The final season of BYU Football Independence is packed with a ton of great matchups.
When BYU Football enters the Big 12 following this upcoming season the one, (and perhaps only) downside will be that the Cougars will be once again playing the same opponents every year with three or four non conference games. One would imagine that one of those games will be Utah and another will be an FCS school.
This means that in a regular year, BYU Football fans may see one, maybe new opponents per season. Am I complaining about this? No, of course not. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t also believe that 2022 is shaping up to be the most interesting schedule in BYU Football history.
Since BYU went Independent, the Cougars have been able to schedule some really big teams. Some of these games include Wisconsin, Michigan, Mississippi State and just about every Pac 12 school. However, most of these games have been on the road and spread out over the decade of Independence. If I’m not mistaken, the best team that BYU has played at home or in a neutral site since going Independent was when No. 10 Oregon State played the Cougars in LES back in 2012.
In 2022 we could potentially have THREE home/neutral games against Top 10 opponents with Arkansas, Notre Dame and Baylor all projected to be ranked really high to start off the season, and definitely in a spot to be Top 10 by the time they play the Cougars.
Throw that game on top of a trip to Eugene where BYU will play another potential Top 10 team Oregon, and you can see why this season is shaping up to be absolutely loaded.
End of Rivalries?
Being Independent has allowed the Cougars to make some new rivalries and restart some old ones. Love them or hate them, the Battle for the Wagon Wheel on General Conference weekend has become a staple that fans will dearly miss. Playing Boise State in a series that seems to always go against the team making a NY6 run has been beyond bittersweet.
Those rivalries are going to be coming to an end. While the Cougars will still schedule these opponents from time to time, the rivalry will never be where it is at now. Isn’t it appropriate that all three teams are looking like legitimate Top 25 teams for the final year they all play?
It should also be mentioned that BYU will play Wyoming, an old MWC and WAC foe. While they haven’t played much in Independence, them playing prior to BYU’s departure is sort of a nice touch to the old Lavell days.
Coast to Coast
Something that can’t be overlooked is that BYU plays all over the country. While they still will to some extent in the Big 12, looking at this year’s slate of games has the Cougars in California, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Florida and Virginia. Outside of a game in the Midwest (which BYU will have plenty of in the Big 12), the Cougars will be travelling all over in 2022.
This part isn’t new for BYU Football fans, but will give a nice national touch ending to Independence.
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Again, being in the Big 12 will be 100X better than Independence, but looking just at a schedule, 2022 may end up being the best schedule ever.