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Brad Rock: Give Bronco more time, space to figure it out

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  • Where's Stockton ??? Bowling Green, OH
    Sept. 27, 2010 9:47 a.m.

    Everyone understands that a rebuilding period is a normal occurance in an athletic program. BYU does have a lot of young talent and being a young team there obviously will be mistakes made by this young group of talented athletes. They can only be as good a team as they are coached and mentored. Coordinaters are called that because that is what they are supposed to do. But BYU is now past the half decade point in Mendenhall's BYU career. To put it bluntly... It's time for Mendenhall to either see that his coordinators step up to the plate and account for their mediocre performances the past 3 games...resolving to push them to expand their capabilities or it's time to start scouting for new and better assistant coaches. Medenhall needs to assess his coaching staff even more so than his players. Right now BYU's coaching on both sides of the ball needs a lot of attention...especially on the offense. A run oriented coach is not the best option for what obviously should be a passing team. For Robert Anae to remain at BYU he needs to study Scovil and Chow and reorient his thinking.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Sept. 25, 2010 10:56 p.m.

    Odd. If this was a Utah coach you would be claiming the game had passed him by.
    The only "time" bronco needs is more talent. In that they don't have it right now.

  • TJ2407 Springville, UT
    Sept. 25, 2010 7:11 a.m.

    3grandslams

    I would take Brian Kelly, Bob Stoops and Urben Meyer(not in that order) over Bronco. THey are all better coaches. I would even rather have JoePa come to BYU over Bronco. I do think Bronco is a very good coach and has proved he deserves to be a head coach. Hopefully they keep him because he has done a very good job. and also you are inaccurate calling Utah little brothers. BYU does have more students but Utah was started first and is there for older and little brother is a term used to describe younger siblings so really BYU is the little brother if used correctly

  • RaininTime Orem, UT
    Sept. 24, 2010 11:38 p.m.

    Ahh, Mr Rock. You know all too well that in order for you to get some reads, you must write about the Cougs.

    I have never thought Coach Mendenhall as condescending, nor too churchy or that Book of Mormon analogies are out of place. That is U thinking and people just appeasing your U bias.

    Telling BYU fans to chill for a game is suggesting we don't have tremendous confidence in our players and coach, we do. We know we will win. The two losses seem to be your excuse to twist Bronco's words into some deep-seeded, underlying program failure as if the past five years didn't happen or they happened because of luck.

    Brad, enjoy the U vs San jose State game. I played for the Spartans and will root for the Spartans, but I will be at the BYU game.

    This article is so utterly ridiculous, followed by ignorant-minded comments that I am embarrassed to have commented on it. This is the typical stuff from the 4th estate claiming unbiased professionalism with all the back-handed double-speak.
    Brad, U can't serve two masters....stay up north, pal.

  • Just Truth Saratoga Springs, UT
    Sept. 24, 2010 11:15 p.m.

    Optimist and Arizona Coug,

    Bronco does put football first with regard to his allegiance to spectators like you and me.

    But with regard to his players, every coach of college football should be like Bronco, and put their player's live's first, not football.

    If you forget that fact you end up coaching like that guy in New Mexico, forgetting your place and your position first and foremost as head of a team of college age men, and you not only end up losing respect you also ironically lose football games too.

    Being your best self off the field is not mutually exclusive from being the best you can be in football on the field. Actually quite the opposite, and I'm glad teams like BYU remind me of that again and again. Supposedly serving away from the game for two years of your life also makes you less of a football player, and yet BYU bucks that stereotype year after year; it uses maturity and poise to its advantage.

    This year most the team is new & young, a new twist for us. It takes time, but BYU puts as much time & effort into it as anyone.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Sept. 24, 2010 9:57 p.m.

    Who'se better? BYU or Utah? Until Utah wins on the field--BYU is the better!! Period!! It does'nt matter what goes on anywhere else. BYU beat Utah last year and remains superior until the utes beat them. Utah better hope the cougs are still struggling in November. When are utes going to play anybody?

    Same with TCU, until BYU can beat them on the field, TCU is the better team.

    I wonder if the utes can win a basketball game against BYU?

  • Tomahawk Red North Salt Lake, UT
    Sept. 24, 2010 9:29 p.m.

    BIG JOHN...

    I'll play along.

    Kyle has beaten BYU FIVE out of their past EIGHT meetings.

    Now tell me who's the better coach.

    You dimwit.

  • optimist Sun City, CA
    Sept. 24, 2010 9:12 p.m.

    I have a lot of the same feeling as our Arizona Coug.

    It may be gratifying to those not at all interested in football, but singled minded in the teachings of the church, but for the majority of BYU Cougar fans, we really do not want to hear from the head coach of the Mighty Cougars, that winning is not all that important.

    We do not want to hear that football is way down the line from God, Church, Family, Fireside Chats, etc before finally getting to football.

    (We all know and understand that without him preaching it to us. Football is a diversion from the lealities of life that keep many out of the mental institutions. Don't take that deversion away from us.

