Doug Robinson: Reversal of fortune—How Utah and BYU switched places

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  • UU Provo, UT
    Sept. 16, 2017 1:08 a.m.

    Trig,

    As long as Utah keeps putting players in the NFL the recruits will keep coming.

  • Utah'95 FPO, AE
    Sept. 15, 2017 10:50 p.m.

    Trigotan,

    Oregon State has a winning record against BYU.

  • Trigotan Kennewick, WA
    Sept. 15, 2017 9:30 p.m.

    Now that the cancer aka Bronco M is busy taking the UVA program down the toilet, hopefully BYU can turn things around. Besides, once the novelty of PAC-12 membership wears off, and players realize that the Utes will never compete for anything more than a participation trophy, Utah will stop getting the same level of recruits, and will eventually become the South division's equivalent of Oregon State.

  • Riverton Ute Riverton, UT
    Sept. 15, 2017 5:10 p.m.

    @Riverton Cougar-I bet all Ute fans would take 12 of those one-score dominations this year.You coug fans get caught up in margin of victory because frankly you haven't been able to get any kind of victory lately.

  • rslutefan Gilbert, AZ
    Sept. 15, 2017 12:33 p.m.

    BYU owned the mid 70s to mid 90s -- Utah has owned the time before and after and the gap will continue to widen unless. Most of the points in the article are accurate. Fassel, McBride, Meyer, and Whittingham have all had a material impact. Lavell Edwards was a legend and an innovator and his system flourished in that era. BYU hasn't necessarily had "bad" couches since then. The school and the Church that owns them has perhaps had a different mission.

    If BYU wants to be an elite program and highly competitive within the upper ranks of power 5 conferences.

    1. BYU relaxes the Honor Code (a religious test for scholarship athletes would have to be thrown out. They just can't get enough top-flight LDS athletes at that level.)
    2. BYU agrees to play on Sundays if necessary (maybe not as critical but an impediment to certain conference affiliations.)
    3. BYU is willing to spend 75-100+ mm on intercollegiate athletic program. (I don't think the church wants to commit those types of resources.)

    BYU needs better athletes, BYU needs a power conference, BYU would need to start matching the spending of other power 5 conference programs.

    None of these seem likely.

  • TouchdownUtes Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 15, 2017 9:56 a.m.

    One more thing.....the point was made earlier from our friend in Riverton that the "DNews to write articles on a hypothetical situation of going undefeated because they knew the haters would come, read, and comment in droves."

    Nonsense. One might also conclude that purposely ignoring the reality and facts of the current status of the rivalry and insisting on BYU superiority, Utah fans (haters as this person implies) "would come, read, and comment in droves." I'm of the opinion that this constant insistence that BYU is superior is only mentioned to attract a contentious response. It certainly doesn't coincide with the "World Class Sportsmanship" that the BYU Athletic Mission Statement encourages......

  • TouchdownUtes Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 15, 2017 9:02 a.m.

    Utah'95 - FPO, AE asked Riverton Cougar, "What objective evidence can you offer to support your argument?"

    Excellent question.....and there is an easy answer......a good share of Cougar fans, when asked a question like this, revert back to their NC from 1984 and Detmer's Heisman a few years later to show relevance today. Obviously the current landscape of the rivalry has changed.....Utah is 7-0 and 12 out of 15.....Utah has had almost triple the number of BYU players that have been drafted into the NFL since 2005.....Utah is in a P5 conference.....has been ranked in all 3 major polls in the Top 25 the past 3 years.....BYU is without a conference, nor have they even sniffed those Top 25 rankings.....

    For someone to suggest that BYU is superior to Utah on the basis of what happened in the 1980's.....well, they're delusional in their thinking and will never concede these facts. In their minds, Utah will NEVER be more superior than BYU. It's okay to be a fan of BYU.....but being that rooted of a fan and simultaneously ignoring current reality and facts......then you just have to ignore those types of people.

  • Utah'95 FPO, AE
    Sept. 15, 2017 1:31 a.m.

    Riverton Cougar,

    In one of your most recent posts, you said, "Ill stick with reality and facts."

    Would you please care to address the facts that I listed in my post at 8:53 a.m. on 14 Sep?

    I'll ask again, if you believe that BYU's football program is better than Utah's, what objective evidence can you offer to support your argument?

  • UU Provo, UT
    Sept. 14, 2017 11:16 p.m.

    @Riverton "I'll stick with reality and facts"

    Since when is 7-0 not a fact? Since when is going winless over the last 7 years not BYU's reality?

  • eagle Provo, UT
    Sept. 14, 2017 10:24 p.m.

    How did Utah and BYU switch places. The answers in order of importance:

    1) Urban Meyer

    2) Kyle Whittingham

    3) Ron McBridge

  • Rockarolla West Jordan, UT
    Sept. 14, 2017 9:05 p.m.

    The biggest thing that helped the Utes and many other schools like them is the Fact that the scholarship rule changed the year that Ron McBride became head coach. Ten less scholarships were available to teams. With BYU getting the lions share of the great athletes in Utah as well as the great LDS athletes it put the other schools in the WAC at a disadvantage. When 10 less players were coming to BYU the other schools could get better talent than they could in the past. You can praise Ron McBride all you want but it was the scholarship rule that changed the college football world. Low level coaches became mid level coaches because of the newfound talent that was not available to them before. I think that you will see that things changed when guys that would have gone to BYU, Notre Dame, Alabama, etc started going elsewhere. It had little to do With Ronnie Mac, Urban Meyer or Kyle Whittingham. It had everything to do with a larger talent pool.

  • TouchdownUtes Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 14, 2017 4:00 p.m.

    Riverton.....rather than admit the obvious, why can't you just admit that your disliking of Utah is your prime motivation for ignoring, as you say, "reality and facts?"

    Utah is the premier football program in the State of Utah.....all 4 panel members on ESPN Gameday picked Utah to win the game last week.....their prediction was correct. Your team allowed Tyler Huntley to get almost 400 yards on his own....you couldn't stop him, nor did your defense anticipate what he'd do next.

    Utah is ranked in the Top 25 Coaches Poll, and is on the cusp of entering the Top 25 AP Poll and is even ranked higher in the BYU-fan favorite Sagarin Ratings (Utah is ranked 23rd, BYU is 62nd). BYU is nowhere to be found in terms of those first 2 significant polls.

    ESPN asked Coach Whit after the game what this victory means for the team, and he said first and foremost "in-state superiority." He was right. So based on all of these facts, are you going to dismiss this evidence and still insist the Cougars are more superior?

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    Sept. 14, 2017 2:23 p.m.

    @Riverton

    To put things in perspective, Utah faced what is widely considered to be BYU worst offense in DECADES and not only was Utah only able to beat them by 6 points (and facing the possibility of losing the game on that last drive), but BYU's dismal offense scored more TDs than Utah did.

    --------------

    BYU is the queen of moral victories.

    First, there was a 5% probability of Utah losing the game on the last drive according to ESPN calculations. In the 4th quarter, Utah's win probability never dropped below 93%.

    Second, Utah hasn't had an offense for DECADES, yet we're 7-3 at LES.

  • Naval Vet Philadelphia, PA
    Sept. 14, 2017 2:17 p.m.

    Riverton Cougar:

    "I'm sorry you feel that way, but Ill [sic] stick with reality and facts."

