Is BYU football getting good teams to play in November?

Tom Holmoe's announcement in 2011 that BYU Football will turn Independent. - George Frey

When the protesters against soft November scheduling hit the streets in 2011, Tom Holmoe asked for two years. It's 2013, so is it time for them to start picketing, or does Mr. Holmoe know what he's doing?

Between 2010 and now, I have read a lot of tweets, blogs, stories, precious print-media columns and heard a lot of rants that protested the "weak November scheduling." I admit I too was worried, but mostly about how much more hand wringing we would have to endure over the issue.

BYU has made a few significant November game announcements this offseason: USC in '19 and '21, Utah St. in '15 and '16, Utah in '18 (tentative), Cincinnati '16, and now Cal in '14. They got me thinking: aside from 2010 and 2011, how do BYU's future November schedules stack up against past years'? How do they stack up against other in-state teams November games?

I took a painstaking 10 minutes to put together some sophisticated charts using an arbitrary-aleatoric method (thanks, FBschedules.com), so that I could compare various November line-ups at a glance. I didn't include Utah St. because their Mountain West schedule will basically look just like BYU's old Mountain West schedules, minus Utah.

Table 1

BYU ‘13

Utah ‘13

BYU '08

BYU '01

Notre Dame

Oregon

Utah

Utah

Wisconsin

ASU

Air Force

Colorado St

Nevada

Wazzu

Colordao St

Wyoming

Idaho State

Colorado

San Diego St

San Diego St

Table 2

BYU ‘14

Utah ‘12

BYU ‘04

BYU ‘98

Cal

Arizona

Utah

Utah

Middle Tennesse

Washington

New Mexico

New Mexico

Southern Miss

Wazzu

San Diego St

UTEP

UNLV

Colorado

Bye

Bye

Table 3

BYU ‘15

Utah ‘11

BYU ‘09

BYU ‘99

Utah St

UCLA

Utah

Utah

Fresno St

Arizona

Air Force

Wyoming

San Jose St

Wazzu

New Mexico

San Diego St

UNLV

Colorado

Wyoming

Bye

Just looking at some random schedules, it looks like BYU from here on out will be treated to better late-season games than they've ever been accustomed to. Perhaps some fans feel that they are entitled to something even better, although I wouldn't be able to put a finger on the basis for such sentiment. Even comparing them to the a Pac 12 schedule, for the most they seem fairly comparable, aided by the fact that Colorado and Wazzu are currently both pretty bad teams. What stands out to me is that the best late-season game has always been the rivalry game. Maybe that's really what fans' media are missing the most. It is understandable, although perhaps it gets mislabeled as discontent for the schedule in general.

As BYU starts to play some of those late games against USC, Utah, and Cincinnati, I think BYU fans in general should be pretty content with what Tom Holmoe is doing, and it may not even take long to get over the intermittent absence of the rivalry game.

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