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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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BYU's Holmoe hopes instate football rivalries continue well into next decade

For locals, the upcoming college football season just won’t be the same because BYU and Utah won’t play each other. Same deal next year.

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They will renew the rivalry on Sept. 10, 2016 at Utah. Last September, the rivals announced that they will also play in 2017 (Sept. 9) in Provo and in 2018 (Nov. 24) in Salt Lake City.

What then?

BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe said Wednesday that he expects the rivalry to continue uninterrupted after that.

"We are looking at it. Chris [Hill] and I," Holmoe said. "it was such a hot item for a second that we got a couple agreements, and then Chris said, ‘OK, timeout. Let’s just put this to rest for a little bit, and then we will come back.’ And I am cool with that. It is just something that we had to answer."

If they do, BYU’s 2019 home schedule, which would presumably include Utah, could be one of the best in school history. The Cougars are scheduled to host Wisconsin (Aug. 29), USC (Sept. 14), Washington (Sept. 21) and Boise State (Oct. 12) that year. Throw in Utah, and it becomes phenomenal.

"We will get back [to playing Utah]," Hill said. "It is about time that we will start looking at the future, because they are scheduling games now into the future, and we got to make sure that those games are scheduled, and [consider] timing. If they have one game left, where is it at? That’s a hard thing. It is not as easy as you think to put together a BYU-Utah game these days. But we are going to do everything we possibly can to make it happen. And I feel good about it."

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Holmoe was also asked about playing Utah State in November and whether the Mountain West Conference was comfortable with that moving forward.

"Well, I think that is a good example [of how conferences are working with BYU] on that. When we broke away from the Mountain West Conference, it was uncomfortable, because we had had a really good run with them. It was a win-win situation for the Mountain West Conference and BYU, from my perspective [when BYU was in the MWC].

And then when we left, it was hard. But eventually they realized, ‘hey, this is good.’ I mean, it is good for Utah State to play a game in October which does come into their [conference] season, but it is good for them. It gives opportunities for another Mountain West Conference team to play a Power 5 [school] on that week. So that’s good. So now they get two big games [that week]. That’s great.

It is very fortunate that, with General Conference, we play Utah State on conference weekend, and that just happens to fit. It happens to work for everybody’s schedule.

So it is odd, it is unique, it is different than everybody else’s schedules, but it works.

The Mountain West Conference has been great in collaborating with their schools to make good games come to pass."



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

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