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Blue roundup: Pundits weigh in on BYU's future

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  • LEDSFW Las Vegas, NV
    July 18, 2011 9:56 a.m.

    Check w/Reality.
    BYU has won more games in the past 35 years than all but 9 other FBS programs.
    BYU plays in the 35th largest OC stadium in the country and last year, without selling out in a mediocre season still ranked 27th in total fan support, larger than 41 BCS level programs.
    BYU was selling out 45,000 seat Cougar Stadium regularly from 1976-1981,back when a guy named Gifford Neilson was tossing pigskins around in Provo...
    Utah has yet to sell out 45,600 seat RES for three consecutive seasons...ever.
    BYU has been averaging close to 64,000 fans a game since then.
    BYU first appeared on ESPN in 1984, which was in fact ESPN's first ever national regular season broadcast of an NCAA football game...ever.
    BYU isn't watched by millions of Mormons. It is watched by millions of football fans, mainly because it's fun to watch.
    BYU owns a National Championship, a Heisman, Two Outlands, 4 Davy O'brian Awards (no other school has won more than three), a Doak Walker winner.

    Knock on BYU.
    It hasn't been to a BCS Bowl. Big deal!

    Those are the realities.

  • LEDSFW Las Vegas, NV
    July 18, 2011 9:28 a.m.

    AP Poll does occasionally go to a different champion from the BCS. But in 1984, the coach's poll did go to BYU also, along with the Helms Foundation.

  • LEDSFW Las Vegas, NV
    July 18, 2011 9:23 a.m.

    Hey Hedgehog - Tell us when Michigan hires a coach that has actually defeated BYU.

    ;)

  • LEDSFW Las Vegas, NV
    July 18, 2011 9:21 a.m.

    Leave it to the "below average" to tell BYU to aim for the middle (LOL).
    When will this guy go back to Michigan? Can't be soon enough.

  • Wildcat O-town, UT
    July 16, 2011 10:15 p.m.

    @CougFaninTX

    Yeah, I would think the MWC would not want to bring them back since they left them, but the fact that BYU is a good program may make them swallow their pride. I heard rumors that the WAC was trying to steal away SDSU, UNLV and Air Force, but the MWC was quicker to the punch in taking Nevada and Fresno State. That's too bad, I think a strong WAC would have been ideal. I don't know if these teams will want to jump ship in the future; you never know.

    I just have a hard time seeing the Big 12 taking BYU. They play basketball and championships on Sunday, and I have a tough time seeing them change their rule. I would see the Big East football only more likely, but the geographic location thing is a stretch with TCU to begin with.

    If the NCAA finally goes to a playoff, BYU might want to rejoin the MWC because I am sure all conference champions will get an automatic invite, and it would be tougher to get an at large as an independent. We will have to see. I still think USU and SJSU go the MWC eventually.

  • crowntown1 Corona, CA
    July 16, 2011 8:55 p.m.

    Well fellow posters this wil be my last comment on the D news. I must say it's been a pleasure debating back with you BYU and Utah fans over the last year or two. May both your teams thrive and maybe someday your team will suit up against the Might Trojans in the PAC 12 Championship or NC. God Speed! . . . I'm out! Oh and Utah you might wanna play zone against THEE Robert Woods!

  • CougFaninTX Frisco, TX
    July 16, 2011 8:27 p.m.

    @Wildcat
    "a loss in conference to a quality opponent could be overlooked."

    You are right. UConn proved that even an 8-4 team can make it to a BCS bowl. What a disgrace since the BCS pretends that the most elite teams are playing in the BCS bowls. There were 40 teams who were more deserving of playing in a "Top Tier Bowl" last year. Proving that just because a team makes it to a BCS bowl doesn't necessarily mean they are really that good. At least the BCS should add a condition that the Conference automatic qualifier must be ranked in the Top 25.

    @Wildcat
    "I predict BYU trying to get back to the MWC in 3-5 years."

    It will never happen. The bridge is burned. I think Independence will work out just fine, but if it doesn't . . . there's a chance the Big 12 could come calling, I believe the Big East would take BYU as a football only (even though the rumors were denied, there was some truth there), or BYU would rejoin the WAC before they would go the the MWC. Or they could pull schools from the WAC and MWC and start a new conference.

  • Snack PAC Olympus Cove, Utah
    July 16, 2011 2:42 p.m.

    hedgehog

    Nice dodge; but since you're the blogger who's always so obsessed with stars, why don't you try answering the question:

    "So how do you expect Utah to ever legitimately compete for a PAC 12 title if other PAC 12 teams are loaded with a lot more four/five star players?"

    Or are you ready to finally admit that stars next to a players name on some recruiting site really aren't as big a deal as you would like everyone to believe.

  • hedgehog Ann Arbor, MI
    July 16, 2011 1:32 p.m.

    "So how do you expect Utah to ever legitimately compete for a PAC 12 title?"

    Lie Machine,

    Dude, the difference is kewg fans predict National Championships that in all practical purposes could never happen....even with an undefeated season. Utah fans talk about the chance to win the PAC South and play for the chance to get into the rose bowl. Big difference.

    BYU would need to defeat elite BCS programs (on the road) win every home game and pray that every BCS team has atleast two loses (mabye three).

    Utah need only to have a better conference record than CO. AS. AS. St and UCLA....four teams. Do that and they play for a BCS Bowl.

  • Truth Machine Salt Lake City, UT
    July 16, 2011 11:46 a.m.

    hedgy

    "You do realize ND has over 60 four/five star players on their team?"

    And guaranteed, USC, UCLA, Oregon, and Stanford will always have dozens more four/five star players than Utah.

    So how do you expect Utah to ever legitimately compete for a PAC 12 title?

    With a special ND BCS rule, the Irish have played in THREE BCS bowls and reaped the cash rewards. And cash rewards, as we've seen from the posts of the vast majority of Utah bloggers is what the BCS is all about anyway.

  • hedgehog Ann Arbor, MI
    July 16, 2011 11:18 a.m.

    "4. Recruiting. Not very many top recruits are going to want to go to BYU due to Honor Code."

    1- 5-star QB Jake Heaps
    2- 4-star Texas HS WR Ross Apo
    3- 4-star RB Joshua "Juice" Quezada
    4- Former USC player Uona Keivenga"

    I'm sure kids like these would never come to BYU.
    Recommend "

    Cougar indy,
    hmmm, you listes four players....

    You do realize ND has over 60 four/five star players on their team? Even with special indepentent "rules" they've yet to win a BCS game.

    And you want to talk National Championships?

  • LonestarRunner Salt Lake City, UT
    July 16, 2011 10:32 a.m.

    Texas has opposed a CCG in the past, but when the ACC, SEC, Big Ten and PAC 12 are all playing CCGs and raking in the cash this November, and the Big 12 is sitting on the sidelines feeling left out of all of the hype, it wouldn't be surprising to see the Big 12 have a change of heart and want to be part of the action again.

    What would really put pressure on the Big 12 is seeing Nebraska playing in the Big Ten CCG and parlaying a win into a BCS championship game matchup against an SEC team, with an undefeated or one-loss Texas or Oklahoma being left out of the mix.

  • Moderate Salt Lake City, UT
    July 16, 2011 10:01 a.m.

    "Big12 Conference Championship game in Jerry's house."

    That would be sweet. Texas and OU hate the CCG because it gave other teams (KSU) a lucky shot to steal the title. Fans hated the CCG because most often it was played at Arrowhead Stadium. In December. At night. Horrible, horrible, idea.

    Now if Jerry can lure Arkansas out of the SEC... but then again, if you're not a Razorback fan, that "call the hogs" thing is way annoying.

  • CougFaninTX Frisco, TX
    July 16, 2011 8:58 a.m.

    @Moderate
    "I like the idea of expanding to include the Cotton Bowl played at Jerry's house. I think Mr Jones has the facility and the money to pull that off."

    Significant pressure is already being put on the BCS and Big12 to make this happen. The Big12 had a contract with Jerry to play the Big12 Conference Championship game in Jerry's house. Now with only 10 teams, that game won't happen. Jerry will forgive the Big 12 contract breach if he gets a BCS game. If not, he will look to collect millions from the Big 12 for breach of contract which could leave the conference reeling.

  • TrueBlue Orem, UT
    July 16, 2011 8:53 a.m.

    Moderate

    "Boise State was on ESPN last year. They finished with one loss and a number 10 ranking, yet they did not get a BCS bid."

    BSU didn't make it to a BCS bowl last year, but ESPN did demonstrate its ability to shuffle bowl lineups by arranging the BSU - Utah matchup in the Las Vegas Bowl.

    Also, BSU was only part of a conference contract with ESPN, not quite as close of an arrangement as the partnership BYU and ESPN have created. ESPN is heavily involved in helping BYU schedule big name opponents.

    ESPN owns seven bowl games and broadcast 29 of the 33 bowl games last season. If BYU has a successful season and ESPN feels that BYU would be an attractive team in a BCS bowl, it wouldn't be at all surprising that ESPN would use its influence behind the scenes to ensure that BYU is invited as an at-large team to one of the BCS bowls.

  • Moderate Salt Lake City, UT
    July 16, 2011 8:41 a.m.

    RE: Bugoff
    We're on the same page on many thoughts.

