Jan. 14, 2011
LOGAN, Utah - For the first time since 1997, Utah State holds possession of the historic Beehive Boot trophy, the symbol of gridiron supremacy in the state of Utah. A state-wide media vote was conducted and Utah State was declared the winner.
The media vote was needed after USU went 1-0 vs. in-state foes with its 31-16 win over BYU on Oct. 1. Utah was also 1-0 after beating BYU, 17-16, on Nov. 27. The voting panel consisted of each school's radio play-by-play announcer, each school's newspaper beat writer for their respective local paper as well as the Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News.
This is just the third-time in the Boot's 40-year history that a media vote was needed to declare the winner, also doing so in 1973 and 1997, and Utah State has been chosen as the holder of the trophy all three times.
The Aggies have now won the boot seven times, and this is the first time since 1997 that USU has had possession of the Boot.
Utah State's win over BYU also earned the Aggies possession of the Old Wagon Wheel, the traveling trophy between USU and BYU. It was the first time since 1993 that USU has owned the Wheel. This is only the sixth time that Utah State has had both the Beehive Boot and the Old Wagon Wheel in its possession.
First instituted in 1971, the Beehive Boot is the symbol of gridiron supremacy in the state of Utah. The idea for the rotating trophy originated with Dave Schulthess, former Sports Information Director (SID) of BYU, and was agreed upon by SIDs from Utah, Utah State and Weber State. As the trophy would represent dominance within the confines of the Beehive State, it was decided that the trophy should be symbolic of the people Utah was built by, the pioneers.
Finding a suitable pioneer boot for use as a trophy proved to be a difficult task. As pioneers wore their boots until there simply wasn't much left of them, there weren't many pioneer boots lying around. After an arduous search that included numerous personal calls and radio announcements, Tom Beasley, an antique dealer living in Cache Valley donated a pair of boots for use as the trophy. Estimated to be 100 or more years old, the Beehive Boot is an authentic piece of Utah history.
Awarded to the team with the best record against in-state opponents, the Beehive Boot lived its first four years at Utah State University. BYU then began a run of holding the Boot 15 times in 18 years, and the Cougars have held the Boot the most at 21 times. Utah has won the boot 10 times. The longest streak in the history of the Beehive Boot is a five-year span from 1983 to 1987 by BYU. Utah's longest stretch was from 2002-05, while Utah State's longest streak was the first four years of the Boot's history.
Utah State faces two in-state foes in 2011, hosting Weber State on Sept. 10, while the Aggies play at BYU on Sept. 30. Utah and BYU square off on Sept. 17, also in Provo.
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