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Mike Sorensen: Rivalry dishes out talking points

Published: Thursday, July 30 2015 6:45 a.m. MDT

After spending the weekend in Las Vegas and watching a lot of sports both live and from afar, I'm just wondering …

How can BYU and Utah continue to produce these exciting, down-to-the-last-second football games every year — at least every year in Provo? It's amazing. For the seventh straight time at LaVell Edwards Stadium the game was decided by a touchdown or less and for the seventh straight time, the outcome was up in the air until the final minute and for the fifth time since 1993, the margin was exactly three points. …

Did Max Hall really use the "H" word five times in a post-game tirade after a victory Saturday? Geez, what would the BYU quarterback have said if his team had lost? Hall has taken the rivalry hatred to a whole new level and makes Wayne Howard's comments from 32 years ago seem tame. The fact that people still talk about Howard's "hate" comment from three decades ago means Hall's words will likely follow him around for the rest of his life. …

Does Hall realize how many people he offended? It's understandable to be mad about the morons who abused your family members at a game. But by calling an entire university "classless," he's offending thousands of U. grads, including the president of his own university and the president of his church. …

Will the Utah football team ever overcome its propensity for dumb penalties? Coach Kyle Whittingham always downplays penalties, saying the best teams have the most penalties. But unsportsmanlike conduct and personal foul penalties, of which the Utes had a bunch against BYU, are avoidable, and they definitely hurt the Utes Saturday. At some point, the Utes, who rank ninth in the nation for most penalties and sixth for most penalty yards, must learn to play smarter. …

Where will BYU and Utah be spending their pre-Christmas holidays? Will the Las Vegas Bowl be happy taking the Cougars for the fifth straight year? Will the Cougars be happy about going to Las Vegas for the fifth straight year? If the Las Vegas Bowl takes Utah instead of BYU this year, can it justify taking a lower-ranked team? Would Utah rather go to San Diego anyway? Let's just hope the Cougars and Utes can handle the 5th and 6th place teams from the Pac-10 on Dec. 22 and 23. …

Speaking of the Pac-10, are their coaches getting a little wacky? First Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh goes for two, leading USC 48-21, so his team has a chance to get 50 points, making Pete Carroll mad. Then on Saturday, Carroll, with his team up 21-7, makes UCLA mad by throwing a 48-yard touchdown pass with 44 seconds left because UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel called a timeout following a USC "kneel-down" in the final minute, down two touchdowns. …

Can UNLV really be considering Jim Fassel as its new coach? Fassel's Las Vegas Locomotives won the United Football League championship Friday, and his name was mentioned in a local column about a replacement for fired Mike Sanford. Ute fans who remember the 1980s under Fassel certainly won't recommend their old coach. …

How can Texas and Alabama, which both barely escaped with victories over the weekend against mediocre opponents, still be ranked ahead of TCU in the BCS standings? I think the Horned Frogs would beat either Texas or Alabama and could give Florida a run for its money. Unfortunately we probably won't get to see it. …

How can the Utah basketball team defeat No. 20 undefeated Illinois just three days after losing at home to first-year Division I school Seattle? And then lose by 22 to Oklahoma State the next day? …

So just why was Tiger Woods leaving his house at 2:30 a.m. the other night and how could one of the world's best athletes not be able to drive out of his own driveway without hitting a fire hydrant and a tree? …

Has Carlos Boozer shaken off his summer of discontent? After a slow start, he's starting to play like an all-star, averaging 26.7 points and 9.0 rebounds, while shooting 34 of 45 (75.5 percent) from the field over the past three games. …

Finally, has Utah State already turned the corner under Gary Andersen? The Aggies put up 52 points on a bowl-bound Idaho team Saturday to finish with their most wins in seven years. Maybe the Ags can put some excitement into their games with the Utes and Cougars beginning next year and even go to a bowl game.

e-mail: sor@desnews.com

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