I posted this back in 2009 leading up to that year's rivalry game. I thought I'd revisit some of those memories because, well, they're just so damn awesome.
1999 was one of those special McBride seasons. Definitely should have been better than it was, but in the end, still pretty memorable for what Utah accomplished. The Utes, fresh off a difficult final WAC season in 1998 (doink, eck), entered the inaugural Mountain West Conference season picked to finish somewhere toward the middle-to-bottom of the conference.
But as we found out so often under McBride, when everyone counted Utah out, they seemed to perform at their best.
So the Utes charged through the '99 season, bouncing back from a crippling loss to Colorado State and WTF losses to Boise State (before they were Boise State) and Wyoming to position themselves for a chance at the first ever Mountain West title.
BYU actually had a chance to win it outright a week prior to the Holy War with a trip to Laramie. They couldn't get it done and the Cowboys, who finished the season 7-4 with a sweep of the Utah schools, pulled off the upset, shocking the 8-1 Cougars 31-17.
I actually remember watching that game in my grandma's kitchen. It was on the old SportsWest, which aired on KSL back then, and it was huge because, even with a loss to the Rams earlier in the season, as I mentioned, it meant Utah was a win away from a share of the title.
The last time the Utes had won a share of any conference was 1995 and before that, 1964! So, it was kind of a big deal.
Of course, what makes this BYU game memorable is not that Utah locked up a share of the Mountain West title that year, it's that an overzealous Cougar fan charged the field, pounced on a Utah male cheerleader and proceeded to get his ass kicked by said cheerleader.
It was glorious.
To quote the great Steve Smith, "Even our cheerleaders are kicking your ass..."
BYU Fan Jumps Utah Cheerleader - BYU vs. Utah 1999 (via snowpunter)