I was originally in the camp of “keep playing BYU.” Then I migrated more towards…. “Well, maybe we should keep playing BYU.” Then I went to the game in Provo last year and came away with, “There is no real reason WE SHOULD continue to play BYU.”
1) BYU brings us less exposure than playing a Big 10 team would so the exposure angle doesn’t work. And, 2) we likely make less money playing BYU than if we were to play a BIG 10 team… But those two reasons lag far behind these next few reasons though…
I want to see the Utes play in the Rose Bowl and compete for PAC 12 dominance. Does BYU help us achieve that??? Quite the contrary based on last year. It is an emotionally amped up game. The game has become much more important, I believe, for BYU than Utah. This is a recipe for what we saw last year…. The loss of key contributors that very well could have helped us get to the league championship game last year.
During the BYU game Wynn, Murphy, Christopher (originally went to the locker room to get X-rayed but came back), etc., all went down to injuries. Those losses impeded our chances deeper in the season. AND FOR WHAT??? So some people could brag about it at church? So we could flip off the guy in the cubicle next to us at work? I know a tax paying institution didn’t benefit from it (USU) so there was no benefit there. Rather, each one of us ended up more geeked out with respect to playing Washington the next week anyway for our conference opener…. Oh yeah, we lost that one too due in large measure to injuries suffered the week before.
IF BYU helps us get more national exposure, more money, or a better shot at the Rose Bowl then I am all in with respect to playing them. If not then the downside risk is much greater than the upside benefit. Yes, I am firmly in the camp of watching a run to a conference championship much more so than chest bumping my brother over a meaningless September victory.
Finally… I am interested in seeing the Utes play IN RES more than anything else. IF we continue to play a home and home with BYU then you can expect to see, on average, 1 fewer game in RES than we otherwise could every other year. AND, we will see virtually the same schedule EVERY YEAR going forward.
The only positive to playing BYU each year is the tradition but I am no longer certain that lone positive outweighs the mounting negatives.
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