Back in February during Super Bowl week, Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid gave a vote of confidence to the direction Kalani Sitake has BYU football headed as the Cougars prepare for their first season in the Big 12.

“Kalani is going to do a phenomenal job. He’s getting the team ready right now in their offseason program and they’ll be rolling. I look forward to watching them,” Reid told the Deseret News as he readied his Chiefs team to face the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl 57.

Turns out, the noted BYU alum and the Cougars will be in close proximity for a historical game for the program this fall, giving fans the chance to indulge in a bit of college and NFL action the same weekend, if they so choose.

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On Thursday night, the NFL released its full schedule for the 2023 season.

One notable point was that BYU’s first conference game in the Big 12 — at Kansas on Saturday, Sept. 23 — is one day before Kansas City hosts the Chicago Bears in Week 3 of the NFL season.

The Jayhawks’ Booth Memorial Stadium and the Chiefs’ Arrowhead Stadium are about 50 miles away from each other.

Talk about an ultimate BYU football road trip.

Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid gets dunked after their win against the Philadelphia Eagles at the NFL Super Bowl 57 football game, Sunday, Feb. 12, 2023, in Glendale, Ariz. The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 38-35. | Matt Slocum, Associated Press

Another BYU connection in Kansas City is former Cougar tight end Matt Bushman — he’s primarily been a practice squad member with the Chiefs but won a Super Bowl ring with the team in February.

There’s another weekend where the NFL’s schedule makers provided Cougar fans with a double-dip opportunity. 

When BYU plays at Texas on Saturday, Oct. 28, the Los Angeles Rams play at the Dallas Cowboys the next day — though driving from Austin to Dallas would require about a three and a half hour drive. The Rams selected former Cougar wide receiver Puka Nacua in the fifth round of last month’s NFL draft.

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What about football road trips for other Utah schools?

There isn’t quite a slam-dunk weekend trip like this for either Utah or Utah State, though there are some options.

The best one for the Utes is when Utah plays at Washington on Saturday, Nov. 11, followed by the Washington Commanders playing at the Seattle Seahawks the next day. 

Former Utah linebacker Cody Barton will be back in Seattle with the Commanders after playing his first four NFL seasons with the Seahawks. Washington also drafted former Utah offensive lineman Braeden Daniels in last month’s NFL draft.

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Both the Seahawks’ Lumen Field and Washington’s Husky Stadium are in Seattle, about six miles apart.

For Utah State fans, there’s more significant travel involved, though Aggie fans could watch their team at home on a Saturday, then see former Utah State star quarterback Jordan Love — who is headed into his first season as a starter — two days later.

It would just require a seven-hour drive — or an hour flight out of Salt Lake City — to get to Las Vegas for the latter contest.

The Aggies host Colorado State at Maverik Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 7, then Love and the Green Bay Packers play at the Las Vegas Raiders on Monday Night Football.

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