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HAPPY INDEPENDENTS DAY

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JEFF GOLDBLUM IS THE ARMY FOOTBALL OF OUR HEARTS

Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

PRESIDENT BRIGHAM Y. WHITMORE: Good morning. In less than an hour, football players from here will join others from around the world. And you will be launching the largest realignment battle in the history of mankind. "Mankind." That word should have new meaning for all of us today.

We can't be consumed by our petty conferences anymore. We will be united in our common interests. Perhaps it's fate that today is the Fourth of July, and you will once again be fighting for our freedom... Not from Texas, Oregon, or Alabama... but from annihilation. We are fighting for our right to live. To exist.

And should we win the day, the Fourth of July will no longer be known as a Power 5 holiday, but as the day unaffiliated teams declared in one voice: We will not go quietly into the Las Vegas Bowl! We will not vanish without a fight! We're going to live on! We're going to survive!

Today we celebrate our Independents Day!