Commentary: Way-too-early breakdown of BYU football's 2014 schedule

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 25 2014 12:29 a.m. MST

BYU just released its official 2014 football schedule on Monday, and given that the Cougars' first game is still 186 days away, it's still way too early to talk about the teams BYU will face this season.

But when has that ever stopped us from doing it anyway?

The Cougars will play two teams for the first time and seven teams it played last season. While it's certainly not as rough a schedule as 2013 was, there's a few interesting games coming up for the Cougars in 2013.

Here's our way-too-early breakdown of BYU's 2013 schedule.

Lafe Peavler is a Web sports writer for the Deseret News. Follow him on Twitter @LafePeavler

  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Most recommended
West Jordan, Utah

Many BYU fans have been telling us that the weak independent schedule issue was over. This 2014 rundown is the WORST schedule yet. BYU played some solid opponents last year but half their schedule was against cream puffs. This is how you pad your win total.

If this schedule stays the same for next year (2014), then BYU has 10 low competition games out of 12. Utah has one of the absolute toughest schedules in the nation AGAIN this year. So, I predict BYU wins 10 games and thinks they deserve a shot at the BCS. Of course BYU will be better than Utah because Utah did them a favor by not scheduling them. Thus, no head to head competition leaves only overall win/loss comparisons. And we all know the schedules are so comparable.

Payson, UT

Wow, what a non-schedule. Outside of the Texas game, no game where BYU shouldn't be the favorite.

10 or 11 wins easy this year.

Harwich, MA

Uconn will put them one game in the loss column and the first thing out of many mouths will be "will until next year". UConn is a tough draw.

Granstville, UT

The combined won-loss record for the teams BYU faces this year is 10 games below .500, (71-81), yet cougar nation will believe they should be considered for a spot in the playoffs, when they win 10 games against this lineup of cupcakes. Seriously, Savannah State, I guess Dixie State was busy that weekend.


Thanks to November, 8-4.

South Jordan, UT

Enough patsies on the schedule to assure at least 6 wins. Should win eight games easily.

Steven S Jarvis
Orem, UT

UCF, Boise State, MTS and Texas make for a tough road slate. BYU has put together another fine schedule!!

salt lake city, UT

We could be playing in the Beef O Brady bowl in late December with this schedule. Go Cougs!

caleb in new york
Glen Cove, NY

I disagree that UConn is a tough draw. Of course anyone can lose to anyone else on any given week if a team doesn't play hard. But UConn was 3-9 last year against the middling AAC conference and was 5-7 the 2 previous years in the middling Big East conference. At least BYU gets to play them in August instead of November so that it won't be freezing in Connecticut.

Ivins, UT

What a disappointment for the BYU fan base. It seems BYU should have stayed in the Mountain West Conference and we could have still played teams like Texas, Norte Dame and Wisconsin with our four non-conference games. I recognize the desire to give people an opportunity in other parts of the country to watch and support BYU football but at what cost to our local fans? Also, it is beginning to appear our independent football decision is starting to have a negative impact on a number of our other college sports programs. But, I guess we all knew that would happen over time. Well, the good news is we will be going bowling again this year.

DEW Cougars
Sandy, UT

Ok T. Hill, don't listen to R. Anae of what play calling are drawn. Play your style, be like Ty Detmer, Steve Young and Jimmy Mac. You listen to RA, then we have an average games. Really, Savanah State in November? And I thought we were not allow to play any pac12 after the 3rd week of September? Oh, yeah it was utah.

Who am I sir?
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I disagree - you were able to accurately evaluate the schedule.