    What we want to learn from the coach is how he has the team ready to win the next game, be it Alabama, Oklahoma, Florida, or Utah State.

    The coach needs to let us know that Football is as important to him as it is to his fans. Also, the team needs to know this.

  • TheSpiker Alpine, UT
    Sept. 24, 2010 9:07 p.m.

    Chris B

    I appreciate your optimism with the "national championship" prediction.

    Let's recap the season thus far:

    BYU has lost two games and has struggled to find itself while playing the 5th toughest schedule in the nation.

    Utah has won 3 in a row. The problem is the combined record of their opponents is 1-8, the only win coming against powerhouse New Hampshire. Obviously your team has earned that #13 ranking. The U will likely be top 10 next week after crushing San Jose St. After all, they have one win too ... a squeaker against Southern Utah.

    You might not want to count your national championships before they hatch.

    You really make it too easy to pick on you.

    And as to your great predictions ... even a broken clock is right twice a day.

  • Max for AA Pres Midvale, Ut
    Sept. 24, 2010 8:25 p.m.


    If Bronco loses the next 2 games, resignation is expected by Holmoe.

  • Las Vegas Cougar BCS Bowl Santa Ana, CA
    Sept. 24, 2010 8:08 p.m.


    Allow me to summarize...

    1) BYU fants want to give Bronco as much time as he needs for his experiments.

    2) And as long as BYU continues its losing way, sportwriters such as Rock-on will have more interesting materials to write about. Homers like Dck Hall and Jeff Call will have harder time though to write BYU articles.

    3) As long as BYU continues its losing way and Kyle continues his winning way, people up the hill will enjoy reading DN more. Utah fans will have a hard time to manage their joys.

    It's a WIN-WIN-WIN scenario for BYU fans-Utah fans-Deseret News!!!

  • Classless Ute Fan Magna, UT
    Sept. 24, 2010 6:23 p.m.

    Cali Coug,

    You forgot that BYU fans are better at THINKING that they are better than everyone else and being humble too.


    I think that Brad has been reading too many blog posts and talking with too many "fans" at church that are being critical of 2 losses in a row.

    First, I think that Mendenhall is a good coach. Yes, I think that many of the problems of this season are on his shoulders. Even if they don't win 50% of their games, he will stay the coach. After 4 good years, 1 bad year isn't going to make him a bad coach. I actually think it will make him better, because you can learn from your mistakes. I hope I'm wrong and BYU can go 7-2 for the rest of the season. But I think that it might be optimistic to think that they will only lose to TCU and Utah. We'll see tomorrow, when they face Nevada. Good luck.

    I just love being a Ute. I hope that BYU can get their game up so the Nov 27th game will be more exciting.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    Sept. 24, 2010 5:44 p.m.

    I think that most Cougar fans will accept a loss to Nevada. If they see improvement in the team they're going to be fine. If its another blowout loss with little offense, then I don't think they are going to be fine. If they follow up next Friday by losing to Utah State then they are really really really not going to be fine.

  • Big B Bluffdale, UT
    Sept. 24, 2010 5:27 p.m.

    It's amazing to me how quickly the MEDIA criticize and editorialize against Coach Mendenhall. They often hide behind phrases like "some think","some say", as they gleefully give their own opinion.

    I expect it from fans.

    So many local "media" guys stand ready and willing to play devils advocate with everything BYU. But CELEBRATE success right along with other teams around here.

    Even your poll running with this story is slanted. There is nothing specific that your answering. you may feel it's perfectly acceptable to criticize a coach, but that doesn't mean you are critical of this year or any particular decisions.

    IT GETS OLD!

  • Creeper51 Bountiful, UT
    Sept. 24, 2010 4:58 p.m.

    I understand that BYU fans will continually bring up that 3 out of 4 but Utah has the advantage of 5 out of 8, I know think there was a span of time were Utah of 4 out of 4 very recently. But in the end Utah still holds the record by 20 games or so

  • TDS Fan Provo, UT
    Sept. 24, 2010 4:34 p.m.

    None of this makes any sense. We should be winning. After all, football is 5th on our list of priorities.

    5th baby!

  • TDS Fan Provo, UT
    Sept. 24, 2010 4:20 p.m.

    Bronko doesn't need "more time." "More time" would mean "rebuiding." We don't rebuild. We "RELOAD."

  • fresnogirl Fresno, CA
    Sept. 24, 2010 3:50 p.m.

    Dear Graceless George,

    Bronco Mendenhall "let us down" ? Since when are U one of US?! Those of US who are actual BYU grads/students/fans do not feel let down by a coach who has beat U the last 3 out of 4 years.

  • Mid-Major Cougars San Diego, CA
    Sept. 24, 2010 3:38 p.m.

    Chris B,

    If Utah keeps on winning, and gets 12-0 record at the end of the season...it will be very intereting decision for BCS to grant or not to grant Utah the NC.
    But, before then, just keeps on winning.

