BYU found themselves with an open date in the 2016 football schedule a few days ago when Southern Mississippi had to move its game with to Cougars in order to complete a contract with Kentucky. We wrote about who could potentially step in, and it didn't take long for the Cougars to find a replacement date. FBSchedules reports the UMass Minutemen will travel to Provo on Nov. 19, giving BYU another late-season home game. That matches what we projected here.
UMass will be joining BYU as an independent in 2016, and that means they'll have the flexibility to play BYU later into the season, making them potentially an attractive scheduling partner. That's one reason BYU is scheduled to play UMass three more times after 2016.
But the Minutemen have won only five games in the last three seasons, and even though they showed some life under new coach Mark Whipple, it's hard to imagine them being much of a threat to BYU in 2016.
This leaves BYU needing two more games for 2016. One team we thought would make a lot of sense, Tulane, announced two other games for 2016, effectively taking them out of the running. One game will probably be against an FCS squad, but the other? With many teams already booked solid for 2016, there aren't too many more options on the table.