    Not if you're going to cling to the "one-score" loss mantra you won't. Are you really suggesting that Utah couldn't have tacked on another FG at the end of the game last weekend if we'd wanted to.....thus making it a "TWO-score" margin of victory? And can you imagine the uproar of indignity from your fanbase had we done that? And furthermore, Whittingham actually LIKES your head coach now. Sitake is a personal friend of his. Why would Whittingham choose to run up the score on a friend?

    Answer: He wouldn't. But that isn't to say that he "couldn't" have. He could have. He was well within FG range. And not only that, there was enough time on the clock for the Utes to even take a few shots at the endzone first, and potentially run up the score even further.

    That whole "one-score" loss is just cougar nation's go-to "moral victory". Nevertheless, the "facts" remain that Utah plays a "ball-control" and "clock-control" brand of football. Not the "run up the score" brand that would necessitate "style points" that your program favors.

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, UT
    Sept. 14, 2017 1:55 p.m.

    @Naval Vet

    I'm sorry you feel that way, but Ill stick with reality and facts. Thanks for proving BYU's relevance. Oh, and keep up those one-score dominations for the rest of the season! Did you see Georgia's domination of Notre Dame? Such dominance.

    Get help.

  • portlander Arlington, WA
    Sept. 14, 2017 12:46 p.m.

    Utes going into the pac12 is the one glaring reason. For any team, being in a p5 conference doubles their chances for greater success, especially in recruiting. The Cougs make a good run every year, like Notre Dame did for decades, but to get p5 talent, you've got to be in a p5 conference.

  • Naval Vet Philadelphia, PA
    Sept. 14, 2017 12:43 p.m.

    Riverton Cougar:

    First you said, "...it made smart business sense for the DNews to write articles on a hypothetical situation of going undefeated because they knew the haters would come, read, and comment in droves."

    But THEN you said, "They don't write 'for' the haters".

    Doesn't match. In fact, that was a complete 180. You'd "unwittingly" admitted that you were wrong! And now you're backpedalling.

    P.S.: 7 in a row IS "dominating". And especially when leading in those 7 straight games for over 77% of those games in a "ball control" strategy, compared to little brother's lead of less than 3%. How miserable for you. You must be feeling so midmajory.

  • Naval Vet Philadelphia, PA
    Sept. 14, 2017 12:33 p.m.

    Riverton Cougar:

    "It's false bravado because you conveniently ignore the fact that 6 of those last 7 were won by a touchdown or less."

    ...said the "false bravado" indy-WACer who's conveniently ignoring the fact that 7 consecutive wins IS "dominance"....regardless of the margin of victory! Face it little bro, if the series were "tight", then the tdS would have won at least 3 of the last 7, or 7 of the last 15. But they didn't. They'd won only 3 of the past 15, and none of the past 7. You all got dominated!

    And speaking of ignoring the facts, since 2011, the cougars have held the lead amid only 9-min, 40-sec of the total 6-hrs they've been on the field with their big brother on the hill. That's less than 2.7% of the games. The Utes on the other hand led for 4-hrs, 38-min, 7-sec. That's nearly 77.3% of the games. How is this not "dominance"?

    Here's an additional fact that you've ignored: Utah plays "ball control"; not "run up the score". If we'd played "run up the score", Utah would have tacked on at least a FG at the ends of the 2011 and 2017 games, as we were well within range, and possibly even the 2015 and 2016 ones as well, as we were on the right side of the 50.

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, UT
    Sept. 14, 2017 12:17 p.m.

    "7 wins in a row by only 1 point is domination..... because it's 7-0."

    Well, if telling yourself that helps you sleep better at night, more power to you. I'll stick with reality and facts.

    "What a frantic and emotional thing to say. The DNews doesn't write articles for the 'haters'. Why would they?"

    You unwittingly answered your own question in your post. They don't write "for" the haters, but I bet they are entertained seeing most articles about BYU get tons of attention from people who have supposedly "moved on" or ironically claim BYU is irrelevant.

    Thanks for contributing.

  • Naval Vet Philadelphia, PA
    Sept. 14, 2017 11:46 a.m.

    Riverton Cougar:

    "Nope, it made smart business sense for the DNews to write articles on a hypothetical situation of going undefeated because they knew the haters would come, read, and comment in droves."

    What a frantic and emotional thing to say. The DNews doesn't write articles for the "haters". Why would they? The DNews is the propaganda arm of the Utes' indy-WACey little brother. They wrote that article for folks like YOU; not us.

    Fail.

  • UU Provo, UT
    Sept. 14, 2017 11:44 a.m.

    Riverton,

    7 wins in a row by only 1 point is domination..... because it's 7-0.

    12 of 15 (or 13 of 16 can't keep track) is also domination.

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, UT
    Sept. 14, 2017 10:34 a.m.

    What JohnInSLC says:

    "There's no real obsession with the school [BYU]."

    What JohnInSLC really does:

    See comments he has written.

    Sorry John, can't take you seriously; you're actions are speaking louder than your words.

  • JohnInSLC Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 14, 2017 8:59 a.m.

    "Here's another question: if Utah is so superior, so "dominant", so much more talented, etc then why do you obsess over BYU so much?"

    Riverton coog:

    There's no real obsession with the school . We're just puzzled by its fans who are so obsessed with living in the past that they refuse to see that, from an intercollegiate athletics standpoint, BYU-P is the new Army.

  • Utah'95 FPO, AE
    Sept. 14, 2017 8:53 a.m.

    In the last 15 years:

    -Utah has finished the season ranked in the AP Poll 7 times, and had 2 top 5 finishes.

    -BYU has finished ranked in the AP Poll 4 times, and had no top 10 finishes.

    -Utah has had 2 undefeated seasons.

    -BYU hasn't gone undefeated since 1984.

    -Utah is 12-21 (0.364) against teams who finished the season in the AP Poll, and 6-12 (0.333) since leaving the MWC.

    -BYU is 3-20 (0.130) against teams who finished the season ranked, and 1-9 (0.100) since leaving the MWC.

    -Utah has 2 New Year's Day bowl victories, and has a bowl record of 11-1.

    -BYU has never appeared in a New Year's Day bowl, and is 7-5 in bowl games.

    -Utah's record against BYU is 11-3.

    For those of you who believe that BYU's football program is better than Utah's, what objective evidence can you offer to support your argument?

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, UT
    Sept. 14, 2017 8:41 a.m.

    "Hahaha! If that's the DNews' target audience now, the tide really HAS turned, and what BYU-P fans want to read has been completely ignored by their sponsoring institution's newspaper."

    @John

    I didn't say it was their target audience, but you cannot deny that BYU haters are very prevalent. It comes with the territory of being a relevant school.

    Note how many BYU football articles the DNews has written in 2017, and how few are about speculating an undefeated season. That's not exactly the "haters are the target audience" kind of numbers. But it doesn't mean they can't throw them a bone once in a while, and watch all the haters/obsessors come in droves, frothing at the mouth, and making up assertions that BYU fans claim to be national championship contenders every year. It would be funnier if the level of obsession/hatred weren't so serious.

    Here's another question: if Utah is so superior, so "dominant", so much more talented, etc then why do you obsess over BYU so much?

  • CougarForever Holladay, Utah
    Sept. 14, 2017 8:20 a.m.

    An accurate analysis -- unfortunately.

