BYU Football will play 12 games this upcoming season including seven Power Five teams.
The undisputed greatest part of BYU Football being Independent is the schedule. While most teams play 1-2 FCS schools, a decent G5, a good P5 and then 8-9 conference games that are normally the same teams year in and year out, BYU plays a unique schedule every season with very few constants.
The constants that do exist are rivalry games against Boise State, Utah State, and Utah. Outside of those three pretty regular games, the Cougars generally don’t play the same team more than two or three times in the same decade.
As Independence has gone on, the schedule has changed and re-adjusted. At first it was getting any team that the Cougars could play, normally consisting of Mountain West teams. Later it was playing P5 teams but generally on the road. Now the Cougars are playing those same P5 teams at home, and the vision seems to be changing to allow more balance between P5 and G5 teams.
2021 seems to be last year that the Cougars will face a heavy P5 schedule. After the success of 2020, it is hard to see BYU scheduling more than five P5 teams in a season, unlike this season where they will play a record seven.
P5 isn’t the end all answer to great games though. In fact, many of the G5 games are better than most of the P5 games. Here is the complete ranking.
No. 12 Idaho State
Generally when there is an FCS school on the schedule it is going to finish last in the rankings. Although Idaho State is relatively local, they may as well be on the other side of the country. Sure, some of the players were probably recruited by both schools, but there just isn’t a sense of rivalry or hype around this game.
Idaho State wasn’t very good in the Big Sky Conference finishing 2-4 last season. These two teams played in the early 2010’s with the Cougars winning by a combined 94-20 score. This game should be over early.
The only real intrigue to this game is that it is the final home game of the season and it will be an opportunity for the backups to get some valuable reps.