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When it finally arrives, Big 12 football schedule will be music to BYU’s ears

After months of anticipation, BYU still waiting to learn its first Big 12 schedule — and that’s ‘the hardest part’

SHARE When it finally arrives, Big 12 football schedule will be music to BYU’s ears
BYU head coach Kalani Sitake and the rest of the BYU sideline begin to celebrate victory over Utah at LaVell Edwards Stadium.

BYU coach Kalani Sitake begins to celebrate as the Cougars defeat Utah at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

BYU has cleared its fall football schedule after a game at Arkansas on Sept. 16. Following the rematch with the Razorbacks, the calendar is wide open and waiting for the Big 12 to fill it with the Cougars’ first Power Five schedule in program history.

The conference originally said it would release the schedule in October, then November, then at the Big 12 championship game in December before pushing it back to late January or early February.

As we can learn from the musical artists who play up and down the radio dial, waiting for something has never been our thing.

“The waiting is the hardest part.
Every day you get one more yard.
You take it on faith, you take it to the heart.
The waiting is the hardest part.”
— Tom Petty, “The Waiting”

BYU football has been preparing for this day since the Cougars first took the field on Oct. 7, 1922.

“So long, I’ve been looking so hard.
I’ve been waiting too long.
Sometimes I don’t know what I’ll find
I only know it’s a matter of time.”
— Foreigner, “Waiting on a Girl Like You”

Not happy with the direction of the Mountain West Conference, the Cougars left to become independent in football in 2011 — hoping for the day when a P5 conference would call.

“I was a lonely soul.
I had nobody till I met you.
But you, keep me waiting, all of the time,
What can I do?”
— The Kinks, “Tired of Waiting”

BYU spent a dozen years on the outside looking in, while supplying quarterbacks, running backs, receivers, linebackers, linemen and defensive backs to the NFL.

“But I keep cruising.
Can’t stop. Won’t stop grooving.
It’s like I got this music
In my mind.
Saying, “It’s gonna be all right.”
— Taylor Swift, “Shake It Off”

The Cougars helped fill stadiums across the country while holding their own against P5 opponents, including the Pac-12, where BYU went 6-1 over the last two seasons.

“It’s hard to beat the system
When we’re standing at a distance.
So we keep waiting (waiting)
Waiting on the world to change.”
— John Mayer, “Waiting on the World to Change”

BYU’s world changed on Sept. 10, 2021, when the Big 12 extended an invitation for the Cougars to join the conference on July 1, 2023. For BYU and its global fanbase, it was immediate acceptance and jubilation. The wait was worth it.

“One step closer.
I have died every day waiting for you.
Darling don’t be afraid I have loved you
For a thousand years
I’ll love you for a thousand more.”
— Christina Perry, “A Thousand Years”

The next step for BYU is the schedule release, which, to Cougar fans, will make it all seem real. The anticipation is thick.

“We can never know about the days to come,
But we think about them anyway.
And I wonder if I’m really with you now
Or just chasing after some finer day.”
Carly Simon, “Anticipation”

Further down the radio dial, we hear similar pleadings.

“Hello. Is it me you are looking for?
’Cause I wonder where you are, and I wonder what you do?”
Lionel Richie, “Hello”

For some, the wait is stifling.

“You know I can’t smile without you.
I can’t smile without you.
I can’t laugh and I can’t sing.
I’m finding it hard to do anything.”
— Barry Manilow, “Can’t Smile Without You”

And so, we wait a little longer. Because, frankly, there is nothing BYU can do but wait and hope.

“Wherever you go, whatever you do
I will be right here waiting for you.
Whatever it takes, or how my heart breaks,
I will be right here waiting for you.”
— Richard Marx, “Right Here Waiting”

BYU does know there will be nine Big 12 opponents to face this fall. Athletic director Tom Holmoe told BYUtv last November that he had already seen the list of who the Cougars will host and where they will play, but he didn’t have the dates.

When asked if a sold-out LaVell Edwards Stadium will like the teams coming to Provo, Holmoe smiled from ear to ear.

“It’s a beautiful noise
Made of joy and of strife
By the passing parade
It’s the music of life.”
— Neil Diamond, “Beautiful Noise”

Life in the Big 12 will be challenging, and unlike anything BYU football has ever experienced (the same goes for all sports on campus), but it will give the Cougars access to everything college football has to offer — even a shot at the program’s second national championship.

“A shot in the dark
Yeah, electric spark
A shot in the dark
Beats a walk in the park.”
— AC/DC, “Shot In The Dark”

Yes, by all accounts, this week could be the week when the Cougars get their first Big 12 football schedule. Excitement will come in a rush, but reality will shortly follow.

All my troubles seemed so far away
Now it looks as though they are here to stay.
Oh, I believe in yesterday.”
— The Beatles, “Yesterday”

Hard times are coming, but this is what BYU surrendered its independence for — come what may. So, let’s have a look at that schedule — it can’t get here soon enough. The big time is finally coming.

Until then, turn up the radio and sing along …

“Our memories of yesterday will last a lifetime
We’ll take the best, forget the rest
And someday we’ll find these are the best of times.
These are the best of times.”
Styx, “The Best of Times”

Dave McCann is a contributor to the Deseret News and is the studio host for “BYU Sports Nation Game Day,” “The Post Game Show,” “After Further Review,” and play-by-play announcer for BYUtv. He is also co-host of “Y’s Guys” at ysguys.com.