    Also Utah seems to do extremely well with player development . They take 3-star recruits and turn them into NFL draft picks.

  • JohnInSLC Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 14, 2017 7:43 a.m.

    "DNews to write articles on a hypothetical situation of going undefeated because they knew the haters would come, read, and comment in droves."

    Riverton coog:

    Hahaha! If that's the DNews' target audience now, the tide really HAS turned, and what BYU-P fans want to read has been completely ignored by their sponsoring institution's newspaper.

    Ouch!

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, UT
    Sept. 14, 2017 7:41 a.m.

    "Enough with this 'false bravado' talk you're always bringing up. How is it 'false bravado' when we've won 7 in a row, and 80% of the last 15?"

    It's false bravado because you conveniently ignore the fact that 6 of those last 7 were won by a touchdown or less, with most of those coming down to a single drive or even a single play (and ironically, the one that was far from a close game saw the losing team end the season ranked). 7 dominating wins in a row is dominance, 7 close wins in a row is a close rivalry. That's your false bravado.

    To put things in perspective, Utah faced what is widely considered to be BYU worst offense in DECADES and not only was Utah only able to beat them by 6 points (and facing the possibility of losing the game on that last drive), but BYU's dismal offense scored more TDs than Utah did. Yes, I know Utah made their fair share of mistakes as well. The point is that if Utah was truly as dominant as you claimed, it wouldn't have been close! BYU would not have even had the opportunity to get within 6 points to potentially pull ahead. But they did, because Utah doesn't "dominate" like you claim. Hence, false bravado. Hope that clears it for you.

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, UT
    Sept. 14, 2017 7:34 a.m.

    "The 'haters' aren't the ones who'd written an article last April titled "What happens if BYU goes 13-0 in 2017". Unless the DNews is a hater that is."

    Nope, it made smart business sense for the DNews to write articles on a hypothetical situation of going undefeated because they knew the haters would come, read, and comment in droves. The haters have shown that's what they're interested in.

    "@BYU fans who keep saying BYU's defense is great.

    If it's so great why do your corners line up 12 yards off the line of scrimmage? How come they only play some defense and never man? Your defensive secondary is lacking that's why. The front 7 are good. I'll give you that. Not great however, just good."

    BYU's secondary is the weakest part of the defense, and has historically been so. Nobody is arguing that. However, to say the front seven is "not great, just good", I think is wrong. They held Guice to less than 5 yards per carry. Before the BYU game he averaged about 8 yards per carry. Does that mean SEC defensive front 7's are less than "just good"?

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    Sept. 14, 2017 6:50 a.m.

    @burningblue

    The U wants you to forget that Whittingham started out even worse than Kalani did, but I think Kalani is the right guy.

    ----

    Whittingham started with rejecting BYU then he went out and won the Fiesta Bowl.

  • wer South Jordan, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 11:47 p.m.

    For those of us who, thankfully, live away from the arena where certain sports activities brings out such bitterness and disagreement, it is hard not to think, "Is it worth it?"

  • Naval Vet Philadelphia, PA
    Sept. 13, 2017 11:39 p.m.

    Riverton Cougar:

    "Nope, the haters keep bringing it up."

    Nope. The "haters" aren't the ones who'd written an article last April titled "What happens if BYU goes 13-0 in 2017". Unless the DNews is a hater that is.

  • BleedCougarBlue Enid, OK
    Sept. 13, 2017 11:18 p.m.

    @ SoonerUte - Salt Lake City, UT - Sept. 13, 2017 4:36 p.m. - ".......I acknowledge that there is parity in college football. There isn't a vast difference between North Dakota and BYU, nor between Utah and LSU."

    You really think that there is NOT much difference between LSU and Utah?

    Oh, brother....

  • Naval Vet Philadelphia, PA
    Sept. 13, 2017 11:16 p.m.

    Bluto:

    "With all the false bravado from Utah fans this year..."

    Enough with this "false bravado" talk you're always bringing up. How is it "false bravado" when we've won 7 in a row, and 80% of the last 15? Wouldn't the "false bravado" crowd be the ones who've been saying things like, "There's a new Sheriff in Cougar Towne", or "Your arrogance is about to be humbled as Sitake and Co. have arrived...The paradigm for the U of U is changing"??? Those were direct quotes from you just 2-months ago!

    Talk about "false bravado". Typical hypocritical coug.

  • CentralcoastUte San luis obispo , CA
    Sept. 13, 2017 10:47 p.m.

    @BYU fans who keep saying BYU's defense is great.

    If it's so great why do your corners line up 12 yards off the line of scrimmage? How come they only play some defense and never man? Your defensive secondary is lacking that's why. The front 7 are good. I'll give you that. Not great however, just good.

  • CO Ute PARKER, CO
    Sept. 13, 2017 10:15 p.m.

    Good article and accurate conclusions. Most of the BYU fans see and accept the current situation just as long time Utah fans accepted that the tide had turned in the 70's and 80's. But to a few of the die hards like bluto here are some additional facts.

    Sure the recent games have been close, at least close in the final score but look a little deeper. This year BYU never led at any point and were behind by two scores for most of the game. In 2016 BYU took a brief lead before halftime and Utah regained the lead on the next possession. In the bowl game Utah was up 35-0 and led the whole game. Go back a few more years and see that Utah led virtually the entire game as well. One team is ahead most of every game while the other team is hoping for a last minute miracle.

    As far as the talent gap closing, hardly. Utah has steadily improved their recruiting which BYU has stayed fairly steady year after year. The Y gets some very good players but depth of their talent isn't close to Utah has done recently.

    And finally, the comments that the Utes aren't that great are pretty funny. If the Utes are just mediocre, what does that mean for BYU?

  • SIMPLICITY Denver, CO
    Sept. 13, 2017 9:14 p.m.

    To all bitter byu fans,

    Yes, byu has a legacy, byu has a national championship, byu has an excellent university and programs, byu was really good during the 1980's, byu has a heisman trophy, byu has more bowl victories.... this is true and factual and very cool.

    This all makes it that much sweeter that Utah dominates byu again. Seven in a row is cold hard punishment. And the next few years there will likely be absolute blowouts.

    Enjoy the ride

  • DC Surfs Carlsbad, CA
    Sept. 13, 2017 9:06 p.m.

    Enjoy it while it lasts Utes. The game of football will look vastly different in 10 years.

    I have a close family member who married into an NFL Franchise family. Their current goal is to increase the value of the team over the next couple of years so they can sell it before lawsuits and political corrrectness change the game forever. The demand for the NFL is already on the decline and will only continue which will also carry over to the college level.

    Based upon the poor play of my football teams, I am willing to let them all go down in flames to see programs like the Utes and Bama go down as well. Their pride and arrogance towards anything other than the big 5 is nauseating.

    Ultimately the wave will finally peak, break and send it all crashing down on top of them. I will refer to it as "poetic justice". Pardon the surf analogy but enjoy the ride folks.

  • JohnInSLC Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 8:55 p.m.

    "Nope, the haters keep bringing it up. Then they claim BYU fans are the ones making such comments."

    Riverton coog:

    It's no mere claim. Coog fans were clamoring their agreement and proclaiming the 'new sheriff', Ty 'freaking' Detmer and a top tier QB should make all Ute fans 'very afraid'.

    Yeah, Ute fans like to remind.

  • jparry Provo, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 8:47 p.m.

