BYU released its long-awaited 2012 football schedule on Monday, with Athletic Director Tom Holmoe calling it "a good schedule...better than it was last year"--the first season of the school's football independence.
Holmoe said there was a relative delay in the release of the schedule (the 2011 schedule was released on Dec. 8, 2010) as BYU explored late changes. "We had the possibility of getting a game that would have changed things, and we would have had to move a couple of things around," said Holmoe in a teleconference with reporters after the schedule announcement.
"We actually did move some dates around with the WAC teams; they were very helpful. It would have been to our benefit to move (the Notre Dame) game into another slot, and Notre Dame was considering it, but it just didn't end up in our best interest, so we agreed upon the original date."
Holmoe said he "just wanted to make sure everything was right" before making the schedule plans public. "Once you announce the schedule, it's very difficult to come back and try to change things."
Here's the schedule, followed by more comments from Holmoe, and BYU's official schedule release announcement:
2012 BYU Football Schedule
|Sept. 1||Washington State|
|Sept. 8||Weber State|
|Sept. 15||at Utah|
|Sept. 22||at Boise State|
|Oct. 5||Utah State|
|Oct. 13||Oregon State|
|Oct. 20||at Notre Dame|
|Oct. 27||at Georgia Tech|
|Nov. 17||at San Jose State|
|Nov. 24||at New Mexico State|
on finalizing the 2012 schedule:
"I think it's about the best we could do...just to be able to end up where we are. I knew exactly where we were going; I knew what we could do, and I knew what we couldn't do...and (the schedules) will continue to get better."
on the series with Utah moving forward:
"We have dates that we have kind of penciled in as we look forward, but we don't think it's wise for either of our schools to contractually go out 'x' number of years. That being said, I love the series, and I would do anything I could to try to keep it, no matter where we were. I want them on our schedule every year...but the Utah series is something we need to be a little more careful about. I'm willing to do anything I can do to make sure that the series continues and we go on long term...maybe home-and-home, two years at a time."
"Some people think it's weird to play 'em early in the season, but I want to play 'em, and that's what my focus will be on."
on scheduling amidst conference realignment and realignment speculation:
"I can't not schedule in anticipation that we might be in another conference...we have to go forward as if we're going independent; that's our thought process. If somewhere in the future we were to join another conference, then we would have to make some maneuverings to get out (of contracts)."
on the challenge of putting together schedules for 2013 on beyond:
"I don't think it's as difficult as it was. I still need a couple of games for 2013...but I'd rather wait on '13. If I wanted to finish it off, I could, but why finish it off just to get it done? I want to make sure it's the perfect schedule for us, and sometimes time helps."
"Because we're a newcomer into this independence, we have more (schedule) flexibility than anybody in the country, and that's why teams will come to us late and go 'hey, guys, you got an open spot? We're in a little bit of a bind,' and I like that part of scheduling."
on whether he agrees with head coach Bronco Mendenhall that 2013 will be his toughest schedule:
"It'll be the toughest schedule, I'm sure."
Holmoe said "yeah, I think so," when asked if any of the 2013 opponents will be teams BYU has yet to face before. "If we have played them, we haven't played them in a while."
You can hear some extended excerpts of Holmoe's teleconference comments in "Cougar Cuts," above left.
PROVO, Utah (February 13, 2012) — Brigham Young University today announced its 2012 football schedule. The 12-game schedule includes fellow independent Notre Dame and teams from the Atlantic Coast, Pacific-12, Mountain West, Western Athletic and Big Sky conferences.
The Cougars will open the 2012 season at home on Sept. 1 against Washington State of the Pac-12. BYU alumnus Mike Leach, who is entering his first season as head coach in Pullman, leads the WSU Cougars. The two schools have met three times previously with BYU holding a 2-1 advantage after winning the last meeting in Provo in 1990. The following week on Sept. 8, BYU will host in-state foe Weber State of the Big Sky Conference in the first meeting between the two schools since 1979. BYU has a 2-0 series record over the Wildcats.
The Cougars will play one of the toughest road schedules in school history in 2012. The first road game is at archrival Utah on Sept. 15 at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City. The Cougars and Utes have met 87 times since the Deseret First Duel began in 1922. Winning 34 of the first 40 meetings, Utah holds a 52-31-4 advantage in the longtime series.
A trip to Boise, Idaho, on Sept. 22 will see the Cougars face the Boise State Broncos of the MWC in the first of 12 contests scheduled through the 2023 season. Featuring two programs that are top 10 nationally in wins over the past six seasons, BYU and Boise State will battle for the third time after back-to-back Bronco wins in 2003 and 2004.
After the two-game road swing, BYU returns to LaVell Edwards Stadium for three straight home games. Hawai'i of the MWC comes to Provo on Sept. 29, followed by in-state rival Utah State in a Friday evening matchup on Oct. 5 and Oregon State of the Pac-12 on Oct. 13. The Cougars are 20-8 all-time versus the Warriors, 44-34-3 against the Aggies and 5-5 in matchups with the Beavers.
BYU goes back on the road when it travels to South Bend, Ind., to face Notre Dame on Oct. 20. The contest is the first of a six-game series scheduled between the two football independents through the 2020 season. The Fighting Irish hold a 4-2 series lead over the Cougars with each school earning home victories in the last two meetings in 2004 (in Provo) and 2005 (in South Bend).
The next week, BYU will head to Atlanta for a game versus ACC foe Georgia Tech on Oct. 27. The Cougars and the Yellow Jackets have met twice previously in a tied series after home wins by Georgia Tech in 2002 and BYU in 2003.
Following a bye on Nov. 3, BYU will finish the 2012 season with three games against WAC opponents. The Cougars host the Idaho Vandals on Nov. 10 in Edwards Stadium. The two schools have met four times with the series tied at 2-2 after BYU's win in Provo last season.
BYU will finish the year with road games at San Jose State on Nov. 17 and New Mexico State on Nov. 24. The Cougars are 6-9 all time versus SJSU and 1-0 against New Mexico State after victories over the two programs in Provo last season.
In all, the Cougars will play six home games and six road games in 2012. Eleven of 12 games are scheduled for Saturday, with one Friday night matchup against Utah State on Oct. 5. BYU will face seven teams that were on its inaugural independent schedule in 2011, including Utah, Oregon State, Utah State, Hawaii, San Jose State, New Mexico State and Idaho. The Cougars were 6-1 in those games. In 2012 BYU concludes a two-year scheduling agreement with the WAC designed to meet short-term scheduling needs after going independent.
BYU is coming off a 10-3 season in 2011, its first as a FBS Independent. The Cougars finished the year ranked No. 25 in the USA Today Coaches Poll, earning a spot in the final top-25 poll for the fifth time in the last six seasons. BYU is one of only 11 programs nationally to be ranked in at least one of the two major final polls five of the last six years.
Additional details including broadcast plans, game times and ticket information will be released at a later date.