Kalani Sitake's first season as head coach at BYU hasn't been all sunshine and roses as the Cougars are 1-2 headed into a tough game against West Virginia, but it's definitely way too early to panic about the Cougars and their new coaching staff.
A little context is a healthy thing when evaluating BYU's rough start. When most FBS teams have played at least one lower-division or outmatched FBS team, the Cougars have already played three Power 5 teams. Utah is a ranked team, and UCLA is just three spots outside the Top 25.
It's not like BYU lost to Idaho State here.
BYU has been ramping up its schedules over the past few seasons. BYU is experiencing something not unlike what Utah experienced in moving from the Mountain West to the Pac-12. While Utah's first season went fairly well, the Utes had back-to-back losing seasons in 2012-13. It took time for an excellent coach like Kyle Whittingham to get his team to the point it is today.
So, why do some fans seem to expect a brand-new coaching staff to do the same in year one?
Plus, like it or not, Utah has resources at its disposal as part of a Power 5 conference that BYU simply does not. Despite all of that, BYU took Utah to the wire on the road and lost by one point.
Part of the problem is that it's been quite a while since BYU beat Utah or finished the season ranked. The Cougars haven't had bad seasons by any means, but they haven't lived up to the glory days of the '80s and '90s or even Bronco Mendenhall's solid run from 2006 to 2009.
It also doesn't help that BYU seems to be stuck in limbo as the Big 12 continues to drag its feet about whether or not it will expand.
Another part of the frustration is that the BYU offense has not looked good at all so far this season. The Cougar defense held three Power 5 opponents to 18.3 points per game, good enough for No. 30 in the FBS. And remember, most FBS teams have played at least one cupcake while BYU has not. Meanwhile, the Cougar offense is No. 119 in the nation in scoring offense with 17.0 points per game.
I'm not going to pretend to have as high of a football IQ as Ty Detmer. He has a ton of experience running an exciting offense in college and was a de-facto quarterbacks coach for much of his time in the NFL. If Detmer's football knowledge fills a water cooler, mine fills a thimble.
The same probably can be said for armchair offensive coordinators.
All of that said, Detmer is a brand-new offensive coordinator. He's had quite a bit of coaching experience, including his years as a Texas high school football coach, but he's inexperienced at running an offense at the FBS level. And turning the old "Go fast, go hard" offensive style of Robert Anae to the new pro-style offense Detmer wants to run isn't easy, either.
Some BYU fans have proved the old adage that the backup quarterback is the most popular player on a team when the offense struggles. Taysom Hill has certainly had his struggles in the early part of this year, but he's also had to learn a totally new offense. BYU's coaching staff has said this week that they'll make adjustments based on what's happened the past two weeks.
Is it likely the offense that trounced Texas will suddenly appear against West Virginia this Saturday? No, it's not. That said, the Cougar offense doesn't need to improve much to win more games with the defense doing a solid job.
And for those clamoring for Tanner Mangum to take over for Hill, please keep in mind that he turned over the ball four times in his last outing against Utah, including two interceptions that were taken to the house. While the future is bright for Mangum, don't be deceived into thinking that the offense will be magically better with Mangum under center.
The Cougars have a tough slate ahead of them, but there's no need for despair for BYU fans. There's still plenty of chances for this team to prove itself and continue to improve on both sides of the ball.
Lafe Peavler is a sports strategist for the Deseret News and KSL.com. Follow him on Twitter @LafePeavler.