Extracts: . (U Con) -the Huskies a humiliating 33-18 loss to lower-division Towson. (Texas) - has underperformed a bit over the past few years, (Virginia) - the Cougars would be the only FBS team that the Cavaliers would beat in 2013 (Utah State) - Utah State loses a lot of key players on defense however, will be BYU's toughest opponent it will face at home in 2014. (CFU) - Unfortunately for UCF, star quarterback Blake Bortles and running back Storm Johnson are off to the NFL (Nevada) - The Wolf Pack are still struggling to adapt and it finished No. 104 in scoring defense last season (Boise State) - The Broncos had a sub-par season in 2013 (Middle Tennessee State) the Cougars handled them easily in last year's matchup. needs to break in a new quarterback (UNLV) has some rebuilding to do Savannah State This is the kind of game most teams play in August or September. an FCS school, and not a good one (California) Calling 2013 a rough year for the Golden Bears would be a severe understatement. was No. 122 in scoring defense and total defense. And Frankly, it would be hard for Cal to get any worse,

Crisco B
Salt Lake City, UT

I am pretty sure that 9 of these 10 or so comments on here are from Ute fans. Or BYU haters. Or those weird BYU "fans" who complain about everything.

I am also not sure where people are reading that BYU fans believe this schedule should take them to the playoffs. Where are these articles? I want to read them.

Salt Lake City, UT

This is a decent schedule. Who says a team has to play a killer schedule every year? Now, if Utah can only manage a winning season for a change, that would be good for the football fans in the state of Utah and good for Kyle Whittingham's job security. Go Cougs!

Nibley, UT

With BYU's facilities and resources they should finish the year 10 and 2 and go bowling. It is really not a strong enough schedule to warrant getting in to a top tier bowl. Most of these teams they should beat by 2 or 3 touchdowns. With the exception of Texas, the Mountain West Conference teams should give them the best competition. I am kind of disheartened with the schedule, if BYU wants to be ranked, they need to step it up a little. This schedule does not show how good they are. It only proves they can go out and beat up lesser teams. Maybe independence was not the best idea?

Floyd Johnson
Broken Arrow, OK

BYU games will be played in Texas, California, Conneticut, Florida and Tennessee this year. Say what you want about the strength of schedule, but for fans outside of Utah Valley, Independence is fantastic.

East Salt Lake City, Utah

What's there to breakdown, BYU has already been spotted 9 wins before Spring Camp begins.

The only question is can BYU beat @Texas, @Boise, and Utah State? I think this is BYU's best chance of going undefeated.

I can't imagine a playoff berth for ANY undefeated team with such a weak schedule, but a BCS bowl for sure.

Is it time to pull out the old "Quest" t-shirts?

East Salt Lake City, Utah

Floyd Johnson
Broken Arrow, OK

BYU games will be played in Texas, California, Conneticut, Florida and Tennessee this year. Say what you want about the strength of schedule, but for fans outside of Utah Valley, Independence is fantastic.


If that was so then teams in Texas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Tennessee would all be independent.

It's not where you play it's who you play.

Syracuse, UT


"Many BYU fans have been telling us that the weak independent schedule issue was over."

Many Ute fans have been telling us that the staying-home-over-the-holidays issue was over, too. That still hasn't changed. Will it this year? Doubt it - a tough schedule is great if you have a great team but if you can't play up to the schedule all you get is another large handful of losses and a place in the SLC Valley Couch Potato Bowl. That is a downward spiral that most likely will cost Whit his job and the Utes numerous recruits. Also, it was your school that said no to the continuance of the rivalry game for the next couple years. Here's a thought - Utes stay on your articles and Cougs, lets stay off of theirs.

Who am I sir?
Cottonwood Heights, UT

"Utah State will be BYU's toughest opponent it will face at home in 2014."

It wasn't long ago (just a few years before "Independence") that BYU refused to schedule games against Utah State unless it was on a two home games for 1 away game basis.

Now the fans need to be so thankful that Utah State is on their home schedule!

Steven S Jarvis
Orem, UT

This is probably the third or fourth most difficult schedule the Cougars have ever had. BYU plays the more difficult games on the road and there are seven bowl teams on the schedule. Four teams could be ranked at different points of the season (UCF, Texas, Boise and USU) and even two of the bad teams last year (Nevada and UConn) should improve their records and get to bowls. As I see it the only bad game on the slate is the Cal game. Virginia will be a revenge game while Cal is strictly getting a game in California.

Only the SEC seems to schedule teams like Savannah State in November. They aren't that exciting of games, but considering it as a replacement for the golden eagles its not a bad get. If they bring their marching band, I might scoop up tickets to see that one because all the schools from their conference have amazing marching bands.

