The original 2020 football schedule was set to be the toughest yet in the independence era, but got nearly completely scrapped due to the ongoing pandemic. Well, the 2021 schedule, which was released Saturday, is looking to be even tougher.
The 2021 schedule features seven Power Five matchups — five from the Pac-12 (Arizona, Arizona State, USC, Utah and Washington State), one from the ACC (Virginia) and one from the Big 12 (Baylor). BYU will also face teams from the American, Mountain West, Sun Belt and Big Sky conferences.
The Cougars will kick off the season Sept. 4 at a neutral site, facing Arizona at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, but the most intriguing part of the 2021 schedule won’t come until the end of October.
BYU will play at Virginia, pitting Cougars coach Kalani Sitake against his predecessor, Bronco Mendenhall. The last two times the programs met, in 2013 and 2014, Mendenhall was on the BYU sideline. This will be the first time Mendenhall and Sitake coach against each other.
Mendenhall left Provo after 11 seasons coaching the Cougars, following the 2015 season, after which Sitake was hired.
Half of the scheduled games will take place in Provo, with the final home game set for Nov. 6 against Idaho State.
Television plans and kickoff times are yet to be determined, and dates are subject to change to accommodate television plans.
Sept. 4, Arizona, Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas
Sept. 11, Utah
Sept. 18, Arizona State
Sept. 25, South Florida
Oct. 1, at Utah State
Oct. 9, Boise State
Oct. 16, at Baylor
Oct. 23, at Washington State
Oct. 30, Virginia
Nov. 6, Idaho State
Nov. 20, at Georgia Southern
Nov. 27, at USC