Nov 27, 2010

The game decided by the refs

Another thrilling victory in the Holy War Rivalry. After out performing the Utes on the field for 3 and a half quarters the Cougars end up having this game taken away from them by a blown call giving the Utes the ball and the chance to score to go up by 1 point. Although the Cougars were able to move the ball down the field to setup the field goal, but the Utes shoot around the edge and block the kick, ending the game.

Hard to call this one a win by the Utes. Maybe a win by the Refs?

Half time during the Holy War 2010

Both teams look remarkably even, with a slight edge going to the Cougars who have moved the ball better and whose defense has been significantly better.

Right now the Cougars lead the Utes 6 to 0. Will the Cougars be able to keep shutting out the Utes? Stay tuned!

Nov 24, 2010

Mutual Respect

I've always enjoyed Coach Edwards and McBride. I think they are two of the classier rivalry coaches you'll ever see interact with each other. In that spirit of mutual respect and keeping the fun in the rivalry, I share this video from KSL Sports.

Video Courtesy of

Some Rivalry Quotes

Feelings run hot in this rivalry, and neither side is immune to it. I've collected a few of my favorite quotes on the rivalry from former players and coaches.

This today will be inspiring. The hatred between BYU and Utah is nothing compared to what it will be. It will be a crusade to beat BYU from now on. This is a prediction: In the next two years Utah will drill BYU someday, but we won’t run up the score even if we could set an NCAA record against them.
Wayne Howard, Utah Coach. 1977

What I hated the most about BYU was getting trounced.
Steve Folsom, Utah TE. 1980

It was just as easy as it looked. It was like we were running against air. It was easy to break tackles and find holes. Their defense didn't seem to be there.
Fred Whittingham, BYU RB. 1989

All those guys think that's all there is to life. But when I'm making $50–60,000 a year, they'll be pumping my gas. They're low-class losers.
Lenny Gomes, BYU NG. 1993

Even our cheerleaders are kicking your butt.
Steve Smith, Utah WR. 1999

From now on we're going to leave our flags at home and they should do the same.
Val Hale, BYU AD. 1999

[Players are not allowed to refer to BYU by name, but by the 'Team Down South' (abbreviated to TDS)]
Urban Meyer, Utah Coach. 2003

[Fans begin referencing Utah as SNOT (School North of Town) in response to TDS.]
BYU Fans, 2003

I really hate them. Playing in the game helped me understand. They are the most arrogant people. It's the whole church and state thing. They're the 'good kids'. We're the 'bad kids.' I didn't feel it in my gut last year like I do now.
Alex Smith, Utah QB. 2004

I hate those *bleeping* pricks! I hate them with a passion.
Morgan Scalley, Utah DB. 2004

Obviously, when you're doing what's right on and off the field, I think the Lord steps in and plays a part in it. Magic happens.
Austin Collie, BYU WR. 2007

I don't like Utah. In fact, I hate them. I hate everything about them. I hate their program. I hate their fans. I hate everything. So, it feels good to send those guys home. They didn't deserve it. It was our time and it was our time to win. We deserved it. We played as hard as we could tonight, and it felt really good to send them home and to get them out of here, so it is a game I'll always remember ... I think the whole university and their fans and organization is classless. They threw beer on my family and stuff last year, and did a whole bunch of nasty things. I don't respect them, and they deserve to lose.
Max Hall, BYU QB. 2009

Do you have any quotes that you love that I missed? Let me know in the comments.

Nov 23, 2010

The Future of the Holy War to be More Colorful

I have just heard that starting next year, and from then on both teams will wear their dark home jerseys. Thanks to todays modern color televisions (not to mention high definition) it is no longer necessary for the contrasting whites and darks of home and away jerseys. Other modern rivalries that have gone to dueling home jerseys include USC and UCLA.

Big thanks to Greg Wrubell for the news.

Here's hoping to some great looking future games.

