BYU COUGARS

What I Like, Don’t Like About BYU’s 2024 Football Schedule

Jan 30, 2024, 1:37 PM | Updated: Feb 5, 2024, 11:28 am

PROVO, Utah – The 2024 BYU football schedule is out. There is no shortage of storylines and takeaways with the 12-game slate.

Let’s discuss what I liked and disliked about the schedule.

Like: BYU-Utah Not On Rivalry Weekend

Look, I’m getting flamed here for this take on social media. Honestly, I get it. The tradition of the final weekend in college football has always been about rivalries.

BYU-Utah seemed like the perfect matchup to step into that weekend for the 16-team Big 12. They used to occupy that space as WAC and Mountain West Conference members.

Instead, it’s placed on November 9th.

I think that’s fine for the game.

People keep clinging to tradition when arguing for BYU-Utah being on rivalry weekend. Folks, tradition went out the door when Utah left for the Pac-12 and BYU was wandering the wilderness as an Independent in 2011.

Also, we’re talking about tradition in a sport with USC in the Big Ten, West Virginia and Arizona in the same conference, and Stanford in the ACC. Tradition.

BYU and Utah haven’t played since September 11, 2021.

But hey, let’s go back to tradition, right?

In 2018, BYU-Utah was played on the final weekend of the season. It received an 8 p.m. kick time on FS1. The game started on the FOX Business channel with a Pac-12 South Division champion in the game. Tradition.

I tried to prepare people for this possibility on Monday in my Cougar Sports Roundtable conversation with Matt Baiamonte and Nate Slack. In that article, I advocated for a mid-October date for the rivalry game.

My reasoning is that the Big Ten and the SEC will carry the oxygen of college football moving forward. Is that fair? No. But that’s what it’s going to be. The TV networks have paid a premium for those leagues, so we can probably expect those leagues to get most of the conversation and air time.

The traditional rivalry weekend will be busy with the SEC/Big Ten rivalries on the linear partners tied to the Big 12 (FOX and ESPN). Michigan-Ohio State, Alabama-Auburn, Florida-Florida State, Notre Dame-USC, and now you add Oregon-Washington, LSU-Oklahoma to the mix and the return of Texas-Texas A&M.

ESPN and FOX are about to pay $2 billion to the Big 12 that spans from 2025 until 2031. They have a long-term investment in the league. Maybe November 9 can allow BYU and Utah to play outside the late-night television window they’ve lived in the past decade?

As much as everyone in our state loves that game, it doesn’t have much juice nationally. However, once people learn about it, they begin to realize how intense this thing gets.

The 2015 Las Vegas Bowl is a prime example. Bowl execs were worried they picked too regional of a game by selecting BYU and Utah for their bowl. Then they saw the immediate sold-out tickets and the intensity that comes with the game, and they were thrilled.

Perhaps two weeks of promotion and buildup can elevate the story of the BYU-Utah rivalry to national heights it’s never before reached. It’s a special game. Everyone in the state knows that maybe the nation begins to learn with the Big 12 branding attached to the game.

The Big 12 Conference has to think differently than you’ve grown accustomed to with this sport to elevate the league profile. This is sure outside the box. But I’m OK with that.

They now have to deliver a marquee television window for the game.

Line BYU-Utah up on any date on the schedule and it will have the intensity everyone has grown to expect from the game.

Don’t Like: At Wyoming

A trip to Laramie as a Big 12 team? Not ideal. BYU missed an opportunity with the 2024 schedule to schedule seven home games. For a program looking to get back to a winning record, why not schedule as many home games as possible?

Returning to Laramie for the first time since 2009 provides no upside to BYU in 2024. But I guess it repairs old wounds BYU left behind when exiting the Mountain West Conference years ago.

Does that help Kalani Sitake and this year’s BYU team? No.

Like: BYU at Arizona State in November

BYU travels to Arizona State for a November 23 meeting. Maybe it won’t be scorching hot by that time. It’s strange to think BYU hasn’t played in Tempe since 1997.

Kenny Dillingham goes into year two at Arizona State with a group that will have low expectations.