Reno, NV

It's a fine schedule, at least as good as any the Cougars had while in the Mountain West. I'm fine with this not being a brutal schedule as they develop for a more difficult 2015 in Hill's senior year (@ Nebraska, @ Michigan, @ USU, @ SJSU, and hosting Boise State, Fresno State, and Cincy, with 2 games yet to be announced). Need a strong, healthy Heisman-caliber Hill for that season, then Mangum can get some play as well to keep the program rolling.

Steven S Jarvis
Orem, UT

This schedule is stronger than Ohio State's was in 2013. Its far better than Utah's 2004 and 2008 campaigns. Its better than Hawaii, Boise State, TCU or NIU's undefeated campaigns. Its also better than many of the teams that made BCS bowls. However the goal isn't a BCS bowl anymore. Its a bit higher than that since there is no BCS anymore.

BYU needs to take care of business and the cards should fall right for a big bowl. What I don't think is likely though is that BYU makes this year playoff going 12-0 without one more marquee game. Getting in to the playoff is the only thing that matters, not the so-called big bowls if the goal is being the best.

On a more realistic note just win the first game. Then win the second. Focus on only one game at a time and make sure that the team plays to its potential.

Phoenix, AZ


"BYU has already been spotted 9 wins before Spring Camp begins."

Looks like BYU is taking a page out of Utah's Basketball program's play book. Utah was spotted 13 or so wins before they started playing real competition. At least BYU isn't playing 9 out of 12 home games with this schedule.

deseret pete
robertson, Wy

Savannah State game was scheduled after another better game was canceled.What a bunch of bellyachers.

North Salt Lake, UT

It's really nice that Holmoe finds it so important for BYU fans outside of Utah get a chance to see the Cougs play. Im truely happy for the fans in Wisconsin, South Bend, Austin, Seattle, Dallas, Lincoln etc. They get all the good games while we the ticket buyers in Provo are stuck with Savannah State, UNLV, Idaho State, Middle Tennessee, Provo High School and the rest. Thanks Tom! This independence thing is working out great!

Man of Sports
Draper, UT

I miss the BYU of old when they had a QB that was pass first. Having a FB at the QB position will take its toll on the Cougars. Please move him to FB or TE. This will be the only chance BYU has at making a splash nationally in football.

Central, UT

Even an undefeated season will mean staying at home for the cougs. There are no bowl contracts currently in place and that schedule will not warrant a playoff invite.

Senior night against a Football Championship team again. At least it isn't the middle of November, again.

In all sincerity, my heart goes out to college football fans that cheer for BYU. Save the flames, fans that love college football will accept my condolences.

I Still Can't Say It
Holladay, UT


Yes, Utah had an easier than usual OOC schedule in hoops this year. In fact, I remember it was pretty darn easy for the Utes to beat BYU on the hardwood.

As such, I agree with you Utah should drop BYU from the basketball schedule and replace it with a more difficult opponent.

Utah has scoreboard over BYU in basketball and football. What do you think of that?

There You Go Again
Saint George, UT

If Taysom stays healthy...

Cougars go undefeated.

Woodland Hills, UT

No need for any predictions, this is how it will go......big, slow, predictable and no will to win. With a large amount of hype surrounding it all.

Casey See

I only take one serious issue with comments about UNLV. It has been what 4 years since leaving the MWC. UNLV has no one left no BYU really from that era. So to say that they should be familiar with each other, isn't really correct. If there were the same coaches, and same players, then yes, but there are not. Time to quit saying that BYU is familiar with someone from the old MWC or WAC, because nearly all of those teams' personnel and coaches have made big changes for better or worse.

Phoenix, AZ

I Still Can't Say It

"Utah has scoreboard over BYU in basketball and football. What do you think of that?"

I think that no matter what, Utah fans can't help themselves but to comment on BYU articles because, excluding beating BYU, Utah fans have very little to cheer about.

Nate in the 808
orem, ut

Sour Ute fans are the best. Affected much? Just look over the comments. The only conclusion I can see is that there's only one team in the state who is in over their head when it comes to the level of competition on their schedule.


