Dick Harmon: It's time to take the BYU, Utah and USU hype to a whole 'nother level

Published: Monday, Aug. 27 2012 7:10 p.m. MDT

College football descends upon us this week. It is time. Get ready to rumble.

Here's a primer on BYU, Utah and Utah State.

Warning: This is a fictional exaggeration, taking the hype we've endured all summer and taking it over the top. Gilding the lily, so to speak.

At BYU, Riley Nelson mania has taken over.

His tremendous leadership and gutsiness have become legend. So have his flowing hair, his rebar-like abs and his uncanny ability to lift his teammates on his back and carry them to glory. Remember the comeback against the Aggies? The bowl game against Tulsa?

During sunsets on campus, clusters of coeds engaging in the popular art of tunnel singing have been known to leap out of their flip flops when they've heard what appears to be a Riley Tarzan-like jungle call. They imagine it's Riley with his well-chiseled form swinging from the bell tower to the Marriott Center en route to LaVell Edwards Stadium.

Could it be Twilight's neck-seeking Edward Cullen or the chesty Jacob Black? No, it's their Riley.

According to a source close to the football secretary, Hollywood movie producers are researching scripts for a character based on Riley for an Edgar Rice Burroughs sequel to "John Carter," and author R.R. Martin himself is considering a House of Riley inclusion into book six of the epic series "Song of Ice and Fire."

Up on the hill at the University of Utah, representatives of apparel provider Under Armour have hit up administrators for a surcharge on sewing the Pac-12 logo on its gear.

It seems the frequency of display and increased size of logo use by Utah has surpassed normal costs of the sponsorship.

"We never expected to have to come up with that much thread to cover this usage," said an Under Armour rep. "It's not the time; we have electronic embroidery machines. We just need to recoup some costs here for materials."

While Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott loves the exposure, he admitted to TMZ that other league schools have complained about imbalance. Similar cost complaints have also come from Acme Bumper Stickers and the paint crew that sprays Pac-12 symbols on campus and Rice-Eccles Stadium's field.

"Paint costs money," said crew chief Schmedley Anderson.

Meanwhile, Vic Astro, a NASA engineer in the California Institute of Technology Jet Propulsion Laboratory, told Fox News the latest rover on Mars detected a red laser beam from earth, kind of like a Batman logo projection, that displayed the Pac-12 logo on a series of rocks on the red planet. It originated somewhere near 1300 East in Salt Lake City.

When Dr. Astro called folks at Utah's Sports Information Department about the power of the device and why, he learned of the specs, propelled by cold fusion.

"It isn't that we want everyone, even Martians, to know we're in the Pac-12," he said. "It's just a message we want sent to somebody that we are in and they are not."

In Logan, experience at the 2011 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl so profoundly impacted the community and athletic department that the school has engaged in a major public relations campaign to lure bowl representatives to the city and campus.

USU food services has pledged the Idaho Potato Bowl to buy Boise-grown product and increase its usage all over campus. In fact, they've redesigned the food triangle to make hash browns, loaded baked and mashed potato sides and french fries two of three top choices on every menu. A golf tournament at the Logan Country Club with invited Famous Potato Bowl reps took place in July and, instead of Titleist, groups teed off and hit potatoes.

At one bowl-rep hosting event in June, USU head coach Gary Andersen challenged Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl officials and MWC Commissioner Craig Thompson to a sky diving jump from a Huey UH-1 Iroquois at 2,000 feet to see who could hit a designated "X" on a pasture outside town.

After Thompson won by a hair, the group feasted under a canopy at a makeshift potato bar on the farm where folks from the Las Vegas and Poinsettia bowls eagerly awaited the next scheduled events.

Yes, football is here.

It's time for all the preseason hype to end.

It's a time to get down to tackles, blocks and catches.

Are you ready?

email: dharmon@desnews.com, twitter: Harmonwrites

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