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BYU football: Scheduling international games intrigues athletic director Tom Holmoe

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  • Lightening Lad Austin , TX
    June 22, 2013 10:12 p.m.

    BYU played a conference game against Colorado State in Melbourne, Australia in the late seventies. It was a miserable low scoring, Brandon Doman style win for the Cougars, 9-7 as I recollect. The ttendance wasn't great and given the 10,000 mile ride each way, no one covered expenses. It was during the Gruesome Threesome days at QB with Sean Covey and two other less memorable ballslingers. It's interesting that Las Vegas promoters for a new 45,000 campus stadium to be used by UNLV, are COUNTING ON A YEARLY BYU regular season game to be played at the facility. The game's income is used to justify the financing package. I'll post a story link.

  • The Deuce Livermore, CA
    June 22, 2013 11:29 p.m.

    Do you get the feeling that the wheels are starting to come off the bus. First, you go independent without thinking about scheduling. Now the AD starts to think about taking college football to regions that would be more interested in a soccer game than a football game. I do give BYU credit for being creative. I have another creative suggestion, just win football games and things will come your way. Get back into a conference where the games in October and November mean something other than Univ. of Idaho and San Jose State. However, we all remember what happened at San Jose State. Is it time for a change in the athletic program from the top down at BYU?

  • Kralon HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA
    June 23, 2013 12:16 a.m.

    Deucey, what makes you think BYU went independent without thinking about scheduling? We were told it would take a couple of years to create a good competitive schedule and it did.

    Yes, Deuce, we all remember that BYU lost to San Jose State. Do you remember that San Jose State finished the year ranked 21st? Other BYU opponents last year finished 4th (Notre Dame), 16th (Utah State), 18th (Boise State) and 20th (Oregon State). So five opponents finished ranked in the top 25. Pretty good, competitive schedule, much better than the MWC! I do wish BYU had done better and not lost so many close games, but we still went to a bowl game in a 'down' year!

    I think you are missing the point of scheduling games in other locations, it is not about targeting areas that have the most interest in football.

  • ArgoFY Salt Lake City, Utah
    June 23, 2013 1:26 a.m.

    Based off of what I saw from the ND-Navy game in Dublin last year, it seemed like a great environment for coaches, players and fans alike. There are probably better ways for a university to build their global brand other than an international football game, but it could still be a good way to reward a team at the end of a season, or to fire them up at the beginning of one. Seemed to work for ND last year anyway...

  • Beck to Harline Provo, UT
    June 23, 2013 3:51 a.m.

    @The Deuce
    See BYU's November Schedule this upcoming season. Notre Dame and Wisconsin...hard to bash on them..both BCS bowl (losers) last season.

    And while the SJSU loss was certainly seen as a bad loss, that undermines the quality of their team last year. They had a quality team, even if the logo on their jersey had the WAC on it.

    If any school could play a game on foreign soil and have it be (relatively) successful, it would be BYU. Especially if it were played in a place with large LDS membership. The church is exponentially bigger now than it was in the 70's. This is not a bad idea from a financial standpoint at all, in my opinion.

    Go Cougs!

  • wwookie Payson, UT
    June 23, 2013 5:37 a.m.

    Have they searched and pondered about holding football camps in places like Brazil and Tonga?
    There are a lot of NFL fans in these countries and they would love seeing some ex-NFL guys that played at YBU.

    Of course the college players probably couldn't go cuz of ncaa rules, but still serves the missionary purpose. And you never know what kind of young talent they might find.

  • Lightening Lad Austin , TX
    June 23, 2013 6:09 a.m.

    The promised BYU- Las Vegas link
    What events will be held at UNLV Now?

    Officials had a long list of possibilities during their presentation to regents — some of which you can argue are overly ambitious. A study done by the University of Michigan estimates the arena will bring $393 million annually to the Las Vegas hospitality sector with 15 annual events — not including UNLV football home games. Here are the ones that seem most realistic: Mountain West Conference and Pac-12 Conference football championship games, concerts after the National Finals Rodeo (which will stay at the Thomas & Mack Center), UFC and boxing fight cards (bye, bye Cowboys Stadium), a BYU football neutral-site game and music festivals.

  • Perkunas Ashburn, VA
    June 23, 2013 6:41 a.m.

