.

November 16 – at Arizona State Sun Devils

Tempe in November? Who says no?

November 23 – Oklahoma State Cowboys

The BYU/Oklahoma State game in Stillwater last November was entertaining. Run it back again, this time in Provo.

November 30 – at Utah Utes

The best rivalry in the new Big 12 Conference resides in Utah. BYU/Utah is the league’s best rivalry. It’s a protected series that will be played annually. How the Big 12 elevates the profile of this game will be fascinating to watch.

Could it end up on Thanksgiving? Maybe Black Friday? Regardless, BYU/Utah, with conference implications on the line, plus bragging rights, is the best form of this storied series.

Now you put it on a power conference stage. Even better.

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. Follow Mitch’s coverage of BYU in the Big 12 Conference on X and Threads: @Mitch_Harper.

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Drawing Up The Perfect BYU Football Schedule For 2024 Season