Monday, May 23, 2011

Why Change History?

During this intriquing time of Pre-NBA draft analysis, I've momentarily been shifted back to college football, particularly towards the rivalry between Brigham Young University (BYU) and the University of Utah. I posted this last fall and this the previous summer on the same topic. Why have I been re-shifted to it almost a year later? More talk from fans of  wanting to rid each University of their rival indefinately.

In 2010 the Holy War was decided
by a blocked field goal as time expired.

Looking back on my two previous posts, this rivalry has already been changed for the unforseeable future. The football game will no longer be at the end of the season. Often times it decided the conference champion and offered much excitement and intrigue. The Pac-12's scheduling won't allow for non-conference games to be played at the end of the season. (Yet the USC/Notre Dame rivalry continues to be scheduled as such. Explain that one Larry Scott!). Since BYU is now an independent football team, they handle their own scheduling and would love to have Utah on their schedule in November. Yet they can't control that. That all depends on Utah's contractural agreements with the Pac-12.

The most common request of change I'm hearing from some fans (mostly Ute fans), is the argument of dropping BYU completely and creating a brand new rivalry and that being with the University of Colorado (CU). That reason being because CU also left their conference to join the Pac-12. Also, the Pac-12's last week of the season is rivalry week. Every school in the conference is joined by a bitter and respected rival.

Sure some of them refer to the games with the CU from years ago, but lets be honest, what will it take to form the kind of alliance (or hatred, whatever serves you best) that merits a rivalry? Utah doesn't share a state with CU, nor do they compete in recruiting. A Utah fan won't go to a local restaurant or grocery store seeing the CU logo being flaunted casually all around them. Oh and they also have nothing to do with the founding of your school (Brigham Young founded the University of Utah). The vast majority of your fanbase can't remember the last time you played each other.

As time expired, Johnny
Harline caught the game
winning touchdown against
Utah in 2006.

Nothing can make up for what this rivalry has entailed. Since BYU and Utah joined the Mountain West Conference in 1999, their annual football game has been decided by single digits all but twice. It was like that much of the time prior to '99 when they were in the Western Athletic Conference for years. It always goes down to the wire. Blocked field goals, last minute interceptions, final plays as time expires, and final plays in overtime were just a few ways of how the game has been decided. There was even a game that finished 3-0. Fans and players are always spouting off their animosity to the other schoo. Everyone involved always looks forward to that game they call The Holy War, and what war it is.

Athletic directors of both schools, Chris Hill of Utah and Tom Holmoe of BYU, have both said in agreeance that they have every intention of playing each other every year. That animosity previously spoken of may just be ignorant words used as fuel to the animosity the Holy War contains and not genuinely intended as a suggestion. If so, good luck ridding yourself of a priceless history. You can't ask for an opponent like that. It takes many years to gain the credibilty of calling yourself a rival with another school. Doing away with one for no particular reason, wouldn't make much sense. Keep adding to the history. I and others whom I know personally continue to look forward to it. Let the war remain.

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