Comments about ‘Amy Donaldson: We need to keep the Utah Utes-BYU Cougars rivalry’

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Published: Sunday, Sept. 16 2012 9:00 p.m. MDT

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Lake Powell
Hauula, HI

Lets me honest. That game is what makes the rivalry great! Its a shame the Utah has decided that BYU is too big of an challenge to play each year. Can you imagine Notre Dame decided to not play Michigan or USC? You can pretend that it's the u moving on but all utah fans know in there hearts that the u of u has sold out. Has taken the easy way out. Don't give me the well Colorado will now be our rivals. That will never hold a candle to what Utah and BYU has here. A majority of fans on both sides want it to continue. If you cant beat BYU you shouldn't be in a big bowl anyway. Your AD is a coward and anyone else who decided to forgo one of the greatest rivalries in the country. I'm surprised there is not more anger on the U's side. You shouldn't stand for this. I think this is one area both Utah and BYU fans can agree. The rival should not end

McLean, VA

I disagree, if the game is to be played only intermittently in September.

For Utah, the game has more downside than upside. Statistically, they'll lose close to half of the games, and certainly the game isn't a tune-up for PAC-12 play. There stated desire is to schedule down in September, not up -- and I can understand their reasoning.

For BYU, September scheduling isn't a problem. We can get opponents equal to (or better than) Utah in September. BYU's problem is getting quality opponents in the back half of October and November. If the game could be moved to a "Thanksgiving Classic", I could see it making sense for BYU. In September, it doesn't make sense.

This isn't meant to be sour grapes, nor a bashing of Utah. It's just fact. If this is going to be played only every few years in September, then both schools should move on to other opponents. This may be true for other sports like basketball, where neither team needs each other on the schedule anymore either. Just a thought. Let the series die, and RIP.


Danbury, CT

I've posted this a couple of times, but I think the Utes and their fans are the ones who really takes the rivalry seriously. They show up for these games with intensity while some of our players (i.e. Riley) and coaches (i.e. Mendenhall) look like they're sleepwalking. I was waaaaayyy more excited about this game than most of my team. If BYU had won the last 3 and then Utah dropped us, I would have reason to complain. This is the most unsatisfying way and time of all to stop playing!!

Farmington, UT

Dr. Hill is doing the wrong thing. Perhaps he takes his action after listening to Bill Clinton about his behavior: "I did it because I could."

Robert Johnson
Sunland, CA

The fact of the matter is, the rivalry should end. It goes without saying that Utah has moved on and has loftier goals. Whether you hate to say it or not, BYU is just a distraction to Utah's new goals. It was a great rivalry when it meant something, but it doesn't mean anything to Utah anymore. Sometimes good things must come to an end. If there ever comes a time when BYU and Utah are playing in the same league, then by all means renew the rivalry. But in today's College Football world it is not in Utah's interests to play this game...that's just a simple fact.

Elmer Fudd
Sandy, Utah

"We need to keep the Utah Utes-BYU Cougars rivalry"

We're tired of beating the Cougies every year! BYU should be grateful for Utah's decision to spare them a guaranteed loss every year.

Kearns, UT

The Utes and Chris Hill are just plain chicken. That is the bottom line. All this horse hockey about wanting to play other opponents is bunk. The Utes are just plain chicken.

Brave Sir Robin
San Diego, CA

Bottom line: Utah does not want to (and should not) play BYU any more because it no longer benefits Utah. Utah's goal is to win conference championships and BYU does not factor into that goal any more.

When Utah plays BYU it can do nothing but hurt Utah. If Utah wins there's no benefit because beating an independent mid-major is the expectation. But if Utah loses it's a disaster. No upside and plenty of downside equals no more reason for Utah to want to play BYU...end of story, Amy.

Go Utes
Salt Lake City, UT

Very well written article. I agree with every word. I am a season-ticket-holding, long-time Ute fan, and I think Dr. Hill is getting this one dead wrong. I am excited about all the Pac 12 stuff, but we shouldn't betray our roots or our traditions. I took my son with me to the game on Saturday and what fun we had (not just because of the win--it was fun because the game was entertaining, right down to the last .1 seconds). To think that he might grown up (he is only 7) and not experience the great fun of this storied rivalry makes me ache. I know that some carry it too far, but in my experience, it is just plain fun.

I detest this "we have moved on" line of thinking. I know there are reasons on paper to cancel, but they are outweighed by the great tradition. I was watching the Utes crush Northern Colorado and thinking, "This is what we are getting instead of the BYU game?" I desperately hope that Dr. Hill will rethink this misguided decision.

Big conferences and TV deals are sucking the fun out of college football.


Nice article Amy. However, as Robin mentioned there is no upside for Utah. And no, Flashback it's not because the U is chicken, it's because there is no point in it. I am ready to move on.


I was adamant about keeping the rivalry going, but after Saturday's game, I'm all for letting it go away.

For starters, that game was a total garbage fest. Both sides played really sloppy (BYU, of course, played sloppier), and was full of stupid penalties. I enjoy a close game at the end just as much as the next person, but all those crazy calls and penalties at the end were ridiculous.

