While it still should be quite a few months before the BYU Cougars football program has its first Big 12 conference schedule in hand for 2023, its nonconference schedule is coming into sharp focus.
On Thursday, the USC Trojans announced they have scheduled a game for Aug. 26, 2023, against the San Jose State Spartans.
The announcement said the game was scheduled to replace a Nov. 25, 2023, game against the Cougars.
BYU, of course, has had to schedule full seasons as an independent, and has been in the process of canceling games to make way for Big 12 schedules (the Cougars have not themselves ever announced when they’ve canceled games).
With the cancellation of the game against USC, BYU now has four nonconference contests for 2023 — at home against Tennessee (Sept. 2) and SUU (Nov. 18) and on the road against Arkansas (Sept. 16) and Utah State (date TBA).
Next week could go a long way in determining whether the Cougars are done canceling nonconference games for 2023 or if they need to remove one more.
Earlier this week when he reported that BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and UCF will all be joining the Big 12 in 2023, Sports Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger noted that at the conference’s annual meetings next week, the “main topic” of conversation will be how to structure a 14-team football league.
One of the main questions on the table will be whether the conference will play an eight-game league schedule or a nine-game schedule.
In fact, the main topic during Big 12 meetings next week will be structuring a 14-team football league: divisions or no divisions? Eight league games or 9?— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) April 27, 2022
UCF, BYU, Houston & Cincinnati will be in the league with Texas & OU for at least one season (2023) and maybe two (2024).
Presently with 10 teams in the league, a nine-game schedule is played. Should that remain the case in 2023, the Cougars would need to remove one more game from their nonconference slate, but it can remain as is if the Big 12 decides on an eight-game conference schedule.
According to its team website, BYU at one point had games against Boise State, UNLV, Rice, Virginia, Houston and UCF that are no longer on the schedule.