There is nothing in recent memory that has so excited the hardcore fan than the different paths these two schools will take in the near future. Those fans are merciless when it comes to knocking their archrival any way they can and I believe that they all believe that they are being effective in their criticism.
First came the call for Utah to leave their current conference, the Mountain West, to go to their future conference, the Pac-10. This was heralded as about time, why did it take so long and so long suckers, we are leaving. Those Utah fans had a very snobby attitude of they had finally arrived at their lofty place and the lowly Cougars were left in the dust to rot away and to die a slow death.
On the other hand, die-hard BYU fans quickly jumped all over Utah and declared their future over as they, the Utes would never survive in their future conference. They called them also-rans, bottom feeders and other words probably not printable in a family newspaper. It was assumed that Utah would rapidly sink to the bottom and never be heard of again.
Not to be out done by their northern rival, BYU quickly grabbed the spotlight back with the rumor that the Cougars were also bolting the Mountain West. The rumor, which many of us could not believe at first but warmed up to over time, had the Cougars going independent in football and joining their old conference, the Western Athletic Conference, in all other sports. We thought the Cougars were crazy for such an idea for it worked for no one else except Notre Dame.
With the Cougars almost ex-conference throwing a monkey wrench into the works with the stealing of Nevada and Fresno from the WAC and almost killing that conference with that action, BYU was left to ponder their fate amid the rumor that the Cougars would join the West Coast conference instead.
With all going on, the blogs were going crazy. The Ute fans were gloating, the Cougar fans were defending and then gloating themselves and things got just plain nasty between the fans. It made one quit reading to maintain their sanity, and then BYU jumped. Hooray, maybe now they will shut up. BYU and Utah both did what they thought was best for their own programs, both will be richer because of those actions and in my mind, both will continue their success.
In this state of Utah, Republicans and Democrats are better friends than Cougar fans and Utah fans. I guess we should have expected nothing less.
What we have are two programs trying to get to the same place through different paths. Will one path work better than the other, no one knows now but in a few years we will have a better idea. BYU could have gone Utah's route but Utah could never have gone the Cougars path. Utah will continue getting their athletes and BYU will continue getting their athletes, nothing will be different.
What we here in Utah will get is better and better opponents coming to town to play and both teams will continue to kick bu--. Congratulations should be given to both teams and wishes of continued success but then again that would be boring. So instead, I will say go Cougars.