Tom Holmoe: BYU’s Relationship With MWC Made Games Against Boise State, SDSU Possible

Oct 2, 2020, 12:52 PM | Updated: Oct 3, 2020, 12:02 am

PROVO, Utah – Ten years ago, when BYU declared it’s football independence from the Mountain West Conference (MWC), the decision didn’t sit well with many from BYU’s old league.

But time heals all wounds.

With BYU adding Boise State and San Diego State, two MWC programs, to its schedule for the 2020 football season, the hard feelings from both sides are clearly improving as a lot of time has passed.

KSL Sports asked BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe on Friday during a Zoom conference with the media what these scheduling agreements with Boise State and San Diego State say about the relationship between BYU and the Mountain West, ten years after the Cougars left the league they helped create in 1999.

Holmoe on the BYU/MWC relationship

“I’d say, nine years ago, this wouldn’t have happened. It was a tough break for everybody involved. There were some hard feelings,” Holmoe said. “But people involved are good people and some ADs are gone, some new ADs are in there. Mountain West Conference staff is very experienced from top to bottom, and they have a lot of contacts, they’re very wise about games. They know this, they have so much experience.

“So I would say, just through the years, you’ve seen we’ve scheduled more and more games with Mountain West Conference, and thankfully, because they’re regional teams, we have really good rivalries through the years [with them]. Some of the fans still hold some hard feelings. But I really feel grateful to individuals in the Mountain West Conference, the conference as a whole, because without them this wouldn’t have happened.”

Getting Boise State and San Diego State added to the schedule is a big boom for BYU’s 2020 schedule. The Cougars were one of the hardest-hit teams by the all of the rescheduling, postponements, and conference-only schedules in college football during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Adding the Broncos and Aztecs, two teams on BYU’s original 2020 pre-COVID-19 slate, give BYU 10 games for a schedule that has had to come together in the past two months.

Holmoe also noted later in his roundtable Zoom call that he didn’t see Boise State and San Diego State being real possibilities a week ago. But it still happened largely because of those relationships that have improved over time in the MWC and the other western league, the Pac-12 Conference.

“I think that the Pac-12 is a conference that’s helped us a lot as an Independent. So it’s good to have friends out there during these tough times, you need a lot more friends out there.”

Friendship and relationships, we can all get behind that in these wild and crazy times of 2020.

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

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Tom Holmoe: BYU’s Relationship With MWC Made Games Against Boise State, SDSU Possible