UCLA and BYU announced a home-and-home series on Thurday for 2015 and 2016. The first game between the two programs will be played in the Rose Bowl on Sept. 19, 2015 and then the Bruins will make a trip to Provo to play in LaVell Edwards Stadium on Sept. 17, 2016.
"I'm exited for this series with UCLA. It's a great matchup versus an opponent rich in football tradition, and a team that will be fighting for a Pac-12 championship," BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe said in the official release. "It's also a great opportunity for our large fan base in Southern California to see the Cougars play in the Rose Bowl -- one of the most storied football venues in the country."
UCLA and Nevada have agreed to cancel their series for 2015 and 2016, making room for the BYU series on the Bruins' future schedule. Nevada has added a 2015 date at Texas A&M and a home-and-home series with Buffalo for 2015 and 2016. The Wolf Pack were scheduled to play Idaho in 2015, but that date has been bumped to 2021 or 2022.
If UCLA is in the mix for the College Football Playoff in the near future, strength of schedule will not be a knock on their resumè. The Bruins have an impressive non-conference slate for the next half decade that includes Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma and now BYU -- not to mention a nine-game conference schedule in the increasingly competitive Pac-12.
For BYU, the UCLA series adds two high-profile games to the schedule in a time when the future of FBS independents is uncertain. Notre Dame has its agreement with the ACC and Navy is set to join the American in 2015. Soon, BYU and Army will be the last permanent independent schools at the FBS level.