BYU football: Tom Holmoe discusses recruiting, the rivalry, scheduling issues and the 'secret sauce' of success at Education Week

Published: Thursday, Aug. 16 2012 5:00 p.m. MDT

A: "I don't know how many times I can say this. I'm going to start handing out cards. Before we signed a contract with ESPN, and made the announcement that we are going independent, before we agreed to go to the WCC in other sports, I had to put together a schedule for 2011 and 2012. Think about that. I had to agree to games for two years before we left the conference. That's what we had. That's it. People keep asking me about the November schedule. It is what it is. It's harder because every other team in the country plays their conference games. They don't have openings. But we've been able to schedule games with conferences. … Don't read anything into this … Notre Dame plays USC every year in October and November. That means there's one team in the Pac-12 that has to have a bye. There are 12 teams. One of them is not playing, so you have to have a bye or play out of conference. We're trying to find those. Notre Dame can do anything it wants. They have games that are grandfathered in forever with USC. Those are times when we might be able to go to the Pac-12 and say, 'Hey, let us play one of your teams so that you don't have to have a bye.' Some teams don't like byes that late in the season. We can try that. The other thing is, some teams don't like to play nonconference games in the middle of the season. That makes it hard."

Q: What can you tell us about freshman running back Jamaal Williams?

A: "He's one of the fastest guys on the team. He's young and he doesn't know what he doesn't know yet, so that's good. When he gets hit for the first time he'll know he's not in L.A. anymore. Right now he's running around like no one's going to tackle him. But someone's going to tackle him. He's really talented and I think he has a great opportunity to be a really strong player for us."

Q: Can you tell us anything about BYU and the Big 12?

A: "Big 12? You can read the papers. There's not much being said. Some people, their job is to keep that alive. They're writers, they're media. That's their job. There's nothing going on. They will make you think there's something going on. … There's nothing going on with the Big 12, the Big Sky, the Big East."

Q: Does BYU's policy of not playing on Sunday make your job hard?

A: "It makes it hard for conferences because most play championship games on Sundays. When we were in the Mountain West Conference, those teams played on Sunday. WAC teams played games on Sunday when we were in the WAC. They just allowed us not to play. We were kind of the bell-ringers in the old WAC and we were one of the top teams in the Mountain West Conference. They needed us. They wanted us. They allowed us to schedule around that. Now when you try to go to an established conference and say, 'Hey, let us in and change all of your games.' That's a little hard."

Q: Are there any games scheduled with Army or Navy?

A: "No games scheduled with Army and Navy. We had a series scheduled with Army, but they called us and said they couldn't do it. I'm really good friends with their athletic director. He was at Stanford with me. He was at Cal with me, he was at the (San Francisco) 49ers with me. That contract was the first thing I did when I got here as A.D. Then later he called and said they were overwhelmed. I let him drop it. He's now at another school, and he owes me."

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