ESPN is looking to do everything it can to help BYU receive more national attention. Ultimately, however, it's up to the Cougars to maximize this opportunity by winning games.
"Our goal is simply to find the most exposure for BYU football that we possibly can," Brown said. "That's part of our partnership. Whether it comes from promotion, carrying the games, promoting the games and producing the games and giving them a first-class production, we put it out there and provide them with the best possible platforms for exposure that we can — and they take it from there."
BYU and ESPN are hoping for more memorable moments like two years ago, when the Cougars upset Oklahoma on the self-proclaimed Worldwide Leader in Sports at Cowboys Stadium.
Without conference championships to measure success, how many wins do the Cougars need to have a successful season this fall?
"I don't think about it that way. We'll see when it gets down to the end. Right off the bat our games up front will be telltale. We play a bunch of (good) teams early on," Holmoe said, referring to an opening schedule against Ole Miss, Texas, Utah and Central Florida. "It's a tougher schedule early on. If we can get through that, we have a chance to win a lot of games. If we split a couple of those games, or come out slow in that, you're not going to win as many games. It really depends on the first part of the season."
Under Mendenhall, the standard of success has been set. Since 2006, BYU has posted four seasons with at least 10 victories, including three 11-win campaigns. The Cougars will need to consistently record those type of seasons to make a splash on the national scene, capitalize on independence, build upon what Edwards started in the 1970s and build upon what Mendenhall has already accomplished.
"Ten wins puts you in the top 15 (in the national rankings), maybe top 10," Holmoe said. "It's not so much the number, but what people think of it. If BYU wins 10 games, we'll be in the top 15."
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