And the banter begins.
College football season is less than a month and a half away, and instate rivalries are creating the usual havoc on comment boards.
Last Friday the Deseret News came out with an admittedly idealistic list describing BYU, Utah and USU's path to 10+ wins in 2013. This was written with the assumed fine print that we were in no way predicting season outcomes for any of the three teams highlighted.
Although the writers of the list didn't make any clear predictions, 112 readers were not shy to post their own opinions on the comment board.
Here's 10 of both rational points and completely unreasonable predictions stemming from the list. You decide, which are rational or irrational?
1. Big D is key for Utes
East Salt Lake City, Utah
"I was really disappointed with the Utah defense last year. It was one of the worst defenses in recent times. The offense had an excuse with a new OC and QB, but the defense had no excuse with two NFL players on the line. Sitake's defense was brilliant in Season 1 and horrible in Season 2. If we expect to win 8-10 games this year then we'll need the defense to play like Season 1."
2. The classic 'right thing on and off the field' expression
Eagle Mountain, UT
"As long as any team is doing the right thing on and off the field they can all reach 10 wins. For those of you who obviously don't know, Ernest T. Bass is a Ute fan, but as a Cougar fan I quite enjoy his one-liners and innuendos and wish I were half as creative and witty. I think 9 wins for BYU is possible only if they beat Utah, which hasn't been promising in the past few years. I think Mendenhall will get out coached by Mack Brown and Brian Kelly. The Wisconsin game could actually be interesting because Mendenhall always has a top 10 run defense, but seems to get burned one game per year, which I think will be the Texas game. Coming off a bye week before playing Utah and Wisconsin is looking good for BYU."
3. Coach's QB allegiance poisonous
West Jordan, UT
"BYU- I think BYU has the best shot at a 10-win season. They have the right number of remaining starters, and renewed energy with coaching changes and the challenge of a tough schedule. Bronco's allegiance to Nelson was poisonous to the offense.
"USU- Will have an 8-9 Win Season. They will not fall as far as most think with the loss of Coach Andersen. They have something to prove, and though the MWC will be challenging, USU is up for it. Chuckie is a great QB(I think a little overrated here in the state of Utah, but definitely a great QB)
"Utah-I think Utah will go bowling this year. Not saying they are going to get to 10 wins, because they won't. I see a 6 and a VERY slight chance of 7 win season for Utah. One of Utah's biggest woes as of late was Wynn- and I blame Coach Whit for it. He is a great coach, but his allegiance to the Injury Prone(putting it lightly, if the man blinked to much he would be injured) Wynn was as bad as Bronco's allegiance to Nelson."
4. 3 wins for Utah, even Weber State isn't guaranteed
"BYU and usu at least have a chance to get 10 wins, utah has no chance. And it isn't just utah's schedule that is going to prevent it, it is that they simply are not going to be very good. They'll probably lose to both usu and BYU and will probably lose to very pac12 team other than colorado and maybe washington st. a 3 win season for them is a real possibility. There is not one single "for sure" win on utah's schedule. Not even weber although they should win that game. BYU could win anywhere from 8-10 although I think 8 is more likely. They still have 4 almost for sure wins and 4 more decidedly in their favor. The ranked teams will be tough but they should get 1-3 wins there depending on how the ball bounces. usu will win 8-9. They will more than likely beat utah again and will beat the bad mwc teams and at best split against the good ones. They will not get 10 wins and will not wind up ranked."
5. Schedules: BYU=Mediocre, Utah=Hardest in history
"USU has the easiest schedule and best shot of getting 10 wins, but the changing of the guard at coach will probably keep them from getting there. 8 or 9 wins should still be enough to build on and add to the aggie name.
"BYU has a mediocre schedule and should get to 8 wins easily. It is getting two more wins that will be difficult. They will need to win the tough games early in the season before the better teams become solidified. Always easier to win a top 25 team in the beginning of the season.
"Utah has the most difficult schedule ever faced by any team in the history of the state. Just getting to a bowl game will be victory in a rebuilding year. Too much needs to improve for the Utes to get to double digit wins. Probably will go 6-6. The key to those six wins is beating Utah State."
6. BYU schedule comeback, bringing up loss to CU
Y Grad / Y Dad
Response to SoonerUte
"'For Utah to get 10 wins, they'd need an easier schedule... like BYU's.' What good would an easier schedule do U? U still have to get by Colorado."
7. Not stronger, but toughest Either way "Go Aggies!"
"Hey minus the few normal attacks and lame NORMAL HATING fans....pretty good comments. Here is my take:
"I'm a huge Aggie Fan-I think they can for sure win 10 games! Why, well because I'm a huge Aggie fan :-) And they for sure have the talent to do it and the schedule.
"Ute fans....enough is enough with going off about BYU's schedule and how yours is stronger! There is no way to know who's schedule is truly stronger as none of those teams are tested yet! BYU has a freaking crazy schedule! I wish them the best of luck. 10 wins. I don't see it!
"BYU Fans....Come on! Quit with the UTE attacks! They by far have the toughest schedule in Utah and close to the Nations toughest (top 10)...going off of how teams did last year. To say they have NO chance to win 10.....come on really? Of course they have a chance. I for one hope they only lose 1 game! There first :-) "
8. Let's talk money, I guess
"What do these teams have to do to make $10+ million dollars this season?
"1. USU - win every single regular season game by 20 or more and hope they are noticed by the media so that they can be considered to be invited to a BCS bowl.
"2. BYU - Also go undefeated and hope the other teams in front of them lose so they get an invite to the BCS.
"3. Utah - Nothing."
9. Aggies - keep doing your thing
John S. Harvey
"This article cracks me up. The writer had to really stretch to find 10 things USU needs to do to get to 10 wins. Most were just: "Keep do the same thing you did last year"; (since most of the team is returning).
"Note: Last year (the last year of the WAC) the WAC was rated a better football conference than the MWC. So USU is not really facing a tougher conference schedule this year at all. The OoC games are slightly tougher, but not much. So for the question of whether USU gets 10 wins again, will it be easy? No, not at all. Is it likely? Yes. After the first five games it will be pretty obvious whether Matt Wells has been able to continue the Aggies' very impressive run."
10. Bottom of the barrel Utah bailed on BYU41 comments on this story
"'For decades we played cream puffs. Why stop now?' The bottom of the barrel Utah decided to bail on BYU. Good teams that are now at the bottom just don't want to play those teams who end up on the top. BYU will have to settle with excellent teams such as Notre Dame, Texas, and Nebraska. Fine with me!"
Whitney O'Bannon is a new media sports writer for the Deseret News. Follow on Twitter at @whitney_oban.