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BYU-Utah rated nation's 12th-best rivalry by NFL.com, even with a two-year hiatus

Published: Thursday, July 30 2015 5:48 p.m. MDT

BYU's Taysom Hill is tackled by Utah's Jared Norris as the University of Utah and Brigham Young University play football Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013, in Provo. (Tom Smart, Deseret News) BYU's Taysom Hill is tackled by Utah's Jared Norris as the University of Utah and Brigham Young University play football Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013, in Provo. (Tom Smart, Deseret News)

There might not be another game scheduled between these two schools until 2016, but the BYU and Utah rivalry is still on the minds of college football pundits.

In its latest installment of the 14 for '14 series on college football, NFL.com rates the BYU-Utah rivalry the 12th best in the country.

"The rivalry is downgraded a few spots because the teams are not scheduled to meet this season or next, but there are games scheduled for 2016-18," Huguenin wrote.

The Utes have won the past four games in the rivalry, winning by an average score of 28.7 to 15. Three of the seven games were decided by seven points or less, the lone exception being the Utes' 54-10 victory in 2011. BYU's last victory over Utah came in 2009, when the Cougars rallied for the win in overtime on Max Hall's touchdown pass to Andrew George.

Prior to Utah's current winning streak, the game that had been played annually since 1945 was among the most competitive in the country. From 1990 — the first year Ron McBride took over as the Utes' head coach — to 2009, both teams won 10 games each, and both BYU and Utah scored 516 points each during that stretch. Thirteen of those contests were decided by seven points or less.

Huguenin rates the BYU-Utah rivalry, which has taken on a different feel the past three seasons since Utah joined the Pac-12 and BYU went independent, in the middle of three Pac-12 rivalries. They include UCLA-USC at No. 13, Oregon-Oregon State at No. 11 and Cal-Stanford at No. 10.

Not being in the same conference has also changed the look on the field for the Cougars and Utes, as both teams have worn their home colors during the past three matchups. BYU's alternate uniforms — the Cougars played the Utes in all-royal blue uniforms in last year's game — were ranked No. 7 in a previous 14 for '14 article breaking down the country's top college football uniforms.

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