LSU head coach Ed Orgeron was asked an interesting question during his press conference at SEC Media Days on Monday.
The Tigers open their season in Houston against BYU in a game that is scheduled for an 8:30 p.m. (CT) kickoff. With college football games often extending beyond three hours, Orgeron was asked what would happen if the game extended beyond the midnight hour and into early Sunday morning.
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Orgeron didn’t really have a clear answer other than saying LSU would let the officials handle things.
“I think that that will be held up to the referees. I will let them make that decision,” Orgeron said. “It has been discussed within the realm of our assistant coaches. Yes, it has, but that’s out of our hands.”
This wouldn’t be an issue for any other school, but because of BYU’s affiliation with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it could present an intriguing predicament. BYU does not schedule games — in any sport — on Sundays. Sunday is treated as a day of worship and the school has a written policy forbidding its athletic teams from competing that day.
So what would happen if the fourth quarter of the LSU-BYU game extended beyond midnight? Well, nothing.
“Yes, the game would be finished if it pushed late,” BYU spokesman Brett Pyne told Yahoo Sports via email. “A game involving BYU that starts on Saturday will be played to its completion if it happens to extend past midnight.”
That issue almost presented itself back in the 2012 season when BYU faced rival Utah in Salt Lake City. Even though the game “came to an end just one minute before midnight,” the BYU athletic department told Fox 13 the Cougars would have continued playing until the game was over.
The fact that the game ended right at 11:59 p.m. had some folks thinking some divine intervention may have taken place in front of their eyes.
BYU’s athletic department says it will not schedule a football game on Sunday, but if a Saturday game pushes into Sunday they will keep playing.
Some fans say it is just too coincidental the game ended when it did.
“So when I saw that 12 o’clock I thought that honestly could have been an act of God. BYU is a Christian school and we are showing them what we believe. And we can’t play football on Sundays. I feel like that’s why we didn’t make the field goal,” said freshman Jon Guzman.
BYU takes this seriously. Last summer, when schools were angling for possible inclusion in an expanded Big 12, BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe said the school would not budge on its Sunday policy.
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“I want our players … in all of our sports to be able to play at the highest level,” Holmoe told the Associated Press. “I don’t know [if the Sunday policy is a deal-breaker]. That’s up to the P5 conferences. But I do know that it’s something that we hold very sacred. We have never played on a Sunday and we’re not going to play on a Sunday.”
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