    On the other hand, BYU can help to make it a double-pleasure time for Utah fans if it can get a 5-7 season to go with Utah's BCS season!!!

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 24, 2010 2:47 p.m.

    byu fans are quickly realizing that byu has an average football coach, average players, and overall an average football program.

    byu and UTAH could not be farther apart right now in directions they are heading.

    Utah is continuing our rise to the very top of the national scene, with a very possible national championship game birth this year.

    byu won't even be bowling this year, and likely for the years to come there will be nothing but 6-6 and 7-5 seasons as there is a 0% chance they'll beat the texas, boise, notre dame, and other big schools coming up.

    It's a good time to be a Ute

  • Cali Coug Visalia, CA
    Sept. 24, 2010 2:17 p.m.

    It's great to be a Coug! We have one of the best schools in the US, a top flight football program, one of the best head coaches in college football, great young men and women attending the school and representing the school as student athletes.

    We beat the Yewtes at everything, and I mean everything... Even if this is the rare event in which we do lose the football game, we are still better than the Yewtes, we're better fans, better people, better friends and neighbors...we support our teams and our school regardless of the outcome.

    We are BYU and proud of it! I'm so pumped I am increaseing my donations to the school this year...come on Cougars lets open the wallets and give a little something extra to the school and celebrate our Independance Day!

  • 3grandslams Iowa City, IA
    Sept. 24, 2010 1:54 p.m.

    Bronco is a great coach if not one of the best in the nation. The only people on his case are gleeful utah fans and the media who cheer for Utah i.e. rockmonster. Rock you really said fans should chill for one more game?! I can't believe you wrote that. This whole season is a chill as these things work out. Bronco isn't proving himself he's proven!

    Nothing says more about a person when they cheer for another persons adversity. This article is so full of slants and misrepresentation it is laughable. It's so sad,very sad, with Utahs recent football success they still obsess with BYU football. You can do better little brothers.

  • ute-chute Beverly Hills, CA
    Sept. 24, 2010 1:54 p.m.

    Gracious George

    You use that word "Gracious".

    I do not beieve that it means what you think it means.

  • Gracious George West Jordan, Utah
    Sept. 24, 2010 1:24 p.m.

    BYU rocks...I hope they go 1-10!

  • Gracious George West Jordan, Utah
    Sept. 24, 2010 1:00 p.m.

    I don't believe we should stop criticizing Bronco! He has let us all down with the lack of spine and indecisiveness he displayed in not making his mind up on a quarterback.

    He let this thing drag on too long--I am not sure he even cared about choosing someone since Riley Nelson decided to suddenly get "injured" in the FSU game.

    Nelson was like Brendan Gaskins--realizing he's always going to be second fiddle, that he's just going to be second best. If he really wanted to reach his full potential and be useful he should have stayed at Utah State or gone elsewhere, like Ben Olson did.

    It's too bad that he likely will have to endure a year of his injuries to learn that lesson.

    In the meantime Bronco's overzealous diplomacy, lack of initiative in position placement, and general inconsistency in coaching philosophy are exposing this team's weaknesses very clearly.

    Let's just admit it: this team is not good, and don't be surprised when BYU ends up in a second-class bowl game at the end of the year, if one at all.

  • Cougar Cindy Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 24, 2010 12:17 p.m.

    Brad, you're reading too many newspaper articles and ain't talkin' to enough true blue fans.

    WE LOVE BRONCO because of how he represents BYU! Besides a few Cougar football couch potato armchair QB nutwings (most of them write here in these blogs) we are OKAY with losing a few, with going against conventional football wisdom when circumstances dictate it and resources allow it (2 QB's, Independence); He's hired to coach, not to be a spokesman, and we're okay with a few comments which may not satisfy the fanatics. He's a leader and,

    HEY BRONCO, WE LOVE YOU!

  • owlmaster2 Kaysville, UT
    Sept. 24, 2010 12:17 p.m.

    I agree with this article.. Bronco has, in my opinion, done a great job down south.
    The only thing I'd change is to remind him he is a football coach and not a seminary teacher.
    Get down to business and coach football.

    GO UTES!!

  • SoCalUtahFan Uteville, CA
    Sept. 24, 2010 12:04 p.m.

    Dear Rock-on,

    Obviously, you're not the expert in BYU as BYU fans would suggest --as one put it "BYU is not your program".
    BYU fans would rather get BYU updates from Dck Harmon who is the expert in BYU program, ofcourse.

  • Where's Stockton ??? Bowling Green, OH
    Sept. 24, 2010 11:59 a.m.