Many of the comments about the strength of schedule are based mainly on what teams did last year. Do we ever consider that teams improve? Could they have had some key injuries? Were there any teams who were predicted to be bad last year but who weren't? Do upsets happen? I think this schedule will be more challenging than most fans think.

Tooele, UT

After the 2013 schedule which included Texas, Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Utah, Utah State and Boise State, 2014 is without question a disappointment.

As a BYU fan, the only two home games on the 2014 schedule which I find at all interesting are Utah State and Houston.

The Aggies will have Chuckie Keaton back so that will be an exciting match up, and as we saw from the game last season, who knows what the final score will be against Houston.

As for the road games, Texas and Central Florida are going to be the Cougars two toughest opponents, with Boise State also sure to be a decent match up.

As for the rest of the schedule - YAWN!!!!

I see BYU finishing 2014 at best 11-1 and at worst 8-4. Then its off to a bowl game against either a middle-of-the-road Mountain West school or a middle-of-the-road Conference USA school.

Provo, UT

If Cougars can pull off another upset against Texas, they could very well carry that momentum to 12-0. A loss at Austin could send BYU wheeling out of control and easily finish 7-5 with losses at Boise and UCF, and at home vs. Utah St and Houston.

It's all a crapshoot really when we haven't even seen spring ball. The only takeaway here is that Taysom Hill has a chance to pass for 3000+ and run for 1000+

Whoa Nellie
American Fork, UT

"Many BYU fans have been telling us that the weak independent schedule issue was over. This 2014 rundown is the WORST schedule yet. BYU played some solid opponents last year but half their schedule was against cream puffs. This is how you pad your win total."

No they haven't. Name one.

For all you whiners and trolls who think such a schedule as BYU's 2014 was not supposed to occur beyond the first few years of independence please provide a citation of the article wherein Tom Holmoe made such a promise. Maybe he did but I just can't remember such a statement so help us all out here and back up your complaints with evidence.

Salt Lake City, UT

All you need to know about this schedule is "Utah State will be BYU's toughest opponent it will face at home in 2014." plus savannah st

Bluffdale, UT

Crisco B "I am pretty sure that 9 of these 10 or so comments on here are from Ute fans. Or BYU haters. Or those weird BYU "fans" who complain about everything."

There are lots of huge Y fans that want it known that BYU deserves to be in a big conference. Based on historical teams this is a decent schedule.

But, once again what do the season ticket holders get? A lot of must-see TV.

Virginia is the only top conference team coming to Provo, and they only won two games last year. The next biggest is Utah State from the MWC then Houston, two teams from Nevada and finally Savannah State.

If this was a conference, BYU would be battling Texas for the championship. Only IF...

Bluffdale, UT

OOPS. I said, "If this was a conference BYU and Texas would be in the championship."

Sorry, UCF, Texas, and BYU would battle for it.

BYU @ Texas and BYU @ UCF are "Must-SEE TV"

Herrmian, UT

Maybe Holmoe has a reason for scheduling these easier opponents.

I wonder if the 2013 season may have been planned for Jake Heap's senior season. When Heaps did not pan out, BYU had a sophomore qb tackle that difficult schedule.

Either this easy schedule was planned for a Freshman QB or Holmoe is positioning BYU for Hill's senior season. Maybe Holmoe was thinking an easy schedule in 2014 might give BYU a top-20 pre-season ranking going into 2015 or maybe he was just concerned BYU would be breaking in a new QB.

2014 looks too easy, but the 2015 schedule has Nebraska, Boise, Michigan, Cincinnati, Connecticut, and some tougher Mountain West Schools including San Jose, Fresno State and Utah State. I have no idea what BYU is thinking, but I tend to think there is more to it that we do not see. I just wonder if 2014 was put in place for 2015.


The home schedule is disappointing, but we gave up buying season tickets years ago.

Instead, last year we went to Notre Dame - had a blast and to the Fight Hunger Bowl - had a blast.

This year we are going to Texas and saving up for another bowl.

Go Cougs!

