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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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BYU win makes it sweeter for the U

By Bryan Chouinard

As the first Saturday of the college football season came to a close with the highly anticipated match-up between BYU and the Oklahoma Sooners, I found myself in limbo.

On one hand were the No. 3-ranked Sooners, who, for no particular reason, just rub me the wrong way (I think it has something to do with Bob Stoops’ visor), and on the other hand were the BYU Cougars. Does more need to be said?

With each play I straddled the proverbial fence, mostly because I had nowhere else to go. I had one foot in BYU’s yard, pulling for the underdog and the other foot in Oklahoma’s yard, hoping for a 50-something to zero thrashing of the Cougs. If I had it my way, I wouldn’t be standing in either yard and they would both lose, but that’s just not the way things work.

But then I began to have an epiphany: With an Oklahoma win, not only do the Cougars lose, but the Utes lose as well. With a Cougar victory, not only is it a loss for the Sooners, but it is a win for Utah as well.

It’s rare that the Cougars actually come through in the clutch (ask Max Hall about the last time he met the Utes), but that’s exactly what happened Saturday. Although the 14-13 victory and the week following the game was and will continue to be undoubtedly agonizing for Ute fans, it’s important for us to keep our eyes on the prize. BYU has won the battle, but the war still rages.

As Cougar fans start yelping about being ranked No. 9 and going to the BCS a whole week into the 2009 season, Utah fans are experiencing déjà vu all over again after hearing about the “quest for perfection” a year ago. Mountain West Conference fans alike should be rejoicing after the opening weekend came to a close. The Cougars weren’t the only team to knock off a Big-12 power; for the first time in 23 years, Colorado State went into Boulder and picked off the Colorado Buffaloes 23-17.

Wins such as these are huge for not only their respective programs but also for the conference. The Mountain West Conference is the most successful non-BCS conference in the country, and for that to continue, not only do teams need to keep scheduling BCS opponents, but they also need to keep beating them as well.

If none of this helps the pain that is both seeing and rooting for the Cougars to do well, take refuge in this thought, Utah fans: How sweet will it be to go down to Provo and finish off the season with a win? Or more importantly, a BYU loss? Beating BYU is a great feeling. Doing so and ending a season like 2008 and celebrating with your fans is even better, but beating the Cougars, in their own house, especially when they have something to lose, will make it all worthwhile.

So hang in there Ute fans, and remember, Utah gets the last shot at BYU. I guess you just can’t leave Sooners to do the Utes’ work.

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