PROVO — While BYU's season-opener at Ole Miss on Sept. 3 will be historic — as the Cougars embark on a new era of independence — that contest looms as a huge game for the Rebels.
"This one, in Oxford against a strong independent team, is vitally important for far different reasons. This is a young Ole Miss team that needs to make something good happen early," Cleveland writes. "This is a Rebel team breaking in a new quarterback(s), and a team coming off a 4-8 season and a last-place finish in the SEC West. This Reb team is picked last. This is an Ole Miss team that had its 2010 season ambushed in its season opener when Jacksonville State, playing up a division, erased a 31-10 halftime deficit and stunned the Rebels 49-48 in overtime. My take: The Rebels never really recovered from that debacle. And this is a BYU team that is far, far better than Jacksonville State was. This is a BYU team that opened at Oklahoma two years ago and knocked off the No. 3 Sooners 14-13, dominating the game statistically. Until last season's disappointing 7-6 finish, when the Cougars were ravaged by injuries, BYU had achieved four straight seasons of 10 or more wins."
Here's more on Ole Miss' challenge of deciding on a starting quarterback.
Meanwhile, BYU's second opponent, Texas, has a quarterback quandary of its own. This story in the Dallas Morning News outlines "3 reasons to be pessimistic" about the Longhorns' season.
One of those reasons is Texas' schedule.
"The annual neutral game against Oklahoma will be the biggest test, but home games against Oklahoma State, BYU, Kansas State and Texas Tech are no easy task," writes Trey Scott.
Here are "3 reasons to be optimistic" about the Longhorns' season. Reason No. 3: "The talent’s still there. No matter what happened last season, these are all players that were considered the best at their position coming out of high school. The past few years, Texas has cleaned up in the recruiting department. There’s hope that a roster loaded with prep stars can fulfill its talent."
Now on to some Jimmer Fredette news:
The former BYU star announced Monday morning that he is organizing and will participate in a pair of exhibition games in Utah in September.