SAN DIEGO — Wednesday’s Poinsettia Bowl was the first game between Wyoming and BYU since 2010. But it might not be the last.
BYU director of athletics Tom Holmoe tweeted earlier this month that the “offer’s on the table” to start a home-and-home series with any Mountain West team.
That was news to Wyoming athletics director Tom Burman. He said Holmoe had not approached him about renewing the 73-year rivalry, which ended in 2010 when the Cougars left the Mountain West to become independent.
Burman wasn’t completely opposed to playing BYU again.
“If it was right, I’d consider it,” he said.
Burman said he would never agree to a so-called “guarantee game” with BYU, where Wyoming would play at BYU for a monetary reward but would not get a home game in return.
After BYU left the conference, Burman said he doubted the teams would schedule non-conference games against one another. Dec. 4, a day after Wyoming lost to San Diego State in the Mountain West Football Championship game, it was announced the Cowboys and Cougars would meet in the Poinsettia Bowl.
Even if Burman did want to schedule BYU, it would be a while before it would be possible. With Wyoming scheduling a home-and-home with New Mexico State for 2018 and 2024, the Cowboys now are without an opening on their schedule until 2020.
BYU next has an opening in 2018, according to FBSschedules.com. As an independent team, the Cougars don’t have built-in conference games each season.
Wyoming will play Iowa, FCS Gardner-Webb, Oregon and Texas State next season; Washington State, Missouri, FCS Wofford and New Mexico State in 2018; Missouri, Texas State, Idaho (which will have moved to FCS by then) and Tulsa in 2019; FCS Weber State, Texas Tech, Ball State in 2020; Northern Illinois, Ball State and Clemson in 2021; Tulsa, Illinois and Appalachian State in 2022; Texas Tech and FCS Portland State in 2023; and Arizona State and New Mexico State in 2024.
The Cowboys and Cougars played together in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference from 1922-37, the Skyline Conference from 1938-1961, the Western Athletic Conference from 1962-1998 and the Mountain West from 1999-2010.
The Cougars led the all-time series 44-30-3 headed into Wednesday’s game. BYU won the final seven conference meetings, and they came by an average score of 38-10. Wyoming last won a game against BYU in 2010, 13-10 in Laramie.
The teams met in 1996 in the inaugural Western Athletic Conference championship game, and the sixth-ranked Cougars beat the 22nd-ranked Cowboys 28-25 in overtime.