    Rock... the mark is being missed here. It's being way over shot. There is mediocracy among Broncho's coaching staff. It's not all player related here. Broncho also has a responisibility to his players to give them the best available support from the coaches. Right now it's time to fine tune the coaching as well as as the players. Defense has always been a consistant problem. The Burn in the backfield just will not go away until BYU is able to acquire the Corners and Safty's needed. Until that time comes...if ever... then BYU must continue to rely on an overwhelmingly potent Offense to stay ahead. Don't get me wrong...The Defense have their days...good and bad but...let's face reality. We're not Alabama and we are not in the SEC. So we don't get the Blue Chip Corners and Safety's. BYU now has probably the best dropback quaterback in the country. Albeit he's young and inexperienced, but BYU doesn't have the best in the way of an Offensive Coordination staff either. Maybe...just maybe... it's time to do something about that.

  • TheSpiker Alpine, UT
    Sept. 24, 2010 11:41 a.m.

    Thank you to all of the "Utah fans" for the comments on this article. Your concern for the BYU program is touching.

    Enjoy your chest pounding for now. Your #13 ranking is terrific and obviously well deserved. After all, the combined record of your 3 opponents is 1 win and 8 losses (the 1 win being over the powerhouse New Hampshire). After your team slaughters mighty San Jose State, I'm sure you will jump to 10. After all, they did beat Southern Utah.

    Meanwhile, we will lick our wounds. Yes, we have had our problems but we will overcome them. We have played the 5th toughest schedule in the nation thus far; but we will be just fine.

    I'm sure that the BYU administration has noted the concerns of the haters and will be evaluating Bronco based upon YOUR concerns. (hedgehog, please note the spelling of his name.)

    While you are waiting for his dismissal, feel free to go to the Utah articles and celebrate your great accomplishments this year. I'm sure a national title is just around the corner.

  • TJ Eagle Mountain, UT
    Sept. 24, 2010 11:26 a.m.

    Big John
    I couldn't agree more. The NCC (no class crew) still ooze jealousy and insecurity with their statements. According to them the Cougars continue to beat them with inferior recruits and an inferior coach. Must be painful for them talking out both sides of their mouths. Utes then must have under-achieving players and coach. It is a matter of time before BYU raises to the top with the players they have and. I'm guessing they will continue to beat the TUN 3 out of 4 times for many years to come in all major sports. I will not gloat if the Utes struggle while in the PAC12, in fact I hope they are successful. It has been fun the last half dozen years watching them reach the level BYU has been at for over 30 years. I like to remind all that the vast majority of fans of both schools have alot of class. To bad a few idiot haters have to continue to spout off their nonsense.

  • Independent Henderson, NV
    Sept. 24, 2010 11:23 a.m.

    I don't understand why people are so sensitive to everything a coach says and have to scrutinize every single comment that comes out of his mouth. It's just a game.

    Sure, BYU is struggling this year. They're a very young team, but to say this is the demise of the whole football program is a little over the top, don't you think? At least the fans don't have their hopes up anymore, and they can just enjoy the game for what it is: A game.

  • Mid-Major Cougars San Diego, CA
    Sept. 24, 2010 11:12 a.m.


    Of course, BYU fans have to say they prefer Bronco over Kyle...Kyle was the first choice but he rejected BYU --giving no choice to BYU fans

    Oh, by the way, last time Kyle rebuilt his team, he went 10-3!

  • AK Cougar Palmer, AK
    Sept. 24, 2010 10:53 a.m.

    Bronco and company will do just fine and so will all things cougar. They will have ups and downs like every other program. Does Texas, Nebraska, Ohio State, UofU, TCU and USC always win all their games? NO. Get real, perfection is not on the football field for every player, game and coach all teh time. They make mistakes, sometimes those mistakes cause their team to lose. Sometimes a players performance is exceptional on a specific called play and the players exceptional play makes for a very productive play. Sometimes that play can be the difference between winning and losing. Often the difference between two teams in this D1 level is very small. Please critics, when you line up with your cat calls to the hated team, give some credibility to the opponent.

    I invite Brad Rock to give the coach and team another pass. Brad, you have never given Bronco a pass and never will. Your media value of fair and impartial reporting is overplayed by your absolute dislike (hate) for anything BYU. I invite you to write about other sports programs and other players. BYU is not your program. Give it up.

  • truecougar Lehi, UT
    Sept. 24, 2010 10:44 a.m.

    riseandshout1984 gives a pretty good argument for trusting Bronco.

  • Veritas Aequitas Fruit Heights, UT
    Sept. 24, 2010 10:42 a.m.

    Bronco is well supported by those who need to support him.

    He is doing what they have asked of him.

    So, what is the problem.

    Like any coach, his body of work over the whole season will be evaluated and assessed.


    Bronco did not have the opportunity to open the season against a weak Pitt team at home, and UNLV, UNM and San Jose, so those comparisons are meaningless.

    The guy has shown he can win with a unique group of kids.

    This whole article is a non-issue at this point.

  • Big John Genola, UT
    Sept. 24, 2010 10:22 a.m.

    To all the Utah fans who spend all your time on BYU message boards: BYU doesn't get the athletes Utah does, right? Yet BYU beats Utah 3 out of the last 4, right? Now tell me who's the better coach . . .

