The annual “Holy War” might seem like just a mere difference of opinion in 2009 since it’s the first time in years that neither team comes in gunning for either a BCS berth or a Mountain West Conference championship; TCU has already claimed at least the latter prize this year. In the 2009 version of the annual contest, regardless of who wins, both teams will probably end up with at least 10-win seasons, go to bowl games and end up ranked in the Top 25.
However, this situation should not be cause for disinterest or distaste. Rather, it should be cause for celebration.
In what was definitely a rebuilding year, Utah still put together a season where they can finish with 10 wins and a bowl berth despite being a non-BCS school that can’t always compete for top recruits. Not many programs around the country—BCS conference or not—can say that. In BYU’s case, this could be the fourth straight year the Cougars win 10 or more games under Bronco Mendenhall. Again, that’s a rarity among college football programs, and even more impressive when one considers that Mendenhall hasn’t tossed out the school’s noted “Honor Code” in order to pick up wins.
So even if it doesn’t involve BCS-busting or conference titles, this game is still worth getting pumped up for. Besides, even if both teams come in 1-10, you still want your team to win so you can spend the next year taunting family, friends and co-workers foolish enough to root for that stupid other school.
Utah at BYU @ LaVell Edwards Stadium, 1700 N. Canyon Road, Provo, Saturday, Nov. 28, 3 p.m. BYUCougars.com