    Robinson is right about BYU getting fewer top athletic recruits during the Bronco years, but that wasn't and still isn't a bad thing. I'm not yet convinced that a "student athlete" can be a great athlete and be a good or even average student. For most athletes it simply takes too much time to practice, train, etc., to get to the top level of performance; there just isn't enough time and energy left over to perform adequately in schoolwork, especially for athletes that wouldn't have gotten into BYU on academic grounds alone.

    Bronco came here with a commitment to his athletes' academic success and their adherence to BYU's Honor Code. He believed he could make the program a top-25 program while maintaining those standards. He didn't consistently, and I don't think you can. I am more than willing to root for a good team full of fine athletes who, however, might not reach their full athletic potential because they're also working hard to reach their academic and moral potential.

  • Calimormon67 Lancaster, CA
    Sept. 13, 2017 7:04 p.m.

    I disagree with how Mendenhall continuously gets slammed. I thought he was a good coach. His problem was Anae. Players respected Mendenhall. They worked hard for him. What has done byu in is their independence. They have nothing to play for except a national championship. This year, Ieven think that is far reaching. Byu needs to get back into a conference where they can play for more.

    The other problem with BYU is that they will only look at LDS coaches. There are coaches out there with values in line with LDS beliefs who may not be LDS.

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 6:52 p.m.

    "All I know is that BYU has played 3 games this year and the 'Quest for perfection', summer articles of 'special season' and comments of greatness are gone."

    Nope, the haters keep bringing it up. Then they claim BYU fans are the ones making such comments.

  • PacUtes Orange County, CA
    Sept. 13, 2017 6:45 p.m.

    This article is spot on.
    Utah is in a different league now.
    Utah can hang with the big boys of NCAA college football.
    BYU would get...destroyed by them.

    And, yes, I love coach McBride. I remembered the year he took us to a bowl in Tucson....first bowl in a long time.

  • gr82fly St George, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 6:31 p.m.

    I have watched BYU football for over 50 years. During those years they had some pretty good teams but they never were a dynasty program. Why? Simple. The honor code. Let me say, as an alumnus, that I support the honor code and know that it will never go away. Take a hard look at dynasty football programs and what do you see? World class athletes go to these universities desiring what most young men want at that age...drink, smoke pot and fornicate, things that are off limits at BYU. Given that the honor code will be a forever thing at BYU, it is high time that the Cougars accept the reality of the recruiting consequences that the honor code brings and quit trying to run with the big dogs like LSU.

  • Utahute72 Tooele, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 6:26 p.m.

    I grew up in an era when Utah State was Utah's main rival and BYU was an afterthought, so the current situation is more like a return to normalcy than a seismic shift. As far as legacy, Utah was mentioned nationally as far back as the Knute Rockne era (for BYU fans that is a famous coach from Notre Dame), and had things like Heisman QB candidates and historic games long before BYU was even heard from. A legacy is not a 20 year blip on the national radar.

  • Carnak Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 6:01 p.m.

    All I know is that BYU has played 3 games this year and the "Quest for perfection", summer articles of "special season" and comments of greatness are gone.

    Until January, then the lofty expectations start all over again.

  • VegasUte Las Vegas, NV
    Sept. 13, 2017 5:20 p.m.

    For the 20 years byu was dominant in football, nobody complained about the HC. Now, it is being blamed as the sole reason byu is lagging behind Utah - at least according to byu fans. I call garbage on that claim!

    There are many players that come to Utah now that would be willing to live the HC, and would do it faithfully, if they wanted to go to byu. The fact is many don't want to go to byu any more. Instead, these players come to Utah and live honorably and faithfully at the U, not because they signed a piece of paper, but because they choose to. They choose the Utah family, which is truly a family literally as well as figuratively. These are the players that used to be locks for byu, regardless of the honor code.

    Coach Whitt is one of the most honorable and well respected coaches in the country. He saw where the two programs were headed back when byu badly wanted him as their HC. He has been building this Utah program correctly.

    Continue to blame the HC for byu's woes, but you're blaming the wrong thing. The decline of byu football was set in motion by leaders at the top, and a coddling media who is always there to pat your head and whisper "all is well".

  • Magic Happens Kaysville, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 5:12 p.m.

    To our friend Bluto:

    "Final scores speak volumes."

    "The talent shift is real? You say.
    What a myth."

    You can add your comments to BYU's win column and see if it helps you feel better.

  • Just Truth Saratoga Springs, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 5:01 p.m.

    It hurts to know the Ute program has surpassed the Cougars. Now I know how my Ute friends felt most of their lives.

  • SoonerUte Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 4:36 p.m.

    BleedCougarBlue - "Despite the talent difference is how tough BYU hangs with Utah (typically) in head to head competition; one TD or less. How many Utah fans refuse to acknowledge what I just said above?"
    You are acknowledged.

    I acknowledge that final scores aren't a good measure. The final score was close; the game was not.

    I acknowledge that close scores happen in a rivalry game, like last week's 44-41 overtime game between Iowa and Iowa State.

    I acknowledge that "On paper..." means nothing. On paper, this was going to be a special season. Stumbling against an FCS school forewarned the Debacle in the Dome and the coming of win seven.

    I acknowledge that there is parity in college football. There isn't a vast difference between North Dakota and BYU, nor between Utah and LSU. Upsets are possible on any week. That's why they play the game.

  • Wastintime Los Angeles, CA
    Sept. 13, 2017 4:32 p.m.

    ...but...but...but... accounting!

  • Samwise Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 4:27 p.m.

    Bronco was an okay coach once guys are on the team, but he devastated recruiting. If Sitake can keep the program at least respectable for a few years while he recruits his own guys, I think that he just may have enough to turn this back around.

    As for those saying that the real shift in the rivalry was Lavell and that the only reason it ever swung in BYU's favor was because of him, I fully agree. If it wasn't for Lavell, BYU would never have had a program that was worth following and possibly would have ended up not even being FBS by now, maybe not even Division I. Heck, maybe the program wouldn't even exist at all any more if Lavell hadn't been so successful. Who knows?

    However, that only shows that it only takes getting the right coach to turn things around and to establish a legacy of success to the point where BYU fans such as myself expect success even when we haven't had much recently. That is the legacy of Lavell. I am hoping that Kalani will be the next coach to do that at BYU. If not, I am somehow optimistic that we will find that coach though. Time will tell. Go Cougars!

  • Zonk72 Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 4:16 p.m.

    So let me get this straight the Utes go 34-2-4 to start the Series and it becomes a great rivalry. Then BYU win 19 of 21 games and it no longer was a great rivalry but the the Utes win 5 of 9 games and it's a great rivalry.
    So how is it a great rivalry when BYU could only win 2 of the first 40 games. LOL

  • NORCALUTE Modesto, CA
    Sept. 13, 2017 4:14 p.m.

    Wow...this article is really gonna hurt some die hard BYU fans. Go Utes!

  • 81Ute Central, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 4:06 p.m.

    @ Spoons

    "Its 100% due to the pac12 invite and money. If BYU gets a P5 invite it will be a rivalry again, but at this point BYU is to Utah what Utah State used to be to BYU. "

    Oh really? Look at USU v byu for the era before Coach Edwards...same as Utah.
    You blue fans should really look at the totality of your football history, you WERE THAT team that kept any other team from losing every game. If a school only had 1 victory in a season, that win was against byu.

