It's time to review the people and events we'll remember from the 2013 college football season.
Presenting the Best and the Worst — and other dubious awards — for the college football season ...
Doug Robinson's columns run on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Matt Wells. He took over as head coach after the departure of Gary Andersen and led Utah State to the Mountain West Conference championship game despite losing star quarterback Chuckie Keeton to injury at mid-season. The Aggies are bowl bound with an 8-5 record. This marks the first time in 33 years the Aggies have produced three consecutive winning seasons.
Taysom Hill runs like Tebow; unfortunately, he also throws like Tebow.
Taysom Hill. His passing is a work in progress, but there is progress.
The fire-Whittingham sentiment that turned up on the Internet at the end of the season. Really? This is the guy who made the Utes worthy of Pac-12 membership and now there are fans who want his job?
Utah’s schedule included five teams ranked in the final BCS rankings — No. 5 Stanford, No. 10 Oregon, No. 14 Arizona State, No. 17 UCLA, No. 25 USC. Good thing the Utes played a full in-state schedule: Three of their five wins came against Utah schools.
Jake Doughty, Utah State’s linebacker, had 140 tackles (39 solo) and 10 tackles for loss, and returned a fumble 86 yards for a touchdown.
Does not apply. Let’s face it, there were not a lot of strong candidates this season. Runners-up: Taysom Hill and Jamaal Williams rushed for a combined 2,400 yards and 16 touchdowns.
The chronically erratic Utah offense has had six offensive coordinators in eight years (five in the last five) and five starting quarterbacks in five years. If Travis Wilson is unable to play next season, it would mean the Utes' last two starting QBs were forced to quit because of injuries.
Norm Chow, the former Utah and BYU offensive coordinator, finally got his wish to become a head coach after years of trying (and complaining). He was 1-11 this season, 3-9 last season.
In the waning minutes of BYU’s win over Texas, BYU fans chanted “Over-rated! Over-rated!” Wait a minute, if Texas is overrated, then so is BYU’s win over Texas and therefore it doesn’t mean much for the national rankings. Or were they saying, “Underrated?”
After making a couple of clutch catches for the New England Patriots in a comeback win over New Orleans, Austin Collie tweeted: “2 all those who said I should walk away, Thnk U! U kept me going when I felt like throwing in the towel! 2nite made it all worth it!” Why is he upset with anyone who said he should quit the game because of his history with concussions? Even if they are eventually proven wrong, they had his best interests in mind.
Stanford was ranked No. 5 in the AP rankings every week until losing to Utah, then fell to No. 13. Four weeks later they were back at No. 5. Then they lost to USC and dropped to No. 10. Four weeks later, they were back to No. 5.
Andy Phillips, a former soccer player and member of the US. Ski Team, walked on at Utah, having never played football at any level. He made 17 of 20 field-goal attempts and all 41 PAT tries. Phillips finished with a team-leading 92 points in one season — or about nine decades of scoring in soccer years.
USU quarterback Chuckie Keeton’s season ends with a knee injury against BYU. Nobody means more to his team than Keeton.
Without informing or consulting his players first, Bronco Mendenhall announced that the players’ names would be removed from their jerseys this season and replaced with “Spirit,” “Honor,” and “Tradition.” That went over about as well as a Ute flag in Provo. Fans lit up the Internet and players weren’t happy. Mendenhall compromised and settled for one game.
Before running onto the field for the start of each series, BYU’s offense lined up on the sideline in three-point stances as if they were about to run in the Olympic 100-metre dash finals.
After losing the starting job to Riley Nelson at BYU, Jake Heaps transferred to Kansas for more playing time. By midseason, after several poor performances, Heaps was benched in favor of a true freshman and wound up sharing the job. His stats: A 49 percent completion mark, 8 TD passes, 10 interceptions. Asked about sharing the position at Kansas, Heaps said, “At the end of the day, I’m in it to win,” Heaps said. “I’m not too concerned about everything else.” Where was this guy at BYU?
The Utes refuse to play the Cougars again until 2016. Thus, BYU-Utah joins Texas-Texas A&M, West Virginia-Pitt, Kansas-Missouri, Oklahoma-Nebraska) as traditional series abandoned in the mixed-up world of college football.
The Cougars owned a 16-12 lead in the opener against Virgina with three minutes left — and elected to throw a pass on third down from their own 34-yard line on a rainy, soggy day. The pass, thrown high of the target, was deflected, intercepted and turned into the game-winning score for Virginia.
Bronco Mendenhall's stony sideline visage recalls the legendary former coach. Maybe he can resurrect the famous Edwards quote: “I’m happy; I just forgot to tell my face.”
Since being left at the altar by Smith so he could coach at Arkansas, Weber State has gone 2-9 and 2-10. Smith is coaching at Fort Lewis (4-7 this season).
Close doesn’t count in football, but if it did the Aggies would be in business. Of the 13 games they have lost in three seasons, 10 were by a touchdown or less.
Lightning might not strike in the same place twice, but on consecutive weekends BYU games were delayed by lightning storms. Is this what they mean by ball lightning?
BYU returns most of its top offensive players from a team that won eight games and lost four of them by margins of 3, 7, 10 and 10 — and has an easier schedule.