Conference expansion news is generally not good news for football independents such as BYU, because expansion usually means the need for more conference games, and fewer non-conference encounters. That's what is going on in the Atlantic Coast Conference, which will likely move to a nine-game conference schedule in 2013 and beyond. Georgia Tech of the ACC is apparently trying to get out of the final two games of its contracted four-game series with the Cougars. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported in a blog Tuesday that Tech wants to drop the 2014 game in Atlanta and the 2017 game in Provo. The Cougars play at Tech on Oct. 27 this season and will play host to the Yellow Jackets on Oct. 12 in 2013 in Provo. Those games aren't in doubt. However, Ken Sugiura of the AJC wrote that Tech has to drop one non-conference opponent from among Wofford, BYU, Tulane and Georgia in 2014, and that BYU is probably going to be the odd man out. The 2013 game in Provo is probably not in jeopardy, Sugiura notes, because Tech has yet to find a fourth non-con opponent for that year and will be fine if Pitt and Syracuse are allowed to join the ACC in 2013 and the nine-game conference schedule is put in place.
Whatever the case, it is just one more illustration of the difficulties BYU faces as an independent when it comes to scheduling.
BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall acknowledged that again on Monday, as you can read in the blog post prior to this one. The coach hinted a few weeks ago that BYU is working on a deal to play Wisconsin. In 2014, BYU is scheduled to play at Central Florida, at Texas, at Utah (possibly, though not contracted yet) and at Boise State. In 2015, the Cougars will play at Nebraska, at Hawaii, at Notre Dame and at Southern Mississippi. After Monday's practice, BYU quarterback Riley Nelson said he has studied film on every BYU All-American quarterback. Asked how far back he has gone in the archives, Nelson said all the way back to Virgil Carter. "He was our first all-American," Nelson said. "That was on some 8-milimeter film that someone had digitized. It was only half of a game, back in the day against Utah. So back when the field was where the RB [Richards Building] is now. And then from there, you know, you got Mark Wilson, and then McMahon, Young, Bosco. I am sure I am going to leave some guys out, but basically all those All-Americans, I have looked at and studied their games, and the game has obviously changed. But the era kind of started with McMahon and I have definitely watched a lot of him, then Young, Wilson, Bosco, Detmer. I am forgetting Giff Gifford Nielson, who was probably one of the best. He was the first one to do it. He didn't have anyone to teach him, so ..Like I said, that's the BYU quarterback a guy who wins, and leads his teams to wins, and just produces."