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San Diego State Coach Wishes BYU Game Wasn’t Scheduled

Head coach Rocky Long looks on during the fourth quarter of a game against the California Golden Bears at Qualcomm Stadium on September 10, 2016 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

PROVO, Utah – The San Diego State football program is in the midst of a special season. SDSU is 7-1 and ranked No. 25 in the AP Top 25 heading into their second bye this weekend.

The Aztecs’ success is relevant to BYU and its fans this year as the former Mountain West Conference foe is on the Cougars schedule. The two rivals will square off in this year’s regular-season finale on November 30.

On Tuesday, SDSU head coach Rocky Long held his weekly press conference with the assembled media. Near the end of the press conference, Long was asked if he likes having BYU back on his team’s schedule.

“I don’t mind playing BYU. I wish they weren’t on the schedule. I think that them leaving the league was the wrong thing to do and they went independent, and the only way they develop a schedule is the Mountain West Conference scheduling them,” said Long.

This year’s BYU/SDSU game will be the first regular-season football matchup between the two programs since the Cougars left to become an FBS Independent in 2011. The two schools squared off against one another back in 2012 in the new defunct Poinsettia Bowl. BYU won that game 23-6.

San Diego State makes a return trip to Provo next year on November 14, 2020.

Back in 2018, BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe was asked about his program’s relationship with athletic departments from the Mountain West Conference in his annual roundtable Q&A with the media.

Holmoe said feelings from MWC programs towards BYU were “thawing out,” but noted that former conference foes had hard feelings for BYU leaving the league.

BYU has 13 games scheduled against current Mountain West Conference programs in the next five seasons, from 2020 to 2024.

“I don’t think a kid in our program sees BYU as I see BYU,” Long said. “I’ve been in this conference for a long time. I was in the conference when BYU was in the conference and all those sort of things. There’s not a kid on our team that cares because they don’t know any of the history or care about the history.”

BYU takes on another Mountain West Conference foe this weekend in Utah State on Saturday. Then travels to SDSU four weeks later to close out the 2019 regular season. The Cougars lead the all-time series against the Aztecs 28-7-1.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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