Tuesday, October 5, 2010

BYU's Record This Year

Now that I got all the venom out of my system with the last couple of posts, I'm hoping for brighter days ahead. I think the fact that BYU was willing to fire their defensive coordinator immediately following their loss to Utah State (even though it was conference weekend) is a sign of better days. If nothing else, BYU isn't okay with how things are going this season and is willing to take action to improve their situation. Now, if they would cut a few WR's for dropping balls, life would be good. :)
It's time for me to ask a very selfish question. Every year, I come up to Provo around Christmas time to see family. The holidays truly are the most wonderful time of the year. The past several years, one of the highlights of the holidays has been attending the Vegas Bowl and watching BYU play. As bad as BYU is this season, do you true blue, Coug fans think BYU can win 6 games and become bowl eligible? Christmas bells seem to ring just a little quieter with the thoughts of BYU not playing in a bowl game . . . With that said, my heart says 6 but my mind says 3.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Time for Bronco to get Bucked

Dual quarterback system. Receivers dropping passes. Harvey Unga missing his senior season. Holes in the offensive line. Losing your star TE to the NFL. All reasons for BYU's dismal offensive production to start their 1-4 2010 season. But BYU's problems this season are a product of a much bigger issue. An issue that began in 2005 when Gary Crowton resigned. Let's rewind . . .

5 seasons ago, BYU was having an identity crisis. Clearly not happy with the new direction of "state of the art" uniforms, losing seasons and an apparent stray from tradition, Gary Crowton was asked to step down so that BYU could take their program in a new direction. After talk (which was more of a pipedream) to bring in Coaches such as Andy Reid or Steve Young, BYU narrowed the search to one. And no, it wasn't Bronco. We narrowed our search to Kyle Whittingham. When BYU wouldn't pony up and pay Whittingham what he thought he was worth, he straight-lined to the common foe (Utah) and we got stuck scrambling for anybody to fill the Head Coach job at BYU. Fast forward five years.

Utah has had two undefeated seasons including BCS victories. BYU has conquered the Vegas Bowl. Utah has an invitation to the PAC 10. BYU is going independent. The first year of Whittingham's "pure recruits" is off to an undefeated season. Bronco's "pure recruits" are scratching their heads with a 1-4 season, including 2 losses to the WAC, one of which hasn't happened in 17 years (Utah State). Sorry folks, but it is time for Bronco, Anae, and Holmoe to get bucked out of BYU.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Can BYU do Better Than 7-5 this Season?

I had to hide my face for a few days after the pathetic performance vs. Air Force this last week. I thought BYU has a great shot at starting the season 2-1 with a victory over Washington to open the season. After the game Saturday, I honestly wonder how likely it is that BYU will end the season over .500. Seriously, does anybody think BYU stands a chance against FSU? Me either. Then the Cougs play a decent Nevada team and a Utah State team that hung with Oklahoma. I think best case, BYU ends the season as a 7-5 team and the Armed Force Bowl. Fantastic momentum leading into the new adventure of going Independent . . .

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Who Should it Be?

My expectations were well exceeded in the home-opener of BYU vs. Washington. With three difficult games to start the season, I figured the Cougs would be lucky to win one game (which would most likely come against Air Force). With questions about their offensive line, their defense, and of course their quarterbacks, I thought BYU would look a lot more sloppy than they did. I was pleasantly surprised. Here's my brief synopsis of the game:

  • Defense was a B- at best. Yes, they managed to make a few key stops, but Jake Locker is not the Heisman hopeful that everybody projected he would be. Washington's lack of offense was more a product of the lousy play calling than the Cougar defense. The defense missed several tackles and the secondary played the same as they always do . . . 10 yards off the receiver and hope to tackle him after he catches the ball.

  • DiLuigi was the hero. He filled in for Harvey Unga nicely and brings a solid dual threat on the ground and through the air. He showed some nice bursts of speed and found the holes. I have to also credit the offensive line for opening holes and giving the QBs some time.

  • WRs looked lousy. 6-8 dropped balls that should have been caught. O'Neal Chambers looks a lot more athletic this year, but he still needs to figure out how to hold on to the ball or we can start calling him Steve Slaton soon.

  • QBs looked solid. I'm the biggest antagonist of all when it comes to starting 2 QBs, but I have to admit that I enjoyed watching both play. Riley Nelson showed moments of brilliance and reminded me of a poor man's Tim Tebow in many ways. On paper he looked a lot better than Heaps, but we'll talk about that in a second. Nelson showed leadership and scored the game winning TD. Props for that. Heaps looked nervous but is clearly the better QB. Unbelievable arm strength and accuracy for a freshmen. Though he didn't throw for any TDs, he would have had at least one (and possibly two) if his receivers could catch the bullets he was throwing. I like his potential and think he has a 100% better chance of winning the Heisman in his career than Jake Locker has in his.