    There is national interest in BYU going football independent. It is the right move for them, and people want to see them succeed at it, not just "play well, and hope to get picked up by an AQ conference".

    Will be interesting to see what BCS does about BYU qualification. Easy fix is to lump them in with the non-AQ confs (MWC, WAC, etc). I don't see them getting a Notre Dame rule, because the BCS should address all current and future independent schools. The nightmare scenario under current rules is BYU having an undefeated season, but still getting passed over by the BCS.

    I like the idea of expanding to include the Cotton Bowl played at Jerry's house. I think Mr Jones has the facility and the money to pull that off. The Cotton Bowl was one of the premier bowls before the BCS. That would be 12 BCS slots, and one could almost start sneaking in a playoffs...

  • Cougar_Independence OMAHA, NE
    July 16, 2011 7:38 a.m.

    @classless ute fan

    "4. Recruiting. Not very many top recruits are going to want to go to BYU due to Honor Code."

    1- 5-star QB Jake Heaps
    2- 4-star Texas HS WR Ross Apo
    3- 4-star RB Joshua "Juice" Quezada
    4- Former USC player Uona Keivenga

    I'm sure kids like these would never come to BYU.

  • sammyg Springville, UT
    July 16, 2011 6:57 a.m.

    @hedgehag

    "...reality is not part of the bYu mindset....never has been... It's almost like if you pray hard enough it will come true."

    Reality is not part of the Ute mindset... It's almost like losing to big teams 7-47, 3-28 and 3-26 in 2010 and expecting to play in the Rose Bowl in January 2012.

  • Bugoff Houston, TX
    July 16, 2011 1:37 a.m.

    TCU will have just as hard of time getting into the NC game from the Big East as they did from the MTN. The perceived SOS is not going to be any better from the Big East even if it is a BCS conf.

    TCU will have a much easier time getting into a BCS bowl.

    The same is true for Utah. However Utah will have a harder time getting into a NC game mainly because their schedule is going to be somewhat harder.

    Since BYU could not go undefeated in the MTN with the talent they had, the increased exposure of independence is worth much more to them than conf access to a BCS bowl.

    BYU was not likely to get the talent needed to make a BCS bowl while in the obscurity of the MTN.

    It was time for BYU to move past the Intermountain region and become a true national power.

    I am not convinced that Big 12 inclusion is worth more than independence to BYU. How likely is BYU to go undefeated if they have to play TX, A&M, OK and OKST most every year?

    BYU can dial back some with independence if needed.

  • Bugoff Houston, TX
    July 16, 2011 12:29 a.m.

    Moderate

    Your points are well taken. My position is somewhat in the middle. Being on ESPN will help BYU extensively. Getting to a BCS bowl as an independent is more difficult in ways than being in a non BCS conf (technically). However, the affiliation with ESPN will help. Nothing is automatic.

    If BYU had stayed in the MTN and Utah and TCU had left, BYU would still have to compete with BSU for the conf. BYU is still playing Utah and TCU (and BSU in the future). If BYU can't beat them then BYU will probably not sniff the BCS.

    However, with out independence BYU would never be able to get the athletes who are required to make a BSC run. BYU's NC was won on the backs of good non LDS athletes (as well as a core of LDS ones). The Church is bigger now but BYU still does not get some of the very best LDS athletes nor enough great non LDS ones.

    Independence is the only way BYU will ever get the talent it has to have to compete.

    I think the BCS will modify its rules. ESPN could facilitate that a bit.

  • Moderate Salt Lake City, UT
    July 15, 2011 10:15 p.m.

    RE: Bugoff
    Ute fans are not ignoring the ESPN relationship. Cougar fans are putting too much in to it. Are you implying that because ESPN has broadcast rights to the big bowl games, they have influence on who plays in those games??

    Being on ESPN will help BYU in ways that being on The Mtn could not. True.

    But remember that MANY teams are on ESPN, not just BYU. In November, local fans will switch to ESPN2 to watch Idaho and NMSU, but national fans won't. They'll pick an SEC game on CBS, a Big 12 game on ABC, or "the good game" on ESPN1.

    Boise State was on ESPN last year. They finished with one loss and a number 10 ranking, yet they did not get a BCS bid. Being on ESPN does not give the Cougars a free pass. As an independent, it is harder for them to earn a BCS bid than if they stayed in the MWC. Its tough. You have to earn the bid on the field. You don't earn it because you're on TV.

  • SLC BYU Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    July 15, 2011 9:34 p.m.

    @Bugoff:

    If the numbers on ESPN are what they think they will be for BYU will likely see them invited to the Big-12 before 2014...especially if Texas likes them.

  • deductive reasoning Arlington, VA
    July 15, 2011 8:16 p.m.

    "Penn State has one of largest alumi bases and a storied football tradition in the Nation."

    And Penn State was shut out of a national championship with several undefeated seasons. Proof that being undefeated isn't the only factor in winning a national championship.

  • Bugoff Houston, TX
    July 15, 2011 7:59 p.m.

    The BCS is under strain and will be forced to modify its rules. Further, it is likely to expand and add a Bowl in the new Jerry Dome.

    BYU's relationship with ESPN is being ignored by Utah fans.

    ESPN will will televise all BCS championship games from January 2011 through January 2014.

    Further, ESPN has exclusive television, radio, digital, international and marketing rights for the Fiesta, Orange and Sugar Bowls from 2011-2014.

    I suspect that IF BYU can do well in 2011-2014 they will get favorable consideration for a BCS bowl.

    The ESPN tie in makes a BYU BCS bid much easier than the Utes are making out.

    ESPN will build interest in BYU all year long and have a vested interest in having BYU in a BCS bowl.

    Even a close loss may be over looked in a decent schedule.

    Two losses would be too many I suspect.

    Maybe (I doubt it) but BYU could meet Utah in the Rose bowl some day (LOL).

  • Bugoff Houston, TX
    July 15, 2011 7:39 p.m.

    Being on TV makes a huge difference for BYU. It dramatically improves their recruiting.

    The difference between being buried on the MTN and being on ESPN/BYUTV is like a different universe. It helps both LDS and especially non LDS recruiting.

    MI being on TV does not improve their recruiting as it is already maxed.

    The MTN was a boat anchor around BYU's neck. ESPN is much more of a partnership that has mutual benefits. The MTN did not benefit BYU.

  • hedgehog Ann Arbor, MI
    July 15, 2011 6:10 p.m.

    "Penn State ended up joining a conference because it was not beneficial."

    Wildcat,

    Good point. Penn State has one of largest alumi bases and a storied football tradition in the Nation. They chose to join an elite conference only a couple years after winning the National Championship (before the BCS). The administration saw the writting on the wall when the BCS was formed and made the prudent decision to accept the invite from the BIG10.

    Significant finacial overtures are being offered to ND to join the BIG10 and a few power plays if the don't....including elimiating the ability to play BIG10 opponents.

    Like Penn state, I suspect ND will follow suite and join the BIG10 within the next five years.

  • Cosmo's Cousin Holladay, UT
    July 15, 2011 5:50 p.m.

    Like Coach Bronco said this week, BYU is on a quest.

    Mark this one down. The Blue WILL win a national championship in the next few years with Sir Jake leading the team.

    With all the televised games on national TV, the BCS won't be able to deny us -- no way no how! -- if we have an undefeated season or even a 1 loss season.

  • Wildcat O-town, UT
    July 15, 2011 4:48 p.m.

    @True Blue and Ravenal,

    Thanks for responding. I have just looked at past teams and their experience. I know every situation is different, and it might make a little more sense with BYU, but USU went independent a few years ago (my dad's a fan) and it really was lame, so lame they joined the Sun Belt. Scheduling difficulties was a big issue as conference teams didn't have later dates open, bigger schools want a 2 for 1 setup or just to schedule you at their home.

    Yeah, I know BYU has better money and facilities so that they are better fitted to handle costs and get exposure which should help scheduling but even Notre Dame has the fillers. Penn State ended up joining a conference because it was not beneficial. Notre Dame other than the one-year BCS has been mired in mediocrity. I think it will hurt recruiting. The MTN is terrible, but the overall strength of a conference might be worth enduring it.

    Hope it works out, and I hope they just get a playoff. That's the beauty of I-AA football, no controversy or politics, it's settled on the field. Have a nice day.

  • Dave S Holladay, UT
    July 15, 2011 4:28 p.m.

    Bottom line is you are still a non AQ school and will continue to be mired in mediocrity for years to come.

  • Captain L Provo, UT
    July 15, 2011 3:26 p.m.

    Like I said earlier, I prefer staying independent.

  • phoenix Gilbert, AZ
    July 15, 2011 3:22 p.m.

    I Still Can't Say It

    "ESPN will now dictate its every move when it comes to football and football scheduling."

    Hardly. BYU and ESPN have a very good working relationship and BYU is free to turn down any offer that ESPN presents. Lots of teams want to play BYU, but Holmoe is being very careful not to overschedule.

    BYU will undoubtedly take some lumps along the way, but a team that has been a perennial Top 25 program for the last 34 years isn't suddenly going to take a nose-dive into the abyss. BYU survived the Crowton and returned very quickly to being a Top 25 program.

  • I Still Can't Say It Holladay, UT
    July 15, 2011 2:54 p.m.