  • Den Den West Jordan, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 4:01 p.m.

    It's simple, really, honor code vs no honor code.

  • UU Provo, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 3:45 p.m.

    @Bluto "With all the false bravado from Utah fans this year, just wait until the end of the season. Utah will be unranked and headed for a lesser bowl."

    Uh, that's what you guys said last year, and the year before, and the year before that too. What did Utah actually do the last 3 seasons? Finished the year ranked in the CFP and won their bowl game.

  • UU Provo, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 3:37 p.m.

    @David "Does that mean Utah is a great team? Hardly. BYU lays an egg too often"

    You guys need to abandon the "we beat ourselves" mentality. Did it ever occur to you that Utah played far from mistake free football over the last 2 years with multiple turnovers and penalties and still BYU is not able to capitalize on the gift wrapped opportunities because BYU is simply getting "out-athleted" by Utah who is faster and stronger.

  • Tomahawk Red Miami Beach, FL
    Sept. 13, 2017 3:10 p.m.

    the REAL DEAL - Sandy, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 2:54 p.m.

    @ Bluto

    apparently you missed the part in the story where it says there are currently 27 Utes in the NFL and only 9 cougars. That's a fact.

    ----------

    B-b-b-b-but 35 year old accolades!

    LOL

  • the REAL DEAL Sandy, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 2:54 p.m.

    @ Bluto

    "The talent shift is real? You say.
    What a myth."

    apparently you missed the part in the story where it says there are currently 27 Utes in the NFL and only 9 cougars. That's a fact.

    don't mistake close losses to being close in talent. Utah beat a much more talented Alabama team in the 09 Sugarbowl. byu and Utah have beaten much more talented teams over the years. However, talent usually wins. And that's what's happening in this rivalry right now.

  • 65TossPowerTrap Salmon, ID
    Sept. 13, 2017 2:52 p.m.

    McBride was wearing a "Make America Great Again" hat before it was fashionable. A true trend setter.

  • Lou Solverson Portland, OR
    Sept. 13, 2017 2:42 p.m.

    @ Bluto

    Umm. I feel honored to have probably seen the one and only time Senator Lloyd Bentsen has been mentioned in such a forum, even if he did die for over a decade ago. But hey that "paraphrase" is a beauty, hang on to it.

  • JohnInSLC Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 2:37 p.m.

    "we do have a legitimate brand for success far beyond the pigskin."

    forevercoog:

    How nice, but the article is about the lost pigskin brand.
    _ _ _

    "With all the false bravado from Utah fans this year . . ."

    Pluto:

    It hasn't been so far, while the coog fan false bravado was exposed pretty quickly.

  • Bluto Sandy, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 2:19 p.m.

    @Bif

    The talent shift is real? You say.
    What a myth.

    Utah squeaks out a 6 point win over BYU coupled with a 1 point win last year and the talent shift is real?

    NOw that's funny.

    There is enough hot air coming from U fans this year to light a large city for a year.
    Stop the silliness.

    Utah is mediocre at best, as is BYU...thems the facts

  • cougarjax Clinton, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 2:18 p.m.

    From my BYU perspective it's sad but true..

  • BleedCougarBlue Enid, OK
    Sept. 13, 2017 2:13 p.m.

    Article quote:
    "— Current players in the NFL: Utah 27, BYU 9.
    — Players in the NFL when Mendenhall became head coach in 2005: BYU 24, Utah 5.
    — Draft picks during Mendenhall’s 11 years as head coach: 11 (from the spring of 2006 to the spring of 2016).
    — Draft picks during the previous 11 years: 31."

    No arguing with those numbers whatsoever.

    However, two things I find interesting:
    1 - Despite the talent difference is how tough BYU hangs with Utah (typically) in head to head competition. Scores are scores and the vast, vast majority of BYU-Utah games have been decided by one TD or less.

    2 - How many Utah fans refuse to acknowledge what I just said above.

    Regardless, I sure hope that Sitake can bring BYU back to the caliber of a team that LaVell had. When I was in jr high and high school, it was never a question of "if" BYU would win it's game that week, only by how much.

    Go Cougars!

  • Vermonter Plymouth, MI
    Sept. 13, 2017 2:12 p.m.

    By "discover" the forward pass in my previous post, I do not mean to imply that the forward pass did not exist before 1972. Just that prior to 1972, the forward pass was by and large viewed as either a kind of trick or novelty play, or a desperation play by most football coaches from the pros down to the pee wee leagues.

    The mantras of the most respected football coaches pre-1972 consisted of things like "4 yards and cloud of dust" and "there are 3 things that can happen when you throw a pass, and 2 of them are bad." LaVell Edwards and BYU's football teams of the 1970s and 80s transformed the game with the forward pass such that you never hear any respected football coaches say those kinds of things anymore.

  • IdahoCoog Malad City, ID
    Sept. 13, 2017 2:11 p.m.

    Doug's reversal of fortune is cyclical, and the tide is turning again towards BYU. The talent gap has largely favored Utah the last few years, but BYU is closing that gap and will soon rise and shout triumphant, where they belong. Yes, the tide is turning. Enjoy this as long as you can, Utes, but the times are again changing with the Kalani/Detmer regime.

  • Bluto Sandy, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 2:08 p.m.

    With all the false bravado from Utah fans this year, just wait until the end of the season.
    Utah will be unranked and headed for a lesser bowl.

    Utah is a nice Top 50 D-1 College football program, as is BYU..
    Nothing more and nothing less.

    Final scores speak volumes.

    To paraphrase former U.S. senator Lloyd Bentsen:

    LSU and Wisconsin are friends of mine, as are SC and Washington, believe me Utah fans, you're no big time program, and one without BYU's Legacy or Brand to boot..

  • forevercougar Orem, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 1:59 p.m.

    Every organization is perfectly aligned to get the results they get. If Utah's main matric is to get players into the NFL then they are perfectly aligned to get that result. BYU has a different purpose and metric--66% returned missionaries, difficult academic standards, honor code athletes, etc. Many voices from the great and spacious building think BYU is out of alignment with football's P5 institutions and they are absolutely correct. The final products from BYU and the P5 schools will only be known several years from now. So we have our own funny little anti crowd metrics and our quirky honor code, but we do have a legitimate brand for success far beyond the pigskin.

  • Vermonter Plymouth, MI
    Sept. 13, 2017 1:55 p.m.

    I like the article.

    In general, Utah has had and will always have an advantage in recruiting football players because they do not have deal with BYU's honor code. Utah simply has a bigger pool of recruits to choose from, and can work with their players, basically, as long as they stay out of jail. This is not to denigrate Utah's football program in any way. That's just how it works with the BYU honor code.

    But, the biggest reason for the reversal of roles was that in approximately 1972, LaVell Edwards and his associates "discovered" the forward pass. By 1995 or so, Utah and most other teams figured out somewhat how to defend the forward pass, and also figured out how to effectively integrate the forward pass into their offenses. All other causes of the role reversals in the BYU-Utah football fortunes pale in comparison to the "discovery" of the forward pass.

  • Thidder MAPLETON, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 1:51 p.m.

    Wise counsel is beware of pride and avoid it. Same counsel applies to institutions such as BYU-Provo. Pride will destroy the institution just as can destroy the individual. Program needs to be Bednared like the other two sister institutions in Hawaii and Rexburg.

