Brad Rock: The Rock Report: The rivalry on a scale from 1 to 10

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  • Mike Johnson Stafford, VA
    Sept. 17, 2011 3:15 p.m.

    I think the LDS "brand" is related to the Pac decision to look elsewhere. But, not because of the LDS religion per se, but because BYU has a reputation--elements of which are both good and bad. Many see BYU as the University of the LDS Church as restricting academic freedom and that plays a role. BYU is a third tier research university (DRU) according to the Carnegie classification, while Utah is a first tier research university like 9 of the 10 that were in the Pac-10 and also Colorado.

    I think both sides have made points, although not simply because of religious disagreements, but a perception (false in my opinion, but also reinforced by the LDS Church's pro-heterosexual marriage stance) that BYU restricts academic freedom, plus the lack of a first tier research program. Both hurt BYU's chances. BYU's athletics program is good enough to get them into the discussion for both the Pac 10 and the Big 12 in expansion talk, but not enough to make such a compelling case to override other issues. I for one think it is unfortunate that BYU didn't go into the Pac-12 as well.

  • Pac12Proud SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Sept. 16, 2011 11:27 p.m.

    Well said, StGtoSLC

    Sept. 16, 2011 10:45 p.m.

    IA Cougar, fair enough, but I still believe that the LDS "brand" of religion is the least of hang ups to the Pac 12 specifically. Like I said, academically the Pac is all about scientific research, which Utah and Colorado have been very high on, and BYU is not as strong in.

    Assuming (and truly hoping) it doesn't dissolve, the Big XII may be a better fit for BYU with several other pretty conservative schools and similar academic traditions, but they would also need to prove worthiness athletically before an invitation might come. You really do have a good thing going in that there are church members everywhere, and from what I've seen, if a church member outside of Utah does not already have a strong tie to a favorite team, they gravitate toward BYU, which means you can have a strong showing at a lot of games. But I think they would want an assurance that you have a team that has gone to and is likely to go to big games to rake in a lot of revenue for the conference. When that starts happening and still no invite, I'm open to hearing complaints.

  • Rock Of The Marne Phoenix, AZ
    Sept. 16, 2011 10:02 p.m.

    As per wardu "I would not be surprised if Utah did not even go to a bowl this year." Well we know the only reason the Y is a shoo in for a bowl is they could not have scheduled a more pathetic schedule going forward against the dregs of Div 1 and the dregs of the Big Sky (Id. State is a joke of a team even in the Big Sky). News flash, your team has only scored a combined 30 points in two games. If you were doing that against real competition all season there is a very good chance the Y not qualify for a bowl though due to the joke of a schedule your team has reaming, except for TCU, BYU will likely go to a bowl nobody outside of Wasatch Front and Tulsa will care about. Not so sure about you guys winning Utah State as they owned BYU last year and I predict another beat down. Go Aggies.

  • wardu Fallon, NV
    Sept. 16, 2011 2:40 p.m.

    I can see the spin from the "ute fans" after BYU wins this game.

    1. the game did not mean as much to the utah team
    2. they were more concerned about the upcoming PAC 10.2 schedule
    3. It is only one loss, the rose bowl is not beyond them yet.

    Reality: it is another loss overall, more pressure to win to get bowl eligible, more chance to choke down the stretch. I would not be surprised if Utah did not even go to a bowl this year.

  • Unbiased Viewpoint Draper, UT
    Sept. 16, 2011 1:38 p.m.

    Let's not pretend that religion does not impact BYU. This coming from an outsider.

  • IA Cougar West Des Moines, IA
    Sept. 16, 2011 1:22 p.m.

    StGto SLC:
    I did not play the religion card. At least two Pac10 Presidents (Berkley and Stanford)have stated BYU -sponsored by the LDS Church will never be allowed in the club. It's not religion. It's the brand of that religion. It's not my card to play, rather the Pac10s and they have played it. BYU will NEVER be allowed in that club. (Prop 8 certainly plays into that.) Unfortunate but fact. I'd love to see BYU and Utah continue to play in the same conference. Those days are over and therefore, this game is no longer as fun as before. I am a proud Cougar fan who does not think it needs to all be about money. So I'm perfectly happy as an independent. I get to see my team on TV nearly every week this year. Great for me and all BYU fans. I'll enjoy the game tomorrow, win or lose. And then we'll move on to week 4. Again, it's just a game. There are much bigger issues with way more importance than BYU or Utah football.

  • dutgut Saint George, UT
    Sept. 16, 2011 1:13 p.m.

