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The Non-Update Update On The BYU And Utah Rivalry


The BYU and Utah rivalry has yet another scheduling issue stemming from the news that the Pac-10 will keep its nine game conference schedule. The nine game schedule is most likely set up to keep the other Pac-10 schools happy by being able to get a game against UCLA or USC every year. Yesterday, BYU Athletic Director Tom Holmoe said at a golf tournament that he strongly expects the rivalry to go on, but he side stepped the elephant in the room which is the 2011 season. This has been hashed out quite a bit that BYU does not want to play at Utah two years in a row which would give BYU seven road games which crushes their books, and Utah not want to play seven road games or even eight if they get stuck with five road conference games.

Iowa State is expected to drop or move Utah from their 2011 schedule but it is a home game for Utah which does not open up a spot and Oregon will either become a conference game or not a game at all, but again it is a home game. This rivalry must continue because well it is a very good rivalry and Brad Rock from the Desert News points out Utah State and Utah have kept their rivalry going with many conference changes:

"Utah and Utah State have played every year since 1944, until a two-year break was mutually agreed upon, beginning this season. They probably played longer than they should have. Utah has won 12 straight and 20 of 22. They played games in August, September, October and November and when USU was in the PCAA, the Big West, the Sun Belt, the WAC and when it was independent."

That may be true but Utah State is not BYU and most of their conference affiliations came years ago and the change was not made from a conference game to a non-conference game, and that is what is making this much more difficult to schedule.

After hearing the Tom Holmoe keep saying that BYU will do what is best for BYU and this is playing Utah each and every year, and that goes the same for Utah. It seems that this will be done, and Labor Day (or that weekend) makes the most sense on both sides, because exposure would be huge and it would make the rivalry big instead of being a game in week three of the year. The way to make this happen would be to have Utah push back the Boise State series which is a road game and play BYU in Provo. This makes the most sense and is very easy, but the date is what will becoming tricky for 2011.

Utah looks to have an open date for the first week of the 2011 season if Iowa State drops Utah, but BYU has a game scheduled at Oregon State on that same weekend.  If neither game is moved then September 17th looks to be the day because BYU is off, but Utah does have a game scheduled against Oregon.  However, that is now a conference game for Utah or it may not be a game at all.  To get the game on Labor Day weekend BYU could see if Oregon State would be willing to move their game to a current bye week for Oregon State to September 17th and then this also assumes that Iowa State is dropping Utah.

Oregon State may not want that because they still need to schedule one more non-conference game (if they wan to) since they play at Hawaii.  If Oregon State adds an opponent it would either be November 19th or opening weekend.  If they schedule the opponent in November then they would be playing 13 straight games without an off week.  So, who really knows what they will do.

Dates do line up somewhat for BYU and Utah to play either Labor Day weekend or September 17th, they need a little help but not a ton.  I think most fans of either school would rather have the game be opening week then the third week into the season.

Before any of this can be done the issue of where the game is to be played is still an issue, because int he rotation it should go back to BYU, but Utah does not want to play seven road games.  That is the biggest hurdle before they start trying to move games around.

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