Even though I knew the day was coming I am extremely upset that Chris Hill is putting the rivalry on hold for two years. Not only do I not like the decision, I think it is a big mistake. As a fan, I simply think it is a game that needs to happen every year. Furthermore, it drives me nuts that we think of the byu as a team that makes our schedule too difficult to play the game.
I think it is completely realistic to expect our 3 non-conference games each year to include a "for sure win", a "should win", and a "toss up" game. Chris Hill is telling me that playing the byu falls in the "toss up" category. In the words of a friend of mine, "There is no way PAC-12 Utah should ever lose to an Independent byu!" I couldn't agree more. The byu should be our "should win" game each year. Chris Hill is saying that playing the byu in 2014 and 2015 would give us too many difficult games since we have Michigan on our schedule. Are you serious? This gives me the impression that we're placing the byu on the same competitive level as Michigan. I don't think so. I don't think anyone in the country would argue that scheduling the byu would make our schedule too difficult. We are insulting our own program with that rationale.
So instead of the byu game we'll probably end up playing a Montana St. and a UTEP and I am supposed to be happy about that? As a fan, I don't understand how you don't want the byu on the schedule. It is simply a rivalry that should not go away and a game that needs to be played. I understand the argument about needing an extra home game. I don't know how that is relevant in 2014 and 2015. We'd be playing the byu at home in 2014 along with another cupcake and have Michigan on the road. In 2015, we'd have Michigan at home and the byu on the road with likely a cupcake at home.
Lastly, I am bit frustrated with our fan base's reaction on this decision. A lot of fans seem to think that it is time to move on and we're above the rivalry game now. They take some sort of pleasure that we have the power to tell the byu to pound sand. In my mind, these are the fans that hate the byu more than they like Utah. I understand that the conference games are more important. I understand that the byu needs this game more than we do and that makes us feel good. However, as a fan I want to have/see the best games possible . I would much rather see a game against our bitter rival than I do against Tulsa, UTEP, San Jose St., etc. that we'll likely end up scheduling in its place.
If our program is where we think it should be or will be shortly (at the top end of the PAC-12) there is no way we should be shying away from playing a school like the byu. It isn't what is best for our program. It isn't what is best for our fans. Chris Hill is basically telling me as a fan that we're just pretending to be a contender right now. That ticks me off!!!