BYU Excited To Have Colorado As Big 12 Partner Out West

Jul 27, 2023, 6:11 PM | Updated: 8:36 pm

PROVO, Utah – BYU athletics didn’t have to wait long for another program in the Mountain Time Zone to join them in the Big 12 Conference.

Colorado is set to return to the Big 12 beginning in 2024. The Buffs formally announced the decision on Thursday after their Board of Regents unanimously approved the move from the Pac-12, 9-0.

Having Colorado in the Big 12 gives BYU a cliche “travel partner” in the league in the future.

BYU President, Athletics Director issue statements

BYU President Shane Reese and Athletic Director Tom Holmoe issued statements of excitement about the Buffs joining their new league home.

“We are excited for Colorado to join the Big 12 and hope the Buffaloes feel as welcomed as we have as new members of the conference,” Reese said in a statement.

BYU officially joined the Big 12 on July 1 of this year. It’s been an eventful first month for the Cougars, who are gearing up for their first year of competition in the conference. BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe has led BYU during Mountain West, oversaw the transition into Independence, and now the Big 12.

Like Reese, Holmoe can’t wait for Colorado to join the league.

“This is a great addition to the Big 12 that will continue to make the conference stronger. We look forward to many great Big 12 competitions between BYU and Colorado within the Intermountain West in the years ahead,” said Holmoe.

The history between BYU and Colorado

Whenever BYU and Colorado are scheduled to meet on the gridiron, it will be the first contest in nearly four decades. BYU last faced the Buffs in football at the 1988 Freedom Bowl in Anaheim, California. The Cougars won that game 20-17 thanks to a game-winning field goal from Jason Chaffetz.

BYU had a more recent run-in with Colorado in basketball. The two Intermountain West programs met in consecutive years for a home-and-home in 2015 and 2016. BYU won the 2016 meeting at the Marriott Center, 79-71. But before the 2015 matchup in Boulder, they had not met on the hardwood since 1955.

In women’s basketball, the last meeting was in the 2003 NCAA Tournament. On the pitch in women’s soccer, BYU and Colorado met last year, a game that resulted in a 2-2 tie.

BYU and Colorado used to be in the same conference together when the Cougars launched their football program in 1922. They were members of the Rocky Mountain Conference. Then the Mountain States Athletic Conference before Colorado bolted for the Big 7, which became their league home until leaving for the Pac-12 in 2011.

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.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow Mitch’s coverage of BYU in the Big 12 Conference on Twitter and Threads: @Mitch_Harper.

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BYU Excited To Have Colorado As Big 12 Partner Out West