Don’t Like: Midseason Three-Game Stretch

The matchups will be entertaining, but it will be a brutal stretch of games to close out October for BYU.

Starting on October 12, BYU hosts the KSL Sports Way-Too-Early number one team in the Big 12, the Arizona Wildcats. Then, after that, BYU hosts the No. 2 team on the KSL Sports power rankings, Oklahoma State.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by KSL Sports (@kslsports)

BYU closes out the three-game stretch with a cross-country trip to UCF in Orlando to face former Arkansas QB KJ Jefferson again.

These three games could define the season.

Like: Placement of the bye weeks

The 2024 season allows for two bye weeks due to how early Labor Day lands this season. It’s the first time this has happened since 2019.

BYU’s two byes are on the week of October 5 and November 2.

The October 5 bye allows BYU to enjoy The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints General Conference weekend. Last year, the league scheduled BYU on a Friday night home game to avoid conflict with the two-day event for BYU’s ownership group.

Then the November 2 bye comes after a cross-country trip and gives BYU extra time to prepare and heal up for the rivalry game against Utah.

Don’t Like: FCS games

Is anyone thrilled by opening the season against Southern Illinois? I know games against FCS are a common practice in college football. Eventually, I’d like to see the power conference programs only schedule FBS programs.

2024 BYU Football Schedule

2024 BYU Football Schedule

August 31 – vs. Southern Illinois

September 6 (Friday) – at SMU

September 14 – at Wyoming

September 21 – Kansas State

September 28 – at Baylor

October 5 – Bye

October 12 – Arizona

October 18/19 – Oklahoma State

October 26 – at UCF

November 2 – Bye

November 9 – at Utah

November 16 – Kansas

November 23 – at Arizona State

November 30 – Houston

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

Take us with you wherever you go.

Download the new & improved KSL Sports app from Utah’s’ sports leader. You can stream live radio video and stay up to date on all of your favorite teams.

  • BYU Cougars Scoreboard

  • BYU Cougars Team Leaders

  • BYU Cougars Standings

BYU Cougars

BYU Football, Quarterback Battle, Jake Retzlaff, Gerry Bohanon...

Mitch Harper

BYU QB Battle: Gerry Bohanon, Jake Retzlaff Split First-Team Spring Ball Reps

It's a two-man race for the starting QB job at BYU.

12 hours ago

BYU Basketball, Bracketology, Richie Saunders...

Mitch Harper

Bracketology Forecasts Have BYU Trending Up Entering March

The Bracketologists are looking kindly on BYU basketball after the win over Kansas.

12 hours ago

BYU Basketball, TCU Preview, Jaxson Robinson, Dallin Hall...

Mitch Harper

BYU Basketball Renews Old MWC Rivalry With TCU In Big 12 Play

BYU returns home for a tilt against a familiar foe.

13 hours ago

Kaylee-Smiler-BYU-Cougars-Womens-Basketball...

Kyle Ireland

Family Flies From New Zealand To Surprise BYU’s Kaylee Smiler On Senior Day

The family of BYU's Kaylee Smiler flew from New Zealand to Utah to surprise the Cougar women's basketball guard on senior day.

15 hours ago

BYU Football, Jake Retzlaff, QB Competition...

Mitch Harper

Jake Retzlaff Prepared For BYU QB Competition With Former Star

Returning lettermen Jake Retzlaff turned to a former BYU star to get ready for the quarterback competition.

1 day ago

BYU Football, Spring Practice, Gerry Bohanon...

Mitch Harper

Observations From Day One Of BYU Football Spring Practice

Observations from the first day of BYU football spring practice.

1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

ksl-sports-newsletter...

KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.

...

KSL Sports

Jazz Notes Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the Jazz Notes newsletter. Get insider analysis, game recaps and opportunities to win tickets!

Follow @kslsports...

The Road Home Mediathon 2023

The KSL Sports Zone and KSLSports.com are proud to support the all-day Mediathon 2023 at the Road Home, an annual tradition to raise money and other essential items for the Road Home, a Homeless Shelter.

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.

Jordan-Clarkson-Utah-Jazz...

KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.

What I Like, Don’t Like About BYU’s 2024 Football Schedule