Salt Lake City, UT

Although not a cougar fan myself I appreciate the time, money and dedication it takes to being a season ticket holder of any team. BYU's most ardent supporters, their season ticket holders are getting taken advantage of rather than catered to.
BYU's "exposure" is absolutely coming at the expense of their biggest supporters.

El Chango Supremo
Rexburg, ID

We'll probably lose to Texas, Houston & UCF are toss-ups, Utah State will be difficult but should be a win, all the others should be wins.


Any Ute fan with a conscience would not criticise BYU's schedule for 2 reasons. This schedule wasn't made yesterday. When Cal, UVA, Boise St, Conn, and Nevada were all supposed to be better than they look like they will be, and who knows, they might turn things around. These sometimes go in cycles. Ute fans should understand that well. Second, don't criticize a football schedule made yrs. in advance while Crisco makes up a basketball schedule that is designed to be the easiest non-conference schedule the state has ever seen.


This is a really disappointing schedule for BYU fans. UNLV? UConn (3-9)? Cal (1-11)? Middle Tennessee? Savannah State? BYU should be able to go 10-2 at least with this schedule. But it's disappointing to have a good quarterback like Hill not be able to be challenged more.

Riley Mendenhall
Provo, UT

Entering Independence I had Holmoe-phobia (fear of Tom Holmoe making the wrong decision).

This schedule is very poor. BYU could have a great team and go 10-2, but they could also have an ok team and still go 10-2. If Tulane is the opponent in the bowl game we will never know. Thanks Tom, how could you not put together a better schedule?

Two For Flinching
Salt Lake City, UT

@ CougarSunDevil

The difference is that Utah basketball has a slate of great teams to play in conf. BYU football put a patsy schedule together from beginning to end.

CTJ fan
Salt Lake City, UT

As a Cougar fan I must say I'm a bit disappointed in the Savannah St. game, and what happened to Notre Dame, thought we were supposed to be playing them at home this year, or is that next? I'm sure scheduling isn't easy when your independent but this is still better than the old Mountain West days. I here alot of crap here from Ute fans, not surprising, they seem to think this is supposed to be some competition with them to make the toughest schedule. The fact is most teams don't want to come to Provo unless they have too. Seems like every Ute fan here forgot that Central Florida played in a BCS bowl last year. It may not be the toughest but it's a tougher schedule than any Mountain West school, you have to play the cards your dealt. Still a little disappointed with a few games but still some exciting ones, and like it or not we'll have a better chance of being ranked by years end than Utah! That's how much we don't care of about your schedule Utes.

U 90
Corona, CA

@ Steven S Jarvis "This schedule is stronger than Ohio State's was in 2013. Its far better than Utah's 2004 and 2008 campaigns."

I won't bash on BYU's weak 2014 football schedule given that Utah's 2013 non-conference basketball schedule is so weak. But Steven, did you realize that Utah played and beat 4 ranked teams in 2008? I didn't think so.

Mcallen, TX

Love this schedule, and independence.

It's stronger than any MWC, or WAC schedules of the past.

BYU was smart enough, not to put themselves in a position of losing more than half their games.

Now, the losers of more than half their games are whining.

Two For Flinching
Salt Lake City, UT

"BYU was smart enough, not to put themselves in a position of losing more than half their games."

So BYU football is smart and Utah Basketbal is cowardly?.....hmmm

Lincoln City, OR

This is truly sad... You can tell the people that this pig (the 2014 FB Schedule) is beautiful but at the end of the day everyone knows it's a pig...

Provo, UT is the worst place in America for a hometown football fan to hold season tickets... The only games worth seeing all happen before Halloween... again.

Holmoe, Samuelson, the BOT and their attorneys messed up big time when they played hard to get with the Big 12... That decision will likely haunt the BYU fans for years to come... We should have done everything that we could have done (shy of playing on Sunday to be part of that conference... Now all we have left to do is hope and pray that they eventually come back to us with an invite...

If we go undefeated with this schedule we still won't get a January Bowl and we won't crack the top 10 and that is sad...

I have been around BYU and its Athletic Programs for nearly 50 years and I can not recall a worse 4 year run for the BYU brand... We claim we want to compete on the biggest stages for the biggest prizes and we settle for schedules like this.