    I'm not sure that the international interest in American football is there. It works every now and then as a NFL exhibition game, but the attendees seem to largely be American expatriots and a few locals who are befuddled by the whole thing. Notre Dame did Ireland, but that's a local tie that probably brought out a few more people. The stands were still mostly Americans from the British Isles who may have been Fighting Irish fans or just football fans desperate to see a live game.

    BYU not only needs a place that will bring out people, but particularly the overseas LDS community. And the location also has to have some appeal to the team BYU is playing. That might be tough to sell to prospective opponents, most of whom have no reason to think they have a built-in overseas fanbase.

    I love the idea, I just think that it runs into some issues at a practical and financial level.

  • BarkforSark PROVO, UT
    June 23, 2013 7:53 a.m.

    The Deuce,

    I don't know why you would think this was indicative of the wheels "starting to come off the bus" when the BYU athletic department has made it abundantly clear they are interested in visiting as many unique areas of the country as possible. It's only logical that if that's their desire, they would want to go international. The church is a lot bigger now than it was the last time they went international, and football has continued to grow in popularity, so why shouldn't they expect a good result? And Notre Dame did it with success last year. It's all about finding the right place.

  • Balan South Jordan, Utah
    June 23, 2013 8:46 a.m.

    You think you could do a better job than Holmoe - be my guest, but my bet is that you wouldn't last a week. And what conference would you suggest by the way? Big Sky?

    Given the situation BYU is in (religious school that won't play on Sunday, honor code, MWC falling apart, etc.) I think Holmoe and his people have done a wonderful job placing the entire athletic program in the situation they now find themselves. There are only a few schools in the entire United States that could make independence work - but clearly BYU has. And their TV network is second to none. You have to be pretty myopic to not recognize what has transpired at BYU over the past few years - and to not give credit where credit is due.

    As far as international games, however, I too would take a pass. I don't see the benefit.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    June 23, 2013 9:56 a.m.

    We already own viewership in China. If we could schedule games in Canada we could own three countries thanks to the ESPN contract.

  • RockOn Spanish Fork, UT
    June 23, 2013 10:51 a.m.

    Please BYU fans, don't make comments to haters and whiners. It just strokes their ego when in reality they provide nothing.

    As to BYU in foreign games, I'm glad to hear they are under consideration. That's all I can ask. Holmoe and Mendenhall and Samuelson are very bright people looking out for the best interest of BYU, the LDS Church and the students. If it can be done at a reasonable cost-risk, where a maximum crowd can be drawn, at the right time of year, I suspect they'll do it. Some have correctly stated that the audience will likely consist of a combination of 1) local LDS (even if they don't know football they may come to support the school and learn what they're up to), 2) US military bases (Germany and England are loaded with them) where there will be many LDS personnel and interested Americans, especially if the opponent is military academy, 3) tourist center attracting vacationing Americans and giving BYU fans an attractive reason to schedule a vacation there, 4) English language will be helpful.

    We've got your back, BYU. Look forward to a game in London.

  • BarkforSark PROVO, UT
    June 23, 2013 10:56 a.m.

    Balan, the benefit is obviously bringing attention to the church. That's the whole spin they've put on independence. Taking the football team into areas of the country that previously weren't as accessible because of being restricted by a conference schedule. BYU will play in Virginia, Houston, Wisconsin and at Notre Dame this year. Last year they played at Notre Dame and in Georgia. Next year, they play at Connecticut, in Austin, and at Middle Tennessee. The football team is a brand being marketed for pretty much the sole purpose of bringing attention to the church. So it makes perfect sense why they'd take it internationally as a next step.

  • Who am I sir? Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 23, 2013 11:42 a.m.

    One more article about BYU's scheduling. In this one Mr. Holmoe is intrigued. In others he is interested, pleading, critical, etc. Yes, Kralon, "We were told it would take a couple of years to create a good competitive schedule and it did." And in the third year their schedule was ranked 49th in the country. However, according to Mr. Holmoe, next year won't quite be as good as this year. (It will be similar to any Mountain West Conference member.) Future schedules do have some top games scheduled; however, it is about 2 per year. What will the other 10 games be?

