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Utes fans all in on Big 12 switcheroo

Posted at 5:08 PM, Aug 07, 2023

SALT LAKE CITY — Many University of Utah fans remember Utes sports before the Pac-12 era began in 2011.

WATCH: Utes thrilled over 'new opportunity' with Big 12 move

"My parents traveled down to the Fiesta Bowl 2004, definitely remember watching the Sugar Bowl in '08, I remember where I was exactly watching us take down Alabama," said fan Tre Bourdeaux. "So leaving for the Pac 12, I knew it was the future."

Now, Utah fans are excited to bring the roar of Rice Eccles Stadium to the Big 12 and see what the conference brings to Rice Eccles.

"We get to see [Oklahoma State head coach] Mike Gundy's mullet, maybe we'll get to see a horned frog," said Doug Huntsman.

Saying goodbye to the Pac-12 also means saying hello again to Utah's arch-rival in the legendary "Holy War" football game, BYU.

"I think there's already a lot of buzz in the state and I think as a whole people from outside of the state will tune into watch BYU-Utah because that's one of the top 10 rivalries in the country," said Utah fan Parker Taggart.

Even with the excitement of an in-conference "Holy War," fans admit it's hard to say goodbye to the Conference of Champions.

"It was a little sad to see the Pac-12 demise," Taggert said. "There's a lot of history with the Pac 12. There's a lot of sports outside of football and basketball the conference was really good at; sad to see it go that way, but I think that's the right direction."

Other fans like Bourdeaux are sad they'll no longer be traveling to some of the west coast's best destinations.

"I'm not traveling to LA, Seattle, or Eugene, that's the thing, that's maybe the tough part is the traveling stuff," he said.

But the biggest question is how Utes fans feel the school's top revenue sports can compete on the Big 12 stage.

"I think we're pretty good with football, I'm more worried about basketball. I mean Kansas, hello," Huntsman said.

Even with a new conference looming, fans are hoping to leave a lasting mark on the Pac-12 with a three-peat of the conference title in their final season.

"We want to handle business and show that we're still the top team in the Pac-12 going out," said Utah fan Chase Omana.