Provo • Bronco Mendenhall didn't say whether he watched the Utah-Colorado football game on television Friday afternoon, but he did acknowledge wishing his team was the one facing the Utes, and not the Buffaloes.
"I never thought I would say that, because of how much hype and anticipation [the BYU-Utah rivalry game brings]," Mendenhall said at his Monday morning news conference when asked if he missed playing the Utes a day or two after Thanksgiving, as was the case before Utah left for the Pac-12 and BYU became a football independent.
"But the season doesn't seem right to finish [any other way]. I am not sure what [Utah's] thoughts are, and now [with Utah] having inferred that Colorado is their rival. But it is a lot of history, and it is natural for that game to not be what it was in terms of the BYU-Utah game. It is just unfortunate that there is not a way to schedule around that."
Upon joining the Pac-12, the Utes learned that the conference would not let them keep their traditional late-November game against BYU intact and insisted that they play a conference game then.
Mendenhall said it was "weird" being home without a football game to prepare for or play last weekend.
"I was able to get on a horse a couple times, which was fun," he said. "But it seemed like we should have been playing a game. So I wasn't used to it. I think that was maybe only the second time since I have been in Provo that we haven't played on Thanksgiving. â¦ I did watch football, which was kind of weird. So it was anti-climactic. I didn't know quite what to do. I have to get in rhythm to figure out maybe how to be more productive over Thanksgiving. But I kind of laid around a lot."
No Big East news
Mendenhall said Monday he's doesn't know why talks between BYU and the Big East broke down last week. The Tribune reported last Tuesday that the Big East presented a "final offer" to the Cougars but that it was rejected because BYU wants to retain its home television rights, among other hangups.
"I am sure at some point maybe our administration will address that," Mendenhall said. "But I didn't really ask any other questions other than I told them I would trust their judgement whenever it got down to that point. I gave my input early, kind of gave [the media] an update. â¦ And that was really when I bowed out. Again, I have trusted our administration to go with it from there."
BYU and Hawaii will meet for the 28th time, but the first time since 2002. The Cougars lead the series, 19-8. â¦ Nine BYU players are from Hawaii, including starting safety Travis Uale and backup defensive linemen Graham Rowley and Simote Vea. â¦ BYU is 4-0 against WAC teams this year.
BYU at Hawaii
P Saturday, 5:30 p.m. MST
TV • ESPN2