Utah & BYU Suspend Football Rivalry
With all the conference realignment going on in college football right now, some of the game’s oldest rivalries are coming to a tragic end. However, two schools in the state of Utah are trying to make sure that doesn’t happen to them.
The game they call the “Holy War,” which features BYU and Utah, has been played for 68 consecutive years dating back to 1946. It was confirmed Tuesday that the rivalry game will be taking a two-year hiatus beginning in 2014.
Utah athletic director Chris Hill released a statement regarding his program’s future and their decision to merely take a break from playing their oldest rival.
“When we joined the Pac-12 Conference, we knew there would be opportunities for Utah athletics that were never available before. A home-and-home series with Michigan is an example of something that we would not have envisioned even a few years ago and felt we could not pass up. It made our already tough schedule that much tougher and I did not think it was fair to our football program to schedule BYU on those years.”
The series with Michigan will be taking the place of BYU on the Utes’ schedule in 2014 and 2015.
Hill went on to reassure fans they weren’t giving up on the Holy War entirely, just taking advantage of a chance to improve their strength of schedule.
“We are solidly committed to play BYU in 2013 and 2016 and are close to finalizing a contract. Our intent is to continue to schedule BYU unless unusual circumstances dictate otherwise. In no way does this signal an end to the rivalry.”
This may not be one of the most popular rivalries on a national level, but it certainly is important to the people of Utah and the fans of both programs.