    Independent or PAC-12 membership does affect the rivalry in my opinion. BYU will never get invited to the National Championship Game with one loss. Utah with one loss may not get invited either, even if they win the PAC-12. They both may get a BCS game but probably not the NC game. So in my mind the rivalry game moves from Conference Championship decider to a having a significant affect the NC hopes of whoever loses. That still makes for some excitement plus winning the all important "score board" bragging rights for the next year. Wouldn't it be great to be the one team that wrecks the others NC game hopes?
    Personally, I think the media is diluting the rivalry by blasting everyone with "the rivalry game doesn't mean anything anymore" articles more than the conference affiliation does. If people hear it enough, people tend to start believing it. I do readily admit that the early date is kind of a downer too. It is much better at the end so you can redeem a totally bad season with a win over your rival!

  • Bottom Line Draper, UT
    Sept. 16, 2011 1:11 p.m.

    Did I miss something or did the Utes get invited to the Rose Bowl. For all you dreamers making fun of the Armed Forces Bowl, enjoy the Poinsetta or Sun Bowl and if you are lucky the Alamo Bowl. Face it U don't have great prospects for a big bowl game either (assuming you get to one).

  • Who am I sir? Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 16, 2011 11:55 a.m.

    It's starting to hit home. This will be the first BYU game in 13 years I will not be attending. I've have some cherished memories at the Y. Tailgatings where we gave 20-25 BYU band members doughnuts and hot chocolate (the year it snowed). I won't tell what was in the drink but they loved it. Oh alright, it was vanilla and Nesley Quick. And the joy when the U doughnuts were twice as big as the Y ones. Neighbors and even family wearing blue joining in - good friends, good times. And the games! Overtimes, 3-0 blizzard battle, great & horrible (depending on ones perspective) personal plays. Incredibly close contests. And I have always been treated kindly... well there was that one time. I will miss not being there; however, I have never seen an ending like the USC game - the coliseum; the olympic tourch, 10,000 Utes proving we belonged in that conference game! In summation, thanks for the memories. and GO Utes.

  • Itchy Lehi, UT
    Sept. 16, 2011 11:46 a.m.

    RE: JDL

    When Utah was in the MWC did you despise the AQ leagues exclusionary attitudes?
    Yes, and still do to some extent.

    Now that Utah is in a AQ league do you despise the non AQ leagues?
    No. To do otherwise would be blatant hypocrisy

    Are you more happy that Utah was invited to the PAC, or are you more happy that BYU was not and why? More happy that Utah WAS invited. I really didn't care one way or the other whether BYU got the invite.

    Which is more important to U, the money or conference affiliation? (choose on only) Conference affiliation since it's the only realistic shot at a National Championship unless someday a playoff is implemented.

    Would you rather BYU failed or succeeded at independence?
    I have no ill will towards BYU, so I would rather they succeed in whatever endeavers the undertake (except when they play Utah, of course!)

    Do you love Utah or hate BUY more and why?
    Love Utah more. People who hate their rivals more than love their own team are just pathetic in my opinion.

  • JayDee West Jordan, UT
    Sept. 16, 2011 11:26 a.m.

    Hypothetical situation:

    BYU defeats the U in a very close game on Saturday

    Will any Y haters come on then proclaiming how BYU is a mid-major, non-AQ, whiney little brother who didn't "deserve" a BCS conference invite

    ... or ... will they say BYU's independent status and on-field performance merits some national attention?

    (And yes, Chris B., I know this scenario does not fit your world view. Uhmmm what was that score 31-17...posted on every article in the DNews. Guess I should write it down? Or, mark it down? Or, drink it down?)

    For all the U fans who claim they could NOT care less about BYU: Methinks thou dost protest too much.

  • JDL Magna, UT
    Sept. 16, 2011 11:09 a.m.

    Great responses, thanks for the honest answers.

    Ragnar, I don't believe the love/hate relationships are exclusive. When I started to posted these questions I was really trying to understand SoCalUte's obsession with hating all things BYU and on the filp side there are way to many so called BYU fans that are really Utah haters. Anyway, I thought I would open up the questions to anyone who wanted to reply.

    As a BYU fan but not a Utah hater, I really wanted to know how and why people feel the way they do. I also kept the questions relevant to the story line. I get the feeling from you and Magna Ute Fan that there is some mutual respect but you are passionate about Utah as I think it should be and makes for a better rivalry.

    I appreciate honest dialog much more than hateful rants.

    Thanks again for the your answers.

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, Utah
    Sept. 16, 2011 10:44 a.m.