  • Bifftacular Spanish Fork, Ut
    Sept. 13, 2017 1:39 p.m.

    I'm a BYU fan and this article is spot on. You'll have some BYU fans commenting on here disagreeing but that is because they don't want to face reality. The talent shift is real - you could see it on the field last Saturday. That doesn't mean BYU is bad...not at all. But they are now just mediocre - gone are the glory days. Utah is better than mediocre (by the way, I only see them winning half their PAC 12 games this year - If they were really good, they would have killed BYU). I'm hoping some of this disparity can be eliminated with the hiring of Sitaki but only time will tell. Most of the disparity isn't going to go away until BYU gets into a power conference.

  • Manzanita , 00
    Sept. 13, 2017 1:35 p.m.

    I believe the "politics" alluded to by the author in the article is in reference to the Mormon Church's efforts to deny some individuals the right to marry. The reason BYU is not in the Pac-12 is because of Prop 8. The Mormon Church's treatment of the LGBTQ community also interfered with its efforts to get into the Big 12. Until this changes, BYU will be wandering in the wilderness of independence. This situation is similar to how the Church's ban on conferring priesthood to blacks began to interfere with its athletics programs in the 1970s.

  • Lou Solverson Portland, OR
    Sept. 13, 2017 1:34 p.m.

    Good read if you are a Utah fan; makes you proud. One Glaring omission though...CHRIS HILL!

    He is the one constant, and If you want to talk about vision in executive leadership it's hard to find someone with better results. He hired the coaches, he leveraged the Olympic stadium opportunity to upgrade RES, he made the connections through his NCAA committee appointments, he perfectly positioned the program for the PAC 12 and then sealed it with the 4 year build up to full membership deal. That deal became the blueprint for mid-majors moving up.

    He keeps doing it too. His planning involving the order in which facilities are coming on-line is already paying off. For instance, how smart is it to put other facilities in front of stadium expansion while Utah Football becomes the hardest ticket to score in the state?

  • utahcoyote Saint George, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 1:10 p.m.

    ron mcbride and the shift in recruiting focus had huge impact. that, combined, with his embrace of the local lds and pacific islander athlete really transformed utah football.

    in terms of money, byu has always had plenty of money for football. byu has had state of the art facilities forever and still does. utah has been able to upgrade their facilities because of pac 12 monies, but that has basically brought them level to byu. there is really no discernable advantage for the utes.

    pac 12 membership has immeasurably aided recruiting, especially in california. what shouldn't go under estimated is how good the utah coaching staff has been at recruiting whether its in california, florida or texas. they have been excellent at building relationships with high school coaches and creating a conduit to utah. whittingham has surrounded himself with staff that is a potent aide in recruiting, and tends to make athletes immediately feel at home. these athletes become recruiting tools themselves. i think this will be the direction that sitake will go at byu and so he should. byu has long taken its athletes a bit for granted, and this looks to be changing.

  • london_josh lincoln, CA
    Sept. 13, 2017 1:01 p.m.

    " independence - has led to the decline in BYU football."

    Why?

    Would players rather be on the mountain network where nobody could see the games rather than ESPN?

    Did the fans not enjoy watching BYU play?

    Would players and fans rather play more of the competition that we complain about playing and less of the bigger teams?

    We used to play high schools so that we could get a chance to play a big team in a bowl game - we play those big teams throughout the season now.

    A huge decline was the MWC, BYU was the cinderella team until fans went a few years without seeing them on TV that much then went through the Crowton years with scandals and bad play.

    BYU earns way more than the G5 teams, and less than the P5 teams - this is a business about earning money, BYU is in it's best place.

    It might not be a top 10 football team but BYU is top 5 in accounting - independence is where it's at for the team, it's not perfect, but it's the best BYU can do for now until something better comes along which clearly BYU would take in an instant.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    Sept. 13, 2017 12:59 p.m.

    @IFIUTE

    "Objective article, interesting comments, but how would things change - if at all - if Kyle Whittingham had taken the BYU job instead of Utah's?"

    Actually that may be the most thought-provoking question about the rivalry I've ever read. Well done.

    I think things would be better for BYU-Provo. Whittingham is a better coach than anyone they've had since LaVell. But I think they'd still be very ho-hum. No matter who the coach is, BYU-P is a mid-major with a unique culture that causes recruiting problems.

    Whit's Utah team is probably, on average, the 25th-best football program in the country. If you put him in charge at BYU-P with all their disadvantages, it's probably 35-40 in the country is my guess.

  • JohnInSLC Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 12:53 p.m.

    "For my money, the LaVell era is an aberration in football in Provo. They were not relevant before LaVell and have not been relevant since his retirement."

    Just ordon:

    You and others (BSR, Sooner Ute, etc) may be giving LaVell a little too much credit. Yes, he was a good coach, but I submit a huge factor was him being able to get and keep good players because during most of his tenure BYU-P's honor code was more like the honor suggestions. Even if a 41 yr. old Edwards walked through the door in Provo tomorrow, he couldn't wink at it, much less ignore it, like he did back in the day. That ship sailed with Gary Crowton.

  • JohnInSLC Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 12:40 p.m.

    Robinson left out one critical event:

    BYU-P overplaying its hand with TV rebroadcast rights when the Big12 expressed interest during the chaotic days of Big12 realignment when TAMU and Missouri left in 2011. That self-inflicted shot to the foot destroyed any chance BYU-P had to join a P5 then and into the foreseeable future.

  • Spoons lake tahoe, NV
    Sept. 13, 2017 12:32 p.m.

    Its 100% due to the pac12 invite and money. If BYU gets a P5 invite it will be a rivalry again, but at this point BYU is to Utah what Utah State used to be to BYU. Without a P5 invitation BYU will beat Utah once every 20 years.

  • David Centerville, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 12:02 p.m.

    TouchdownUtes--

    Your description of BYU fans (that they are disconnected from the current reality that Utah is dominant) is way off. I am a BYU fan and talk with lots of other BYU fans. None of them, or myself, believe that BYU is anything but a decent, mediocre team that can win against mediocre competition. When BYU plays great teams, we struggle and lose.

    Does that mean Utah is a great team? Hardly. BYU lays an egg too often, and against Utah we can hardly catch a win. Utah is a very good team. I wouldn't call Utah a great team. However, congratulations on the win over BYU, I hope you have a perfect season and play in the NY6. I love Whittingham--a great coach!

    evansrichdm--

    I believe BYU getting into a P5 conference would completely reverse fortunes/wins. However, I can't see that happening. BYU is in a tough, stagnant position. Losing does not result in a P5 invite, despite your belief that money overrides everything. Losing leads to fewer fans in the seats, a loss of ESPN contracts (eventually), and further decline of the program. It is imperative that BYU find a way to turn this around.

  • JustGordon Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 11:59 a.m.

    Funny, I don't remember reading a similar article seven or eight years into LaVell's coaching tenure...when our little blue brothers "switched places" with UTAH who up to LaVell's hire had the far better program and overwhelming numbers of Holy War wins covering decades.

    For my money, the LaVell era is an aberration in football in Provo. They were not relevant before LaVell and have not been relevant since his retirement.

  • CyCarloUte slc, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 11:34 a.m.

