If you thought the BYU Cougars had a tough early season schedule this year, just wait until next season.
With BYU and Utah announcing Thursday that they will continue their rivalry in football in 2011-12 and men’s basketball through 2014, the BYU football Cougars find themselves playing three Top-25-caliber opponents from BCS conferences in September of next year.
BYU faces Oregon State and Texas on the road in the first two weeks of September, while Utah comes to Provo on September 17th.
The Cougars are slated to begin their new era as an independent in football at Oregon State on Saturday, September 3rd, then travel to Austin, Texas to take on the Longhorns on the 10th.
Following the Holy War, the Cougars will play host to Central Florida in a Friday night contest on September 23rd.
Also on the schedule are home games with dates to be determined with WAC schools Idaho, New Mexico State, San Jose State, and Utah State.
If the tradition of playing the Aggies on the Friday before LDS General Conference holds, the game would be played in Provo on Friday, September 30th, giving BYU back-to-back Friday night contests. The Cougars will also travel to WAC programs Hawaii and Louisiana Tech in 2011.
In all, BYU Athletics Director Tom Holmoe has 10 games scheduled thus far for next season, with four on the road and six at home.
Since BYU is traveling to Hawaii, the Cougars may schedule 13 games instead of the usual 12, per an NCAA rule that allows for an additional game when a school travels to the islands. Assuming that the Cougars do take advantage of the “Hawaii rule” they will likely play seven or more games at home next season.
For those who may be wondering, Notre Dame is not a likely candidate to be on BYU’s schedule next year, seeing as the Irish have 12 games already scheduled. Notre Dame does have a couple of openings on its schedule in 2012.
Utah canceled its three-game series with Boise State to create an opportunity to continue the series with BYU. When Utah announced they would join the Pac-10 in June, there was serious concern that the game might not happen next year. The continuing of the Holy War was also made easier by BYU’s move to independence beginning next season.