  • wildscallions Grantsville, Utah
    June 23, 2013 12:02 p.m.

    is the "team" really a missionary tool. I feel like it brings as much attention to the church as TCU does to theirs? so off the top of your head what relieigon is TCU affiliated with?

  • ImaCaMan Oceanside, CA
    June 23, 2013 12:07 p.m.

    To our one billion fans in China- here we come!

  • BYU Furnitureman Lebanon, MO
    June 23, 2013 12:59 p.m.

    An internationl game does seem a little far fetched. However, While I was on my mission in L'Aquila, Italy I was very surprised to see a beautifully maintained American football field nearby. Interest in other countries might not be huge but it clearly it does exist.

  • Striker Omaha, NE
    June 23, 2013 3:25 p.m.

    An international game is a brilliant idea!!!! Have a game across the world once every five years. I guarantee thousands of BYU fans would plan a trip to Asia or Europe if they knew about it a few years in advance. BYU travels as well as any other fan base.

  • Floyd Johnson Broken Arrow, OK
    June 23, 2013 6:15 p.m.

    It seems like the obvious answer is to play Notre Dame in Ireland.

  • RBB Sandy, UT
    June 23, 2013 6:23 p.m.

    BYU should be thinking about doing a foreign game in one sport or another every other year. While it may not be a financial boon, the world is increasingly one big community. When people in foreign countries hear about a US university, that university will have top of mind awareness. When someone who attended BYU applies for a job, they are more likely to get a second look if the hiring person has heard of BYU before.

    Travelling BYU teams can also make a big impact on LDS kids. A fireside given by a group of players could help teens who may be the only mormons in their school.

    It need not be just the football team. The basketball team, soccer teamn volleyball team etc. Can get BYU's name out internationally. In some countries they may be a much bigger draw that the football team. Overall, however the goal would be to raise international awareness of BYU and interest in the church is likely to follow.

  • No Conference Will Take Us SEATTLE, WA
    June 23, 2013 8:57 p.m.

    RBB you could be on to something there. Does not make sense to send the football team to Australia. The rugby team would be good for both AU and NZ.

    I think it would be better to keep the Cougar football team closer to home.
    Here is a thought:

    Calgary
    It's a cowboy & oil town. Give them something to identify with.
    BYU vs Wyoming, Oklahoma St or Colorado St.

    Mexico City
    BYU vs Texas, San Diego St., UTEP or Arizona.

  • 2BCSWINS West of I15, UT
    June 24, 2013 8:26 a.m.

    @striker...."BYU travels as well as any other fan base."

    You don't really think that, do you? I'm not saying the cougies don't travel well however to say they travel as well as any other fan base is way off base. All of the following teams LSU, Alabama, South Carolina, Arkansas, Ole Miss, Florida, Florida St., Clemson, North Carolina, Georgia, Texas, Texas A & M, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St, Missouri, Michigan, Ohio St., Penn St., Michigan St, Wisconsin, Oregon, USC, AZ St, UCLA....Travel alot more fans then the cougies could ever dream of and this is just a short list of teams that travel better.

  • Reno Cougs Fan 68 Reno, NV
    June 24, 2013 11:48 a.m.

    2bcswins,

    Interesting list did you forget Utah Utes or was that on purpose? The omit was pretty funny because of your handle!!! Thanks for the laugh to start my week!!!

    Go Cougs!!!
    Go Utes!!!

  • WON84 PLANO, TX
    June 25, 2013 10:17 a.m.

    "All of the following teams LSU, Alabama, South Carolina, Arkansas, Ole Miss, Florida, Florida St., Clemson, North Carolina, Georgia, Texas, Texas A & M, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St, Missouri, Michigan, Ohio St., Penn St., Michigan St, Wisconsin, Oregon, USC, AZ St, UCLA....Travel alot more fans then the cougies could ever dream of and this is just a short list of teams that travel better."

    Most of those schools do however I'd suggest checking the New York Times. Oregon and Arizona St. definitely trail BYU though most of the Pac 12 does so that's no surprise. Ole Miss is definitely not a leader either.

  • Monsieur le prof Sandy, UT
    July 31, 2013 9:45 p.m.

    Although it sounds intriguing, the logistics boggle the mind. The cost would be horrendous and the gate profits negligible. Canada would be the least expensive and most reasonable option. There are many fans who would travel just to be part of the action and treat it as a vacation.