    The truth is the team in Provo is hardly independent. It's just traded one master for another when it said goodbye to the MWC. ESPN will now dictate its every move when it comes to football and football scheduling.

    In other words, team in Provo will need to win and win big -- or ESPN will lose interest fast -- and everything will come crashing down in Utah County.

  • Ravenal Somewhere in, Utah
    July 15, 2011 2:05 p.m.

    Wildcat
    "I just want to ask BYU fans a question. Would you rather be independent, or would your rather be in the Big 12 or Pac 12?"

    ----------------------
    To be honest, I think you would find the cougar fan base split. Both options have their pros and cons but I'm all for independence and am excited for the season to start. I hope BYU and Utah BOTH do extremely well.

  • TrueBlue Orem, UT
    July 15, 2011 2:02 p.m.

    Wildcat

    ESPN is better than the MTN, which is the main reason BYU left to MWC to go Independent. How that move compares to being in the PAC 12 is irrelevant because BYU wasn't given that option.

    You can predict all you want to, but BYU has zero interest in ever returning to the MTN or the Las Vegas Invitational.

    The money is only a small consideration. Nearly unlimited access to BYU sports for BYU fans throughout the world and vastly improved national exposure, will keep BYU independent until the Big 12 comes calling or the major college football landscape changes and a playoff is instituted.

    btw, BYU was getting about $1.3m per year from the MWC for all BYU sports combined.

    BYU is getting $1m to $2.5m per football game as an Independent. Why would BYU even consider giving up its partnership with ESPN to return to the MTN?

  • Wildcat O-town, UT
    July 15, 2011 1:29 p.m.

    I just want to ask BYU fans a question. Would you rather be independent, or would your rather be in the Big 12 or Pac 12? If you would rather be in a big conference, then you have to admit you have a little envy about the U of U.

    Good luck on your independence, it will be hard. If BYU loses one game, BCS hopes are over, whereas a loss in conference to a quality opponent could be overlooked. I am sure the schedule will be better in the future, but it will be tough not having the goal of winning a conference if the overall championship dream goes away early with a loss, and the back half is not really thrilling this year. I know the money will be better, but I don't know if it will be better than staying in the MWC. I predict BYU trying to get back to the MWC in 3-5 years.

    Good luck, and Weber State will beat up on Idaho State for you the week before they come down to Provo!

  • BlueCoug Orem, UT
    July 15, 2011 1:24 p.m.

    "And just like "magic" the winning will begin on ESPN?"

    It did in 1984 hedgehog -- September 1st, 1984, BYU at Pittsburgh was the FIRST nationally televised college football game on ESPN!

    Four months later, BYU was selected concensus national champions by all five major college football selecting organizations.

  • Alex 1 Tucson, AZ
    July 15, 2011 1:23 p.m.

    Hey hedgehog,

    I wish I had a day off to come and visit you down there in Ann Arbor. I am currently in the UP for my job near Marquette. It would be cool to be able to put a face to the name of the most outspoken BYU sports troll. Think of it, we could get a photo of two polar opposites shaking hands, both of us smiling. Me, the shameless BYU shill, and you, the the ever-present, faithfully adverse BYU troll. I could then send out a link to the photo so everyone can see.

  • SportsFan Orem, UT
    July 15, 2011 1:11 p.m.

    @hedgehog

    "And just like "magic" the winning will begin on ESPN?"

    That makes as much sense as the Utes suddenly starting to win conference championships now that they've moved from the MWC to the PAC!!!

    You do realize, don't you, that Utah has only won SIX conference championships in the last SIXTY YEARS, and that Kyle has only won ONE conference title in six years in the supposedly much weaker MWC???

    But now, suddenly, the Utes are going to be perennial conference title contenders in a much stronger conference, simply because the Utes perceive themselves to be one of the "big boys" now???

    Utah fans need to do a little research to see how successful Arizona State and Arizona have been since they left the WAC conference to join the PAC 12.

    30 years since joining the PAC 10, the Wildcats have yet to smell the Roses, and one-time WAC bully ASU has only been twice.

  • phoenix Gilbert, AZ
    July 15, 2011 12:54 p.m.

    "BYU was 2-2 in National gams in 2009"

    Nice spin, hedgy, but your statement was...

    "outside of the OK game... BYU has lost EVERY "national" tv game the past COUPLE of years.

    Oregon State was a National TV game and it was within the past couple of years, and BYU not only beat, but destroyed the Beavers.

    Extrapolate this:

    Utah hasn't won a road game against a PAC 10 team with a winning record since 1996, including losses at lowly UCLA(6-7) 10-31, at lowly Arizona(4-8) 17-23, and at lowly California(3-8) 21-24.

    How do expect Utah to ever compete for a PAC 12 title if Utah can't beat 3-8 teams on the road?

  • hedgehog Ann Arbor, MI
    July 15, 2011 12:38 p.m.

    "Well since BYU won't be spending much time on versus any longer I'll just go ahead and consider that run over with"

    Ducky,

    And just like "magic" the winning will begin on ESPN? BYU was lost all five games on Nationally televised Versus over the last two years.

  • phoenix Gilbert, AZ
    July 15, 2011 12:34 p.m.

    Thlete

    Why set the goal at something less than a national championship?

    It's true, BYU can't control all of the variables, but then, neither can any other major college football team.

    If the SEC, Big Ten, Big 12, and PAC 12 champions are all undefeated at the end of the regular season, the reality is, NONE of them controls their own destiny. Two of them will be left out of the bogus championship game, and both of those teams will be powerless to do anything about it. The chances of an ACC or Big East team sneaking into the bogus championship game are even smaller.

    BYU has a higher hurdle to clear than AQ teams, but until we get rid of the bogus championship series and institute a true playoff, NOBODY has complete control of their own destiny.

  • hedgehog Ann Arbor, MI
    July 15, 2011 12:30 p.m.

    phoenix,

    ByU was 1-3 in National games last year- role that out to a full season and that's a four wins/ seven loses.

    BYu was 2-2 in National gams in 2009 - role that out to a full season and that's 6 -6

  • Thlete Draper, UT
    July 15, 2011 12:14 p.m.

    Instead of a national championship goal, which is beyond any non-AQs control with the rules in place, the better goal would be for an undefeated season. That they CAN control. If somehow the perfect storm of everyone else losing happens for the Cougars again along with going undefeated, good for them. But to make such a remote possibility your stated goal is setting yourself up for failure every time.

  • phoenix Gilbert, AZ
    July 15, 2011 12:05 p.m.

    hedgehog

    "All I know is that outside of the OK game... BYU has lost every "national" tv game the past couple of years."

    Then you have very selective memory.

    The same year, 2009, that BYU beat Oklahoma in Cowboys Stadium, BYU DESTROYED then #16-ranked Oregon State 44-20 in the Las Vegas Bowl on ESPN so badly, that it knocked the Beavers completely out of the final polls.

    Feel free to try to spin that an ESPN-televised bowl game was not on "national" TV or that December 2009 wasn't within the last couple of years.

    btw, the game wasn't nearly as close as the final score might indicate. BYU led 37-7 before OSU's starters scored a couple of 4th quarter TDs against BYU's 3rd stringers.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    July 15, 2011 11:58 a.m.

    @wedgie

    Well since BYU won't be spending much time on versus any longer I'll just go ahead and consider that run over with. Now utah on the otherhand......well they probably won't be on versus much either as that is reserved for teams the pac12 actually wants to put on tv but not showcase. In the case of utah they neither want to put them on tv or showcase them. But just think if the subscription only pac10 network ever does actually come into being utah will be broadcast to litterally 10's of homes in the Salt Lake Valley as the rest of the pac10 fans will all be over on versus watching usc and oregon play every week. Of course they'll be on versus because BYU will be hogging all the airtime on ESPN.

  • SportsFan Orem, UT
    July 15, 2011 11:47 a.m.

    Moderate

    To be fair, Kevin Graham didn't know that BYU had a defense that was capable of shutting down Oklahoma's Heisman Trophy winning quarterback.

    Bradford was 10 of 14, 96 yds, 1 TD, before he was injured just before halftime. Nice completing percentage, but as the yardage indicates, most of his passes were short yardage dumpoffs, that were quickly smothered by BYU's defense.

    The game was tied 7-7 when Colby buried Bradford on a clean hit.

  • hedgehog Ann Arbor, MI
    July 15, 2011 11:44 a.m.

    "So obviously being on tv does equal success as past success is the reason teams are put on tv."

    Ducky,

    All I know is that outside of the OK game... bYu has lost every "national" tv game the past couple of years. Check out you' record on Versus....its great.

  • BlueCoug Orem, UT
    July 15, 2011 11:32 a.m.

    afro14

    A straw man is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position. To "attack a straw man" is to create the illusion of having refuted a proposition by replacing it with a superficially similar yet unequivalent proposition (the "straw man"), and refuting it, without ever having actually refuted the original position.

    Increased television exposure was BYU's main goal in going independent, but with that increased exposure comes increased awareness of BYU football, which could attract recruits that might not have considered BYU in the past, and increase BYU's prospects for winning.

    What fundamental thing does Bronco have to change in order to improve from 11-2 to 13-0?

    In 2006, BYU lost at Arizona 13-16 and at Boston College 23-30. In both of those games, one or two plays could have changed the outcome.

