Update: In a radio interview, BYU Athletic director Tom Holmoe denied internet scheduling rumors in general and the Nebraska series rumor in specific. The below link includes several of his comments: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/715670-byu-football-athletic-director-tom-holmoe-denies-games-scheduled-against-n
Wisconsin, Nebraska, Penn St, Ohio St, USC, UCLA, Arizona St., and Syracuse have all either completed, or are in the process of working on, deals that would allow them to play the BYU football team.
Here are the list of the deals that are "done," but just have yet to be announced publicly:
1) A 3 game series with Nebraska. Each team will get a home game and the third game will be half way between the two in Denver
2) A Home-Home-Neutral 3 game series with Wisconsin. The Neutral site is TBD.
3) A Home-Home-Neutral 3 game series with Penn St. The (not quite) Neutral site is FedEx Field in Landover, MD.
How many of these rumored serieses will actually occur?
4) A Home-Home Neutral 3 game series with Ohio St. The Neutral site will be Cowboy Stadium
5) A Home-Home-Neutral 3 game series with Syracuse. The (not even close to) Neutral site will be Meadowlands Stadium (home of the NY Giants).
6) Opening the 2013 Season @ Arizona St. on a Friday night.
Here are the deals that are "in the works":
1) A home and home with USC.
2) A home and home with UCLA.
Now please note, that until they are officially announced, all of these games are still technically just rumors. However, for an ordinary rumor there seems to be an unusual amount of certainty as well as detail in the articles that report these rumors. For now let us assume that all of these rumors are true. What can we learn from this?
1) There will be a lot of neutral site games in BYU's future. The reason this surprises me is not so much that BYU agreed to these Home-Home-Neutral (HHN) serieses, but that their opponents agreed. Penn St, Ohio St, Wisconsin and Nebraska are all teams that usually have more home than away (or neutral) games. This is especially true when playing teams from non AQ conferences. Ohio St for example has scheduled 23 nonAQ teams in the past 10 years. 22 of those have been at home.
Why would teams like these who are so comfortable at home and powerful enough to do almost exclusively pay for play games against non AQ teams agree to a 3 game series with a non AQ team when they only get 1 home game out of it? Ohio St makes a little sense, they get to play in Dallas and are probably hoping to make some recruiting inroads, but the rest, I simply don't get.
2) That is a lot of Big 10 teams. I am curious why the Big 10 is so heavily represented in BYU's future schedule. I would have thought the Big 12 would be better represented than it currently is. As I've thought about it I've come up with a couple of reasons I think I'll share:
1) There are bigger and more storied programs in the Big 10. When you think "Traditional Powerhouse Football Programs" in the Big 10, you think Ohio St., Nebraska, Penn St., Michigan (though not recently), and to a slightly lesser extent Wisconsin. In the Big 12 the list stops after Texas and Oklahoma. Now, don't misunderstand, there are a lot of really good teams in the Big 12 outside of these two. Oklahoma St, Texas A&M, and Missouri are all top 20, possibly top 10 teams, but they don't have the same traditional powerhouse image/label. Texas A&M would be an exception to this, but until last year, they had 10 strait unranked seasons, which allows them to slip to the back of many peoples mind when they are thinking about traditional college football juggernauts. If BYU wants exposure, playing these storied programs is a great way to get it.
2) The novelty/newness of playing Big 10 teams. From 2002 to 2011, the Cougars have played/will play AQ teams 29 times . 16 of those were from the Pac 10, six from the ACC, 3 were ND, 2 from the Big 12, and 1 from both the Big East and SEC. The only BCS conference not on this list is the Big 10. These Big 10 vs BYU match ups are will draw attention because the haven't occured in a long time and therefore are somewhat of a novelty. This once again matches up with BYU's goal orf increased exposure
Which conference would you like BYU to play the most as an independant?
3) The Big 10 has more non conference games. Each Big 10 team has 4 non conference games each season. With the Big 12s new round robin schedule, both they and the PAC 12 have only 3 nonconference games.
3) The BYU Brand of Football (Backed by ESPN) has more value than many people (myself included) thought it would. After BYU's 2 for 1 with Notre dame and the pay for play games @ Texas and 'Ole Miss I was a little worried about the Cougars ability go get home and home type serieses against top level programs. Now I have no such worries. Look at the teams that have agreed to, or are rumored to have agreed to, home and home or HHN games against BYU. Texas (it may look like a 2 for 1, but the @ Texas was a actually a pay for play that was agreed on well before the home and home series was announced. The home and home only occurred when Texas knew they would be on ESPN in Provo and not The Mountain), USC, UCLA, Syracuse, Ohio St., Georgia Tech, Penn St., Nebraska, and Wisconsin.
What do you think about the matter?