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.