    In 2007, BYU lost at UCLA 17-27 and at Tulsa 47-55. Once again, BYU was well within striking distance of turning losses into wins.

    On the other hand, if TCU's kicker hadn't missed 2 very makeable FG tries (he only missed four FGs all season), Utah doesn't have a chance to play Alabama in the Sugar Bowl.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    July 15, 2011 11:27 a.m.

    @afro

    Nice spin but you fail. Of course being on tv doesn't assure anyone of being any good in the future, being on tv represents the reputation you've built up over time. Obviously BYU has done that and that is why they have 10 games that will be on ESPN this coming season. So obviously being on tv does equal success as past success is the reason teams are put on tv.

    I think that BYU being on national tv every single week will make it alot more likely that they will use that publicity to improve their program through better recruiting, more fans, etc. than it is likely that utah being a run of the mill pac10 team that is almost never on tv will be able to become "the future of football in utah".

    But I highly doubt anyone beleives that simply being on tv in the future guaranties any sort of future success, we all just realize it is one more factor, among many, that helps make future success more likely. If you are honest with yourself you'll be able to see it for what it is. But thanks for trying to set us all straight.

  • afro14 Sandy, UT
    July 15, 2011 11:06 a.m.

    @ Starfarer

    "If the future of Utah football is Utah...

    How come it's not going to be on TV?"

    The answer is simple. TV exposure does not equal football success. Just look at Michigan's recent history. Michigan is the most televised football program in NCAA history, however, in recent years it hasn't helped much. (7-6 (2010), 5-7 (2009), 3-9 (2008))

    The obvious difference between Michigan's situation and BYU's is that Rich Rodriguez did Michigan no good, whereas Bronco has proven that he can produce a good football team year after year. However, he has not yet been able to produce a great football team. The difference between a good team and a great team is decided by only a few games, 10-2 is a good team, 12-0 is a great team.

    Do you honestly think that just because BYU's games are on tv, they will be able to bridge that gap? Be honest with yourselves, it's going to take more than that. I'm not saying it's not possible, I'm just saying that Bronco has to change something, or else BYU will never reach a BCS bowl under his command.

  • Moderate Salt Lake City, UT
    July 15, 2011 11:04 a.m.

    "This is the same Kevin Graham who bet his life on the fact that BYU would lose to Oklahoma in 2009."

    To be fair, Kevin Graham didn't know BYU had a play called "Coleby Clawson take out Sam Bradford".

  • royalblue Alpine, UT
    July 15, 2011 10:44 a.m.

    TrueBlue

    Those lyrics remind me of...

    1974, when BYU started the season 0-3-1, before winning their next 7 games to win the WAC championship and play in their first bowl game,

    1980, when Jim McMahon trotted back onto the field on 4th down with BYU trailing by 20 points with 6 minutes left in the game, to lead BYU to their first bowl win,

    1983, when Steve Young caught the winning touchdown pass over the outstretched fingers of a would be defender, to cement BYU's first Top 10 finish, and set up

    1984, when Robbie Bosco, on a leg he could barely stand on, led BYU to a come-from-behind victory over Michigan, to seal BYU's first National Championship.

    Champions are forged in the crucible of adversity, often amidst a sea of doubters, but when they emerge victorious, the victory is that much sweeter.

  • Collin Card Provo, Utah
    July 15, 2011 10:33 a.m.

    I Still Can't Say It

    I'm sure Katiebugg as also for freedom of speech -- if it is actually given to all.

  • Swoop Salt Lake City, UT
    July 15, 2011 10:21 a.m.

    hedgehog

    There's absolutely NO DIFFERENCE between the way the AP selected BYU as the national champion in 1984 and USC as the national champion in 2003.

  • Captain L Provo, UT
    July 15, 2011 10:21 a.m.

    Mountainman56: I agree with your 11:50 pm comments, I'm glad BYU is independent and I don't see why so many people want us to get hooked up with a BCS conf.. I don't.
    In the past (both WAC & Mnt) we would play a couple of top quality teams during the yr and usually end up with a bowl game against a BCS school, it would depend on how we were ranked and how they were ranked as to whether or not the game was of any importance. Winning a conf. championship was nice and a good goal but how we ended up in the national ranking was always more important to me. National recognition is what it is all about.
    Being independent we will be able to play more top quality teams every yr. In the past a game against ND or Texas may come during the yr but it may not come until the bowl game now we will be playing several bowl like games every yr and with the quality of players we now have, I think being in the top 10 or higher is a legit goal. There isn'tagame thisyr we can't win.

  • Swoop Salt Lake City, UT
    July 15, 2011 10:15 a.m.

    hedgehog

    "The BCS requires the top two teams to play at the end of the year..."

    Then how do explain USC, ranked #1 in BOTH the AP and Coaches polls at the end of the regular season in 2003, NOT playing in the BCS championship game???

    *crickets*

    Even though the Coaches were forced to vote for the winner of the BCS championship game, the AP voters were smart enough to award the national championship to USC, which was clearly more deserving than LSU.

  • hohum Saint George, UT
    July 15, 2011 10:10 a.m.

    As much is said about post graduate schools and phd etc. What on earth does that have to do with a conference selecting a member. How many of the players at U, and all go on to post grad work. I just don't buy it. I remember a joke that was being made about a football player who was completing his masters in his senior year of eligability, he was giving a bad name to football players, most couldn't spell football. I don't think that is true but the point being that post grad schools really don't recruit or recieve players that are looking to post grad work.

    Nothing wrong with the schools, Stanford, the Ivy league etc. have higher gpa requirements then most. Just don't believe the rejection of BYU was because of a post grad school.

    I recall the first time the y played at ND, they came back and reported that the ND fans were the class of the nation. Treated the y fans and team like royalty. Maybe we can take a lesson from them, I am sure that some of it is the result of it being private, theological university.

  • hedgehog Ann Arbor, MI
    July 15, 2011 9:45 a.m.

    "In other words, NONE of the artificial, bogus championship series rules apply to selecting the AP National Champion. All that is required is to finish #1 in the AP poll, which for all their BcS chest beating, is the only poll Utah fans refer to when talking about their final rankings in 2004 and 2008."

    skycrawler,

    Thanks again for your diatribe (we've heard it ad nauseum). Here's what's different than '84. The BCS requires the top two teams to play at the end of the year...clearly not the case in '84. The LAST thing they want is to have a non member in that game.

    Yes, the kewgs "could" win the mega millions lotto gain but so could Idaho St.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    July 15, 2011 9:37 a.m.

    I'll bet in six year byu will have been to more BCS games than anyone else.

  • TrueBlue Orem, UT
    July 15, 2011 9:09 a.m.

    It seems that many of our friends on the hill are afraid of setting the bar too high for fear of failure and ridicule.

    Frankly, I'm proud that the program that I support isn't afraid...

    To dream ... the impossible dream ...
    To fight ... the unbeatable foe ...
    To bear ... with unbearable sorrow ...
    To run ... where the brave dare not go ...
    To right ... the unrightable wrong ...
    To love ... pure and chaste from afar ...
    To try ... when your arms are too weary ...
    To reach ... the unreachable star ...

    This is my quest, to follow that star ...
    No matter how hopeless, no matter how far ...
    To fight for the right, without question or pause ...
    To be willing to march into Hell, for a Heavenly cause ...

    And I know if I'll only be true, to this glorious quest,
    That my heart will lie will lie peaceful and calm,
    when I'm laid to my rest ...
    And the world will be better for this:
    That one man, scorned and covered with scars,
    Still strove, with his last ounce of courage,
    To reach ... the unreachable star ...

    Good luck Cougars on your National Championship quest!

  • skywalker Palo Alto, CA
    July 15, 2011 8:52 a.m.

    Razzle2

    "The BCS is a club. The AP poll is a member."

    The AP poll divorced itself from the BCS years ago. The AP won't even allow their poll to be used in the BCS rankings calculations, which is why the Harris Poll is now used instead of the AP poll. USC won an AP National Championship in 2003 without playing in the bogus championship game. And, unlike the Coaches poll, which requires coaches to vote for the winner of the bogus championship game as the national champion, AP voters are free to use any criteria that they deem fit in selecting who they think should be #1.

    In other words, NONE of the artificial, bogus championship series rules apply to selecting the AP National Champion. All that is required is to finish #1 in the AP poll, which for all their BcS chest beating, is the only poll Utah fans refer to when talking about their final rankings in 2004 and 2008.

    Funny how that works. The Utes spam endlessly about the bogus championship series, but when in comes to talking about their final ranking, the Utes completely ignore the official BcS poll, the Coaches poll.

  • SLC BYU Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    July 15, 2011 8:28 a.m.

    @Utah95:

    Very correct on many fronts, and you might add that BYU Athletics also have their detractors (although they are a SMALL minority) in LDS Church headquarters, since there are those that wish to discontinue college football and big-time athletics in Provo. ..Like in Rexburg, ID just over a decade ago. While the Pac-12 would NEVER take BYU due to their limited scope in doctoral level post-graduate work, the Big-12 if anything might not like such detracting talk from a small yet highly powerful minority in the governing board of BYU. I would say this is a MUCH BIGGER factor than the strict no Sunday play policy BYU has in keeping them out of a BCS league. This as much as anything is the glass ceiling BYU has created for itself. I think the athletic department will outlive its opponents and detractors from within, but BYU must successfully gain n invitation to a BCS-AQ league if they want the athletics future they desire for the mission of the school. Trying the Notre Dame route a century later wont work.

