How about this for some news! The Utes have announced today, with BYU, that they are extending the series! I know, I thought the same thing. But the good news is that the Utes and Cougars will not be playing in 2022 and 2023, which sounds like a long ways away, but it’s only three seasons from now. In the official press release, which I’ll post below, the Utes stated that they are working on a home-and-home series with a SEC opponent. And if the smoke leads to fire on the internet, that SEC team will be the Florida Gators. The unconfirmed reports at this time are that the Utes will go to Gainesville in 2022 and the Gators will come to Rice-Eccles Stadium in 2023. This would be the second SEC home-and-home that Mark Harlan has locked down in the last couple of months, joining the Arkansas series.
This is a home run series for the Utes. They get some more exposure in Florida, where they’ve built a nice pipeline, and they get a marquee SEC opponent to agree to a home-and-home. That fact that Florida is coming west is great. Of course, currently on the staff at Florida is former QB coach Dan Mullen, and legendary Utah quarterback Brian Johnson. Billy Gonzales is also on the staff, and that’s a name that a lot of Utah fans will remember, and one that pops up often whenever there is an opening on the staff here.
I’d imagine this announcement wasn’t timed how Utah would like to time it, as I’d imagine they wanted the agreement with Florida to be final before this announcement, but the news leaked online earlier today, and they may have sped up the timeline.
As for the BYU series taking another break, I’m all for it. I’m not a huge fan of that game, and really haven’t been since the two programs went their separate ways. I don’t mind it on occasion, but every year I’m not a big fan of.
You can check out the full release below, with statements from Harlan and BYU AD Tom Holmoe.
The University of Utah and Brigham Young University jointly announced today an extension of the football rivalry series between the two programs, adding four additional games to the current agreement.
As part of the extension, the Cougars and Utes have agreed to take a two-year break in 2022 and 2023, allowing Utah an opportunity to schedule a home-and-home series with an opponent from the Southeastern Conference, which is in the process of being finalized.
The four additional games will be added to the series in 2025, 2026, 2027 and 2028. The two schools have previously contracted games scheduled for the 2020, 2021 and 2024 seasons. With today’s announcement, Utah and BYU now have seven future games on the schedule between 2020 and 2028.
“I appreciate the great working relationship we have with Mark Harlan and many others at Utah,” said BYU Director of Athletics Tom Holmoe. “We have a responsibility to take care of the future of this great rivalry, not just in football but across all of the sports. There may come a time in the future where we need to ask Utah to make an adjustment for us. That’s how a relationship works. Utah approached us about an opportunity they have and we agreed to work with them.”
“We appreciate the tremendous relationship and cooperation we have with Tom Holmoe and BYU to work together to not only ensure the future of this rivalry but to demonstrate the strong partnership that is in place,” said Utah Athletics Director Mark Harlan. “We each share the intention to continue this great rivalry in football and across all of our teams for many years to come.”
Specific dates, kickoff times and broadcast plans for the games will be announced at a later date.