Secondly, a rivalry is only a rivalry if both teams really want to get each other. Apparently, Utah fans are beyond BYU now, and the administration seems to agree. Michigan/Ohio State, Auburn/Alabama, etc. are such a great rivalries because both schools want to win that game more than anything else in the season. If Utah wants to turn their backs on the historic rivalry, let them do it. Just like my fellow USU fans *should* attest to, you can't force a rivalry if it's one-sided.

highland, utah

I love the fact BYU "fans" call Utah chicken for ending the every year rivalry!! I guess not playing a team that has won 3 of the last 11 games is being chicken then, in your delusional minds, then yes Utah is afraid to play you. NOT!

Freight Train
Houston, TX

Just another dull, emotionless BYU/Utah game. These games are getting so boring, anti-climatic, and passionless. The games are definitely lacking entertainment value for us poor fans.

The Utah games against Northern Colorado and the FCS in September to "warm up for the PAC-12" are much more interesting and intriguing to watch... and a great way to reward your paying customers, the fans. Who cares about a 100-year rivalry between two storied neighbors. As Ute fans say "our new rival is Colorado." What a great rivalry they're forming against a high-quality opponent! I'm sure the fans will also rush the field every time Utah beats their new "rival" by 30 points, because the games are so exciting.

Seriously guys, there is obviously no "upside" for Utah or BYU (who actually has more to lose than Utah without a conference championship to play for) to play this game. But rivalries aren't about upside- they're about tradition, history, and fantastic entertainment for the fans.

Dr. Hill, if you have any sense at all you'd rethink your decision after watching Saturday's game. It proved that, even in September, the rivalry lives on!

Jonathan Eddy
Payson, UT


1. Right now, Utah has a better football program with better raw talented athletes than BYU.
2. Utah has a better recruitment opportunity. (BYU has a state of the art media center for worldwide exposure)
2. Utah has a better chance than BYU for a national championship (BCS conference vs. independence).
3. National championship is the only accolade that really matters at the end of the season and Chris Hill knows it.
4. Despite a great rivalry, if Utah EVER loses to BYU (it can happen), Utah has no chance of a BCS championship.
5. Utah fans love intensity but hate losing and especially hate losing to BYU. (Some actually hate BYU period and visa versa)

Utah fans will never storm the field after beating Colorado but would do it every win against BYU. Now Ute fans, please tell me with a straight face that Utah has "moved on" and is tired of playing BYU. Even Chris Hill is more intellectually honest than that.

Johnny Triumph
American Fork, UT

It's a shame that Utah discarded BYU after having been included by BYU for so many years. The close relationship the schools enjoyed for so long was lost once the U joined the PAC12. The rivalry died that day and thus the games should not continue on a regular basis.

IA Cougar
West Des Moines, IA

Utah has sold their soul to money. As a fan of the rivalry, Utah has sold out. I don't buy all the garbage about what's good for Utah and how they have nothing to "win" by playing BYU. Now that you are in the Pac 12 you are stooping yourselves to play a lowly mid major independent? I think this game should be about more than money. It should be about the fans. When thousands of fans storm the field, albeit three times....that tells me about passion and the need to keep the game. Utah State and BYU should remain on the schedule. Money will say no to that and Chris Hill is sold on money, not the fan base. A shame but we will all have to move on. Great game Saturday night by two teams who deserve this rivalry. Sad to see it end.

U 90
Corona, CA

Johnny Triumph said, "It's a shame that Utah discarded BYU after having been included by BYU for so many years"

What does that even mean.... after having been included by BYU for so many years? Specifics please.

Salt Lake City, UT

@Lake Powell
"Its a shame the Utah has decided that BYU is too big of an challenge to play each year."

That's just silly. Too big a challenge? Utah won 3 years in a row. You know why we have trouble scheduling BYU? Because we moved to the PAC-12 and have only 3 out of conference games instead of 4, AND we don't have BYU in the conference. So instead of guaranteed meetings with BYU and needing to use 1 of 4 slots to fill Utah State, we'd have to use 2 of 3 slots to fill BYU and Utah State every year. That's just not really feasible since it's obvious that
A: Utah wants to play quality out of conference teams like Michigan (sidenote: how is it running away from BYU when Utah is scheduling the more difficult Michigan?).
B: Utah wants one tune-up gimme type game each year (see: Northern Colorado, Montana State or Weber State).

So that leaves 1 non-conference game a year, and two instate schools. They are still playing BYU 2013, 2016, and Utah State 2013 2014, 2015.

Salt Lake City, UT

"There stated desire is to schedule down in September, not up -- and I can understand their reasoning."

Seriously, did all you BYU fans forget that Utah is replacing BYU with Michigan?

Bountiful, UT

The Utes are definitely at this point doing better than BYU. Funny thing is that how Utah fans and program have forgotten those 10 years when BYU won the Holy War. I don't recall BYU ever saying degrading things about Utah. There was always respect even when the Cougars were dominating. The arrogance of the University of Utah is real strange. I mean have you been to a basketball game lately? Should BYU drop the Utes? What good comes from playing the Utes at this point? They are horrible. Thing is, I have not heard comments like this from Tom Holmoe or Dave Rose. Keep the rivalry game alive. It is too much fun and great for the state. You know, the people who pay taxes in the state of Utah. Unfortunately the Utes' arrogance will win out and they will "move on." What a slap in the face of the state. By the way, BYU will be fine without the game, but it's still a shame.

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