    "Utah fans are downplaying the game because after this weekend we have a bye THEN we play 8 league games out of our remaining 9 (the other Big (L)east Pittsburgh) which are important. These games include home games against Arizona State, Washington, UCLA, Colorado, and Oregon State. Now that IS exciting and we will not downplay these games."

    Ironically, BYU is better than all those teams except ASU and perhaps Washington (and even then BYU could surpass ASU). Admit it; Ute fans downplaying this game are afraid how bad Utah will lose.

  • bllr21 PAYSON, UT
    Sept. 16, 2011 10:42 a.m.

    can't wait to see all the utah fans at the end of the year moping because they went 7-5 and don't even win their division. It will be a nice wake up call to all the ute fans. You aren't near as good as you think you are and you won't be for a couple years.

  • Voice of Reason Layton, UT
    Sept. 16, 2011 10:32 a.m.

    Ragnar - I was comparing BYU politically to the national population. Many universities, especially in the Pac-12, are radically far to the left of our nation's political center of gravity. BYU is considered a very conservative university...which is true, compared to other universities. But when compared to the US population, BYU is actually very middle of the road.

    I was just stating the obvious as to why BYU was never invited to the Pac-12. It was purely because schools like Cal-Berkeley and the U of O refused to have a school as conservative as BYU, with its religious affiliation, a place on their league bus. This is really not a news flash in the sports news world. So those few Ute fans who are already getting their smug mugs on over Utah being chosen by the Pac-12 Gods because of a "superior athletic tradition" need to look at reality.

    Sept. 16, 2011 10:31 a.m.

    I agreed for the most part with the BCS policies, because they were mostly right. You should have to beat the best to be the best, and MAC, WAC, MWC, Sun Belt, etc. weren't playing the best every week. If they beat great non-conference teams and went undefeated, which Utah, TCU and BSU did, they deserved in and got in.

    I don't despise mid-majors, I think they should be held to the same standard as before.

    I am definitely more excited about being in the PAC, it's a great accomplishment. What BYU does is up them, I could hardly care less.

    While the pride and recognition of affiliation are great, honestly the money is the more important thing. I'm already seeing my education improving THIS YEAR as a result of it, and the school is hardly getting a FRACTION of what we'll have in the future.

    Again, if BYU succeeds, more power to them, but I could hardly care less.

    I just love the U. I'm not a hater, I just poke fun when I can and most of my Y friends make it too easy!

    Sept. 16, 2011 10:25 a.m.

    IA Cougar:
    Playing the religion card is overused and a copout, unless you mean that BYU sacrifices things like scientific research that Pac schools are famous for in favor of religious and business studies and the like. Conference affiliation has two major components: sports programs (more specifically the cash-cow football) and academics. While BYU football has been good, it hasn't been great for nearly 20 years. And the academics does not fit the mold of the conference. Religious schools are not excluded from major conference affiliation. Texas CHRISTIAN University got into the Big East. I know many BYU folks do not openly accept TCU as a "religious" school on BYU's level, but it is very much a religious school.

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    Sept. 16, 2011 10:23 a.m.

    C'mon Utes! This is our in State rival and one of the longest running rivalries in the country. Why should we let the conference affiliation (or lack thereof) or time of year or anything else tone down our enthusiasm. There are far more storied rivalries around the country that survive in full vigor regardless of anything else that is on the line. Florida/Florida State, South Carolina/Clemson, Notre Dame/USC. If we can't get up for our rival, we aren't really fans.

  • Magna Ute Fan Magna, UT
    Sept. 16, 2011 9:51 a.m.


    When Utah was in the MWC did you despise the AQ leagues exclusionary attitudes?
    Now that Utah is in a AQ league do you despise the non AQ leagues?
    Are you more happy that Utah was invited to the PAC, or are you more happy that BYU was not and why?
    Utah was invited to the PAC!
    Which is more important to U, the money or conference affiliation? (choose on only)
    The money I guess. What is really most important to me is not being on the outside looking in when the super conferences are formed. Not becoming truly irrelevant.
    Would you rather BYU failed or succeeded at independence?
    I don't want byu to fail. But I do hope to see Utah beat byu in recruiting local talent, which could cause byu to fail.
    Do you love Utah or hate BUY more and why?
    Love the Utes! Like the cougars. Dislike holier than thou, pickle juice drinking, radicle byu fans.

  • Papa Smurf UTE Herriman, UT
    Sept. 16, 2011 9:47 a.m.

