Utah AD Chris Hill: Utes “Close” to playing BYU in 2017, 2018

By Kevin Kelley -

Utah athletics director Chris Hill announced via YouTube today that the Utes are close to signing a contract to play the BYU Cougars in 2017 and 2018 (see video below).

“I can assure you that (BYU A.D.) Tom Holmoe and I have had many discussions, and we are very close to signing a contract. It looks like in 2017 we’ll be playing in the early part of September, and in an unusual situation in 2018 we’ll be playing the last game of the year” Hill said.

Hill went on to say that they needed to get final approval from the Pac-12 Conference and should be able to make an official announcement in early August, if not sooner.

“We value the BYU-Utah rivalry. We know it’s important to our student-athletes, to our universities, to our fans, and to the media” said Hill.

The future of the yearly BYU-Utah series has been uncertain ever since the Utes joined the Pac-12. With only three non-conference games per year, Utah has been concerned about overdoing their strength of schedule.

To that end, the schools will not meet in 2014 and 2015, which will end their streak of consecutive games played at 68. It just so happens that Utah will play Michigan those two seasons and didn’t want to face the Cougars also.

“To say the rivalry is going to be the same, it’s not,” Hill said last year. “We need to take a reasonable approach to the season.”

Last July, Utah and BYU agreed to a two-game contract for 2013 and 2016. The 2013 game is set for Sept. 21 in Provo, while the 2016 contest is slated for Sept. 10 in Salt Lake City.

Update (6:15 p.m. ET)

Mike Sorensen of the Deseret News has tweeted that Utah A.D. Chris Hill said BYU is starting a home-and-home series with Stanford in 2020.

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Comments (17)

This is great news for BYU fans! Proving once again that BYU is the top program in the state; and Utah, even as a member of the Pac-12, still needs BYU on its schedule in order to stay relevant.

It also proves once again that independence is a success, as BYU is showing more and more it can schedule BCS-level opponents home-and-home and at the end of the season.

You are smoking something! This is great news for BYU for sure but it hardly proves that BYU is the top program in the state.

Good luck to all Utah teams … until they play each other, then …

Go UTES, AGGIES, BYU (in that order)

Doug Utah plays weber st North Dakota Idaho st. So yet you play some weak ball to there big guy

I sure hope to see a Utah-BYU game in November again so the Utes can kick butt at home!

Why did the end of the clip have a logo with the saying “Where Champions are made”? Was that a reference for gymnastics?

I’m glad to see Chris Hill came to his senses regarding the BYU vs. Utah series.

What a relief. The Holy War is one of the best things going for Utah football right now. We’re not a program with a lot of history or tradition, and most fans don’t know us from Utah State. So, aside from our two BCS busting seasons in the last decade, the rivalry is the one thing that still puts us on the national map.

LOL @Geoff – jealous zoob that has to run smack by pretending he is a Utah fan because he knows that BYU fans can’t run smack after watching the Utes shower BYU with a bucket-filling bukake year after year on national TV. BYU is a never-was masquerading as a has-been because they beat up on a lot of cupcakes in the WAC way back in the 80’s.

4 in a row and 9 out of the last 12 says it all. I love how jealous you losers still are over Utah’s PAC-12 invite. Reading comments from jealous BYU fans that post on every Ute-related article on the internet lets me know just how utterly and completely Utah owns you.

Wasn’t Utah In The wac? So if byu played cup cakes that would make you one of them.

I’m pissed there’re taking a two year hiatus. I think Chris Hill has taken some heat on that and knows that the fan base on both sides wants this game to be played every year.

I think that would be grate if byu and Utah never played. I wish byu would use there billions To move to some other state. They need to get the hell out of Utah.

We took a break from playing BYU so that opportunities like Michigan can happen. As we all witness Utah beating Michigan twice now in a row and BYU getting waxed. Its clear Utah is PLAYING with the big boys. Like WINNING against them not just scheduling them for the chance to say hey we played them. So please save the byu vs utah bash and just take it for what it is.