BYU football is getting more familiar with the SEC.
The Cougars announced a two-game series with Tennessee of the SEC on Thursday. That now gives the Cougars five games against SEC opponents on future schedules and seven games against SEC teams announced since November 2014.
BYU is 3-4 all-time against SEC teams, with two wins over Mississippi State and a victory over Ole Miss. This doesn't count games against Missouri and Texas A&M prior to 2012. Both schools joined the league in 2012 and played BYU prior to becoming SEC members.
The Cougars have never played eight teams from the SEC, including Arkansas, Auburn, LSU, Florida, Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee and Vanderbilt.
BYU plays LSU this year, though, and in 2017, the Cougars will face two SEC opponents in the same season for the first time in school history, including a matchup at Mississippi State.
On March 19, 2015, the SEC announced it would count games against FBS independents BYU, Army and Notre Dame toward the league’s requirement of playing at least one non-conference Power 5 team each year. That policy began with the 2016 season.
The next day, BYU announced a two-game series with Mississippi State.
"The SEC's decision, along with the previous announcement from the ACC, is exciting news for Cougar Nation," BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe said in a statement at that time. "It won't change our approach to scheduling because we are already playing as many P5 schools as possible; however, it might help our efforts in the future."
From Nov. 13, 2014, to Thursday, BYU has announced seven future games with SEC opponents, with two games already having been played. That’s more than the five previously played games between the Cougars and SEC teams from 1982-2011.
From 2015-19, BYU will play an SEC opponent in every year but 2018. The Cougars’ 2018 schedule currently has 11 games scheduled, and it would seem unlikely to get an SEC opponent on that year’s schedule.
BYU has never played an SEC team in the postseason. The Cougars have faced every other Power 5 conference (Pac-12, Big 12, Big 10 and ACC) in at least one bowl game, including a high of nine games against Pac-12 teams in the postseason, seven during the time when the league was the Pac-10.
Here's a look at BYU's future games against SEC teams and previous results against the conference.
Future games vs. the SEC
2017, vs. LSU in Houston at NRG Stadium, home of the Houston Texans (announced Jan. 8, 2015)
at Mississippi State (announced March 20, 2015, including their 2016 matchup)
2019, at Tennessee (announced Feb. 23, 2017)
2020, vs. Missouri (announced Nov. 13, 2014, including their 2015 matchup)
2023, vs. Tennessee (announced Feb. 23, 2017)
BYU vs. the SEC (3-4 all-time)
1982, at Georgia, L 17-14
BYU held a 14-7 lead on Georgia — on a Tom Holmoe interception return for a touchdown and Scott Collie touchdown catch — before the Bulldogs rallied for 10 points and the win in the fourth quarter.
1998, at Alabama, L 38-31
Shaun Alexander rushed for 115 yards and five touchdowns, including two to start the fourth quarter, as the Crimson Tide beat BYU in a game tied at 24-all heading into the final quarter.
2000, vs. Mississippi State, L 44-28
Mississippi State led 31-7 at halftime and rushed for 232 yards in rolling to victory over the Cougars in LaVell Edwards' final season. It was the first time an SEC team played in Provo.
2001, at Mississippi State, W 41-38
Matt Payne's 25-yard, last-second field goal lifted BYU to the win in a high-scoring game marred by the loss of eventual Doak Walker Award-winning running back Luke Staley. The Dec. 1 game, moved back because of 9/11, vaulted the Cougars to 12-0 on the year.
2011, at Ole Miss, W 14-13
Kyle Van Noy forced a fumble by Ole Miss quarterback Zack Stoudt and fell on the ball in the end zone with 5:09 to play, giving the Cougars a one-point lead and the win. BYU trailed 13-0 early in the fourth quarter.
2015, vs. Missouri at Arrowhead Stadium (Kansas City), L 20-16
The Tigers scored two touchdowns early in the fourth quarter — the second one came after a BYU fumble deep in Cougar territory — and Missouri, which was 13 of 20 on third down, rallied to build a 20-10 lead before holding off BYU late.
2016, vs. Mississippi State, W 28-21
BYU edged the Bulldogs in double overtime, taking the lead in the second extra session on a Tanner Balderree 25-yard touchdown catch. The Cougar defense then held, as Fred Warner knocked down the final Mississippi State pass in the end zone on a fourth-down play.