Salt Lake City, UT

This schedule is comical for a team with a "world wide" football brand.

Steven S Jarvis
Orem, UT

The only real complaint with 2014 that is credible that I have read is the lack of marquee home games. BYU during the past 25 years typically had two or three of these games--mostly on the road during September. In conference BYU had just one opponent most years that carried any weight till TCU made it two.

2014 features a typical home slate compared to what BYU has played in the past. Houston and USU should be good games. Virginia is about evening the score after last years water slogged nightmare. How often is it that BYU had three meaningful home games like that? The road slate is fantastic from a national perspective.

As far as ranked teams go Boise State, UCF, Texas, USU, and Houston all could be ranked at some point during the season. While it isn't likely that any of those five will be top 15 come the end of the season, beating those teams gets attention outside of the state.

Alpine, UT

It isn't unusual for the SEC schools to schedule their FCS game toward the end of the season. It allows them to heal up a bit and prepare for their big games and possible SEC championship game. I have seen several of them play Savannah State toward the end of the year in years past.

Phoenix, AZ

2 4 flinch

"The difference is that Utah basketball has a slate of great teams to play in conf. BYU football put a patsy schedule together from beginning to end."

We'll be sure to let Texas know how Utah fans feel about them. I'm sure their response will be "who?"

Phoenix, AZ

Are all the Ute fans on here because they are upset that DN hasn't done a Way Too Early Breakdown of the Utah football schedule? Do you guys want your own Way Too Early Breakdown of the Utah football schedule? Ok, I'll break it down for you.

Way Too Early Breakdown of the Utah football schedule!

Idaho State Bengals - Win,
Fresno State Bulldogs - Win (because it's at home)
Open Date (need two weeks to prep for Michigan)
at Michigan - Loss
Washington State - Win
at UCLA - Loss
Open Date
at Oregon State - Loss
USC - Loss, but a surprisingly strong showing
at ASU - Loss, ASU puts up 50+ points
Oregon - Loss, but again a surprisingly strong showing
at Stanford - Loss, and Stanford repays Utah for last year in a huge blow out.
Arizona - Win
at Colorado - Win (but I really think it's going to be a loss).

SO there you have it Ute fans, your Way Too Early Breakdown of the Utah football schedule. Now that you have your Way Too Early Breakdown of the Utah football schedule, please start telling us about your strength of schedule and how it didn't matter in b-ball, but it does in Football.

scenic view
Baltimore, MD


"Even an undefeated season will mean staying at home for the Cougars. There are no bowl contracts currently in place and that schedule will not warrant a playoff invite."

Watch and learn...

BYU is a lock for a bowl game as long as they finish with a 6-6 record, in other words, BYU is a lock for their 10th straight bowl game, the only question is where.

U 90
Corona, CA


According to your comments on other threads, people from Arizona have no interest in irrelevant programs like Utah and BYU. Yet here you are on a BYU thread talking Utah football.

Bakersfield, CA

1 thing is for sure, most BYU fans have no idea what the ute Football schedule is. I can empathize with all these ute on BYU posts. If I had no faith in my own teams ability I would want to know what was going on with teams that at least have a shot at relevance.

Mesa, AZ

What's the point if there's no challenge in it? Were I a byu fan, a st holder in particular, I'd be furious over this garbage. For instance, look at the tail-end of it--

at Mighty MTSU, bye-week, Mighty UNLV at home, Mighty Savannah State at home and at '13 1-W/Winless in PAC-12 play CAL....Furthermore, what holds any st holder's attention beyond usu on 10/03?

bountiful, ut

An observation of many of these comments... Most of you all are not really fans of either BYU or Utah... But rather 'who' they see come through the stadium and a charm of BCS elitism that doesn't exist any more. Sure those clowns still get the easiest road to the playoff, but that still doesn't make them a lick better at the bottom than some of the best teams of the also ran conferences. A true fan of a team doesn't care who they play... For they aren't going to the stadium to see the opponent but rather the host. You either love BYU or Utah and really enjoy watching them no matter who is on the other side of the ball or you don't. There is no middle ground!

to comment

DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.
About comments