Rivalry Food Drive

There's absolutely no reason why we should let a Holy War keep us from remembering our responsibilities to the needy. In line with that, The BYU-Utah food drive is in full swing. A friendly competition between two competitors can really help out a lot of people.

BYU fans can find more information here:

Ute fans, I haven't been able to find a page like the one above for you, however I know you can buy t-shirts with proceeds going to the drive here. If you know of another link, please leave it in the comments.

End of an Era

This year's Holy War Rivalry marks something of an end of an Era. BYU and Utah have been in the same conference for 89 years. All of that will change in the 2011 season.

On June 16, 2010 Utah was officially invited to join the Pac10 as it's 12th member, following Colorado. The move took Utah into a automatic qualifying BCS conference with a tie-in to the Rose Bowl, and left BYU, TCU and newly joined member Boise St. in the MWC.

Anxious to develop it's brand, access and exposure and further recognize their potential Brigham Young University announced they were going Independent in football and their other sports would join the WCC. In partnership with ESPN, BYU now has access to a level of exposure and possibilities that were never possible with the previous MTN channel and MWC.

This appears to be the last year in the foreseeable future in which the Cougars and Utes will compete as conference foes. It is also the last time for at least the next few years where the Utes and Cougars will face off in November. After 47 games in a row played in November the 2011 game will be played in Sept. In fact, the Utes last home game of 2010 will be against the Cougars and the Cougars first home game of 2011 will be against the Utes.

History of the Rivalry

The Brigham Young University Cougars and the University of Utah Utes play each other each year in what has become known as the Holy War Rivalry.

Church and state clash in this epic battle between two football powers on the rise. Matters of Church and State collide head on when the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saint's flagship school, Brigham Young University goes head to head with the State sponsored University of Utah meet on the gridiron.

The Holy War Rivalry is one of the oldest rivalries in college football. The rivalries fierceness is a product of the proximity of the two schools, the solid college football programs both schools maintain, and the longevity of the competition. Not to mention the obvious factor of religion.

Religion. Religion has clear ties to the rivalry, although faithful members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) can be found among fans of both schools; as are non-members fans of both schools. Yet many fans on both sides accuse the others of being homogeneous stereotypes. With Ute fans accusing BYU fans of being holier-than-thou and Cougar fans accusing Ute fans as drunkards.

Longevity. Another aspect of this game which makes feelings burn so hot is the sheer length of time that these two teams have met. The first game between the two was played in the early 1920s. From 1922 to the 1970s the Utes dominated the Cougars, with the first Cougar victory coming in 1942. Yet the Utes would continue to dominate the win-loss ratio. All that would change however with the hiring of LaVell Edwards as head coach in 1972. Over the next 21 seasons the Cougars led by Edwards would only lose 2 games, going 19-2. It wasn't until the Utes brought in Ron McBride that they could again start to gain any traction.

Competitive. Both teams have proven very good over the last several years, making the rivalry all the more important as it is usually among two teams who have proven winners. The Utes have enjoyed success with two trips to BCS games, defeating a hapless Pitt in 2004 and a very good Alabama in 2008. The Cougars have been no strangers to success either along with winning the National Championship in 1984 the Cougars under new head coach Bronco Mendenhall are one of only a handful of teams that have won 10 straight games for 4 years in a row and have experienced bowl wins over Oregon, UCLA, and Oregon St.

Proximity. BYU and Utah are located in the two major population centers in Utah, less than an hour a part from one another. Fans of both teams therefore live in the same communities, work in the same offices, attend the same schools and go to the same churches. Both schools target the top Utah prep athletes and it is very common for teammates in high school to play against one another in college. Even family members often have rival allegiances when it comes to the Holy War Rivalry.

The current record of the rivalry currently stands at 50-31-4 in favor of Utah. Over the last 10 years it stands at 5-5, tied for both teams. With thrilling finishes in most games and the final winning score within one touchdown.