BYU AD Tom Holmoe talks 2013 Football Schedule

By Kevin Kelley -

BYUBYU athletic director Tom Holmoe revealed some information about the Cougars’ 2013 football schedule on Monday at the West Coast Conference Men’s Basketball Tip-Off event.

Holmoe didn’t announce any new additions to the schedule. Rather, he said that two teams under contract for the 2013 season requested to back out.

“We had the schedule relatively set; we were done,” said Holmoe, “and two teams, one of them under contract, asked to get out–which we did–and one team that was not under contract, but for all intents and purposes, it was done…(they) bailed out.”

The two teams that “bailed out” have yet to be identified, but it appears they have already been replaced. As reported by, Holmoe said “we’ve contracted a couple of games in the last couple of days.”

We can only speculate as to the two teams that canceled on the Cougars. It could have been the last two teams to be scheduled, which were never made public. Some BYU fans have speculated that one of the schools could be Utah.

Yesterday, Desert News furnished some information regarding the future of the BYU-Notre Dame series. The two schools agreed to a 6-year contract back in 2010. But so far, only one of those games has been played and another is set for 2013.

“We might take a big break until we play them again,” Holmoe told the Deseret News. That’s good news for BYU fans that don’t want to see the Irish cancel the remaining four games against the Cougars. However, Holmoe did say this later…”Who knows what’s going to happen between now and then? I take them a year at a time.”

Prior to the “who knows” comment, Holmoe listed the reasons why Notre Dame should continue to play BYU.

“They still need seven more games,” Holmoe said. “They have some games that they traditionally play. But we’re playing them two-for-one, which is a good deal for them. And it’s a good game. Going back there this year and playing them strong, we got good feedback from Notre Dame and their administration and staff. There’s good respect between their players and our players. It’s a good matchup between schools. Notre Dame doesn’t play just anybody. They play schools that they feel are good academic schools and schools that stand for something.”

Notre Dame will have a slight scheduling crunch due to their agreement to play five ACC teams per season beginning as early as 2014. The Irish also want to keep yearly games against Navy, Stanford, and USC. That leaves them with four-conference slots open, but less in years they play other long-standing rivals such as Michigan, Michigan State or Purdue.

The BYU Cougars currently have 11 games on their 2013 schedule and can play 13 since they are traveling to Hawaii. Here is what their schedule looks like now, but it is certainly subject to change.

2013 BYU Football Schedule

  • 09/07 – Texas
  • 09/21 – Boise State
  • 10/04 – at Utah State
  • 10/12 – Georgia Tech
  • 10/19 – at Houston
  • 11/09 – at Wisconsin
  • 11/23 – at Notre Dame
  • 12/07 – at Hawaii
  • TBA – Middle Tennessee State
  • TBA – Utah
  • TBA – at Washington State

Comments (30)

BYU has some serious problems to resolve if they wish to remain a relevant college football program and a significant force in the game. For 2 decades BYU has resisted moving to the top tier leagues mostly out of demand of LDS Church governing board members that BYU not diminish the relevance of in-state schools such as Utah and Utah State. The relationship with Utah was resolved in 2010 when the Utes were invited to make the Pac-10 the Pac-12, but Utah State remains a program mired in mid-major mediocrity despite success the last 2 seasons. As a whole the Aggie (Utah State) athletic program has been a money loser, and continues to put a great deal of strain on the schools finances and have resulted in the highest student fees in the state of Utah.

There are substantiated rumors that BYU backed away from a Big 12 invitation just over a year ago not because of the unwritten “no Sunday play” clause in a contract BYU demanded but could not gain from media partners, particularly FOX, but rather because administrators knew it would not be a harmonious decision to do so at their Board of Trustees, where a small yet high ranking and powerful minority strongly feel that such a move by BYU along with Utah’s recent move to the Pac-12 would be ultimately unfair to Utah State. This is a grudge that has been around with some members of LDS church and thus BYU senior leadership for over 50 years since Utah and BYU found themselves in the original WAC configuration in 1961 and Utah State was left out. BYU has faced this so called “fairness doctrine to Utah State” as several of its post-graduate master’s and doctoral programs have been either furloughed, discontinued over the past 18 years academically speaking.