  • Katoonka Spanish Fork, UT
    Sept. 24, 2010 10:17 a.m.

    Brad,

    I usually like your articles. This one felt like you were grasping at straws.

    And the ridiculous poll question:
    "Is it fair to criticize Bruce Mendenhall?"
    That makes about as much sense as:
    "Is it okay to breathe?"

    A more appropriate question might be:
    "Do you have confidence in Coach Mendenhall?"

    I'm guessing 98% of BYU's fans have full confidence in Coach Mendenhall.

  • UtahRoper Wellsville, UT
    Sept. 24, 2010 10:16 a.m.

    I really thought BYU woulkd have another 10 win season. Never expected the loss to AF. Cougar fans are having to deal with some losses at the beginning of the season, Ute fans time is coming! When the 2 teams meet in Dec., They'll both have 3-4 losses. I predict they'll both be 8-3 and that game will decide Second place in the MWC. Neither will be ranked in the top 20.

  • hedgehog Ann Arbor, MI
    Sept. 24, 2010 10:07 a.m.

    "I have never taken his comments to be arrogant"

    Hello,

    Really? I guess you’ve never heard Bronko speak (or something similar to speaking). Here are a few tidbits to chew on.

    1)He considers BYU fans “uneducated”.
    2)When asked about the BYU fans concerns about having 2 QB’s. He stated “ I really have no time or interest in what fans think”.

  • zoo_baby Logan, UT
    Sept. 24, 2010 10:06 a.m.

    @Silent Lurker who says "you don't see TCU rebuilding."

    You have forgotten 2007 when andy dalton was a freshman. TCU finished 5th in the MWC.

  • truecougar Lehi, UT
    Sept. 24, 2010 10:06 a.m.

    Bronco is an excellent coach and is the right coach for BYU. He is critical of his players in both positive and negative ways. He consistently gives his honest assessment of the situation.
    Let's not forget the program that he inherited. He completely righted the ship out of the gate. Why wouldn't he be able to do it again? Of course he can and will. Quarterback transition years have always been the most difficult years in cougar nation. I'm looking forward to the excellent years ahead and am patient enough to let the experts be the experts and get us there.

  • Johnny Triumph American Fork, UT
    Sept. 24, 2010 9:59 a.m.

    The gleeful Ute fans must be feeling extremely lucky to be ranked 15th currently, since Pitt was WAAAAY overestimated to start the season. Miami killed them, so I'd guess Utah should be somewhere between #24 and #30.

  • Johnny Ace Logan, UT
    Sept. 24, 2010 9:58 a.m.

    I feel like Bronco is at his best when he's not the center of attention. Kind of like when they say a referee is doing his job when you don't know his name. He seems like a great leader of young men and a good X's and O's guy, but he's a PR mess. Not his fault, that's just not his personality. Kyle's not exactly Mr. Warmth either, buy the way.

    Also the "if you're happy with a 50-17 record instead of a 51-17 record"....Um, yeah I'm ok with 50-17. But when did you go to the BCS? You should talk about that a little more.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 24, 2010 9:53 a.m.

    Arizona Coug,

    Unfortunately for cougar fans, you are right on.

    Bronco isn't dedicated enough to winning to go out and recruit the necessary talent to win. That is why byu will NEVER have a real Quest.

    And with the average recruits he does get, he pampers them with words like "we need better execution" instead of being a football coach and finding a way to win.

    Sorry to say it cougs - but winning won't be happening any time soon. And by winning I mean having a great season like going to a bcs game, or two, and continually winning the big non conference games.

    With byu going independent and facing the big boys of texas, ND, West Virginia, Boise.... the future for byu is a lot of 6-6.

    Get used to it.

  • Hawk Littleton, CO
    Sept. 24, 2010 9:48 a.m.

    Hmmm. As I read Rock's article (with which I agree completely), I was under the impression that he was directing the advice to BYU fans. Amazing how many ute fans jump on to bag on Bronco! Do you think anyone associated with BYU even CARES about your opinions? Wow -- the obsession of the haters continues....

  • Fully Invited Farmington, UT
    Sept. 24, 2010 9:46 a.m.

    I disagree with those who say that if Heaps was named the starter from the beginning, the Cougars would still be 1-2. I don't understand where they get that reasoning when you look at the benefits of naming a starter early. If Heaps had been the starter, the composure and confidence of the team would be far and away better than what it is now. Everyone sees it- the players were never happy with having two starters- hence being 1-2. Talent is there, strong motivation is not. It definitely created a locker room division and then when asked about it in the media, the players did what they are supposed to do and showed support to protect an image of confidence in the program. Bronco Mendenhall is a fantastic coach, but not a perfect one. This was a mistake, but BYU will bounce back from this next year (hopefully) and be the cougars we are familiar with. I cannot see a recovery from this until next year, however. I predict a 7-5 season. Sorry Cougars. Better luck in independence. GO Utes!!!

  • Madden Herriman, UT
    Sept. 24, 2010 9:42 a.m.

