Former BYU Head Coach and Current Virginia Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall spoke to Virginia’s Board of Visitors about state of the football program yesterday, touching on various topics.
When talk of scheduling came up, Mendenhall said he wants UVA’s non-conference schedule to be as easy as possible.
“I want to play the worst power-five team that we can play. That’s what the ACC requires, you have to play one other power-five [team in non-conference play]. I want to find the worst one we can play, so we can get another win.”
Bronco went on to specifically mention BYU as a place he does not want to play. “I don’t want to go to Boise,” Mendenhall said. “I don’t want to go to UCLA, I don’t want to go to Oregon. I don’t want to go back to BYU. I’d rather them come here and lose.”
BYU and Virginia have a home-and-home series beginning in 2021, with the 2021 game in Provo and the 2023 game in Charlottesville. An additional game was also later added for 2025 in Provo.
BYU and Virginia were originally slated to play in 2019 and 2020 when the series was announced back in 2013, but that was moved back after Bronco became UVA’s head coach. Bronco stated at his exiting press conference in 2015 that he did not want to play BYU:
“I have feelings for the players and this program – they’re not going away,” Mendenhall said at his BYU press conference. “They’re not going away in four years. I would just assume that game would be moved back to when I’m done coaching whenever that would be. I don’t want to play BYU and I don’t know how I’d handle it. If it’s up to me, I don’t want that to happen because this is the place that shaped and had such an influence on my life that I don’t see how that could happen and I hope it doesn’t.”
The series is still on as of now, so we’ll see if Bronco is UVA’s head coach when the Hoos come to Provo in 2021.