There is still ramped speculation that the Big 12 will add two more schools before 2014 and 2015 and BYU remains on this short list. It might be that there will be some likely changes to the makeup of this senior leadership group that will make such an accommodation for BYU more possible than many realize. I would love to see this happen since its obvious BYU needs the Big 12 more than they need football independence than the WCC. Either that or drop the program.

Nobody knows anything about why or not it didn’t happen. Those who know aren’t saying a peep, which is why the rest of us know nothing. It’s all rumors and because of that it is somewhat useless to speculate.

Most of what you just said is straight up not true. All they have to do to be relevant is win. They’re upcoming schedules would put them in the national picture if they win. And news flash: the program is a missionary tool. The church would never drop it, ever.

News Flash Kab: BYU players in the NFL encourage more LDS Church members to not live within the harmony of the Sabbath than serve as a missionary tool. At least that’s how I know some senior leaders feel about it.

Son, for some reason you put this blame on the leaders of the church. Get with it they know how the FB program is a missionary tool and that the coach is a fantastic tool himself. We need a OC to help with our scoring when that is resolved look out. We will come to the rescue and BYU will rule.

I am curious who backed out of games?

NOTE: the “drop the program” comment from @CougarCentreSLC seems a little silly. Just enjoy the here and now and let Holmoe worry about the rest.

I wish it were silly, but sadly it has been an item discussed. How much traction it has probably isn’t that big, at least yet. The LDS Church’s recent reaffirmation of Sabbath Respect amongst its members, is also part of this debate, as well as the future academic mission of BYU.

If it were to happen, probably by the late teens would be my guess and a program that has slipped badly and starts looking more like Rice or Tulane look like now. With no ESPN contract renewal. Point being is don’t kid yourself, it could happen.

What you’re saying makes no sense. BYU will drop to the level of Rice and Tulane when nobody watches them any more. ND was mediocre for a long time but remained a coveted brand name through that time solely because of their giant fanbase. Are you saying that BYU’s fans (mostly LDS) are less loyal than ND’s (mostly Catholic) fans?

@cougar center – Thats the worst post ever. If the PAC-12 or anyone relevant would have ever wanted BYU they would have gone. No one wanted BYU because they won’t play on Sunday. The SLC media market has become relevant for TV and the Utes were a program on the rise. More attractive than a BYU program with their unique quirks. To think BYU passed on membership because they wanted to help Utah & Utah State makes no sense.

Utah is a program only on the rise due to BYU sticking with them during the 1990s and decade just passed. Despite the growth of the Wasatch Front, Utah would not have been able to grow theri program and brand without BYU pushing them. LDS senior leaders have seen this and some now wish for the same for Utah State, which is why BYU tried to deal with the WAC first 2 years ago, and MWC commissioner Craig “the Hair” Thompson knew this which is why he went after Utah State first before cornering Fresno State, Nevada and later Hawaii.

Here is what I figured the schedule looked like prior to this interview. I think Maryland was the uncontracted back-out and does not change it. The contracted team could be several teams so have not speculated.

8/31 FCS
9/7 Texas
9/14 @ Washington State
9/21 Utah
10/5 @ Utah St. (Friday)
10/12 Ga Tech
10/19 @ Houston
10/26 Boise State
11/9 @ Wisconsin
11/16 NMSU
11/23 @ Notre Dame
11/30 Middle Tennessee
12/7 @ Hawaii

Interesting posts and we all have opinions don’t we. BYU is much more of an attractive program than the Utes will ever be. BYU has a national following that puts the program as one of the top ten, Utah isn’t even in the top 100. The Sunday play issue has very little to do with why the Cougars aren’t in the Big-12, the main issue is BYU’s rights to TV broadcasting and the Church’s influence on those broadcasts. Regarding conferences I think BYU and BSU will join the Big East which may be renamed. Although both the Big 10 and Big 12 could invite if the broadcasting issues could be resolved, but that is a huge hurdle to overcome. Finally, I think the PAC-12 over the coming years will regret the additions of both Utah and Colorado.

Oklahoma News reporter and editorialist Berry Trammel has made it VERY clear it isn’t BYU TV that has created the BYU to the Big 12 snag.