    Wow, 3 games in and we forget all the past seasons? Almost all BYU fans I know expected a rough season. Very few teams truly reload for 4+ years in a row. This is college not the NFL, and the rotation of players is one reason it is so great!

    For those who continue to talk about how Boise or TCU or Utah continue to reload...are you nuts? These programs are GREAT right now, and have been for a few years. Thy have also proven little in the ability to run an excellent program across decades.

    BYU will be fine - not every year will be a 10-win season. It is true for BYU and almost every program across the country.

  • Hellooo Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 24, 2010 9:36 a.m.

    Of course Bronco should be given more time as he has been a very successful coach at BYU. I have never taken his comments to be arrogant, but I have seen the media misunderstand his comments. Guess that is to be expected given the media's need to find controversy to drive readership. Anyway, except for Hill this is very young coaching staff, and they have made some mistakes, the biggest being their assessment of the talent on this team, and the thought that you can be a top football team in 2010 play bend don't break defense. The defense or lack thereof has been the Achilles heal of the program forever. This most real football fans love watching Utah play because the defense hits, and hits and hits.

  • Anonymous Infinity American Fork, UT
    Sept. 24, 2010 9:34 a.m.

    BYU is now the Air Force Academy, Naval Academy and the Army Academy of the mountain west in terms of entrance requirements and standards to remain in school.

  • fresnogirl Fresno, CA
    Sept. 24, 2010 9:30 a.m.

    I love all the conspiracy theories being circulated as fact about the Coach by the Ute "fans" in the last couple of days on the D.N. comment boards. According to some Utes, Nelson getting injured is all some huge, elaborate hoax. Another suggested that Coach Mendenhall actually played him so he WOULD get hurt. Yet another stated (without giving any sort of evidence, of course) that Coach Mendenhall wouldn't have benched Chambers if Chambers were a star player. This Ute then "knowingly" stated that Bronco knew of Harvey Unga's honor code violations but chose to look the other way. Again no evidence was proffered.

    I think it is ridiculous that these boards are being "monitored" and yet these individuals are allowed to malign a good man's character with rumors and lies. Just because someone can type, doesn't mean they should be allowed to abuse this forum. Coach Mendenhall is a football coach. His ability as a coach can be judged by his record for the last five years. I agree with DEW Cougars. I have been a BYU grad/fan for some time now and have seen rebuilding years. Bronco is doing fine.

  • Anonymous Infinity American Fork, UT
    Sept. 24, 2010 9:30 a.m.

    What we are seeing is the real Coach Mendenhall recruiting classes come to the fore. In this modern age of football recruiting, it is evident what is going on at BYU. The university standards have caught up to the sports program. It takes thugs to win in football, and clearly BYU is at a serious disadvantage when it comes keeping even the minor thugs they can get past the requirements to remain in school. Chambers is just the latest case. The Utes and other schools have a definite advantage in being able to keep athletes on the fields and courts. This is another reasib why the Y is now independent. But if they insist on scheduling teams they cannot begin to be on a par with in terms of athletes, they will take their lumps. This is very upsetting to us fans. But it is totally unfair and unrealistic to put the blame for lack of wins on the coaches and administration. It is what it is.....and we live with it. Moral values versus big time athletes going to other programs is the tradeoff. The sports reporters and commentators ought to be unfront with their rhetoric.

    Go Cougars!!

  • Arizona Coug Queen Creek, Arizona
    Sept. 24, 2010 9:27 a.m.

    Although I have taken a lot of grief for it in my house, I have always had a difficult time with Bronco. I have had a few chances to listen to him speak and meet him in person and as crazy as it sounds, I walked away each time feeling like this guy is not totally dedicated to football. He always seems to focus on how many other important things there are than football (which of course there are), but he is a football coach! He is paid a million dollars a year to win football games. If the goal is to provide the church exposure, you can't do that when you are not even ranked!

    BYU fans are just tired of being on the outside looking in. I am tired of protests about the BCS and independence and then immediately get destroyed in the next game. It is embarassing. Just win. That is what the fans want. As great as firesides and "quests" are, just win. And by win, I mean win the big ones. Independence will be interesting. BYU will go to the next level or will fall deep into mediocrity. Just win baby!

  • hedgehog Ann Arbor, MI
    Sept. 24, 2010 8:56 a.m.

    When you have lesser talent and lose bad — it’s all on the coach.

    I agree that after a few “10 win season” a head coach should have it “figured out”.

    The reality is that the wheels or irrelevance have been in motion for several years. Typical BYU recruits ( non athletic, one dimensional) are performing … well… typical.

    The difference is with the coach. Can he make average players better? Do the players believe in Bronko as a leader?

    Should anyone have expected anything different from a 3rd choice head coach?

  • johnbrownlaw saratoga springs, ut
    Sept. 24, 2010 8:48 a.m.

