BYU is down to only seven scheduled football games for the 2020 season after the Big Ten and Pac 12 announced last week they are going conference only. Things could get even more dire for BYU if other conferences follow suit and decide to go conference only.
The Big 12, SEC, and ACC have yet to make a decision and will likely wait until at least late July. Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby told media Tuesday afternoon that the Big 12 will “move forward slowly and constantly re-evaluate and that’s what we’ll keep doing until we’ve told it’s inadvisable.”
Concerning scheduling, Bowlsby said the Big 12 has not had discussions with the SEC or ACC about filing the holes left on the schedule by Big Ten and Pac 12 teams.
”I think our schools individually will be out talking to people about filling out their schedule for 12 games,” Bowlsby said. “If they lost a game, they’ll look around and try to pick one up. If it’s a road game, they may not.”
This could greatly impact BYU if Big 12 teams are indeed actively looking to fill the holes in their schedule, as Bowlsby said.
Tom Holmoe may have the hardest job for any Athletic Director in the nation right now, so you can bet he has already or will be on the phone with many Big 12 schools.
The first team that jumps out to me is Oklahoma State. The Cowboys had a home game scheduled with Pac 12 foe Oregon State Thursday, September 3 — the same day BYU was scheduled to play Utah. BYU was scheduled to play at Utah, so traveling to Stillwater wouldn’t take away an extra home game for BYU and would keep a home game intact for Oklahoma State to recoup that TV revenue.
Below are other cancelled Big 12 games:
TCU - at Cal, 9/5
Iowa State - at Iowa, 9/12
Texas Tech - vs Arizona, 9/19
West Virginia - vs Maryland, 9/19
Texas Tech and West Virginia are the other two that stick out from that list. If BYU is willing to travel and sacrifice fewer home games, Texas Tech and West Virginia could fill those home games they lost and replace lost TV revenue. TCU or Iowa State would obviously be great too, but if Bowlsby is right and teams are less likely to replace road games, those would likely be off the table.
All this will be a moot point if the Big 12 goes conference only or if the whole season is cancelled. In the meantime, however, Tom Holmoe at least has a lifeline to try to salvage BYU’s 2020 football season.