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Nebraska's Next Top Rival: BYU Edition

The Brigham Young Cougars are the first candidates of the year. Will they meet your threshold for the coveted "rival of Nebraska" title?

Future Rival?
Future Rival?
Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images

Every week, we'll introduce Saturday's opponent and give a run-down on some pertinent details to that team's status as a potential rival to Nebraska. Then we'll leave the vote to you, the community. Oklahoma isn't a candidate, so don't save your votes.

next rival BYU

School name?

The Brigham Young University Cougars.

(SB Nation Site: Vanquish the Foe)

When did the program start?


What conference does the team reside in?

They have no conference, they're an independent.

So not the Big 8.


How far from Lincoln is the home campus?

896.3 miles west.

That's pretty far.

Mike Riley isn't promising to recruit Provo.

Most recent meeting between the school and Nebraska?

September 5th actually marks the first meeting of the programs.

Does the program play Nebraska annually?

Well, no.

Does the school possess a winning record against Nebraska?

No, they haven't played!

What is the school's all-time record in football?

546 wins, 399 losses, and 27 ties. Good for 42nd overall. (Winsipedia)

How many national titles?

One! In 1984.

Pretty long people in New England care about the program?

Depends on the day of the week and what they're talking about. They're basically a poor man's Notre Dame.

Does their school wear red?

Nope! They wear blue, grey, and white.

Did their program borrow anything from Nebraska?

Hard to say - most football "thievery" is more subtle than Wisconsin.

Did their program regularly play Nebraska under Tom Osborne?

They have never played Nebraska.

Does their school have history with rivalries?

They do! There's the "Holy War" with the Utah Utes (they trail 31-55-4) and the "Old Wagon Wheel" game with the Utah State Aggies (they lead 46-35-3). Wikipedia also suggests they may develop a rivalry with Boise State, but that's pretty comparable to Nebraska's current stand against Wisconsin, so let's just gloss over that..

Does the school have a mascot?

Yes, "Cosmo the Cougar". Let's allow the university to describe this mascot:

In 1953, BYU athletics acquired a new cougar mascot named "Cosmo." The brainchild of pep chairman Dwayne Stevenson, Cosmo supposedly got his name from the cosmic forces of the universe and was here to help increase the prowess of the BYU athletic teams. Since his first appearance on Oct. 15, 1953, Cosmo has participated with the cheerleaders, Cougarettes, and the BYU marching band throughout many school years.

In 1979, students tried to bring back a live cougar mascot at athletic events, but school officials felt a student dressed in a cougar outfit would be a better (cleaner and safer) mascot.

Those who have become Cosmo have remained anonymous during the school year. Though not a clown, Cosmo is real enough to have feelings that can be hurt by fans booing or throwing drinks at him or by being rude to the other fans or players.

Emphasis added.

(Taken from

Are their fans known for bad behavior?

No strong indications one way or the other, but they did feel a need to make it clear that you shouldn't throw things at the mascot so...

How about their players?

The Cougars are still sorting through a mess of a brawl from their bowl game and many of their players have struggled with local law enforcement this summer. So you could argue they're trying to be Miami Lite.

What kind of trophy would fit a rivalry between these programs?

A copy of Oregon Trail 2 which doesn't allow you to go to Oregon but instead forces you to go to Provo.


Well, audience, you've met the candidate. Now you decide: rivals or not?! Plead your case below!