How Will Utah to the Pac-10 Affect the Holy War?

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - JUNE 17: Utah Athletic Director Dr. Chris Hill (R) talks as PAC-10 Commissioner Larry Scott (L) and President of the University of Utah Michael Young (C) listen as the University was admitted into the PAC-10 June 17, 2010 in Salt Lake City, Utah. The University of Utah was invited to join the PAC-10 for the 2011-12 athletic year. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)

The dust has finally settled.  Utah came out on top.

After Utah's announcement on the 17th that they are accepting an invitation to play in the Pac-10 conference, many people here in the state of Utah are wondering how it will affect the old heated rivalry with BYU.

Many are saying it won't affect the rivalry.  Some are saying it will kill the rivary.  And extremest on each end of the spectrum are saying to call off the rivalry. 

Here's my take:  

There obviously is going to be some sort of effect on the rivalry.  The schools have shared the same conference since they started playing and now the conference championship will no longer be on the line.  Does that make it less heated?  I don't think so.

Florida has a heated rivalry with Florida State, Georgia vs Georgia Tech, Colorado vs Colorado State, the list goes on and on.  The game should still be played on the last game of the season, I don't see the rivalry even close to dying.

Both teams will still be playing with something to prove.  Bragging rights in the state of Utah will still be at stake.  Both teams should continue to be highly ranked in the battles.   

It will be the MWC vs. Pac-10 (BCS Conference) matchup that always means something in terms of status and bragging rights.  BYU will be trying to prove the non-BCS schools can play with the BCS schools, we've heard this many times before.  

Utah will be trying to prove that they are the superior program in the state of Utah and that they were more worthy of a Pac-10 invite than their rivals to the South.  

The game clearly will still be played each year.  Chris Hill and Tom Holmoe have said they would like to continue playing the game.  Now, there may be complications with the new scheduling where it is a possibility that the game will not be played.  Unless Utah drops a team on their 2011 schedule, they won't have room for BYU.  

Now, if the Big 12 decides they actually want 12 teams, it could turn into a Big 12 vs Pac-12 game.  It would bring more of a national spotlight to the game.

The Holy War isn't dead and it is not going to die.  There is too much interest in the state to let a game with so much tradition go away.

Follow Michael Rueckert on Twitter @MichaelRueckert

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