Future of Utah, BYU series in Tom Holmoe’s court?

Utah AD Chris Hill sheds light on the future of the series between BYU, yet in an unconventional way.

The series between Utah and BYU is extremely heated and it has gotten to the point that Utah athletic director Chris Hill has responded about the series between Utah and BYU. This all started in a question and answer session in the Deseret News about how Ute fans feel about the series with the Cougars.  In short, Utah fans are glad to see Michigan on the schedule, and at home, even if it means that BYU is left off the schedule.

Utah is in a position to want, or not want, to play BYU now that the Utes are in the Pac-12 where there is a nine-game conference schedule. On the other hand, BYU needing to schedule 12 games every year needs this game more than Utah, and even if it is just to fill out their schedule.

Currently, the two teams are set to play in 2016, 2017 and 2018; beyond that all that was known was that the two sides were working on things.

Hill felt compelled to release a statement regarding his comments in the Deseret News, the BYU series, backlash he was getting from a local radio host and also why there is a break between the two schools.

“The Michigan game is attracting more national publicity than we’ve had for maybe any non-conference home game in our history,” Hill said. “There is a tremendous excitement surrounding the game from our fans. We anticipate it will also draw the largest TV audience we’ve had for a game televised from Rice-Eccles Stadium.”

Again, Utah playing Michigan is a big deal and will get national attention because it’s a) Michigan coming to Utah and b) Jim Harbaugh is back in the college game and opens against the Utes.

As for the series, Hill says that the continuation of this series is squarely in the hands of BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe.

“I’ve talked to (BYU athletic director) Tom Holmoe on several occasions about our future scheduling. We are already scheduled to meet in 2016, ’17 and ’18, and on Tom’s desk is a contract for 2019 and 2020, which we sent on July 30. We have also discussed tentative dates for 2021 and 2022.

“Neither Tom nor I like to announce things until we have signed contracts in hand,” Hill said.  “But the circumstances today, when my personal integrity was attacked, led me to believe it is important to let people in the state know our future plans.”

While this news was forced out from Hill, it is nice to hear that there is a chance that the Holy War could run for seven straight years.


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