PROVO, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – Four months ago when BYU learned it was going to make the jump to the Big 12 Conference starting in 2023, athletic director Tom Holmoe knew his work was just beginning.
“The day that it was announced that we were in the Big 12, people celebrated like crazy like we had arrived,” Holmoe said Thursday in his first meeting with the media since the announcement. “My first thing was, oh no, we have so much work to do.”
There is a lot of work to do, but unlike in years past when BYU tried to join a Power-5 Conference, Holmoe says BYU is now finally ready to make the jump to the big time.
“The way to get into the Big 12 is to be really good at what we do,” he said. “There were times in the last number of years when we weren’t great. I think prior to getting in, we started making a real turn towards excellence.”
With well over 30 million dollars a year of revenue expected to come in, BYU will have bigger athletic budgets with which to work. But so far no new facilities or upgrades are being planned.
“The revenue streams will obviously be bigger, that’s not a surprise or a secret,” Holmoe said. “I think what we’re trying to do is make the best use of the revenue that will be new.”
As far as football scheduling is concerned, BYU has at least three games scheduled through 2027, and nine games set for 2023. So, BYU is going to have to cancel many of those contests. Holmoe says if possible, he would like to keep the in-state rivalries with Utah and Utah State going.
“Would we want to play Utah and Utah State? Yes. I think that’s really important that we have a really good tradition of playing the in-state schools. One of the determining factors is the terms of the contract. Can you literally get rid of the game, and some of them you can’t. Some of them you can with a fee.”
To compete for Big 12 championships, BYU will need to attract a higher caliber athlete in all sports, and Holmoe thinks they’ll be able to do that now.
“I don’t think that there’s any question that we lost recruits in the past because we weren’t a member of a Power-5 conference,” Holmoe said. “Now, that can’t be the argument. I think our coaches and student-athletes will feel an elevated sense of let’s go.”