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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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Holmoe: SEC, ACC not backing off snub of BYU

Last May, it was reported that the Southeastern and Atlantic Coast conferences, presumably acting independently, told BYU’s football program in so many words that it wasn’t good enough. The SEC and the ACC decided that football games against independent BYU don’t count in their mandates that their member schools play at least one BCS-level non-conference opponent a year.

The news reverberated around Provo and the rest of Utah for days, and BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe immediately responded that he would like to have a word with SEC commissioner Mike Slive and ACC commissioner John Swofford.

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Well, Holmoe has done that.

And nothing has changed, he acknowledged Wednesday in a roundtable discussion with reporters who cover BYU sports.

"First of all, there hasn’t been any [scheduling] fallout [from other Power 5 conferences]," Holmoe said. "When that happened, that was their business, and I have actually spoken to both of the commissioners about their policy, and we have had conversations. I am going to continue to schedule the best I can. We will go after and try to schedule schools from all conferences."

I asked Holmoe if he made any headway in getting those two leagues to change their policies.

"No, they have kept their policy and we are going to continue on to schedule as we want," he said.

Holmoe has said May’s news doesn’t mean the leagues will not play BYU. He also said schools in the other Power 5 conferences have been amenable to scheduling BYU. For instance, hours after the roundtable discussion, BYU announced it has agreed to a home-and-home series with the Pac-12’s Washington. BYU has games scheduled in the next 10 years against every Pac-12 school except Colorado, Oregon and Oregon State.

"Conferences are going to do what is best for them. And I understand how those conferences came out [with the declaration that they didn’t consider BYU a Power 5 conference school]. It was in reaction to the college football playoff [people] coming out and saying, ‘hey, it is going to strength-of-schedule based.’

So their reaction was good, for the most part, because some schools were not playing great non-conference competition.

So, I understand where they came from on that. And so, yeah, if we were able to do something for those conferences that made it good for them, they are not going to turn away from that, I don’t think.

We have to find a way to make it work with those conferences."

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