    I like the article, and I would like to say things have changed over all in college football. When Byu was in its prime. There was less parity and they played in a conference that was not very good and that included Utah. They benefited from a soft conference schedule. There are a lot of good teams in college football now and there is no sneaking up on them with a potent passing game as Lavell did. The good teams now have excellent defense and god running attacks, ala Alabama, Ohio St, etc. The only way out of medocrity for byu is to get into a P5 conference.

  • IFIUTE Berryville, VA
    Sept. 13, 2017 11:32 a.m.

    Objective article, interesting comments, but how would things change - if at all - if Kyle Whittingham had taken the BYU job instead of Utah's?

  • Ganoush Roy, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 11:30 a.m.

    While this article points to some correctness, it misses one of the key points as to why Utah was invited to join the PAC 12 and BYU was not. If you have followed the two schools for decades, when the 2 Arizona schools joined the PAC 10, it was widely reported that if the conference were to expand again, it would likely be BYU and Utah to get the invitations. Fast forward 20 years, and Utah did receive their invitation, but BYU was passed over for Colorado, a team that was basically struggling to survive in the Big 12. One would have to look no further than to the fact that if the PAC 12 had invited BYU to join, they would have had to make some significant changes to the league, in the fact that BYU will not play games on Sundays. This would take a huge bite out of their TV revenue, and they were not willing to do that. Take the additional money that Utah gets from the PAC 12 association, give a like amount to BYU and you may see more parity in the football programs. BYU will have to find a P5 conference willing to take them as they are and accommodate not playing on Sundays. One of BYU's women's team forfeited a National championship game because it was on a Sunday.

  • banliberals Bountiful, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 11:30 a.m.

    Detmer is proving to be a far greater player than coach......he is handcuffing his QB and is not allowing him to be the gunslinger he was as a player. Big mistake not giving Mangum the reins last year..........paying for it this year! Good luck with Wisconsin? Its going to be a long season for both BYU and Utah! And neither will see a good bowl option!

  • burningblue Provo, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 11:26 a.m.

    @Johnny Triumph

    I believe Kalani will become a great coach and he will stay at BYU. He said he would have signed a 20 year contract if the Y would let him.

  • a_voice_of_reason Woods Cross, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 11:26 a.m.

    I agree with the article except for one point - that independence is hurting BYU. Not being in a P5 conference is definitely hurting BYU, but the article makes it sound like independence is doing additional damange. I disagree. Staying the MWC and dominating it while providing all the revenue, being limited to regional networks, and getting only 3 decent games each season (also at the beginning of the year) would be worse - not better. As an independent BYU can bring in more money, they can get far more exposure/attention, and they typically manage to schedule 3-5 "good" games each year. Yes, we give up the chance to play for a conference championship, but how much motivation is that when not winning would be a massive let-down? If BYU was losing their easy games I'd say we were lacking motivation that could fill - they aren't. What's missing is a P5 affiliation. Being in the MWC would not help. The AAC might be a minor improvement...some years. The best scenario is a P5 invite - but politics are more important than program quality when that comes up.

  • burningblue Provo, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 11:23 a.m.

    I believe Kalani Sitake is a great coach. I believe he can return the rivalry to what it was in the 90's and 2000's if not the 70's and 80's. He's smart and he has a passion to win. The defense already plays well enough to win. The offense needs to get there.

    It took Ron McBride years to win against BYU. We are only in year 2 of the Kalani experience and, let's be honest, Kalani and his staff are lacking in experience--especially on the offensive end of things. That might mean that Ty needs to go. It also might mean that he stays and figures things out with his offense. It took LaVell a few years to figure things out. They didn't really get going until he'd been at BYU 3 years. Same thing for McBride. Not for Urban Meyer, but the same thing is true for Whittingham both as a first time head coach and his first few years in the Pac-12. 2005-2007 he went 7-5, 8-5, 9-4 and suffered an abyssmal set back against UNLV and got shut out 27-0. His first three years in the Pac were 8-5, 5-7 and 5-7.

    The U wants you to forget that Whittingham started out even worse than Kalani did, but I think Kalani is the right guy.

  • BAKC Litchfield Park, AZ
    Sept. 13, 2017 11:16 a.m.

    I just love how Utah fans want to eliminate anything that favors the Cougars. 'Well take out the Edwards years' same could be said about Utah--take out the Meyer/Whittingham years and there is no rival. The utes will try and eliminate the whole 1984 year if it means Cougar fans will stop chirpping about the NC. There calendar goes from 1983-1985. The whole history is what makes this a rivalry, not just an era.

  • robo Top, IL
    Sept. 13, 2017 11:00 a.m.

    Summed up: it's all about the coaching, not the perceived "talent gap," not the conference affiliation. Those are just things Ute fans tell themselves to make them feel better when the outside world still views them at the same level as BYU. BYU use those as excuses for poor coaching. Bronco was a great DC, below average head coach; Anae was an awful OC. That's when the fortunes of the rivalry changed. Sitake is the right man to turn it around. He and Detmer will have BYU performing better in a year or two. They just need a QB to run a much better offensive scheme that Detmer has implemented. Anyone with a football brain saw Mangum wasn't going to be able to handle it.

  • Malihini Northern, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 10:41 a.m.

    This is an interesting article that points out the results but doesn't necessarily get to the root cause. I believe the cause of this change has to do with the administrative staff and leadership of each school.

    At Utah, the focus of improving their athletics, which led to coaching changes and then eventually into the Pac-12 which then brought about greater marketing opportunities which also makes the recruiting process easier, was a focus for the administration.

    At BYU, it seems the improvement of the athletics program is really not a big focus. In fact because of the constant supply of high achieving students who want to go to BYU combined with the stated objective of providing a place of higher education in a safe, moral, spiritual environment, the need for constant improvement is not much of a priority. BYU's entrance requirements go up every year despite the fact that their academic programs (and their athletics) have not improved year over year (based on national rankings of programs/colleges).

    If BYU wants to have a national contending athletics program then they need to make that decision and move forward. As of now, it seems they are fine with the status quo.

  • Who am I sir? Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 10:34 a.m.

    The difference between the number of games I said BYU won and those that BraveSirRobin said was there have been four ties. To compute my winning percentage I said a tie was equal to a half game win and a half game loss. Therefore, four ties were equivalent to 2 wins and 2 losses for both team. Brave Sir Robin was correct is actual number of games BYU has won.

  • 65TossPowerTrap Salmon, ID
    Sept. 13, 2017 10:24 a.m.

    Great article. Bad recruiting, Utah in Pac-12 and the world's worst idea - independence - has led to the decline in BYU football.

  • Who am I sir? Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 10:17 a.m.

    Historically the "places" have been: Utah, BYU, Utah.

    This article could be written in 2 words: "Reversal of fortune—How Utah and BYU switched places" Lavell Edwards.

  • TouchdownUtes Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 10:14 a.m.

    It is only evident that Utah has switched football fortune with BYU....But to get a BYU fan to acknowledge that fact......well, that's like throwing rocks into the Grand Canyon.....useless. I get it.....they're fixated on a NC in 1984 and Detmer's Heisman a few years later......but they use those points to emphasize that Utah will never have those distinctions...and BYU fans are fiercely loyal to their legacy (understandable), but they are also of the belief that they are superior to both Utah State and Utah because of it.....even though current facts, statistics, and logic dictates the opposite. You can drop all of the facts and stats that Doug Robinson uses in this article to a BYU fan, and before you can say "Bob's Your Uncle" he'll go back and give you a 35-year history lesson in a feeble attempt to show that they're relevant today.....and by then it comes off as a bit desperate. Doug says in this article that "time will tell".....but I can safely say that with BYU being independent they will likely never be ranked in the Top 25 or to a significant bowl again. Time will tell? I'm not holding my breath.

