BYU Football 2012: Year Two of Independence Will Be Exciting

David LynnCorrespondent IFebruary 13, 2012

Riley Nelson will lead a young but experienced offense into year two of independence.
Riley Nelson will lead a young but experienced offense into year two of independence.Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

BYU has released their football schedule for the 2012 season and it looks to be an exciting one.  You can find the full schedule below.

This may be the toughest road schedule in BYU history, but the schedule is set up perfectly for it to be a historic season.

Unlike last year, this season will start with a couple of games that are dangerous "should-win" games.  It should give the offense in particular a chance to replace some holes, particularly on the left side of the offensive line.

It could also be easy to over look Utah with the trip to budding rival Boise St. the next week, but we all know that BYU/Utah is a rivalry game that is not to be overlooked. 

After two tough away games they come back home for three more that are extremely winnable.Though Utah State has been somewhat of a thorn in the side of BYU in recent years, and their coach definitely has them on the right track.

Then comes the tough cross country road trips all the way to Notre Dame and Georgia Tech.  Both of these schools are on the up and up, and the back to back long trips could prove brutal for the Cougars. 

Unfortunately, the season ends with three more "should-win" games, especially after the bye week.  This doesn't bode well should BYU need more respect going into the late season polls, but I would guess that BYU will simply stay locked into their current bowl contract.

That being said, ending the season with three solid wins, and possibly a fourth in a bowl game, should set BYU up to once again be ranked at the end of the season.

I don't think this team will be the one to bust into the BCS with this tough schedule, but I think another 10 win season and top 25 ranking is a very real possibility.

2012 BYU Football Schedule

Sept. 1 Washington State
Sept. 8 Weber State
Sept. 15 at Utah
Sept. 22 at Boise State
Sept. 29 Hawai'i
Oct. 5 Utah State
Oct. 13 Oregon State
Oct. 20 at Notre Dame
Oct. 27 at Georgia Tech
Nov. 3 BYE
Nov. 10 Idaho
Nov. 17 at San Jose State
Nov. 24 at New Mexico State