This archived article was written by: Ryan Nelson
The weather outside is cooling down, school is in session, and ESPN is prepping for College Game-Day.
That’s right, football is in our midst’s, filled with the smell of hot dogs, nachos, and fans ready for the games. This is a special time of year, a time where alumni, college students or the avid sportsman, come together to support their teams.
Everyone is eager and excited to see how their team will do and especially what bowl game they will be going to at the end of the year. Along with all these benefits that come with college football, is the rivalry between schools. Recently in Oklahoma, a kindergartener was told to turn his Michigan State shirt inside out because it was against school policy to wear a shirt that did not sport an Oklahoma team.
This incident sparked some interest from Michigan’s Athletic Director, David Brandon, who awarded the boy a Michigan shirt that showed the Michigan logo both outside and inside the shirt. Along with that, the boy will be introduced to a full house at halftime as Michigan takes on the University of Massachusetts.
Initially this policy was developed by an Anti-Gang Task Force, but this just sounds like the heated tension of college football and rivalries beginning to start. Throughout the country, many great rivalries exist like Army vs. Navy, Auburn vs. Alabama, USC vs. Notre Dame and perhaps the greatest rivalry of all time, in Utah, The Holy War; University of Utah vs. Brigham Young University.
This rivalry dates back to April 6, 1896, with the first game won by The Running Utes (12-4). Many things go into a rivalry game, for one, how long the rivalry has been going and another is that this game usually decides the conference title, but this year it’s different.
One of the big elements in this rivalry is religion. It’s a sight to see how this plays a role in the game. What it all comes down to is the teams and how loud the fans cheer for them.
This year, just like the last, is different than the past rivalry games. Utah and BYU usually play near the end of November, whereas this year, they play the third game into the season. I have mixed feelings on this, for one, on the positive side is we don’t have to wait so long for the best game of the year, but then on the other hand what’s the point of the game? Usually this game decides the conference champion, but now it being so early it doesn’t have that effect anymore.
Another downside to this is over the course of the season, the tension rises between the fans as the two teams battle it out for the top team in the conference. What tension is going to be there in the third game? Not as much as there was in the past.
Now this brings us to something that will affect the rivalry game greatly. With the past conference changes that both teams made: Utah joining the Pac-12 and BYU going Independent, this once great rivalry, coined The Holy War, will be no more in 2014 and 2015. This brings us back to the game being played earlier in the year.
Knowing that the game won’t be played for two straight years adds tension to these next two games. It will especially add emphasis on the 2013 game, because whoever wins that one will have the bragging rights for two years, until the game resumes again. That’s a long time to have to deal with your opposing team’s fans rubbing it in all year. Maybe they should have a scrimmage game in the off season, just to satisfy some fans and end the punishment of the team that lost.
Anyway, whoever wins is going to have a fun two years, or how they put in Utah, it will be the best two years. This year’s Holy War will take place in the Rice Eccles stadium in Salt Lake City
Sept. 15. Fans from all over will be coming to see how this rivalry match will end up. With the beat down that the Cougars had last year, it will be great to see what the turnout will be. To answer any questions as to what team I support, I will end with a quote from former Utah Head Coach Ron Mcbride, “When Brigham Young came into the valley, he pointed to where the University of Utah would be and said” ‘This is the place.’ Provo, Utah, was just an afterthought.”