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BYU Football Nonconference Schedule For 2025 Is ‘Close To Finished’

May 29, 2024, 3:58 PM

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BYU football is close to finalizing the nonconference portion of the 2025 schedule, according to athletic director Tom Holmoe. (Megan Nielsen, Deseret News)

(Megan Nielsen, Deseret News)

IRVING, Texas— BYU football returns to practice when they kick off fall camp for the 2024 season in two months.

While Kalani Sitake and his program gear up for year two in the Big 12 this fall, athletic director Tom Holmoe is already monitoring 2025.

That’s because the veteran AD continues to work on BYU’s nonconference football schedule for that season.

Holmoe told KSL Sports on Wednesday that BYU is “close to finished” on its 2025 out-of-league slate.

BYU Football is “close to finished” with the 2025 nonconference schedule

One year ago, at this time, Holmoe wasn’t thinking much about the nonconference schedule as a handful of the new “Four Corner” programs in the Big 12—most notably rival Utah—loaded up the nonconference schedules as Pac-12 foes.

However, once Utah and Arizona joined the Big 12 and became conference opponents, Holmoe needed to go back to the drawing board for the nonconference portion of the schedule.

“The interesting thing is, 2025 is close to finished. But we’re [also working on] ’26, ’27. We’re having to push some teams out into ’30, ’31, ’32, and ’33.

“So even though it’s 12 games a year, like we had in Independence, nonconference scheduling when you’re in a conference like the Big 12, is still very important, even though you only have three games.”

What we know so far on BYU’s nonconference schedule

For the tentative 2025 nonconference schedule, BYU has a home game against Southern Utah on September 6, 2025. That contest was scheduled in winter 2022, months after BYU was invited to the Big 12 Conference.

The other game on the tentative 2025 schedule is an East Coast trip to Greenville, North Carolina, to face the East Carolina Pirates.

BYU’s trip to ECU would be the second game of a home-and-home series that began with the Pirates visiting Provo in 2022.

East Carolina won that game two years ago on a 33-yard field goal as time expired.

BYU’s return trip to Greenville was initially scheduled for 2024. The game ended up getting pushed back to September 20, 2025.

BYU’s game at East Carolina remains on the ECU official website.

That would leave BYU needing one more home game, which must come against a Power Conference opponent.

Many dominoes in play

The Big 12 requires its members to schedule one nonconference game against a power conference foe each season.

When asked by KSL Sports if a power conference team would be coming to Provo in the non-league schedule, Holmoe smiled and said, “You’ll find out soon enough.”

He added, “It’s hard because there’s been some changes with a lot of teams in conference realignment. So, each conference has a different way of looking at their nonconference. … But there are not a lot of games out there to really play. When you have just a few, you have to focus in on them. And there’s a lot of dominoes that have to take place.”

Holmoe has a reliable source that helps with navigating those dominoes.

“We get a lot of work from our good friend, Dave Brown,” said Holmoe. “I always have to tip my hat to Dave; he’s a scheduling expert.”

Brown has worked on a short clock before. He helped BYU find games during the COVID-impacted 2020 season, where the Cougars lined up games with only 72 hours’ notice.

But under more normal circumstances, Brown helped BYU find a series with the Missouri Tigers in the fall of 2014. The game against the Tigers was then played in Arrowhead Stadium one year later in 2015.

To bring that series together on short notice like that, it took six teams to make it happen.

Potentially ten teams bringing one series together

Holmoe laid out a scenario for a series for the 2025 and 2026 schedules that could require many moving pieces.

“We were involved in a transaction for a game for 2025 and 2026 that will involve 10 teams,” said Holmoe. “…And everybody benefits from it. But to get 10 people at the table agreeing to play their part is something. But it’s been great.”

A quick glance at FBSchedules.com shows that Big Ten programs such as Northwestern and Rutgers have two openings on their nonconference schedules for 2025.

Stanford, who is set to move to the ACC this fall and has a future trip to BYU in 2031, also has two openings as the ACC plays only eight league games.

What’s also noteworthy is that none of the Cardinal’s out-of-league foes are currently scheduled to be against Notre Dame. The Irish have a scheduling partnership with the ACC, but when Stanford was in the Pac-12, the Irish played the Cardinal annually.

Duke, Pitt, and Miami are other ACC programs with openings on their 2025 nonconference schedules.

In the SEC, LSU, South Carolina, and Vanderbilt have one vacancy to fill in their four-game out-of-league slates.

BYU knows its nine conference opponents for the 2025 season. They will have five road games at Arizona, Cincinnati, Colorado, Iowa State, and Texas Tech.

BYU’s four home games in 2025 will be against Utah, TCU, UCF, and West Virginia.

Time is ticking on rounding out the nonconference portion.

“There’s really no deadline other than you’ve got to play them,” Holmoe said. “But the longer it goes, the harder it is and the more anxious you get to finalizing all the details.”

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and hosts the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow Mitch’s coverage of BYU in the Big 12 Conference on X: @Mitch_Harper.

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BYU Football Nonconference Schedule For 2025 Is ‘Close To Finished’