    They are right. This game is an early in the season, non conference game, that really does not mean a thing. To either team, especially now after they both lost last weekend. Byu already knows where they are going, as long as they reach 6 wins and become bowl eligible. They have 6 built in wins, and have already won one game, so that should be easy. Utah losing 1 game means no BCS title, and losing to the Y, which would be terrible, doesn't mean a thing. This is an early non conference game that is only being played for bragging rights most years. Hopefully the rivalry stays around and is just as vicious as it has been. I would love for Larry Scott to allow it to be played at the end of the season. It doesnt even have to be the last game. At least in November so we kind of know where both teams are, and if 1 team is undefeated, it would mean a lot more. Here's to a good clean game, that the UTES win 24-21 after Sorenson misses a 54 yard FG with time expiring tp tie the game. GO UTES!

  • Ragnar Danneskjold Bountiful, UT
    Sept. 16, 2011 9:22 a.m.

    Re: JDL

    1. Yes
    2. No, not at all
    3. Utah to the Pac by far. I'm a little disappointed BYU wasn't able to come with.
    4. Conference affiliation. As a fan, it isn't the tie to the Rose Bowl or money that I love, it is that I get to see better teams played on a weekly basis by my team.
    5. Fail. Sorry, just being honest. Why are you acting like loving the Utes and hating the Cougars are mutually exclusive. It is the opposite.
    6. Clearly love Utah more. But not liking BYU comes with the territory.

    Re: Voice of Reason
    Are you saying that BYU "more closely reflects America" than other universities? That is a new one. I disagree, but I know what you were implying. Isn't BYU supposed to be above the world, not a reflection of it? In the world, but not of it.

  • Mid-Major Cougars San Diego, CA
    Sept. 16, 2011 9:04 a.m.

    Nothing wrong with being an independent mid-major.

  • SoCalUtahFan Utesville, CA
    Sept. 16, 2011 8:37 a.m.

    1) When Utah was in the MWC did you despise the AQ leagues exclusionary attitudes?

    Utah was a BCS-caliber team. Utah went to and won 2 BCS bowls

    2) Now that Utah is in a AQ league do you despise the non AQ leagues?

    Thou shalt love thy little brother(s)

    3) Are you more happy that Utah was invited to the PAC, or are you more happy that BYU was not and why?

    I am happy Utah in AQ Pac-12 because it is a BCS-caliber team.
    BYU is justifiabe in independent mid-major status.
    Was very surprised that BYU decided quickly--as indicated by L.E. in a sporting news interview--to
    leave MWC.

    4) Which is more important to U, the money or conference affiliation? (choose on only)

    Major conference affiliation is nice --but no one can deny the power of money in today's world of sports

    5) Would you rather BYU failed/succeeded at independence?

    It's irrelevant to me as BYU football is irrelevant

    6) Do you love Utah or hate BUY more and why?

    Utah is lovable. And BYU is not.

  • Voice of Reason Layton, UT
    Sept. 16, 2011 8:00 a.m.

    Well it looks like (some) Utah fans are finally getting what they always wanted: a chance to feel superior, after all those decades of an inferiority complex on the gridiron. Oh how fast we fall go from fighting injustice to embracing it when we benefit from it, eh, BCS clubbers?

    Never mind that the Pac-12 refused BYU out of hand because the Y actually stands for something morally. Yes, I know many at Utah do too - that was a slam at the far-left Berkeley types (not Utah) who "tolerantly" refuse to tolerate schools like BYU that more closely reflect America.

    Regardless, I think overall most BYU and Utah fans are very civil and sportsmanlike and will remember that, while it is the BIG game, it's still just a game. I'll sure be watching Saturday evening wearing my blue "Quest" t-shirt.

  • Starfarer Mesa, AZ
    Sept. 16, 2011 7:50 a.m.

    It cracks me up that u think that being an AQ team is relevant.

    there are at least 30 AQ teams that are not relevant, nor will they ever be relevant.

    u have proved nothing yet. Not a thing. those two BCS wins that you re so high on happened four years ago, and the only thing you have done recently is lose to ND, TCU, BSU,USC, and struggled against Montana State.

    u are all off talking about a rose bowl bid, but have only won one real game in the last what? 7 games?

    Man I always hear that BYU fans are delusional, but take a look at what you are saying.

    if the u was relevant they would be talked about in other ways besides... might have a chance because USC cannot play in the Rose bowl...

    no one but u is walking around trumping your own horn saying that u are the front runner in your division. ASU is coming and u're not ready.

    After Saturday u will be 1-2, and as irrelevant to the rest of the world as you claim BYU already is.

  • JDL Magna, UT
    Sept. 16, 2011 7:40 a.m.

