PROVO, Utah — Despite the backlash BYU and quarterback Zach Wilson are getting for his "Any Team, Time, Place" headband, the message still stands; but it must make sense for the Cougars.
Much was made over the last 24 hours that the University of Washington had reached out to BYU officials about scheduling a game over Thanksgiving weekend, and that the Cougars had turned down the offer.
But what most of the stories left out is that BYU... undefeated BYU, mind you... was being treated like a kid trying to get invited to the adults table on Thanksgiving. However, at 9-0 and ranked No. 8 in the country, it's the Cougars who have earned the right to make a deal that makes sense for them, not the other way around.
According to reports, Washington wants BYU to travel to Seattle for the game with no payout and on the Pac-12's television network. Even worse, the Huskies want to reserve the right to cancel a BYU game up to two days before kickoff if the Pac-12 arranges a conference game for Washington.
"We remain open to exploring options to add football games, and have been throughout the season." said BYU Athletic Director Tom Holmoe in a tweet. "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."
As it stands now, BYU is on the verge of receiving a bid to a New Year's Six bowl game. A win over San Diego State on Dec. 12 would assure an invitation that would have been a dream just a few months ago.
Playing Washington, and on their terms, does nothing for BYUs resume. A win would be expected and a loss would ruin the Cougars' shot at a major bowl game and the millions that go with it.
Holmoe hasn't given up scheduling additional games for BYU, but it will not be done completely on the terms of a team that has played all of two games this season.
"At this point of the season, having played nine games and being nationally ranked, we are involved in discussions for possible matchups with other teams. on common open dates, for the benefit of both teams."
If the Pac-12 wants to schedule a game against BYU, offer up Utah for a pandemic version of "The Holy War."
A rivalry game at home in Utah is the kind of game, win or lose, that makes sense for BYU.
Or what about a Dec. 5 matchup vs. an 8-0 Cincinnati team ranked No. 7, one spot ahead of BYU? Like the Cougars, the Bearcats record has been picked apart due to their American Conference-only schedule.
The winner of a Cincinnati-BYU game would leave little doubt about its legitimacy in this season's college football hierarchy. While a close loss to a highly-ranked team would do little to douse what has already been a fantastic season.
Schedule that game. Put that one on the schedule.
Let the Huskies eat alone at the Pac-12s barren Thanksgiving table this weekend.