Not everyone was invited to Mountain West’s “slumber party” on the Thursday night prior to the BYU-Utah showdown on Saturday. “Human Resource” concerns aside, there was not much sleeping that took place on the eve before the annual MWSBF tailgate. Loan Officers were joined by Manuel Bueno, Vice President Meadows Bank to do a significant amount of smoking – of meat, naturally. As has been customary for the annual fête (now in it’s third year of celebration) the smoked meats are started the night before, to ensure perfection by lunchtime.

Scott Davis MWSBF noted in an internal company email Friday, “A big thank you to everyone who worked so hard to make this happen. Especially to ‘the boys and Manny’ who were up late in the night smoking meat, and Robert [Edminster] who was up at 4 a.m. dipping wings in buttermilk.”

This year’s spread didn’t disappoint.

While Ben Smith, Celtic Bank Vice President of Business Development in the bank’s SBA and Commercial Lending Department wasn’t too keen to go on record about predictions for Saturday’s “Holy War,” (he ultimately gave the advantage to the Utes 35-28); he was pretty enthusiastic about the event. “I win every time I show up!” He said, as raffle spoils adorned his head.

Scott Buie, owner of Buie Insurance Services gave Utah the edge. “The Utes by seven,” he said, adding that the afternoon’s event “is about a beautiful a day as you could have, with the best man-food you could ever taste.”

“It’s awesome,” added Dylan Ence, Vice President – Business Banking at Bank of America; thanking Mountain West for the invite.

Irwin Laroza, BDO for Celtic Bank said the tailgate was “the event of the year.” And while the response may sound a little cheeky, he also gave MWSBF the title of “Number one CDC in the country.” (We’ll take it!)

While not the only party-goer supporting BYU, Brian Johnson, VP Lending for Quorus Commercial was in the minority at the party supporting the team from Utah County, but pulled a page from Journey with his “Don’t Stop Belivin’-mindset” with his prediction.

“Tight game,” Johnson said, “but 27-24 for my cougars.” And when asked what secret weapon was giving the Cougs a “W,” the question was met with a huge smile: “Taysom Hill, of course.”

“Food looks awesome, it’s my third year running – best party ever,” he said, as scents from the smoked chicken and pulled pork station wafted through the air, “It’s better than Christmas.”

Last we heard, no one was asking for figgy pudding at Friday’s luncheon of champions, but a fair share of (MWSBF tailgate staple) Aggie Ice Cream had been consumed.