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Jay Drew
Jay covers BYU athletics for The Salt Lake Tribune. You can follow him on Twitter @drewjay.

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More on the future of BYU-Utah State football series

BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe and Utah State AD Scott Barnes were scheduled to visit Wednesday, and one topic on the table was the future of the football series between the instate foes.

Oh, to be a fly on the wall during that discussion.

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What happens next after the Cougars play host to the Aggies on Friday night (8:15 p.m., ESPN) is explored in this article in Thursday's Tribune.

Basically, the Cougars and Aggies embark on a new, three-year contract next year. The 2013 game is in Logan; the 2014 and 2015 games are in Provo.

Barnes and Holmoe presumably talked about what becomes of the series in 2016 and beyond, with USU wanting a home-and-home agreement and BYU naturally preferring to stay with the status quo.

As the article notes, Barnes agreed to talk to me for the report, while a BYU spokesperson said Holmoe would not grant an interview because he does not talk to the media about scheduling issues.

There were a few more interesting comments from Barnes that I was unable to work into a 600-word article.

For instance:

* Barnes said that when schools agree to a home-and-home deal, very little money switches hands, if any. However, when there's a two-for-one with BYU, Utah State is paid for the second visit to Provo. He didn't disclose the amount, but my guess would be it is around $500,000, seeing as how the Cougars paid Weber State $375,000 for its visit last month.

* At the end of our discussion, Barnes said: "They are playing some other folks home and home. I would hope that they give us that same consideration. The series is great for football in this state, and I think it is good for both programs."

* Barnes said talks for beyond 2015 are in the preliminary stage, and nothing will happen overnight. "With the new series starting next year, we have a little bit of time on this," he said.

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The comment from BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall about wanting to maintain the status quo with USU that I used in the article was his response to a question I asked on Monday.

I was alerted to the fact that Mendenhall was also asked about the future of the series on his KSL Radio coaches show on Wednesday.

Here's his response:

"They certainly cherish the chance to play BYU, and they make the most of the games. I certainly hope we do the same. I think it is a good college matchup. We are contracted for the next three years. Then it will be up for renegotiation at that point," he said.

Told again that the Aggies want a home-and-home agreement, Mendenhall said:

"I am not certain, how that will go, and Tom [Holmoe] and I will have to talk about that. It is so difficult right now to make sure that we bring quality opponents into LaVell Edwards Stadium. And I like the Utah State game. I think it is a good game, and I would love to have them at home, simply to add one more intriguing game for our fans to watch here at LaVell Edwards Stadium. So I am protecting that interest the best way that I know how, and that's at least for three more years.

But I can certainly see their point of wanting home and home as the game becomes more and more important."



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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