  • hedgehog Ann Arbor, MI
    July 15, 2011 7:52 a.m.

    "Have we actually lived in the same state of Michigan? Are you sure you live in Ann Arbor? I spent several years in Michigan, and I couldn't disagree with you more about Michigan fans "never" talking about national championships"

    hmmm, yes. live close to the Big House...been in A2 for several years. (not a maize and blue fan...but respect the program)

    You will never hear a UofM coach, player or media ever mentioning NC prior to the season...ever. After the Ohio State game? maybe.

    My guess is your UofM "fan" actually went to bYu under grad and decided to get a Masters at a research school.

  • Razzle2 Bluffdale, UT
    July 15, 2011 7:41 a.m.

    There is no national championship. The BCS is a club. The AP poll is a member. For a non-aq team to say, "let's be National Champions" is to say that the current system works.
    Just go undefeated, win a bowl, and embarass the BCS on TV week after week.

  • Razzle2 Bluffdale, UT
    July 15, 2011 6:40 a.m.

    Undefeated does not mean BCS Championship. Utah, TCU, and BSU know that. Let's try BCS buster club. And keep Orin Hatch on the hunt too.

  • Utah'95 FPO, AE
    July 15, 2011 5:51 a.m.

    Kevin's article is more insightful than many of you can appreciate. Please SERIOUSLY CONSIDER what it says:

    1. Underpromise, overdeliver. Setting challenging goals as a team, or fan-base for that matter, doesn't mean you have to broadcast them to everyone. Doing so gives bulletin board material to opponents, and makes the program/fans sound arrogant.

    2. The BCS system is stacked against BYU. I haven't read/heard anyone other than BYU fans say otherwise.

    3. Perfection. This is closely related to #1 above. Campaigns like "Quest for Perfection" may energize the team and BYU Faithful, but it also energizes the opponents.

    4. Scheduling. "If the Cougars couldn't go unbeaten in it's MWC days it will be even harder against better competition in the independence world." This statement prompts a "No Duh" from most readers, but many BYU fans struggle with it.

    5. BYU's unique challenges remain. I admire the Cougars for daring to be unique, but most sports fans/experts believe it imposes a glass ceiling on BYU's athletic success.

    Solid concluding paragraph. Can you appreciate the logic in it?

    Like I've been saying for months, "Good luck, Cougars. Except on 17 SEP, of course!"

  • Classless Ute Fan Magna, UT
    July 15, 2011 4:22 a.m.

    The national champions isn't just a BYU goal. But it was something that Bronco was pretty much guaranteeing would happen. Although to be fair, he didn't say it happen this year. However, I agree with the author's main points.

    1. BCS is stacked against BYU.

    2. Quest for perfection. Remember 2008? It put an inordinate amount of pressure and a target on the back of the players.

    3. Scheduling: If the Cougars couldn't go unbeaten in it's MWC days it will be even harder against better competition in the independence world.

    4. Recruiting. Not very many top recruits are going to want to go to BYU due to Honor Code.

    If I were the author, I'd add:
    5. 1984. In 1983, BYU only lost their first game and then won 11 in a row. Last year, BYU barely won 6 regular season games. So, to win the NC, you'd need to have a great starting point the year before to springboard you.

    I believe that BYU going independent is better for them. They'll get more exposure and more revenue. But I just don't see an NC in the near future for them. Take one step at a time.

  • Classless Ute Fan Magna, UT
    July 15, 2011 3:18 a.m.

    Captain L
    ***pac12lovesU: Your comments show that you hate BYU, why would TCU or BSU get a BCS bid over BYU?***

    Actually, his comments don't show that he "hates BYU". SOS has nothing to do with it. It only shows that he has knowledge of the BCS rules. As a member of the MWC, Boise and TCU have a guaranteed BCS bowl game if they are the highest ranked team from a non-AQ conference and are ranked in the top 12.

    For BYU to get into a BCS bowl game, they would have to be ranked 1 or 2 to get a guaranteed BCS game. They could get an at-large bid. But that means that the 2nd SEC, PAC12, BIG10, or BIG12 school wouldn't get in. Most voters will have 2 schools from at least 1 of those conferences in the top 5, ie Oregon and Stanford 2010, Alabama-Florida 2008&2009, Georgia-LSU 2007, ect. So, if TCU or Boise St are undefeated or just in the top 12 at the end of the year, they get a BCS bowl game and BYU is out in the cold, even if BYU is ranked higher.

  • Y Grad / Y Dad Richland, WA
    July 15, 2011 12:01 a.m.

    ThomasJefferson

    But you are a Nebraska fan, that explains it all! I have several Husky friends who still talk about the sportsmanship of Big Red after the huskies pulled off a rare upset at Nebraska.

    Stunning! An entire stadium, decked in red, gave the dawgs a standing ovation. Explanation? "When you come into our house, and beat our boys, you must be really good."

    That's another thing we can aspire to.

  • Mountainman56 Alpine, UT
    July 14, 2011 11:50 p.m.

    So, back to BYU football which this article was actually about (Not Utah, not Michigan, not the DNews editorial policies - although I completely agree that they are inconsistent in administering their policies).

    For many of us who have been BYU fans for a very long time, we have finally reached the promised land. I have always wanted independence for BYU over conference affiliation - regardless of the conference. Now we have it but with the addition of an exclusive ESPN contract and our own state-of-the-art broadcast facilities. With a great coach who understands the mission, goals and values of BYU. With a great young, talented, enthusiastic and motivated coaching staff. With some of the best talent BYU has ever put on the field. With games already scheduled with several of the most storied football programs in the country. The opportunity for greatness is here and that's all anyone can ask, to have an opportunity to demonstrate your ability and to be recognized if you seize the moment.

    Go Cougars - your moment is now!

  • Cougar_Independence OMAHA, NE
    July 14, 2011 11:25 p.m.

    "Kevin Graham of Sportsmashup.com says here that BYU's national championship aspirations are unrealistic."

    This is the same Kevin Graham who bet his life on the fact that BYU would lose to Oklahoma in 2009.

    Yeah, Kevin must know more than Bronco....

  • Bugoff Houston, TX
    July 14, 2011 11:18 p.m.

    I got a comment rejected the other day. I really don't know why. There really was not any obvious reason for the rejection that I am aware of. It was just a typical comment. Far less provoking than most of the the troll comments.

    I figure it is just part of commenting. A certain percentage get rejected. However, it would be nice if DN would email the comment back with the specific parts underlined so that we could edit and resend the comment.

    It is irritating to put a lot of thought into a comment and then have it just disappear and it is hours before you realize DN rejected it.

    A few underlines would help a lot more than the general rejection guidelines.

    Further, we don't want to lose the comment. We want to make specific points and are capable of editing to fit DN's whims.

  • I Still Can't Say It Holladay, UT
    July 14, 2011 10:58 p.m.

    @BluCoug

    Weak schedule in 2008 huh? The Utes beat a Big 10 team on the road, and after that, took care of business against 3 ranked teams before beating the pants off of a Top 5 SEC team.

    No offense taken here. I think you're a little confused is all, and I'm glad we were able to straighten this out and set the record straight.

    Good luck going after that national championship next year like Bronco promised.

  • Farid @ Pocatello Pocatello, ID
    July 14, 2011 10:47 p.m.

    To those of you discussing the monitoring of our comments here (and seemingly subjective application of the rules)....

    After years of leaving comments, I had one denied the other day. It was a bland, vanilla "Hooray, fellow Idahoan Tanner Mangum is coming to BYU" post on a story about the Idaho native. I got the denial email, which was generic in nature and gave no specifics about why they wouldn't post it.

    I was upset to say the least. A series of emails resulted in an apology from the Deseret News Editor-In-Chief, who told me the paper couldn't figure out why it was "denied," but that I should let him know when I comment so he could try to figure out how the process failed both me and his newspaper.

    The problem is that there is five basic no-no's (profanity,name calling,over-use of punctuation and all caps, comments that are commercial, and the calling-out other commenters)but the moderators are forced to place their own subjective views on objective rules.

    BYU fans seem to be held to a higher standard than the Ute commenters. They almost lost this reader.

  • I Still Can't Say It Holladay, UT
    July 14, 2011 10:42 p.m.

    @Katiebugg

    I think the Deseret News does a fairly good job of honoring the freedom of speech of its readers in the comment section. I would hope that freedom of speech is something you value as well -- and comment sections on on-line newspapers exist to allow folks to voice their opinions -- even if you personally may not agree.

    That said, I'd like to respond to the portion of the article about how maybe the Team in Provo shouldn't set the bar to a national championship just yet. It reminds me a little of the "Quest" a few years back and look what happened there.

    If I were Bronco, I'd first set my sights on winning the WAC championship and then go from there.

  • BluCoug Provo, UT
    July 14, 2011 10:32 p.m.

    @ motorbike

    2008 ute schedule was very weak, no matter how you spin it.

  • motorbike Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 14, 2011 10:01 p.m.

