Tom Holmoe, Athletic Director for Brigham Young University sat down on Wednesday morning in sunny San Diego with the Mighty 1090’s Dan Sileo while in town for for the Poinsettia Bowl.
During their radio discussion many talk points arose, including Holmoe’s take on why BYU went independent in 2011; how high hopes to join a Power Five conference are progressing- or not, and sentiments around rekindling a long-time rivalry with SDSU.
Holmoe was asked if he liked being an independent, on impact of the Big 12 deciding not to expand, and if he was happy with the current state of things.
"We would have loved to have been [invited] to a Power Five conference," Holmoe said. "That's where the best games are played. That's where the best championships are played. They advance to the best bowl games. There is no question that is the ultimate for college football. … We made a venture to go independent to get to that point.
We were very close, but it just didn't happen."
Holmoe wasn't pressed by the show's host about whether he believes Big 12 expansion is dead, but he did spell out what the Cougars need to do to look more attractive to a P5 conference.
"In order to make that happen, we just really have to improve," Holmoe said. "Even though I think we have a strong national brand, we have to win bowl games."
The athletic director mentioned that BYU lost three of its four games on the last play of the game.
"We win those three games, we might not be in San Diego, we might be in another bowl game," he said.
The Cougars and Cowboys played for the 78th time — but first time since 2010 — on Wednesday night, reigniting a rivalry that ended when BYU walked away from the Mountain West for independence.
Holmoe said he would love to start up a home-and-home series with Wyoming again, but acknowledged that "there were some hard feelings" among longtime WAC and MWC teams when the Cougars bolted.
The MWC team the Cougars would really like to face again, he said, is San Diego State.
"San Diego is the one game that we really want, San Diego State," Holmoe said, noting that he and former AD Jim Sterk discussed a series before Sterk left last August for Missouri. "We are hoping we can get something done to play home-and-home in the future."
With Jim Sterk gone, and 11-3 San Diego State experiencing no shortage in interested non-conference pairings securing a home-and-home may take a few years- granted San Diego State did not still have misgivings from BYU’s Mountain West exodus.
That BYU would like to re-establish some of its western rivalries is also not a secret.
"Offer's on the table with any of the MWC teams," Holmoe tweeted last week when a fan suggested home-and-home agreements with Wyoming, Colorado State and New Mexico.
Holmoe told the station that BYU went independent "to get on TV more," so in that sense it is working. He said BYU was on national television more than any program in the country except one through the first seven weeks of the season.
Said Holmoe, “Sometimes you sacrifice one thing to get something else.”