Every year college football brings this state together in a clash of titans. A war of worlds. A battle of brothers. A “holy war.”
And every year fans setup for the worst or the best their team has to offer. Every year fans erupt in a war of words, trash talking of epic proportions in a battle to decide state bragging rights for the next year. A heated rivalry of monumental proportions.
And just when you think you’ve seen it all. The unexpected happens.
Yet even in a rivalry of surprises, there are expectations among fans. Some realistic, some off the wall and completely unrealistic. Every fan wants to believe their team has a chance. Even if the situation looks grim.
So for fun let’s break down the scenarios that give BYU the best chance for a win, and the worst chance for a win in this years chapter of the rivalry.
Lets start with the worst case.
In this scenario BYU begins the game backed up deep in their own territory, they turn the ball over, the turnover turns into a touchdown and the snowball effect begins. They would allow John White IV to run for 200 yards in route to a complete debacle that sends Cougar faithful jumping off the ledge at the top of Bridal Veil Falls to their death hundreds of feet below…
Oh wait…that already happened. Except maybe the ledge jumping…
Yeah the worst case scenario for BYU in this game can’t get much worse than last years drubbing in Provo at the hands of their rivals. The painful memories still sting and burn the heart of every Cougar fan like that nasty road rash that just won’t heal no matter what you do.
This year offers more promise and hope, due largely in part to an offense that has stronger, more veteran leadership than it did last year. And it starts with a senior quarterback who has more grit than a bull rider and a huge determination to win that is second to none except maybe his offensive coordinator. Riley Nelson is a fierce competitor that grinds it out in the face of adversity.
With the question marks that exist on offense for Utah, both at quarterback and on the offensive line itself, the game’s outcome may simply come down to whether or not either team can avoid turning the ball over.
The best case scenario for BYU ultimately IS the worst case scenario for Ute fans everywhere…Start Jordan Wynn.
No one in Ute nation is talking confidently about succeeding in the PAC 12 with Wynn guiding the team offensively. In fact it’s quite the opposite. Everywhere I’ve been I hear the whisperings of “bench Wynn” and “start Travis Wilson.” The exciting, brash, young freshman QB from San Clemente California has become the new craze.
And due injury, part of the equation happens. Wynn is out for the remainder of the season. You can almost hear a collective sigh of relief throughout Ute nation.
But before everyone jumps in to crown Wilson as the next savior at QB for Utah, first things first, a guy by the name of John Hays.
Hays is a capable guy who has proved very good at times. And he knows the offense. If the O-line can give him time, the games makeup could take on a new look. And suddenly, maybe that “best case” for BYU fans isn’t best anymore. Suddenly it lends itself to another potential letdown in another historic rivalry for the ages.
Best case or worst case…you decide.
If it were up to me, an avid football fan, a long time BYU Cougar fan, who has watched games for 25 years, it would be a “Best case” to have both teams playing at their best, healthy and clicking. A good ‘ ol fashioned, exciting shootout that goes down to the final play. The best games are when two teams lay it all on the line and play their guts out.
So if you love football, no matter the team, this might be the last time, for a while at least, these to rivals take the field against one another. I highly suggest you sit back, turn on your tv and enjoy, because “this here’s the wildest ride in the [west].” (quoted from Disneyland’s Big Thunder Mountain)
Regardless of play in the previous years, months, weeks, or days, these two teams can put on a show worthy of being put in the top rivalries in the country. A battle of epic proportions. And for one day the state of Utah comes to a stand still and in many homes stands divided as they root on their favorite team to victory. Brother against brother, mother and father against child, all in the name of football.
Can it get any better than that?
That’s MY case for the best.
Now if we could only make a case for allowing this fun, exciting rivalry to continue. For now though, enjoy what we have.
And may the BEST team win.