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BYU, Utah working to schedule future rivalry games

By Chip Patterson | Staff Writer

BYU and Utah's Holy War rivalry will take a hiatus after the teams meet in 2013. (USATSI)
BYU and Utah's rivalry will take a hiatus after the teams meet in 2013. (USATSI)

BYU and Utah's in-state rivalry, known affectionately as the Holy War, will take a two-year hiatus after their Sept. 21 meeting this fall. There is one other meeting on their future schedules, slated for 2016, but there are no other games between the longtime rivals scheduled.

According to BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe, both schools are "in discussions" to resume the series on a long-term basis.

"It's going to happen. I don't think there's a question it will happen," Holmoe said at a question-and-answer session on campus last week. "It is possible that on an odd year we have to take a year off. I want to play, Bronco [Mendenhall, BYU football coach] wants to play. I know Chris [Hill, Utah's athletic director] wants to play. We wouldn't be having discussions if they didn't want to get it done."

Holmoe also addressed BYU's other in-state rival, Utah State, during the session. BYU's current home-and-home series with the Aggies will expire in 2015, but Holmoe indicated the Cougars are very interested in keeping that series alive, possibly moving the game to November.

BYU, an FBS independent since 2011, faces the difficult task of filling its schedule with competitive matchups as conferences begin to discuss the expansion of league schedules. The Big Ten will join the Pac-12 and Big 12 with a nine-game conference schedule in 2016, while the seed has been planted in the SEC.

BYU is also facing the possibility of being one of the last FBS independents left due to conference realignment. Notre Dame will begin its partial football membership with the ACC -- which guarantees five games against ACC opponents -- in 2014, and Navy is scheduled to join the American Athletic Conference in 2015.

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