First, some background. I have lived in Utah for a year and I have no college football team. My school, as large as it is, does not have a football program. There are annual rumors of a startup program at UNC-Charlotte, but apparently it won't happen until the fall of 2075. Plus, North Carolina isn't much of a college football state, at least in comparison to Florida, Texas, California, or even Utah. Have you seen the Tarheels and Blue Devils try to play football? ‘Nuff said.
I'm a huge NFL fan but I've always been a casual fan of college football. It's gotten more interesting for me in recent years, to the point where I enjoy any good matchup and the marquee bowl games. I got caught up in the hype of the Utah-BYU game last year and the game did not disappoint (was it caught for the touchdown, Greg?).
The Utah-BYU rivalry should be considered among the best in sports, at any level. Yes, I'd put it right there with Giants-Dodgers, Yankees-Red Sox and certainly at the college level, Duke-North Carolina. The only thing is, it doesn't get much attention outside the state, but the stakes and the bitterness are just as high on both sides. It's a great ongoing debate.
That said, it's time to pick a team. Since I have no college football team of my own, it's time to pick one and go with it. It's frivolous, it's silly and yes, it means only superficial gratification should my team win anything. But you know what, I need a phony favorite team to offset the rabid attention I give the Dodgers or Carolina Panthers.
Ah, the Panthers. That's a good place to start. Looking at their star-studded roster, I see three starters that hail from, what's this? The University of Utah. Point, Utes. Not a single former Cougar on the roster. Hmmmm.
Ok, let's expand beyond the Panthers roster and compare NFL greats. Well, that's a chip shot extra point for the Cougars. That one is easily won just by remembering Steve Young's legendary scramble and TD run. Yeah, other guys have been great too, but really, Steve Young is tough to beat. The QB pedigree that BYU has provided the NFL, which continues with Jon Beck (why is he the third stringer behind Cleo Lemon?), gives the Cougars a point.
For the tiebreaker, let's go with colors. Uh oh. Cougar fans stop reading here. Red vs. Blue. Red is a powerful color. Business executives in the know wear red ties. I don't see alot of blue power ties. Point, Utes.
Add in an extra point for the Utes because, well, they gave me Steve Smith, who's the most explosive wide receiver in the NFL today, and it's a rout, 3-1.
I'm now an official, frivolous, superfluous, bandwagon Ute. Yes, I know they had a bad season last year, but they are now my team! I arrived here through a vigorous scientific process and am willing to stand behind them until BYU starts churning out quality Panthers. Go Utes! Hey, what's our fight song? When is Urban Meyer coming back?