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A recent email exchange between the two schools' athletics directors suggests Utah and BYU are working toward continuing their football series through 2020, but that Utah plans to keep booking Colorado for its season finale.
The exchange was obtained Thursday by The Tribune in response to a records request. BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe was not immediately available for comment, and Utah athletic director Chris Hill said he preferred to let the emails speak for themselves.
This past season was the first interruption in the annual series since 1945. The teams will next meet Sept. 10, 2016, in Salt Lake City. They are then slated to play Sept. 9 the following year in Provo and Nov. 24, 2018, in Salt Lake City.
On Feb. 4, Hill emailed to Holmoe: "I wanted to check with you about doing another contract for football in 2019 and 2020. The date we have in 2019 is Sept 14th. In 2020 it looks like the 2nd or 3rd week would be the best."
To which Holmoe responded: "We had talked about November 30, 2019 in Provo and September 5, 2020 in Salt Lake City? Let me know your thoughts."
Wrote Hill: "One of the reasons that we agreed to play the last game of the year in 2018 was that it helped the league so that no teams in the league had to play 12 games in a row that year. I know that you mentioned the late date in 2019 but we are not interested playing that game at the end of the year. We want to continue to play Colorado at the end of the year."
Holmoe answered: "I do remember you talking about making your Colorado game your last game of the season, but didn't know that was finalized."
He then tells Hill that BYU has 2019 openings on Oct. 26, Nov. 6, Nov. 9 and Nov. 16, and that they play USC on Sept. 14 and Washington on Sept. 21.
"Let me know if any of these dates work better," he writes
Hill would not say whether discussions have continued since The Tribune's records request was dated Feb. 6.
The game has traditionally been played in Provo on odd years, Hill said, and there is no plan to deviate from that.
Utah has won the previous four meetings and leads the overall series between the two schools 57-34-4.
Hill also received an email query this one from a fan about the Utes' series with Utah State.
The emailer asked if Utah has anything "in the works" to play USU again beyond their scheduled 2015 game. Hill responded "What do you think of alternating two games series with USU. On two years off two years."
His response doesn't reflect any existing plan, Hill said.