    CougFaninTX:

    Let me make my comment more clear. By listing Utah's bigger name opponents in 2004 and 2008 I was simply comparing how it looked at the BEGINNING of the year, just as all you Coug fans are doing.
    In 2004 UNC and Texas A&M were both ranked early in the year. That year even Arizona was supposed to be better. Point is you are pretending this is a crazy hard BYU schedule when it doesn't even look as difficult as 2004 did in the beginning for Utah. Yes it didn't end up looking as good at the end but again...THAT IS MY POINT. You have no way of knowing how these teams will finish out, they've got to play the games before you start saying you've got the most difficult non-BCS schedule ever. Give me a break. And another reminder...avg point margin OVER 25 points! So there's more to it then just wins.
    Also, love how you had to conveniently downplay the 2008 part of that discussion where Oregon State was VERY good, as was BYU. And a win at Michigan in the Big House is always big no matter how they finish up.

  • Captain L Provo, UT
    July 14, 2011 9:50 p.m.

    pac12lovesU: Your comments show that you hate BYU, why would TCU or BSU get a BCS bid over BYU? The only reason would be if there SOS was tougher, that won't be the case as TCU & BSU are both in the Mountain and there schedules won't be as tough.
    Every team that has a chance to be ranked, set goals to win every game and the ultimate goal is to win a NC. For Hedge to say Michigan doesn't think NC or set a goal to achieve that as a goal is ludicrous. All the top teams have NC as a goal.
    BYU's schedule is fairly tough but there isn't any game they have on their schedule they can't win, so having the goal to go undefeated should be expected. To achieve the goal of going undefeated is tough and not accomplished all that often but it is still the goal. I would be disappointed if BYU or Utah or Texas or anyother top notch team didn't have the goal to go undefeated and win a NC.

  • motorbike Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 14, 2011 9:33 p.m.

    Rockwell -

    Nice post but why did you direct it to me? All of your stats and win/loss stuff is great and all but had absolutely nothing to do with my comment and the conversation in response to CougFaninTX's comment. Sometimes you Cougar fans are so anxious to argue you forget to read and stay focused.
    My comment was in response to non BCS automatic qualifiers that made it to a BCS game and what their schedules looked like in comparison to BYU's schedule this year.
    CougFaninTX's original statement was "It's a far tougher schedule than any non AQ has had who has made it to a BCS bowl."
    Again, that's BCS bowl not 1984.
    So start over on your response and good luck.

  • PAC 12 loves U Sandy, Utah
    July 14, 2011 9:14 p.m.

    @ anti BCS

    "I'd love to see the BcS deny an undefeated, Top 5 BYU team a BcS bowl invite."

    Oh they will! I guarantee you that if TCU or Boise State are undefeated. They will get the automatic bid to the BCS and not byu. The only way I see byu going to a BCS bowl game is if they're the only unbeaten non-aq team.

  • PistonHonda Houston, TX
    July 14, 2011 8:54 p.m.

    @Hedgehog,

    Have we actually lived in the same state of Michigan? Are you sure you live in Ann Arbor? I spent several years in Michigan, and I couldn't disagree with you more about Michigan fans "never" talking about national championships.

  • BigCougFan Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 14, 2011 8:39 p.m.

    The cougars will do fine. Goals for an undefeated season are great aspirations but aren't a sign of delusional thinking. Haters see it otherwise but they see everything from an oddly delusional viewpoint themselves.

    Go Cougars!!

  • Captain Caveman Provo, Utah
    July 14, 2011 8:19 p.m.

    Katiebugg

    The reason is simple: although Desnews purports to monitor the comment boards to keep people on-topic and courteous, they don't. They WANT hedgehog and his kinfolk on these comment boards so they will get more comments and then they (the DN) can then print endless streams of articles wondering why the "Holy War" (which THEY have dubbed it) is so rude.

    Simply put, THEY cause the problem so THEY can write about the problem. They probably censored your comment because they don't want to discourage those rude individuals who say insulting and false things constantly. They have decided that they NEED them to stir up contention between the two sides even though most fans on both sides do not feel this level on animosity toward one another.

    (Kind of like certain lawyers in a certain book...).

  • Bugoff Houston, TX
    July 14, 2011 7:58 p.m.

    MI may not have aspired to a NC recently but OSU certainly did. Ditto for Auburn and OR. Not to mention OK and USC.

    All of the coaches, the players and the BYU fans all understand the goal is another NC. It may take 5 years. It may take 10 years. It may even take another 25 years but that is the goal.

    Why aspire to less?

    Under independence BYU will get the talent and they will have the coaches and the facilities. It is just a question of when.

    As BYU gets better they will get better bowl opportunities.

    Utah has never won a NC and it is now harder for them in the PAC to go undefeated. However, they have a reasonable chance of backing into a tie for the South and scraping by in the PAC playoff into a Rose Bowl.

    The Rose Bowl has become the goal for the Utes. Not a bad goal.

    BYU on the other hand was never going to get the recruits it needed to get into a BCS bowl without the coverage that comes with Independence. BYU had to go Independent to move forward.

    Aim high. Achieve more.

  • riddlemethis Clearfield, UT
    July 14, 2011 7:53 p.m.

    Hedgehog:

    I don't know about UM being in Utah, but you are the subject matter expert about BYU living in Ann Arbor?

    If they would have beat Ohio State, they would have won more Big Ten Titles, and been in the NC hunt that much more often. Thanks for proving my point.

  • Katiebugg Salt Lake City, UT
    July 14, 2011 7:35 p.m.

    What?! You honestly refused to print my ON-TOPIC comment, but you have no problem printing my off-topic rant?!

    Thank you for so perfectly illustrating my point. (Insert eyeroll).

  • CougFaninTX Frisco, TX
    July 14, 2011 7:29 p.m.

    @motorbike

    You're kidding, right?

    2004
    Utah didn't play TCU in 2004.
    Texas A&M went 7-5. Texas will not be 7-5 in 2011.
    Arizona won 3 games and 1 was against a DII school.
    UNC was 6-6 with wins against William and Mary, Duke and Wake Forest.

    2008
    Michigan finished 3-9. Toledo beat the Wolverines by a bigger margin than U. I'm surprised you even listed them.
    Oregon St solid but unspectacular, unranked 8-4
    TCU was a solid win

    TCU in 2011 will be comparable with TCU in 2008 with a young Dalton
    Texas in 2011 is at least comparable with Oregon St in 2008, but probably better.

    Now how do you account for Ole Miss, UCF and Hawaii on your 2008 schedule?

  • hedgehog Ann Arbor, MI
    July 14, 2011 7:28 p.m.

    "Trust me, UM is after a NC."


    riddlemethis,

    You know very little about uofm football ( actually nothing).

    UofM pushed Loyd out the door for one main reason; He couldn't beat Ohio st.

    Priorities( realistic) for UofM fans

    1 Win Big 10
    2 Beat Ohio State
    3 Beat Ohio State

  • Katiebugg Salt Lake City, UT
    July 14, 2011 7:20 p.m.

    Desnews:

    You all SERIOUSLY need to work on your standards in the comment section. Hedgehog, Howard S., Chris B. and I Still Can't Say IT are ALWAYS insulting to everyone who likes or is associated with BYU. They are usually off-topic. But YOU all keep posting every inane comment they type.

    I gave a RELEVANT and ON-TOPIC comment and you didn't post it simply because at the end I asked Hedgehog why he keeps talking about people "sniffing" things?! Give me a break!!!!!!!!!

    Perhaps you should all sit down together and discuss what is considered "abusive, offensive, off-topic." It seems to vary according to who is working that day. I am NOT impressed.

  • BaneOfHedgehog Bothell, WA
    July 14, 2011 7:04 p.m.

    Frankly, though BYU will likely only lose one game (by a very close margin), be highly respected in the polls, be invited to play in a major bowl game, it doesn't really matter.

    BYU will beat Utah (soundly) and lose EVERY other game, and I'd still consider this a GREAT season.

    #1 BYU
    #2 Utah State
    #3 ABU (Anybody But Utah - i.e., everybody Utah plays)

  • Rockwell Baltimore, MD
    July 14, 2011 7:00 p.m.

    motorbike

    regular season opponents with winning records

    Utah 2004
    Texas A&M 7-5
    at UNM 7-5
    at Wyo 7-5

    BYU 1984
    Tulsa 6-5
    at Hawaii 7-4
    at Air Force 8-4
    at Utah 6-5-1

    I'll give you Texas A&M at home versus Tulsa at home, but you'd have a hard time convincing anybody that beating UNM and Wyo on the road, was tougher than beating Hawaii, Air Force, and Utah on the road.

    BYU(5-6) beat Utah's toughest road opponent Wyo 24-13 and only lost to UNM 14-21

    During the WAC era,

    Utah was only 2-6 at Hawaii:
    1993 30-41 L
    1991 26-52 L
    1989 20-67 L
    1987 14-25 L
    1985 29-27 W
    1984 17-20 L
    1982 7-10 L
    1979 27-23 W

    Utah was only 1-6 at Air Force:
    Utah at Air Force
    1994 33-40 L
    1992 20-13 W
    1990 21-52 L
    1987 27-48 L
    1985 15-37 L
    1983 31-33 L

  • riddlemethis Clearfield, UT
    July 14, 2011 6:51 p.m.