    Stop getting carried away, everyone. Remember 2002-2004? We couldn't even muster a winning season. How about Bronco's first year and John beck's Junior year? 6 - 6. Sure Max hall's Sophmore year we had 10 wins and won a conference championship, but we had more than just Max Hall that year. Remember 4th and 18? Who caught that pass? Austin Collie. Two years later he is catching passes from Peyton Manning.

    I think we are going to go 8-4 or 7-5, but even if we only went 6-6, things could be a lot worse. Bronco has done and is doing an amazing job. We will be better next year and even better the next.

    Oh, and think about this: Lavell had a losing season his second year at BYU, and it took him 8 years to win 10 games. He never won ten games 4 years in a row, and even though he won 10 conference championships in a row, his teams won the conference 4 times with at least 2 losses.

    Every coach has their ups and downs, and every team needs to rebuild. Don't worry, BYU will be back.

  • Bugoff Houston, TX
    Sept. 24, 2010 8:35 a.m.

    There is one fundamental problem that is philosophical and it does not solve easily.

    Riley Nelson is a "fierce competitor". The coaches recite that mantra over and over. They over weighed that variable, knowing Nelson was (and probably would remain) deficient in throwing. They knew Riley could not and should not be the primary QB because he was the wrong style of QB but insisted on giving him equal time because it fit their biases and their desired culture.

    If BYU is EVER going to become elite it has to recruit and develop enough talent. It can't rely on a few great players and competition among average players. That has worked to produce good regular seasons but not elite results.

    BYU had a great recruiting season. That is why so many freshman are playing.

    There has to be adjustment in the culture for the development of talent and recruiting more talent.

    This year is part of that transition. The development of talent has to get more weight.

    You can be a "great competitor" but if you don't have enough talent to execute the position properly you should not be the starter.

    Broaden the recruiting beyond Utah.


  • Silent Lurker Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 24, 2010 8:33 a.m.

    Bronco has had five years to develop players, he should have had some players ready to step in and play this year. Good programs don't rebuild they reload. You don't see TCU in rebuilding mode. Every year, BYU claims to have one of the best recruiting classes, so where are the recruits from those past classes? Even with missions, there should be players ready to come in step up and play. Should Bronco be criticized? YES!

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    Sept. 24, 2010 8:07 a.m.

    I think Bronco has been successful enough that Cougar fans will in fact give him more time and space to figure things out. Unless of course he loses to Utah State on Conference Weekend; in that case there will be riots in the streets of Provo.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Sept. 24, 2010 8:04 a.m.

    oh and by the way there is no way the Y is going 8-4 this year. I think perhaps reversing that to 4-8 is more realistic. This may be the worst offense BYU has had in 35 years.

  • Cosmo Springville, UT
    Sept. 24, 2010 7:58 a.m.

    Bronco has had and will continue to have the complete and undivided support of this unquenchable BYU fan!

    He's had a great run, thus far, with the Cougars and will continue to perform excellently, of that I have no doubt. It is simply not fair to expect a team to win every game, every season -- Especially one that has the ebbs and tides of missionaries like BYU does.

    You're doing great Bronco!

    Gooooo Cougars!!

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Sept. 24, 2010 7:54 a.m.

    How much more time does he need? He's had a few 10-win seasons. He already has it figured out.
    Their problem is that when he had 10 win seasons he had the benefit of their best WR, RB and TE in history, along with one of the best LB in their history.
    In terms of talent, they're back to the more typical byu type of player. Does anyone really think Chambers is anywhere near Collie or the Hauge is anywhere near Unga?
    It remains to be seen if talent will improve.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Sept. 24, 2010 7:51 a.m.

    I think BYU fans will get a reality check this saturday after they play lowely Nevada...a team that has never been in the top 50 before let alone the top 20. Follow that with USU at Logan and then let's talk. I fully expect the Y to lose to both Nevada and Utah State and then you will get the real gut check. Y fans have watched the U become a nationally recognzied football power and graduate to the Pac10 while the Y was left out in the cold. Form year to year the U simply gets better athletes than the Y - no question. The U defense is good every single year and has players in the NFL to prove it. The Y defense is one of the worst in the conference and that is consistant. Bronco doesn't get the kind of athletes that Kyle gets on defense ..not even close. Is that Bronco's fault? Yes but I think his hands are tied somewhat with who he is allowed to recruit. Offensively BYU reloads ... but it will take maybe 2 - 3 more years to see another top 20 offense in Provo. Reality check!!

  • VictorVonTrap Draper, UT
    Sept. 24, 2010 7:49 a.m.

    I think assessing Bronco's coaching abilities or effectiveness has nothing to do with being a BYU or Utah fan. Or a Yankees or Dodgers fan for that matter. What Mendenhall has done with the QB situtation is nothing new in the ranks of college or professional football. It's commonly reffered to as indicision.

    Many coaches have gone back and forth between one player or another waiting to see if either player will take away any ambiguities about who should start. Again, making a coach's decision.

