So I've been bored tonight after getting home from Vernal. I was trolling the Utah vs. BYU board on ESPN.com and it really shocked me just how stupid the Utah and BYU fans were compared to the Utah State fans that I typically read posts of. Then I got to thinking about it, and it made sense. Here's why.
BYU and Utah geographically share about 2 million fans and separate themselves based mostly on their religious beliefs. If you are Mormon and your religion defines who you are, you like BYU. If you are not Mormon or you are and you treat religion like any other aspect of your life, you like the U of U. Utah State has about 100,000 fans, geographically. About half of these 100,000 people don't actually give a damn that there is a world renowned university in their valley. Utah State fans are all basically converts, myself included.
How does a Utah State fan become a convert? Well, easy. They decide they want to go to school near home, but away from home. The only real choice is Utah State, unless you want to go to Snow Senior High or SUU, and really, if you're going to go as far as Cedar City, just go out of state. Logan becomes home to about 3,500 new freshmen every year. Then out of some tradition or something their older roommates force them to go to sporting events and they're converted into fans, regardless of prior interest level in sports.
Basically what is learned here is that nearly all Utah State fans have some level of college education, and with a roughly 50% graduation rate many have a pretty high level of education. U of U fans are basically SLCC drop-outs, thugs, and a few students/alum. BYU fans are Mormons who got married after their mission and couldn't ever afford college, Mormons who moved here from another state, and a few students/alum.
Advantage? Utah State.
Next you have the stereotype. It's so easy to stereotype a BYU fan. There is probably no school in the country easier to stereotype except for maybe Yale or Hahvahd (yes, you have to say it like that). If you happen to have never been to Utah and need a stereotype of a BYU fan go try searching "zoobie" on urban dictionary or just think of a really plain and boring religious person and you got it. Utah fans are a little more difficult, but basically the stereotype that BYU fans give them is that they are stupid uneducated rebels. They throw beer on the quarterbacks family, they smoke at Cougar Stadium, they openly use harsh language and they all have tattoos. Basically they're regular people, but around BYU fans they become ass holes because, "it's funny." Utah State fans, as said before, are sort of a mix of people from all over the Spanish Fark to Narth Ogden area. You have boring molly mormons there, you have ass hole frat bros there, you also have a lot of people who just kinda don't fit in (that was me). It's an interesting mix.
Advantage? Utah State.
Finally you have this chip on the shoulder as a USU fan. Utah and BYU merchandise is everywhere. I see USU gear down here about once a month. Because of this, and the completely lack of love from local news stations, every Utah State alumni who lives down here has to let EVERYONE know that they are a USU alumni. I kid you not, there are more license plates with A's on them than Y's and U's combined. People get all religious and have to point out to the other 2 million people down here, "Hey, there is another D1 school in the state too, you know?" It's kinda cool. Then you get things like other Aggie fans complimenting your hat. No one says "nice hat" to a BYU or Utah fan down here.
Final advantage? Utah State (sort of.. sometimes I wish we weren't overlooked along the Wasatch Front.)
It's a united little club that not as many belong to as the two larger clubs, and then we don't have a million .. let's call them fans-by-association .. like the other two. I think anyone can see why this makes being a USU fan better than being a BYU, Utah or Weber (do they have fans?) fan.