I hated the rhythm of the game with the dual QB system. I'm fine with a different QB in a couple of series but definitely not alternating every series like they did. So the million dollar question: Who would you start for the rest of the season?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Basketball Season

I usually don't even pay any attention to BYU sports until the middle of March when BYU plays in the MWC basketball tourney in Vegas. However, this year BYU basketball is worth blogging about. Being ranked in the top 25 for the last two months is something I am not used to in BYU basketball, and let's be honest, they have Jimmer Fredette to thank for that.

The real question is: Will BYU get past the first round in the NCAA tourney this year? Although they have had some domineering wins this season, I'm a little worried considering they are 2-3 against teams in the top 50. The only game I attended this season was against Eastern Washington. I showed up 5 minutes late for the game and BYU was up 25-2. With a strength of schedule ranking at 129 in the nation, BYU needs to muscle up and actually play some decent teams out of conference. However, with all this said, I'm hoping for a 5-6 seed in the tournament and a BYU win in the first round.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Vegas. Great Victory. Lousy Pay.

Viva Las Vegas!! The weather conditions were not ideal. Gusts of wind blew up to 54 MPH, but the only team getting blown away was Oregon State. Despite what Frances Sullivan said about Utah ending the seaon on top, the Cougars proved otherwise.

BYU dominated on both ends of the ball, and Max Hall walked away with well-deserved Vegas Bowl MVP honors. But BYU didn't exactly walk away with the jackpot after leaving Vegas. In fact, the Vegas Bowl is one of the lowest payouts of any bowl game at $1 million. Let's put this into perspective. Here are a few teams that will be walking away with the same paycheck as BYU, but my questions is, do they deserve to?
  • EagleBank Bowl: UCLA and Temple $1 Million.

  • Champs Sports Bowl: Miami vs. Wisconsin: $2.13 Million.

  • Sun Bowl: Oklahoma (who we beat) vs. Stanford: $1.9 Million.

  • Texas Bowl: Navy vs. Missouri: $1.25 Million

  • Libery Bowl (our old contract): East Carolina vs. Arkansas: $1.35 Million.

  • Insight Bowl (my personal fav): Iowa State vs. Minnesota: $1.2 Million.
I've got to give BYU props for playing great in the Vegas Bowl and for hating on Utah. Now, I would like to see Tommy Holmoe fight in the offseason to get the MWC champion a little better paying bowl game.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

BYU’s “Quest for Perfection” – Part II (A Ute’s Perspective)

This was supposed to be BYU’s magical season. With QB Max Hall returning for his senior season, a talented Harvey Unga coming out of the backfield, and an all American candidate in TE Dennis Pitta, BYU was surrounded by a plethora of talent. Sure the Cougs lost WR Austin Collie to early draft entry, but the core group of WR was solid.

One week into the season and an impressive W over #3 ranked Oklahoma, led by an aggressive and stingy defense, expectations for this season skyrocketed. After a 54-3 blowout of Tulane, BYU found themselves in the top 10, checking in at #9. The nation was abuzz about BYU. Talks of National Championship dominated the internet, radio airwaves, and ESPN. Could a non-BCS school actually squeeze into the National Championship picture? It was 1984 all over again. BYU was poised for a run at the National Championship………………

Wha, wha, what happened?????? Back to reality. I feel like I’ve seen this script before. BYU starts strong. BYU falters. BYU gives up a million points to everyone. It’s déjà vu all over again. To be fair, no one expected BYU to go to Arlington, Texas and beat Oklahoma, which now sits with a fine record of 6-5. My shock was how easy it was for BYU fans to forget about the deficiencies that haunted this team last year. A defense doesn’t go from dreadful to stellar over a summer. A quarterback prone to bad decisions and interceptions doesn’t change with a few extra reps.

Can anyone really say they are surprised at the way BYU’s season has played out? Did anyone really expect BYU to run the table? This is the EXACT same team as last year. Compare results of common opponents from last year and you will notice that they are eerily similar.

Let’s also remember that BYU was ranked as high as #8 in the 2008 season until stumbling down the stretch. BYU is currently sitting at a respectable 9 – 2. Is this good enough when the goal is perfection?

I fully expect the Cougars season to end the same way it did last year. A loss to the University of Utah followed by a pounding in a bowl game. I mean why wouldn’t it? Everything else has played out according to the manual. BYU will continue to strive in its quest for mediocrity………um, I mean perfection. Welcome to the Holy War!

Written by Frances Sullivan