Even in hiatus, the Utah-BYU football rivalry is still drawing national attention for competitiveness and nastiness.
The "Holy War" rivalry was ranked as the 12th best in college football by NFL.com, sandwiched between USC-UCLA and Oregon-Oregon State. College football writer Mike Huguenin cited that religious overtones play a big role in the gravity of this rivalry, saying "‘The Holy War’ takes a backseat to almost nothing in terms of nastiness."
Overall, Utah leads the series at 54-31-4 and ruled every decade early on, losing or tying to the Cougars only nine times in the 1920s through the 1960s. However, the Cougars owned the early-70s to early-90s, particularly under LaVell Edwards, rolling to a 19-2 record over Utah.
The Utes have dominated the series lately, winning four straight stretching back to 2010, with the last BYU victory coming in overtime in 2009.
The rivalry also gave birth to great hatred quotes, like this one from BYU quarterback Max Hall upon beating Utah in 2009 and another from Alex Smith on the way to Utah’s undefeated 2004 season.
The two teams won’t meet again until 2016, still odd to consider, but when its time again for "The Holy War" to resume, its a safe bet the rivalry will pick up where it left off.
Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.