Tuesday, February 6, 2001
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Posted on: Tuesday, February 6, 2001

One battle that stands test of time

By Ferd Lewis
Advertiser Staff Writer

It is great that Brigham Young is back on the University of Hawaii’s football schedule this season but the coming of The Rivalry II could require some getting used to.

Introductions will definitely be needed before they tee it up here Dec. 1.

After all, this isn’t like the Hundred Years War where you just pick up right where you left off.

Not after a two-year cooling off period in which so much has changed, including their conferences. It’s going to be hard to tell more than just the players without a program come their meeting at Aloha Stadium.

For example, it used to be taken as an article of faith that just as the Cougars were Boo-Y-You, they were also the aerial act in this series, if not the preeminent one in the country.

But that’s ancient history. For the last two years it is UH that has finished in the top five of the national passing statistics, not the Cougars. It is UH, not BYU, that is threatening to become Go Deep U. and Big Yardage Unlimited.

Then there is LaVell Edwards, who, for a generation of UH fans, put a respected, grandfatherly face on the enemy and brought a quick, dry wit to the series. After 28 years of watching the imperturbable Edwards, arms folded and face impassive, patrol the sidelines as the Cougars’ head coach, his replacement is going to seem like an interloper in this series.

That’s if someone will point him out first. UH used to measure itself against the standard that Edwards’ teams set. Now, who even knows who the guy on the opposite sideline is?

I mean, can anybody here who doesn’t bleed blue or who isn’t connected with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints even name the new BYU coach? Much less pick Gary Crowton out of a crowd?

Gone, too, is Norm Chow, the Hawaii-born offensive coordinator and recruiter who is already in his second stop, Southern Cal, since a pass was last thrown in battle between the two schools.

BYU uniforms have undergone two changes since the Cougars last appeared at Aloha Stadium on Oct. 17, 1998. Even BYU blue, the color that has made UH fans see red for decades, has changed a couple of shades.

Then, there are the Warriors themselves. They’ve undergone a change of head coaches, philosophies, uniforms and so much more since the last confrontation. They were still the Rainbows the last time these two schools met at Aloha Stadium and, for a season, even the Rainbow Warriors.

What hasn’t changed, however, is that the Cougars have been back in Hawaii poaching players this recruiting season again. Come letter of intent day tomorrow, they are even expected to land a couple.

Come to think of it, maybe it won’t be tough to get warmed up to the resumption of UH-BYU after all.

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