  • Who am I sir? Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 10:07 a.m.

    "Reversal of fortune—How Utah and BYU switched places"

    Totally misleading!

    As mentioned Utah has won 12 of the last 15 games. That's 80%! Guess what. If you eliminate the Edwards coaching period the entire history of this match-up is Utah winning 55 games and BYU winning 14. That's 79+% winning percentage. Now I'm not saying, or suggesting, you can ignore BYU's Edwards years. They happened. What I am saying is he is no longer BYU's coach so evidence supports the position that this could be the future.

    Rather than this article suggesting Utah has switched places with BYU, SoonerUtes " Coach LaVell Edwards was an anomaly in Cougar football. " is far more accurate!

  • evansrichdm West Jordan, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 10:03 a.m.

    Myers and McBride and during the 90's 00's. For the last 7 win it would be P5 membership.
    Being a BYU it hurts to admit that BYU will not win a game against UofU until BYU is in a P5, which will happen at some point, why because money still talks over politics and BYU does bring money and ESPN and all the P5 are seeing more of their money starting to dry up due to how people are watching their sports.
    BYU always brings a good number of their own fans and fans of other schools like to watch their team play BYU, expect TX. Recruiting will improve some under the current situation, but improve like night and day once in a P5.

  • Johnny Triumph Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 10:03 a.m.

    @Robinson missed one key point. BYU could not have stayed in the MWC as Utah and TCU left, all because of the mtn tv. The mtn was restrictive and underserved the teams in the conference and it was strong because it had BYU and it owned the SLC market. Utah leaving would have hurt the mtn but would not have killed it. After BYU left it quickly died off. While it might be good for BYU to return to the MWC there is absolutely no way they could have stayed.

    I agree that Edwards was the swing, until BYU can find the next Edwards it'll struggle. And these days can any team find and keep a coach longer than a few years?

  • Gravedigger72 Draper, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 9:56 a.m.

    Growing up in the late 70's and 80's, we bought BYU season tickets, not because we had gone to that school- we liked Marc Wilson and Jim Mcmahon. But we usually gave away our tickets when the U was coming to provo because it was almost a guarantee that the Y would win and Utah was generally a crummy team. Fast forward to now and wow how the tides have turned! Recruiting speedy athletes from states other than Utah has served them well. Hopefully BYU can find a recruiting formula that works so the rivalry can be competitive again.

  • Stringer Bell Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 9:55 a.m.

    Pretty good analysis Doug. As far as capturing anything, I'm afraid that train has left the station. Understanding it's not a universally popular idea, joining the likes of the AAC or MWC seems like a good idea and at least gives them something to play for. It's either that or trying to catch lightning in a bottle again.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    Sept. 13, 2017 9:55 a.m.

    From my point of view, this article is wrong wrong wrong.

    There is one coach who completely turned the rivalry on its head. No, it wasn't Ron McBride. It wasn't Urban Meyer either. It wasn't even Kyle Whittingham.

    It was LaVell Edwards.

    See, prior to LaVell, the rivalry belonged to Utah. Once LaVell showed up, the rivalry belonged to BYU-P. Once LaVell left, the rivalry belonged to Utah again.

    Would you believe that if you take out the LaVell years, BYU-P has only won the rivalry game 11 times? Honestly that's not much of a rivalry. LaVell was truly an exceptional coach.

    So I don't see what's been going on for the last 20 years as a "reversal of fortune". It was simply a return to the way things were before LaVell.

  • at long last. . . Kirksville , MO
    Sept. 13, 2017 9:50 a.m.

    Since the censors won't allow my backhanded compliment to Robinson, I will just say this is a very good article by him. Missing is the key part played by the ADs for the respective schools. Dr. Hill has made a tremendous positive difference at Utah and should be given a lot of credit from the media and fans as well. BYUs ADs, well, not so much. . .

  • SoonerUte Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 9:49 a.m.

    Article "the rivalry has been prone to giant mood swings anyway (Utah was 34-2-4 against BYU from 1922 to 1964, and then LaVell Edwards took over as head coach at BYU in 1972 and the Cougars won 19 of the next 21 games)."

    The elephant in the room is that Coach LaVell Edwards was an anomaly in Cougar football. No other BYU coach will match his accomplishment. It is why you named the stadium after him.

    BYU football is average. LaVell made it exceptional. Today, it is back to average. Fans who remember the LaVell years are frustrated that things are back to normal.

  • Kim Cedar Park, Texas
    Sept. 13, 2017 9:47 a.m.

    BYU would do well to look closely at the model they will see with their next opponent, Wisconsin. Wisconsin has found a way to compete at the highest level without the same level of talent as the Alabama's, Ohio State's and Michigan's of the college world. You rarely see Wisconsin getting into trouble with the NCAA, because they recruit high character players. Their secret? A focused, punishing run game based upon outstanding lineman, disciplined execution, and better than average running backs. BYU can get those kind of players. The have a better than average defense, but they do not need to be the best because their offense plays ball control so well that the defense does not need to be on the field for long periods.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 9:37 a.m.

    Pretty good, accurate article. If you would have bought stock in Utah 20 years ago, you would be reaping the rewards. So, if you're still looking to buy stock in either school which one would it be? The answer is the same. If Kyle stays, which is likely, it's not to hard to imagine them winning the conference and getting into the CFP at some point. They're definitely a lot closer to that than BYU.

  • Red Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 9:30 a.m.

    The Utes are doing great. Keep it up fellas!

    Here are a few fun facts to add to this article.

    It was actually Coach Jim Fassel who brought the "Missionary Program" back to Utah. It was His first recruiting class that (after their missions and 3 years after Fassel was fired) went to the Copper Bowl, which was the first bowl game for Utah in 30 years.

    Also, you absolutely nailed the root difference why Utah has surpassed BYU over this time span: Recruiting!!!
    It really started back in the day with Bryan Rowley and Scott Mitchell. Two big Mormon names from Utah Valley that helped bring in a wave of other LDS players. When Utah would bring in a kid from Utah they would have their parents come as well. They made it a big deal and took everyone skiing and to dinner etc. Players from Utah were invited to speak to the group and help them see what was happening at Utah. They felt like they were being recruited.

    BYU didn't do any of that. They thought if you were a local Mormon kid living in Utah that you should just walk on and feel lucky they let you.

    BYU has a lot to offer and their is no doubt Sitake will turn things around.

    Utah is reaping the rewards of good recruiting

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    Sept. 13, 2017 9:29 a.m.

    I would also mention that Ron McBride made inroads into the recruiting wars by making an effort to understand LDS culture and creating an environment of respect for practicing Latter-day Saints. He would attend the missionary farewells of his players and was always supportive of their beliefs.

    One other thing I would add is that BYU's success had a lot to do with adopting the West Coast Offense in its early stages and staying ahead of the curve on the passing game. Unfortunately, by the mid 1990s college defenses had caught up to BYU's offense and it just wasn't the advantage it once was. It became more about who had the best athletes again. That's why the gap continues to widen between the two schools.

    Great article!

  • What in Tucket? Provo, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 9:22 a.m.

    Seems like BYU is not that far behind.