Tom Holmoe: BYU in good position, going forward
Provo • Entering the school's third season of football independence, athletic director Tom Holmoe believes BYU is well positioned for further movement in the NCAA power structure.
"We're probably in a really good spot right now, in my mind," Holmoe said Wednesday, addressing a class of about 200 campus visitors during BYU's annual Education Week.
Holmoe said it is "possible or probable" that members of power conferences someday will create another level of NCAA football, and that BYU would be included as long as the Cougars win a significant number of games in the coming seasons.
As for qualifying for a BCS game in the final season of the system, Holmoe said, "Win 'em all, and we're in. I'm serious. â¦ I'm not trying to be cynical, but if you've been around BYU, one loss is not going to do it."
Holmoe ended his 40-minute presentation by fielding seven or eight questions, which he promised would be "the most entertaining part of the show." He was not asked about football coach Bronco Mendenhall's amended plan to have his players' jerseys display "Tradition," "Honor" or "Spirit" on the back for the Oct. 12 homecoming game vs. Georgia Tech.
Other highlights of Holmoe's appearance:
• Distance runner Miles Batty is "the greatest student-athlete ever to be at BYU," Holmoe said.
Batty, who received an NCAA Today's Top 10 Award in January, excelled in cross country and track and field and posted a 3.93 grade-point average in neuroscience and exercise science.
"When you talk about BYU athletics, you should not have a discussion without Miles Batty," he said.
• Jim McMahon, Holmoe's former Cougar football teammate, is among five or six athletes who would be inducted into the BYU Hall of Fame, except they have yet to graduate. McMahon is enrolled in classes in an effort to finish his degree, Holmoe confirmed.
• Tyler Haws' re-entry to college basketball, resulting in his 21.7-point average as a sophomore in 2012-13, was "a miracle," Holmoe said, "because a lot of student-athletes come back from a mission and they're no good for a year. â¦ This year, he's going to be much better. Much better."
• BYU linebacker Kyle Van Noy's Poinsettia Bowl performance topped anything Holmoe has witnessed, from Pop Warner football to the NFL. "I've never seen an individual do as much in one game," he said, citing Van Noy's touchdowns via an interception return and a forced fumble, plus a blocked punt against San Diego State.
• Retelling the story of defensive lineman Ziggy Ansah's ascent in becoming the No. 5 overall pick in the NFL draft, Holmoe cited Ansah's being cut twice in BYU basketball tryouts. "Dave Rose hates it when people say that," Holmoe said, adding that Mendenhall's "not off the hook, either." That's because Ansah became a starter only in the fifth game of his senior season, after Eathyn Manumaleuna was injured.
"You try to identify talent â¦" Holmoe said, laughing.