Win Would Go Long Way For Rivalry's Sake

I am sure there are many who would concur that there is nothing worse than when Utah wins and BYU loses on the same day. This was the sad reality for many BYU fans last weekend as the Cougars lost their second-straight game and Utah got its first win of the season.

Here's the kicker though - winless Utah rocked, shocked and flat out dominated the same nationally ranked UCLA team the week after BYU had fallen to the Bruins. And as the dust has settled, both BYU and Utah have the same 1-2 overall record.


But hold on a minute. As much as Ute fans would like to believe that Utah is back and BYU is right where they belong - here's the reality of the whole thing. UCLA was not as good of a football team as the media would like to believe. I saw it, you saw it. We all knew after that loss that UCLA was a decent, but an overrated, Pac-10 team. It was only a matter of time before they were exposed and it just so happened to be our good ol' pals from up north who did the job. The Bruins looked to be heading for a .500 season last year before they surprised USC, a nice win they followed up by losing to a very, very mediocre Florida State team in their bowl game. Somehow they climbed up into the preseason rankings and even stood on the outside of the top 10 before falling miserably.

So where does that leave BYU? If UCLA is potentially that bad and BYU got beat by more than seven points to that same team, wouldn't that make BYU even worse? Well, I'm sure that's how a lot of teams from the MWC would like to feel, and yes, it remains to be seen just how good (or bad) BYU is.

Fortunately for the Cougars, they get a chance to prove it this weekend. In case you hadn't noticed, Utah lost to Air Force. Air Force then beat MWC-favorite TCU. A victory over the Falcons this weekend puts BYU all alone in the driver's seat for the MWC championship crown, since TCU, Utah (who both have to play in Provo late in the season) and Air Force all have one loss. TCU or Utah would have to win out for the rest of the season (and they both play each other in a few weeks) and one of them will have to beat BYU in Provo and hope that BYU loses another game in what appears to be a very favorable home/away schedule from here on out.

Oh, and just for rivalry's sake, the finger will be pointed back at the U – didn't you guys lose to those Falcons we beat? I guess I shouldn't leave that one out.

Or, there is always the possibility (and in this case a likely one) that BYU could come up short yet again, this time at home, in front of a second consecutive sellout crowd. A loss would be a detriment to the remainder of the season and one more reason for Ute fans to bask in the rivalry's glory.

One win or loss does not make a season or a football program, but consistency does. Does a win over Air Force make or break the season for BYU or Utah? No, but it sure could go a long way – just for rivalry's sake.

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