Lost in the shuffle at the end of last week: BYU announcing a 2015 schedule that includes eight bowl teams, four Power 5 opponents, and a November visit to San Jose because heck yes postgame road trip to Monterey. The Cougars have three road games in September alone, at Nebraska, UCLA, and Michigan. (If you're wondering, it gets even crazier in 2016, when BYU is tentatively set to play Arizona, Utah, UCLA, West Virginia, Michigan State, Mississippi State, and Boise State before HALLOWEEN.)
It's not as if Brigham Young is some pushover opponent you schedule to puff up your resume. Since 2000, the Cougars have beaten the following teams:
- Notre Dame
- Georgia Tech
- Oregon State
- Mississippi State
- Ole Miss
- Washington State
You know what most of these teams have in common? THEY SHOULDN'T BE DOING DUMB THINGS LIKE SCHEDULING BYU. So, looking beyond the 2015 and 2016 schedules, we've identified several future BYU opponents who should find the better part of valor and discretion themselves out of a BYU game while they still can.
There are two possible 2018 versions of Cal. In one, Sonny Dykes has successfully engineered a turnaround of the program but enters his sixth season facing expectations to win the division instead of just going 8-5. In the other, second-year coach Brian VanGorder is doing his best to improve on a two win season.
Playing and quite likely losing to BYU is bad for both of these future Cals.
VIRGINIA (2019, 2023)
Everyone gets at least six years to flame out horribly at UVA, so there's a good chance whoever follows Mike London will have to try to explain losing to the Cougars by a score of 30-6 on two separate occasions. Do you think that'll be easier with four years to prepare for the second time around? I assure you, it will not.
MISSISSIPPI STATE (2016, 2017)
Probably getting a little late to cancel the 2016 game, but that's in Provo so nobody's going to be too crabby if you dump the Starkville half of this. Playing BYU is a good way to get two quarterbacks injured and waste an overinflated preseason ranking. Do the smart thing and focus on getting that rematch with Maine.
WISCONSIN (2018, 2019)
Here's how this plays out. You beat the Cougars in 2018 at home in a fashion that's...fine? We're talking the football equivalent of a totally average grilled chicken sandwich, 20-10 or something like that. You feel like it was a good experience - a quality opponent early on, competitive but clean play, good fan interaction.
Then you go to Utah in 2019 for your season opener and BYU starts breaking all your fingers and toes one by one.
USF (2021, 2022)
What? No. Why are you doing this? Stop it.
STANFORD (2020, 2022, 2023, 2025)
Four games against BYU is insanity. I assume you scheduled these so you can enjoy the media attention now but hope our Earth will be a nuclear-ravaged wasteland by then. Do you think this will stop Bronco Mendenhall from fielding a team? He's probably recruiting at Yucca Mountain High right now just to be ready.