Amy Donaldson: Why was this year's Utah-BYU rivalry so different?
Whittingham referred to the fears many of us have about the possibility that changes in conference alignment will eventually mean the death of one of the oldest college football rivalries in the country.
"Looking forward, who knows if this is going to continue?" he said. "With scheduling problems and conference realignments ?— (schools) are applying to other conferences. There is a lot that's going to transpire. We know right now for sure that we have a contract for next year."
Whittingham said he'd leave the decision about whether to continue playing the game to Hill.
"Whatever is best for our program," he said when asked if he wanted it to continue playing the game that has been played since 1922 — except for 1943-45 because of World War II.
The reality is that because conferences are still shifting, the uncertainty of who will be playing where extends to a contest that has become the biggest sports day in Utah.
I hope the rivalry survives, and maybe even evolves into something that's less toxic. I think it's a critical part of the fabric of college football. It unites people for many reasons and gives them a moment of joy and elation that belongs to everyone who's ever gone to the school or supported its effort.
Watching fans dig out that blue or red sweatshirt, old jersey or brand new team T-shirt and reunite with friends and family to debate and worry about whether a young quarterback's arm is everything it was billed to be instead of jobs or bills or illness for just a few hours is an escape every community should be lucky enough to enjoy.
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