Saturday, October 24, 2009

Colossal Embarassment

At 8:00 A.M. in Provo, Utah, the BYU faithful (including every frenzied fan and cheerleader in the state), did everything humanly possible to get some face time on ESPN's College Gameday, which took place in Provo today. Just 12 short hours later, the same fans are hiding their faces in shame and embarassment.

I would like to call the BYU TCU game a disappointment, but that hardly does justice to the 65K fans at the game and millions of fans elsewhere who witnessed this game. It was an embarassment. A disappointment is losing by a field goal as time expires; or giving up the lead in the second half to lose a game; or even an interception on a key drive which results in a loss. My friends, BYU's two losses this season are colossal embarassments.

Unfortunately, both games came while BYU was on the national stage. Against FSU, the national media said BYU could be in the national championship picture by running the table. Today on ESPN Gameday, the media said this is hands down the biggest game in the country today. BYU's mottos of honor, discipline, and integrity were nowhere to be found. But how about they coin a new motto: consistency. Every time they show up for a big game on a national stage, they consistently get blown out.

So who is to blame for the monumental flops this season? The uneducated (and often times critical) fans? Maybe. But both games had some common themes. In both games, one team came prepared to play and the other didn't. In both games, one coaching staff brought innovative playcalls where thoughtful strategy was apparent and the other didn't. In both games, BYU fans came with high hopes and left with utter disappointments. Again, I want to emphasize, a loss against FSU or TCU or Utah or any other team in the country never feels good as a fan. But it happens and it is understandable. Now, getting blown out twice at home in the same season, with national media, in front of a sell-out frenzied crowd is complete devastation.

After these types of embarassments, every big league sports program in the country finds somebody to fire (just ask Bobby Bowden at FSU, whose team ironically beat BYU). The question is: "Does BYU have the intestinal fortitude to do the same?"


  1. Very good analyization! I was hoping BYU would come out to play, but apparently they were the only ones who didn't show up to 'Homecoming'.
    As I watched Michigan State come so close to upseting #7 Iowa and Tennesee doing the same with #1 Alabama without being rated and then BYU, who is rated, suck it up...what a disappointment. Something needs to happen or else I'm going to stop paying my tithing! :)

  2. I don't think you could have said it any better Bud. When it comes to the big games the Cougars never show up. It's not just this season, but last season as well. The Cougars don't have the speed or the talent to win against top ranked teams with nine penalties(what happened to discipline). I think if the Cougars are going to stay competitive with Utah, TCU, and other major conference teams they will have to step up their recruiting. They need to bring in top talent from other states then Utah. It doesn't matter how good you coach or prepare your team if you don't have the talent to compete with your opponent you won't win. It seems like over the past 2 to 3 years the skill level of the Cougars, especially on the defense side of the ball is just not on the same level as TCU and Utah.

  3. I don't even think it is a "speed and talent" issue as we commonly bring up. I think it is a mental toughness and game strategy issue. BYU is yet to display that they can A. overcome a bad call or two and keep their heads and B. have a game plan that is competitive with the rest of the country. Big Ten schools don't have blazing speed and yet overall they can compete (I'm talking big picture here). We've got the big horses up front, the agility and speed in the backfield and roughly the hands we need on the outsides. However, we have a head case at the QB and a defense that is afraid to blitz and doesn't trust each other enough to just play their own position. If the defense didn't play chase the ball defense and actually executed a game plan that focused on disrupting the QBs timing, we might be able to play.

    Overall though I'm not going to be a fair weather fan. No we aren't ready for a national stage yet, but YES we are where we want to be. 5 years into this game plan and we have three straight 10 win seasons, 2 conference championships, and multiple bowl appearances. I think we are close. Give them another year or two to see what we can put together. I think we are still on an upward trend.


  4. I agree Brock. Some great comments. I just can't seem to figure out why BYU coaches can't develop a competitive strategy in big games. BYU proved when they played OU that they can compete with the biggest and best teams in the country. Losing is expected to happen as a BYU fan, but it takes all the fun out of being a BYU fan when they can't hang close and compete on the national stage.

  5. I disagree with Brock when he says that BYU is still on an upward trend. I think they've clearly plateaued. With the way Bronco has things going, this is the best any fan can expect, I'm sorry to say.

    Bronco needs to stop looking for athletes in the mission field and start looking to sign some more JUCO guys. When Lavell's teams started to dwindle in the mid-1990s, he switched things up by recruiting more JUCO guys. What happened? In 1996, they went 14-1 and won the Cotton Bowl on New Year's Day.

    Look I wish the Cougars could field a Boy Scout troop and win the National Championship. But it WON'T happen. Unfortunately, Bronco can't have it both ways.