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Utah football is better than BYU football.

And it's not even close.

A blind man could have seen that Saturday night.

But the conclusion goes beyond just one comparison of two current iterations of teams, based on those most recent lopsided numbers on the board at LaVell Edwards Stadium. It goes to the far reaches of the programs, from the coaching to the players to recruiting to overall philosophical approach to extended results.

The Utes, who prove what they can do on the field, have supplanted the Cougars, who still draw more fans to games, as the state's pre-eminent college football presence.

For the most part, Utah goes about its business, winning games. BYU talks about its lofty goals of national championships and national exposure, comparing itself to Notre Dame, and then, more than once or twice or thrice, embarrasses itself with its stumbling and bumbling, its lack of preparation, its lack of execution, its lack of proper coaching.

Actually, with both the Irish and the Cougars now 1-2, maybe that comparison isn't all that outlandish.

But the comparison with the Utes has clearly tipped Utah's way.

It's not a matter of perception. It's not a temporary lull. It's not a fluke. It's not because of some trumped-up bull about Utah now playing in a BCS league and BYU being an independent.

It's just a fact.

When Utah has an off-year, such as last season, it goes 10-3. When BYU has an off-year, like last season, it barely breaks .500. The Utes, at least typically, win their bowl games. With the Cougars, it's a 50-50 proposition.

Utah did get crushed by TCU a year ago, at Rice-Eccles no less, but that's a sizable exception.

Head to head, the Utes have outperformed BYU, leading the Cougars 12-9 in the past 21 games. More often than not, when BYU beats Utah, it edges the Utes in tight games. When Utah beats the Cougars, it could be close, or it could be an absolute blowout, like the 54-10 thumping Saturday night.

That latest evidence is telling.

In a game in which it was a four-point-plus favorite, playing at home, BYU couldn't get out of its own way, turning the ball over seven times. Mistakes, so many of them execution-oriented, could be found all over the field. Utah wasn't perfect, either. But the Utes were poised, prepared and talented enough, even as they fell behind 10-7 midway through the second quarter, to come back to take the lead before the half, and then use the Cougars as paper lining the bottom of their birdcage straight through to the end.

Bronco Mendenhall denied it afterward, but BYU, plain and simple, gave up in that game. It wore down and quit. And Utah, which shoved the Cougars in that direction, showed what football class is all about, playing hard and cleaning up the mess.

No telling what the rest of this season will bring, whether the Utes will thrive through to the end of the Pac-12 season or struggle somewhere along the way. The path ahead looks good for them.

But BYU has failed its early test, against the teams — like Texas and Utah — by which it can truly measure itself. It probably will beat the dogs off in the future, teams like San Jose State, Oregon State, Idaho State, Idaho and New Mexico State, and go on to the Armed Forces Bowl. But there are more potential losses — Central Florida? Utah State? TCU? Hawaii? — out there, too.

Regardless, the Utes are long gone, having taken victory in their rivalry game, having proved once more what isn't necessarily shown in every meeting between the schools, but often enough now to be a convincing trend.

Utah football is better than BYU football.

It's not even close.

GORDON MONSON hosts "The Gordon Monson Show" weekdays from 2-6 p.m. on 97.5 FM/1280 AM The Zone. He can be reached at Twitter: @GordonMonson.