I stand behind my statement that it is the “fairness doctrine” towards Utah State by a few powerful people. BYU in the Big 12 along with Utah already in the Pac-12 would/will relegate Utah State to athletic irrelevance, not to mention put them into the same level of academic relevance as Weber State, Utah Valley or Southern Utah Universities.

Er, no, the Big10 would never invite BYU. BYU’s profile doesn’t mesh with the B10’s at all. Note that the B10 is a collection of big-research secular universities (mostly public). BYU is none of those 3.

I’m guessing the contracted game that was backed out of is Washington State. Mike Leach is notorious for his easy non-conference schedules, and they already have Auburn next year.

And I’m gonna say the non-contracted game is Idaho. They just became independent, so everyone assumed BYU would throw them a bone on their late season schedule. But when their schedule came out there was no BYU, just a November game that says TBD BCS team. I’m guessing someone came along and offered more money for a buy game than BYU was offering.

The BYU payout would be around $600K-$700K. SEC teams do offer $200k more on average, and it it still an aircraft charter game from Moscow to Provo. Utah State on the other hand is a minimal bus trip, which is how Holmoe has continued to leverage 2 for ones from the Aggies.

BYU won’t play Sundays. A BYU team forfeited a NIT Championship game (the equivalent of an NCAA mens basketball championship game) rather than play Sunday Perhaps this will help you understand the “BYU rule” it is against our religious beliefs to play Sunday. The coaches and media writers knew BYU likely gave up a championship because of their religious beliefs, and they realized the game certainly could have been scheduled on a non-Sunday. The players missed out due to their convictions. The hue and cry was intense and the bYU rule was instituted. Any game which may require BYU to play Sunday is put in a different region, where the final is on a Saturday or a Monday. This has nothing to do with leaving poor Utah State out of some money mix. It isn’t good business sense for the SEC or other conferences to be unable to schedule big games, on Sundays, should BYU for example be involved. I have no idea if Utah State would also follow suit and not play Sundays…I doubt they would. College Football would survive just fine without any Sunday games.

Re: the Maryland question, Tom Holmoe mentioned in two interviews:

– Former Army AD owed him a favor in terms of filling a schedule
– one team in negotiations had only 2013 & 2018 schedule openings

Just struck me that the out-request could be Hawaii.

It is a contracted 2011 through 2020 ten game series but included no-penalty opt out provisions. These were expected to be used if BYU joined a conference but could also be used if Coach Chow can’t stand losing badly to BYU. Ten game series could becoe eight if a school is not competitive for a couple years.

The 2013 date is still on the Hawaii website but they have five FBS non-conference opponents at this time, they need their FCS win more than ever these days.

MTSU seemed like a stretch home-and-home for BYU but NMSU can only fill in one of BYU’s Nov 16, Nov 30 (NMSU plays Idaho) and Dec 7 open dates. We may see NMSU, MTSU and a bye those three dates if Hawaii is gone.

Does the predominately late night schedules for the games bother anybody else besides me? By my clock, if the San Jose State Game would have gone into one or two overtimes, BYU would’ve been playing on Sunday. The big TV money, in my opinion, is destroying the tradition of the game of football as we used to know.

Not concerned here about the tradition.

The only concern of us outside the USA is that ESPN seems unaware that it is syndicating feeds of game broadcasts to other countries. Every time there is a 3:40:00 game fit into a 3:15:00 window, there is no ESPNews cutover, there is a game cut into 25 minutes in. BYU-Idaho was 21-0 last week before avavilable, SJSU was up 7-0 on BYU this week. We’re seeing lots of 4th quarter of little Aaron Rodgers at Vanderbilt though.

I’d rather see BYU at 9 or 10pm than have them play at noon for just he 65,000 in the stands. I didn’t feel as strongly when I lived in Provo, but now I’m out of state and really love BYU’s recent emphasis on exposure. I watched every game last year.

I would like to see us schedule Iowa State sometime soon. The Cougars have played the Cyclones five times without success. Maybe the sixth time will be the charm, and it would give us good exposure to the Big 12.

Sounds like MTSU @ BYU 9-14, BYU @ Nevada 11-30, no BYU @ Hawaii in 2013 and recently weak Hawaii gets a much-needed Sun Belt or FCS game in 2013. BYU may pass on some of the Hawaii games now that the first week of December and likely the last week of November are unavailble for games.