Las Vegas • It’s finally happening.
What was originally planned as a six-game series then got turned into a 2-for-1 deal. With the two games played at Notre Dame in 2012 and 2013, BYU’s been waiting for nearly a decade for the Fighting Irish to keep up their end of the bargain and come to Provo and close the series.
However, due to Notre Dame’s hesitancy, a new option has emerged over the last few years: a neutral site.
And it seems that’s what’s happening.
BYU and Notre Dame will meet at Allegiant Stadium in 2022, The Las Vegas Review Journal reported Saturday morning.
It makes sense. At the time of the report, BYU was less than 12 hours from its season-opening game against Arizona at Allegiant Stadium. Although the game hadn’t started, it was already expected to draw record-breaking crowds (more than 57,000 tickets were sold).
“We’ve had a couple of discussions about making that a neutral football game, where now we would be the home game of that, but it would be a neutral game,” BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe said back in 2020. “It’s interesting that they’re intrigued by that, but we can’t really agree on where that neutral game will be played. So, the saga continues.”
With the addition of Notre Dame on the schedule, BYU is now up to a full, 12-game schedule. The details of the new game are still unknown, but both schools have openings on Oct. 8 and 29.
However, how does this all fit in with the latest reports of BYU getting an invite to the Big 12 Conference?
On Friday, ESPN reported that BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and Central Florida were all expected to submit formal applications to join the conference next week — with the potential for admission as early as Sept. 10.
It was speculated that BYU could join the Big 12 as early as next season, but that may have to wait now.
BYU is slated to host Tennessee, Boise State, South Florida, UNLV, Rice and Southern Utah next year, and travel to USC, Virginia, Houston, Arkansas, UCF and Utah State.
That lineup may be worth holding on to, especially now that Notre Dame is back on the table.