In response to reports that swirled Sunday night that indicated the 8th-ranked BYU Cougars had rebuffed a chance to play the Pac-12’s Washington Huskies this coming weekend, BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe released a statement Monday morning.
While the statement naturally did not mention Washington specifically, it outlined some of the factors that go into scheduling games.
“We remain open to exploring options to add football games, and have been throughout the season,” the statement read. “In that exploration process there are a variety of factors that need to be considered, including location, prep time for the game, the chances of the game being played, the testing protocols that are in place and what the game would do for our resume.
“At this point of the season, having played nine games and being nationally ranked, we are discussing possible matchups w/ other teams, on common open dates, for the benefit of both teams.”
A statement from Tom Holmoe. pic.twitter.com/NgDp1WrJoK— BYU FOOTBALL (@BYUfootball) November 23, 2020
Numerous national college football reporters indicated Sunday that after Washington’s rivalry game against Washington State (known as the Apple Cup) set for this coming Saturday was canceled because of COVID-19 issues, Huskies leadership reached out to Holmoe to gauge interest in possibly playing, as BYU has a bye.
While the Cougars are ranked in the top 10 in the country, they’ve played a rather weak schedule, and many have conjectured that they need a more marquee win or two to have any chance at possibly making the four-team College Football Playoff.
The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman reported Sunday, however, that BYU wanted to wait until it saw where it stood when the first CFP rankings of the season come out on Tuesday before it scheduled the game against Washington.
The fact that the Cougars have been repeating a refrain that they would be willing to play any team at any time and place (quarterback Zach Wilson even wore a headband with that message during BYU’s 66-14 win over North Alabama last weekend) only added to the drama Sunday.
The Cougars do not have another game scheduled until Dec. 12, when they’re supposed to play the San Diego State Aztecs.
BYU lost to the Huskies 45-19 last season at home.