    SoCAL, and or any others, let me let me ask you a few questions and I'd like your true answers.

    When Utah was in the MWC did you despise the AQ leagues exclusionary attitudes?

    Now that Utah is in a AQ league do you despise the non AQ leagues?

    Are you more happy that Utah was invited to the PAC, or are you more happy that BYU was not and why?

    Which is more important to U, the money or conference affiliation? (choose on only)

    Would you rather BYU failed or succeeded at independence?

    Do you love Utah or hate BUY more and why?

  • IA Cougar West Des Moines, IA
    Sept. 16, 2011 7:35 a.m.

    Congrats to Utah for being in the Pac 12...something BYU did not earn, apparently due to its religious affiliation. It certainly had nothing to do with its sports programs which have been dominant in the WAC and MWC. It is fun to see the Utah banter about how BYU has suddenly become less worthy of attention due to Utah being in the BCS money Utah worked hard for the invitation that fell in their lap last summer.

    Facts are facts...the game should be close and the two teams are evenly matched. No one team is more "worthy" than the other. The majority of players are LDS at both schools. It's not a Holy War. It's a dadgum football game. Let's enjoy the game and skip the bad will.'s just a game!

  • zer28 Ogden, UT
    Sept. 16, 2011 7:25 a.m.

    It is pretty sad that the rivalry has come to this. The build up, the hype, the's just not there anymore. Don't get me wrong, I still want to see BYU whoop the U all over the field (while deep down I hope it's a nail biter), but it just doesn't have the same feel to it, since there's nothing really on the line besides pride. Hopefully in the near future they can work it out so it's the last game of the year, that way either team can put a wrench in the other team's bowl plans.

  • JDL Magna, UT
    Sept. 16, 2011 7:13 a.m.

    I don't like the rivalry game this early and to me it has every bit as much meaning regardless of the lack of conference affiliation and it should have been a top priority with DR. Hill.

    I'm happy for Utah playing in a league much better than the Mountain West Conference, they absolutely deserve it and so does BYU. BYU's independence is the best they can get right now and maybe another invitation may come some day. Some ridicule BYU but only a hand full of programs in the country can do what BYU has done.

    Utah fans should be unhappy the rivalry is not played at the end of year, no reason in the world why it should not be. It wouldn't interfere with U's chances at the Rose Bowl one bit.

    Larry Scott has done a ton for the PAC12 but has left a total disaster in the wake of conference breakups and part of the disaster is the many rivalry breakups across the country. And for what? Money. Sad, sad day for ameteur athletics.

    Sept. 16, 2011 7:11 a.m.

    "BYU will be going to the Armed Forces Bowl regardless."

    Let's not get ahead of yourself, Brad. They still have 5, maybe 6 more games to win before we crown them Armed Forces Bowl participants.

  • SoCalUtahFan Utesville, CA
    Sept. 16, 2011 5:38 a.m.

    Megan from BYU said the Cougars "have something to prove, because they're independent."

    Actually, BYU has something to prove because big-brother Utah is in AQ conference and BYU is still a independent mid-major.

    It will be quite a game to watch.

    Utah 17
    BYU 14

  • Classless Ute Fan Magna, UT
    Sept. 16, 2011 12:25 a.m.

    The question that will be answered this weekend is, will the Utes remain at 6 wins over the last 10 years or will they improve to 7 of 10?

    It is the rivalry game and it is important to win. However, it is not as important as the rest of our conference games. or the 10 remaining games on the schedule, I'd rank this game at 9th most important.

  • cougarNV Las Vegas, NV
    Sept. 15, 2011 10:45 p.m.

    Talk passes time. At the end of the year, we will see what happens with the rivalry. Personally, I am pretty tired of it, and it is less interesting. BUT...

    GO Cougars!!!!!!!

  • Who am I sir? Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 15, 2011 10:31 p.m.

    Utah fans are downplaying the game because after this weekend we have a bye THEN we play 8 league games out of our remaining 9 (the other Big (L)east Pittsburgh) which are important. These games include home games against Arizona State, Washington, UCLA, Colorado, and Oregon State. Now that IS exciting and we will not downplay these games.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 15, 2011 9:09 p.m.

    just another non-AQ practice

    We're still on a good course to the Rose Bowl

    byu's season is over since they lost. Time to start next year's "quest"

    utah 31
    byu 17

    1-4 start.


    Loss to Utah State


  • Swoop Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 15, 2011 8:30 p.m.

    Utah fans are downplaying the significance of the game because they know that all of their smack talk for the past year will be proven meaningless if they lose.