    What fans, arch rivals, or casual observers may notice about Mendenhall are certain abilities or lack thereof. Maybe Bronco isn't skilled or experienced at building a team. Maybe his skills lay in operations where a team is up and running. All of the players are already in place. Different skill sets, talents, and leadership styles and skills vary from coach to coach. Bronco is a good coach. It may be that his talents are not matched with where the Y is heading. Perhaps a change at the Y's helm would benefit Bronco and the team. It is easier to fire a coach than muddle through a season of indecision.

  • SportzFan Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 24, 2010 7:40 a.m.

    BYU has a ton of inexperienced players, at nearly every position. Who is responsible for that, if not the coaches?

    They control substitutions and they are responsible for seeing younger players get some reps, especially in blowouts. The only positions where this is problematic are offensive lineman and QB

    They recruit and they are responsible for how many scholarships are given out and when. If they have a huge abundance of inexperienced freshman, it is no one's fault but the coaching staff.

    Inexperience can be filled in with JC talent, as LaVell did many times, and as Utah has done with their left tackle. Sarkisian comes to mind, Jason Buck -- two All Americans, one an Outland Trophy winner. Hold a few scholarships open from time to time.

  • IDC Boise, ID
    Sept. 24, 2010 7:17 a.m.

    I'm not worried. This season may continue to be difficult but I see enough in my Cougs to believe things will be just fine. Bronco is a great coach for BYU. Heaps will develop and the rest of the offense will follow. The defense will get a break and will be fine. BYU has a tough schedule to start and will be tough to finish. I have hope for this year and even more for next.

    Go Cougars!

  • Lone Star Cougar Plano, TX
    Sept. 24, 2010 7:06 a.m.

    Everyone keeps talking about the offense. I think the offense will improve now that we have a main QB. But it is the defense that has me worried.

  • SoCalUtahFan Uteville, CA
    Sept. 24, 2010 6:57 a.m.

    Is it fair to criticize Bronco Mendenhall?

    1) Yes for trying to re-invent the wheel with the 2-QB experiment --it has not worked in football college so it would not work in Provo

    2) No if you (like me) did not believe all the hypes before the season --things like Nissan 300ZX speed receivers, etc

    3) No if you are happy with 50-17 (no BCS) and don't compare it with 51-17 (+ 1 BCS win)

    4) No if you're content with being mid-major football team

  • Commontater Lehi, UT
    Sept. 24, 2010 6:04 a.m.

    I'm confident Bronco is just fine. He has been around the block several times before now. I believe his biggest challenge is how to be politically correct in telling the world, media, and fans that the program is on a firm foundation and that he really doesn't care what they think.

    For whatever reason it is a difficult stretch for most to realize that football is still number four or five on the priority list at BYU. There is a lot more at play than a brown ball with white stripes on either end.

    Get over it and enjoy the entertainment. If you can't get over yourselves, go be a fan of another sport or program. There are plenty of empty seats and season tickets available everywhere else in the Mountain West.

    Win or loose the game Saturday will be a fun one to enjoy. I'm sure there will be real fans that attend from both teams that understand the entertainment value and will enjoy the experience.

    I'm sure Bronco wishes he could be Jim McMahon right now. He could, but won't because of what he has become.

    GO COUGARS, GO BRONCO!

  • Steven S Jarvis Orem, UT
    Sept. 24, 2010 5:51 a.m.

    Most pushing the "panic button" are over jealous Anti-BYU fans rejoicing. It is a rebuilding year and one that most of the games have yet to be played.

    BYU is still going to win most of its remaining games this season. TCU is the only game I expect BYU to not compete in. They should be fine in all the rest. WCS is 8-4 and losing to Utah.

  • DEW Cougars Sandy, UT
    Sept. 24, 2010 12:20 a.m.

    Brad, I am not feeling blue about my cougars not going right. I knew along this will be a rebuilding year. If we win this Sat. then that is good for me. If we lose then will try again next week Friday. Bronco is doing fine.

  • cowboy99 South Jordan, UT
    Sept. 24, 2010 12:08 a.m.

    Even when experiencing up Max Hall, BYU still managed a conference championship.

  • Bugoff Houston, TX
    Sept. 23, 2010 11:05 p.m.

    It took time for Pitta and George time to develop. It took time for Hall to develop (even then he still forced a lot of TOs. Beck and even Young got off to a slow start.

    Unga and Collie were faster developers but still it took time for them to bloom. Tonga was pretty much unsung but he was a lot better than most realized.

    It looks a bit bleak right now. Mostly because the offense is not working. At least one TE will emerge pretty soon. Kariya should begin playing much better.

    I expect the timing to improve a lot. I think that Nelson's tendency to run instead of stay with the play altered the timing and intensity of the RBs and WRs on pass plays. Nobody knew what was likely to happen on any given play and had to switch from the pass route to run blocking in mid play.

    Heaps should be learning how to avoid sacks and the OL will have a decent feel for where Heaps is. With Nelson they never knew for sure what to do once the play started.

    If the offense rights it's self, the defense will pick up.