What's buzzing:

Dr. Saturday

The BYU-Utah rivalry gets new life – for now

Graham Watson
Dr. Saturday

View gallery



Rejoice state of Utah, the Holy War rivalry between BYU and Utah isn't dead yet.

Even though Utah coach Kyle Whittingham expressed a desire to potentially halt the rivalry game after the contract expired following this season, the two teams agreed to play again in 2013 and in 2016.

There is, however, some bad news.

As part of the agreement, the two teams will take a two-year hiatus from the series in 2014 and 2015, the first time the two teams won't play since 1922.

(Not so) coincidentally, the Utes announced a home-and-home series with Michigan during 2014 and 2015 earlier this moth and the Pac-12 and Big Ten are scheduled to begin their alliance series in 2017.

"When we joined the Pac-12 Conference, we knew there would be opportunities for Utah athletics that were never available before," Utah athletic director Chris Hill said in a statement. "A home-and-home series with Michigan is an example of something that we would not have envisioned even a few years ago and felt we could not pass up. It made our already tough schedule that much tougher and I did not think it was fair to our football program to schedule BYU on those years. We are solidly committed to play BYU in 2013 and 2016 and are close to finalizing a contract. Our intent is to continue to schedule BYU unless unusual circumstances dictate otherwise. In no way does this signal an end to the rivalry."

View gallery



Still, fans of both teams have to be feeling pretty good that this isn't going to be the final year of one of the nation's fiercest rivalries, especially since it appeared as though its dissolution was all but a done deal.

"Bottom line is we've got to do what's best for our program," Whittingham told Yahoo! Sports back in May. "That supersedes anything to do with the rivalry. If taking a year or two off periodically is best for our program, best for our scheduling, then that's what we've got to do.

"Our program is bigger than the rivalry. That's got to take a backseat to us doing what's best for our program."

At the time, Whittingham said he was concerned about overscheduling, especially with a nine-game Pac-12 schedule. He also noted that with all of the high-level conference teams coming to Rice-Eccles Stadium, the university didn't necessarily have to bring big names to campus in the nonconference season to help the team's bottom line.

From BYU's perspective, this game is big for the Cougars' strength of schedule as they continue to navigate through their new independent status. The Cougars are definitely beefing up their schedule in an effort to position themselves in the BCS, the upcoming four-team playoff and some of the higher-level bowls. In 2013, BYU faces the likes of Texas, Boise State, Notre Dame and others in addition to the Utes.

From a college football fan perspective, anytime a rivalry is saved these days, it's good for the game. As expansion has turned college football on its head, so many of the great rivalries — looking at you Texas-A&M and Missouri-Kansas — have become casualties, which hurts the fans more than anyone. While BYU-Utah might not be one of the most popular rivalries, it's certainly one of the oldest and one of the most spirited. If these teams can find a scheduling compromise, why can't others?

- - -
"Like" Dr. Saturday on Facebook for football conversations and stuff you won't see on the blog. And follow Dr. Saturday at its new home on Twitter: @YahooDrSaturday

Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Hockey
View Comments (10)
  • Mourinho tells Chelsea they can sack him but he's not quitting

    Mourinho tells Chelsea they can sack him but he's not quitting

    By Clare Lovell LONDON (Reuters) - With as much bravado as he could muster, a grim-faced Jose Mourinho said he would not walk out of Chelsea despite his champions suffering their fourth defeat in eight Premier League matches and languishing 16th in … More »

    Reuters - 4 minutes 31 seconds ago
  • Chelsea crash again as Aguero hits five for Man City

    Chelsea crash again as Aguero hits five for Man City

    By Mike Collett LONDON (Reuters) - Chelsea's early season slump turned into a full-blown crisis on Saturday when they were beaten 3-1 by Southampton while Manchester City went top of the Premier League with Sergio Aguero scoring five in a 6-1 win … More »

    Reuters - 5 minutes ago
  • Sevilla send Barca to second straight away defeat

    Sevilla send Barca to second straight away defeat

    By Tim Hanlon BARCELONA (Reuters) - Champions Barcelona suffered their second defeat in three matches in La Liga on Saturday with Michael Krohn-Dehli scoring and setting up another goal in a 2-1 victory for Sevilla. Denmark international … More »

    Reuters - 7 minutes ago
  • DeGale to defend IBF super middleweight belt against Bute

    LONDON (AP) -- James DeGale will make the first defense of his IBF world super middleweight title against former champion Lucian Bute in the challenger's home country of Canada on Nov. 28. … More »

    AP - Sports - 9 minutes ago
  • Australia send England tumbling out of the World Cup

    Australia send England tumbling out of the World Cup

    By Nick Mulvenney LONDON (Reuters) - Australia sent England tumbling into the Rugby World Cup abyss on Saturday when they demolished the hosts 33-13 at Twickenham to ensure the 2003 champions would take no further part in their own tournament after … More »

    Reuters - 10 minutes ago