8 Potential Opponents to Fill out the BYU Cougars' 2012 Schedule

Ryan TeeplesCorrespondent IAugust 9, 2011

8 Potential Opponents to Fill out the BYU Cougars' 2012 Schedule

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    2012 will be another tough schedule for the BYU Cougars. The team will make road trips to Utah, Notre Dame, Boise State, Georgia Tech, New Mexico State and San Jose State. Not a bad slate at all.

    And home games against Oregon State, Hawaii and Utah State are a good start. But BYU has three big holes in the 2012 schedule yet to be filled.

    Keep in mind the schedule currently has just three easy wins on it, and it’s likely the Cougars will want to add another. So one of the remaining slots will almost certainly be filled by a 1AA (or F whatever-they-call-it-now) school.

    That leaves two home games. Whom else might the Cougars end up hosting at LaVell Edwards Stadium next season? Here are some ideas.

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The Criteria

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    Before we get to the potential opponents, let’s review the criteria.

    First, the team needs to have an opening on one of these dates: Sept. 29, Oct. 27, or any date in November. That can change if there’s a Thursday game mixed in, but for now, we’ll assume those dates.

    Second, the school must not already have too many non-conference road games. These games have to be in Provo, Utah.

    Third, the Pac-12 is out because they are dinosaurs and don’t allow teams (unless you’re USC) to schedule non-conference games after September.

    That said, let’s review the candidates!

Texas A&M

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    The Aggies and BYU have a history, as A&M made a trip to Provo in 1996 and walked away with a 41-37 loss.

    In 2012 the Aggies have just 10 games currently on the schedule—with no road non-conference games—and have both Sept. 29 and Oct. 27 open.

Tulsa

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    Tulsa currently has just one non-conference opponent on its 2012 schedule (at Iowa State), and these schools did a home-and-home agreement a few years back.

    It’s program with a history (at least recently) of winning, but one BYU should beat.

    The Golden Hurricane currently have just one non-conference game scheduled and have an open schedule for now. This one might be a real strong candidate.

North Carolina

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    The Tar Heels certainly have some issues in the program, but would they be willing to head to Provo?

    They made a trip to Salt Lake City to play Utah a few years back and have the proper schedule openings. This would be a game the Cougars should win, so it would complement the existing schedule nicely and give the Cougars a future road game.

Vanderbilt

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    The Commodores currently have Oct. 27 open. Getting Vandy to trek to Provo is probably easier than convincing LSU, Florida or Alabama to make the trip and would bring an SEC team to Provo for the first time in a long time.

Rutgers

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    The State University of New Jersey would be an unlikely matchup for the Cougars, but the dates and schedule actually match up well.

    The Scarlet Knights have plenty of openings in the schedule (especially late in the season) and their two current non-conference opponents are at home.

    A Big East opponent to complement the current schedule would actually look good on paper.

East Carolina

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    The Pirates are wide open in November, dates BYU would love to fill, and currently have just two non-conference games on the slate, both at home.

    A November trip to Provo would give the Cougars a leg up in the cold weather.

Houston

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    Like East Carolina, the Texas version of the Cougars (not to be confused with all the Cougars that live in Dallas) have openings late in the season as of now since Conference USA has yet to release its conference schedule.

    While Houston has three non-conference games already booked, they are all in the first three weeks of the season, and two are at home against lesser opponents ( at UCLA being the third).

    That leaves the schedule open to make a stop in Provo in November, and BYU wouldn’t mind a return trip to play in Texas on a later date.