    Hedgehog:

    Let's willingly suspend our disbelief and take your statement at face value that UM fans only say "let's win the Big 10" and not "lets talk about a NC." To win the Big 10, realistically you need to win all your conference games. The most you can lose is 1, but if you lose 1 you are at the mercy of the team you lost to losing to someone else that you beat so you hold the advantage in a tie breaker. So "win the Big 10" is synonymous with "let's win all our conference games" If you win the Big 10 guess where you go: A BCS bowl. UM's out of conference schedule is ND and usually another team in Mich. So the goal is to win the Big 10 but not beat ND and C Mich/E Mich? Trust me. UM fans know that if they beat ND, and win the Big 10 they are in the running for a NC. But your statement isn't true. UM fired Lloyd Carr. He won 5 Big ten titles, but lost 6 Bowl games. He's even a HOF coach for Pete's sake. Trust me, UM is after a NC.

  • Moderate Salt Lake City, UT
    July 14, 2011 6:18 p.m.

    CougFaninTex: "not sure where you're getting your information".
    From the official sponsor of BYU football, ESPN. They say "I think Gilbert will end up the starter on opening day, but he'll have a way, way shorter leash. He has to. None of the other guys got a real shot last year, and if he struggles early this season, you absolutely have to put Connor Wood or Case McCoy out there before conference play. You can't just leave him out there making mistakes and hope it clicks at some point. We've seen enough of him, and he didn't have a ton of plays last year that really showed flashes of him turning it around in games."

  • scenic view Baltimore, MD
    July 14, 2011 6:18 p.m.

    DevilishUte

    Strength of schedule only applies to the BCS computer rankings, which ironically don't even consider margin of victory.

    SOS, margin of victory, W-L records, road wins, etc. are all a matter of personal perception for each poll voter. There's no exact formula for winning a national championship, but an undefeated BYU team would certainly be in the discussion. With four teams from the SEC, Big 12, and PAC 12, BYU has more BCS conference opponents on their schedule than any BCS buster has ever had. Add to that TCU, a team that won the Rose Bowl last year, and UCF, a team that won C-USA last year and destroyed Georgia in their bowl game, and nobody would be able to make a legitimate arguement that BYU "didn't play anybody".

    Way too many variables for anyone to say that BYU has a good chance of winning a championship this year, but to say that it's "unrealistic" for BYU to even think they have a chance is unrealistic.

  • motorbike Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 14, 2011 6:05 p.m.

    CougFaninTX -

    "It's a far tougher schedule than any non AQ has had who has made it to a BCS bowl"
    Compare to 2004 Utah schedule: Cross off Utah, and TCU which is basically the equivalent of BYU and TCU of 2004 for the Utes and the remaining 3 contests of any consequence are Texas, Ole Miss and Oregon State. Utah had Texas A&M, UNC and Arizona.
    Very similar looking schedules, certainly not "far tougher" as you state.
    Now consider that Utah beat their opponents that year by an average of 25.8 pts per game and no team came closer than 14 points.
    Compare to 2008 Utah schedule: Beat Oregon State who had been ranked and beat highly ranked USC that year. Beat #24 ranked Michigan at the big house, Beat #14 BYU and #11 TCU and #4 Alabama to cap it off.
    No one yet knows how BYU's opponents will do this year and that obviously plays into things, but sorry, as it stands now this schedule is not nearly as tough as you want to pretend it is.

  • RSL1 Washington, UT
    July 14, 2011 5:54 p.m.

    I agree BYU shouldn't talk about a National Championship. Mainly because there is no national championship in college football. All BCS games are just "money giveaway bowls" that mean nothing other than a fat paycheck.

    BYU should focus on playing great, entertaining football against top teams. If they do that TV, money, and national prestige will all take care of themselves.

    I do like the fact that independence has given us an underdog against the world mentality.

  • anti BCS Anaheim, CA
    July 14, 2011 5:45 p.m.

    @Hedgehog

    They(we) have no interest in BYU ever being in a BcS game....no matter who you play or what the record is."

    I'd love to see the BcS deny an undefeated, Top 5 BYU team a BcS bowl invite.

    It would be the end of the BcS and a huge windfall for BYU and all of the other non-AQ teams.

  • skywalker Palo Alto, CA
    July 14, 2011 5:39 p.m.

    hedgy

    "Don't be naive to think that the BCS will do everything it it's power to discriminate against the Y."

    Even if that were true, the BCS is powerless to prevent BYU from winning an AP national championship, which is the ultimate goal.

  • CougFaninTX Frisco, TX
    July 14, 2011 5:10 p.m.

    @UtesDevil
    I hear what you'rs saying, but I still contend the toughest 6 or 7 teams on our schedule will make or break the Cougars and the Utes, not the bottom 5 or 6 teams. And plain and simle; BYU's top 6 or 7 opponents are better than Utah's top 6 or 7 opponents.

    But if that makes you feel better to know that WSU is ranked #83 and Idaho is ranked #103, I concede - the bottom five teams on BYU's schedule are weaker than the bottom five teams on Utah's schedule. Happy?

    In reality, if either team loses to any of the bottom five teams on our schedules, we can look forward to sitting home in December and January instead of bowling.

    @Moderate
    There is no QB battle at Texas. I'm not sure where you're getting you're information. Take it from a Texan, Longhorns went into Spring without naming a starter, but Gilbert was named the unanimous starter after Spring. He's a 5 star recruit. According to hh, that's all that matters.

  • DevilishUte Tempe, AZ
    July 14, 2011 5:01 p.m.

    RSL

    "What about Montana State this year? That is a division 2 team."

    The following was from my earlier post:

    Top to bottom, Utah's schedule is more difficult (only one gimme).

    Montana St. is the gimme I was referring to, kind sir.

  • Lone Star Cougar Plano, TX
    July 14, 2011 5:01 p.m.

    Dear Haters,

    BYU will win more games than Utah this year. Come on little doggies, keep nipping at our heels!

  • RSLJAZZBYUUTAH Syracuse, UT
    July 14, 2011 4:30 p.m.

    DevilishUte | 3:59 p.m. July 14, 2011
    Tempe, AZ

    What about Montana State this year? That is a division 2 team.

  • Starfarer Mesa, AZ
    July 14, 2011 4:29 p.m.

    Hedgie,

    "They(we) have no interest in bYu ever being in a BCS game....no matter who you play or what the record is."

    Which is why the BCS(you) are a joke.

  • RSLJAZZBYUUTAH Syracuse, UT
    July 14, 2011 4:23 p.m.

    Moderate | 1:57 p.m. July 14, 2011
    Salt Lake City, UT

    "In November when national attention turns to conference races and BCS standings, wins against the WAC aren't going to impress."

    Don't be like that, it is the same competition basically Utah has played and BSU played and made there ways to the BCS games, oh by the way BSU beating Oklahoma was a better game than both of Utah's BCS games combined.

  • DevilishUte Tempe, AZ
    July 14, 2011 4:16 p.m.

    Hog -

    "They(we) have no interest in bYu ever being in a BCS game....no matter who you play or what the record is."

    Sorry. To make a statement like that is hypocritcal. IF BYU earns a BCS appearance, I see no reason not to let them in a BCS game (note that "IF"). That being said, history has not been on their side in their quest for a BCS game and I don't see that changing this year.

  • DevilishUte Tempe, AZ
    July 14, 2011 3:59 p.m.

    I read the Utah and BYU comments. I obviously cheer for the Utes, but am willing to give credit when due. I also am ready to pull the BS card when I read something that is not accurate.

    Messin' w/ Texas -

    "It's a tougher schedule than Utah has this year."

    This simply is not true. Taking a subset of a schedule and claiming that because the subset is difficult the whole schedule is difficult is faulty logic.

    On the whole Utah's schedule is more difficult than BYU's this year. Top to bottom, Utah's schedule is more difficult (only one gimme). You can't ignore SJSU, NMSU, USU, Idaho, and Idaho State on BYU's schedule (5 gimmes, although USU might not be a gimmee if history prevails). Those games DRAG your overall strenght of schedule to the ground. And even though WSU and Colorado might be gimmes their talent level is vastly superior to BYU's weaker opponents.

  • Marked it Down Park City, UT
    July 14, 2011 3:55 p.m.

    @LonestarRunner

    "it's not at all "unrealistic" to believe that it could happen"

    That's like saying a BYU basketball player could be the Best Male College Athlete of the Year -- totally unrealistic.

  • hedgehog Ann Arbor, MI
    July 14, 2011 3:55 p.m.

    "it isn't pie in the sky, never been there, never even been considered for it, no chance it will ever happen, impossible and never in a million years,"

    Ducky,

    Actually it is. The BCS was created so this would never happen again. Don't be naive to think that the BCS will do everything it it's power to discriminate against the Y. They(we) have no interest in bYu ever being in a BCS game....no matter who you play or what the record is.

  • Moderate Salt Lake City, UT
    July 14, 2011 3:52 p.m.

    RE: CougarFaninTX
    Only TCU and Utah have a concensus pre-season ranking in the top 25.
    TCU has to break in a new quarterback, and Coug fans say Utah will finish at the bottom of the Pac 12. That translates to "weak schedule".

    This is NOT the Texas team that had a dramatic comeback victory against USC for a championship. Texas 2011 has a 3-way quarterback battle going on, and they lost 3 cornerbacks to the NFL. BYU's partner, ESPN, pre-season Big 12 ballot is OU, TAMU, OSU, Mizzou, Baylor, Texas (6th).

