Earlier this week, we learned of a NEW HEATED RIVALRY IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL -- THE CIVIL CONFLICT!
Okay, so it's probably not so heated. Or a rivalry. Or worthy of a trophy.
This was a rivalry and trophy manufactured by Connecticut after last season's upset of Central Florida. UConn tweeted a picture of the new trophy and a countdown clock to the next matchup with the Knights. UCF's response? "Never heard of it."
Better luck next year, UConn.
Wait a minute, though. This awkward rivalry was borne out of conference expansion/realignment. That's precisely what stripped BYU of its annual rivalry game. We want trophies and made-up rivalries, too! Here are some BYU could make up:
THE WINTER QUARTERS MEMORIAL TROPHY
There might not be better candidate for BYU to make up a rivalry than with Nebraska, since the two schools have never played each other but will do so to open the 2015 season and the LDS church has a huge bit of history in the state. A large group of pioneering saints got caught in the midwest during the wrong part of the year and had to make camp in Nebraska. It's a sad bit of church history, so BYU would like to memorialize it with a rivalry trophy. You're welcome, Nebraska.
Trophy: A covered wagon sitting atop snowy ground
BONUS: WE WISH WE HAD OUR COACH FROM THE '90s TROPHY
Nebraska fans miss Tom Osborne. I would, too. It just so happens, many BYU fans can't get over the LaVell Edwards era and that natty enough to see current circumstances for what they are. And let's face it, a statue featuring the bronzed likenesses of Osborne and Edwards would be quite handsome.
THE LILBURN W. BOGGS EXTERMINATION ORDER TROPHY
One of the ugliest parts of early church history was Missouri's Executive Order 44, commonly known as the Extermination Order. Missouri Governor Lilburn W. Boggs made it legal through executive order for mobs to drive Mormons out of his state, killing them if necessary.
Of ordinary citizens, not a war enemy, Boggs wrote in his order to General John Clark:
The Mormons must be treated as enemies, and must be exterminated or driven from the state if necessary for the public peace--their outrages are beyond all description. If you can increase your force, you are authorized to do so to any extent you may consider necessary. I have just issued orders to Maj. Gen. Willock, of Marion county, to raise five hundred men, and to march them to the northern part of Daviess, and there unite with Gen. Doniphan, of Clay, who has been ordered with five hundred men to proceed to the same point for the purpose of intercepting the retreat of the Mormons to the north.
Three days later, Missouri State Guardsmen invaded the Mormon settlement of Haun's Mill and killed 18 men and boys, one of which was 10 years old, and some of which were killed after giving up a defense and surrendering. While it's hard to say it was a direct result of the order, but a record of one of the Mormon settlers described the guardsmen telling them they were to leave the state in 10 days or be exterminated on orders of the Governor.
The extermination order remained valid in Missouri law all the way until 1976.
Okay, so that's a dark, dark piece of history, especially for a land that clings staunchly to the First Amendment. Sorry.
We Mormons don't want bloody revenge -- just football payback. BYU *has* enacted payback once. In the 1983 Holiday Bowl that helped set the stage for the Cougars' coming national championship run, Steve Young passed 24-of-36 for 314 yards, but won the game with a late fourth-quarter touchdown reception on a halfback pass famous to BYU fans.
So while brief, there's a good football history too. The two teams meet late in 2015 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City. Why not have a trophy waiting for the winner?
THE WHITE SHIRT TROPHY
UConn started this whole thing and just so happens to be on BYU's schedule again this season. Head coach Bob Diaco's wardrobe of choice for the sidelines is a clean, white shirt. Missionaries wear white dress shirts. LET'S MAKE A TROPHY. It could be a super-starched white polo that the winning team (BYU) can parade around the sidelines after the game.
HEY BIG 12 PLEASE NOTICE US TROPHY
There's no trophy here, the winning team just gets two minutes of broadcast time after the game to make a sales pitch to the Big 12.
WE PUT YOUR FCS TEAM ON TV TROPHY
BYU-Wagner (this season)
A reality of the independence era is that BYU is almost assured to play one home game against an FCS opponent. BYU's contract with ESPN guarantees the school one home game to put on BYUtv, and it's always this game.
Instead of a trophy, though, Tom Holmoe just presents one of those huge novelty checks to the opposing coach after the game with the payout amount markered onto it.
UMAD BEVO? TROPHY
The relationship between BYU and Texas is fascinating. Whether it's football (BYU is 4-1 against the Longhorns including wins of 41-7 and 47-6), basketball (Tyler Haws draining a running one-legged jumper to beat the shot clock), or volleyball (BYU women became the first ever unseeded team to reach the national title match after defeating highly-seeded Texas), it's one of the strangest strings of domination out there.
If Texas ever has the chutzpah to put BYU on any of its sports schedules again, the trophy awarded to the winner would be a bronzed likeness of Taysom Hill leaping over a Texas defensive back.
BREAKFAST BURRITO TROPHY
The chances Idaho ends up on BYU's schedule again is relatively strong, given the Vandals' need for cash and BYU's need for willing lambs to slaughter at home on occasion. And honestly, I just wanted a chance to make another #Rancheritos reference (which reference was documented at length in this previous dead-season piece.)
Catch up on the rest of the Dead-Season Series.