    The strongest opponent on the schedule is UCF.

  • royalblue Alpine, UT
    July 14, 2011 3:49 p.m.

    LonestarRunner

    Stop thinking outside the box!

  • fan in orem Orem, Utah
    July 14, 2011 3:47 p.m.

    "We are going to lose a few games, but that's okay, because we are in the PAC-12 and we are amazing no matter what happens. We can still get in the Rose Bowl with three losses, and that is what our fans are most interested in. They think getting in and winning a BCS Bowl is better than a National Championship, so by golly, that's what we'll give them." - K Whittingham

    Hedge, Michigan can worry about the Big 10 only, because there's no chance they will lose to those 3 or 4 crappy teams in the pre-season, right? Like Appalachian State?

  • LonestarRunner Salt Lake City, UT
    July 14, 2011 3:36 p.m.

    What is completely lost on those who myopically focus on the BCS is that the AP National Championship isn't in anyway associated with the BCS. There is no requirement to jump through any artificial BCS hoops. The only requirement for winning the AP National Championship is to finish #1 in the Final AP Poll.

    That's it.

    --no requirement to play in the BCS championship game
    --no requirement to even play in a BCS bowl

    Simply impress enough AP voters that you're the most deserving team to be ranked #1 at the end of the season.

    BYU did that in 1984.

    And, BYU has the schedule to do that again in 2011.

    Not saying it will happen.

    But, unlike our short-sighted blogger believes, it's not at all "unrealistic" to believe that it could happen.

  • metamoracoug metamora, IL
    July 14, 2011 3:26 p.m.

    Hedgehog:

    In the past decade, michigan has won the Big 10 only twice (2003 and shared with Iowa in 2004) and the past 3 years they haven't even sniffed at the championship. They may be budgeting conservatively, but they certainly are not over delivering.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    July 14, 2011 3:21 p.m.

    Ignore the ute trolls like cowardly robin and wedgie. Pretending that BYU, or its fans, are predicting a National Championship is simply a lie they use to try and instigate things. But as far as BYU and its fans aspiring to win ANOTHER national Cham,pionship, well, of course we all do. You see BYU has actually won one, it isn't pie in the sky, never been there, never even been considered for it, no chance it will ever happen, impossible and never in a million years, like it is for utah. It has already happened and it could happen again if things went just right.

    I like it as a goal. I like it as something to aspire to. Reach for the top. Ignore the loser trolls as they have never come close and even in their teams best years they were never even a consideration for the National Championship. Actually they were denied even consideration for it with an amused scorn by those who actually cast votes.

    LOL!

  • Starfarer Mesa, AZ
    July 14, 2011 3:18 p.m.

    Brave Sir Robin

    ESPN disagrees with you and since they make a ton of money putting relevance on TV....

    I would say that your comment is irrelevant.

  • TJ Eagle Mountain, UT
    July 14, 2011 3:13 p.m.

    Utah fans spoke of a NC last year alone more than BYU fans did the past 5 years. Were the Ute fans delusional? I am pretty sure it will work out better for BYU this year than it did for Utah last year.

    Mendenhall, Heaps and others said that the only championship to play for was a national championship since there was not a conference championship to play for now. BYU's goal is to win every game, then see where they chips fall.

    hedgie;
    So you've heard everyone associated with Idaho never say they wanted to win a national championship. It must have taken you thousands of hours to listen to and read all of the newspaper and news conference archives to come to that conclusion.

    crisb;
    Please answer starfarers question. It is a good one.

    sir robin;
    BYU's national and local relevence is proven by ESPN alone to be 10 times what your schools is.

    10 games on ESPN this year at 1-2 million per.
    At least 8 games on ESPN next year.

    You can't even compare the two schools BYU is so far ahead. It wouldn't be fair.

    Your dream is BYU's reality.

  • Starfarer Mesa, AZ
    July 14, 2011 3:07 p.m.

    Hedge,

    First rule of failure = Not to believe you can do something.

    Followed only closely by, Allowing others to define your goals.

  • Y Grad / Y Dad Richland, WA
    July 14, 2011 2:50 p.m.

    Well, yes, as a people we aspire to perfection, why wouldn't we do so for our team as well?

    The reality that others, from legitimate sports writers to wedge, chris and others, can't seem to fathom is that we "quest for perfection," yet our world doesn't fall apart over the tiniest stumble. Not sure if the atonement applies to sports, but it teaches us some lessons that are useful in other areas.

  • hedgehog Ann Arbor, MI
    July 14, 2011 2:44 p.m.

    "What you don't understand is that BYU, like ANY other school in the nation, wants the chance to play for a national championship, the BCS keeps that from happening."

    Star fairy,

    Yes, Idaho St. players and fans "dream" on NC's... but guess what? the keep it to themselves.

    The most winning College football teams resides only a few blocks from me. Guess what, the NEVEr mention the words "National Championship"... instead, it's "win the BIG 10."

    First rule of sales: budget conservative - then over deliver.

  • Starfarer Mesa, AZ
    July 14, 2011 2:44 p.m.

    Chris B

    If the future of Utah football is Utah...

    How come it's not going to be on TV?

  • Johnny Triumph American Fork, UT
    July 14, 2011 2:35 p.m.

    People fail if they don't aim high, and why not aim for the National Championship? If I aim for mediocrity at work then I'm destined to be mediocre. You can't tell me that any other school isn't aimed at the same thing. BYU's different now that they don't have a conference championship to aim for, but it's all the same even still. All teams want to succeed and success means aiming high.

  • CougFaninTX Frisco, TX
    July 14, 2011 2:34 p.m.

    @Moderate
    "Talk of BYU going undefeated this year speaks to a weak schedule."

    Texas in Austin (Predicted to finish #2 in Big 12. This is not 2010, this is 2011.)
    TCU in Dallas (Predicted to battle BSU for MWC and auto non AQ bid)
    Ole Miss in Oxford (Predicted to finish in the middle of the SEC)
    Oregon State in Corvallis (Predicted to finish 3rd in North, and fourth overall in PAC12)
    Hawaii in Hawaii (predicted to win WAC w/ QB will will be in Heisman conversation)
    UCF at home (predicted to win conference)
    Utah at home (predicted to lose to BYU)
    Utah State (be careful what U say. U have them on your schedule the next two years.)

    Help me understand what's weak about this schedule? It's a far tougher schedule than any non AQ has had who has made it to a BCS bowl. It's a tougher schedule than Utah has this year. I agree that it's not in the same discussion as an SEC or Notre Dame schedule, but to call it weak demonstrates a poor understanding of college football.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    July 14, 2011 2:32 p.m.

    Wins or no wins, BYU's future can be summed up in one word:

    Irrelevance

  • Starfarer Mesa, AZ
    July 14, 2011 2:28 p.m.

    Hedgie,

    Have you played in organized sports....ever?

    6 years from now, BYU could have played in two BCS games, you haven't got a clue.

    In 2000, no one thought Utah would ever play in a BCS game.

    It amazes me that you think BYU looking for a national championship makes BYU fans delusional.

    The Miami fans, the LSU fans, the TCU fans, the Boise State fans, etc, etc, who all want to win national championships, is that reality not part of their mindset too?

    For most teams, the undefeated season, the chance to play for a championship, is the goal, it is the mindset, it is delusional by nature.

    You don't have a clue what will happen in the next 6 years.

    What you don't understand is that BYU, like ANY other school in the nation, wants the chance to play for a national championship, the BCS keeps that from happening. Not because BYU couldn't win it, but because BYU and all the other schools outside of the BCS aren't allowed to play in a playoff.

    Just for kicks, where will your utes be in 6 years? Let's see you make a bold prediction that holds any truth.

  • IDC Boise, ID
    July 14, 2011 2:23 p.m.

    Does any team not hope to go undefeated? In the end, I will be watching every game. I would watch an 0-10 BYU team play Hawaii. Chances are they will lose a couple of games or more but I hope they win them all. I'm sure no one predicted a consensus National Championship in 1984. If BYU wins and everyone else loses, they could easily make it to the big game (NC).

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    July 14, 2011 2:20 p.m.

    No bcs in past

    No bcs in future

    The future of football in utah, is utah

  • hedgehog Ann Arbor, MI
    July 14, 2011 2:05 p.m.

    What the blogger doesn't understand is that reality is not part of the bYu mindset....never has been.

    6 years from now, and having never sniffed a BCS bowl game, kewgars will still be predicting National Championships.

    It's almost like if you pray hard enough it will come true.

  • CougFaninTX Frisco, TX
    July 14, 2011 1:57 p.m.

    Graham's comments make no sense to me. Maybe that's why he's a writer, and not a coach.

    What's the coach suppose to say, "Come on guys we're going for an 8-4 season! If we get to 8-4, we'll consider it a successful year."

    My organization strives for perfection every day. Seldom do we hit it, but we keep striving.

  • Moderate Salt Lake City, UT
    July 14, 2011 1:57 p.m.

    Talk of BYU going undefeated this year speaks to a weak schedule. Three of the "name" schools didn't earn a bowl game last year. If they are going to make an impression, they'll have to do it early. In November when national attention turns to conference races and BCS standings, wins against the WAC aren't going to impress.