Comments about ‘BYU football: Cougars reflect on disappointing season, look ahead’

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Published: Sunday, Dec. 2 2012 6:45 p.m. MST

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Mcallen, TX

Teams like Notre Dame, Oregon State, Boise State, and Utah are no names?

Wireless Lawyer
Lehi, UT

BYU's defense held 11 of its 12 opponents under their season scoring average and 8 of those opponents were 10+ points below their average. The better the opponent the better the Y's defense: USU 34 points below their average, Boise 26 points below, Georgia Tech 19 points below; San Jose State 17 points below; Notre Dame 11 points below. In fact, no team held USU or Boise State to fewer points than BYU and only Michigan held Notre Dame to fewer points.

Who coaches that phenomenal defense? The same guy so many folks seem to want to run out of town.

It's clear improvements need to be made on the offensive side of the football, but I'd prefer to let the architect of a defense that regularly holds opponents to their lowest point total of the season get some help for the offense rather than throw away a clear advantage on the defensive side of the football.

Bottom line, Mendenhall has consistently taken top 50 recruiting classes and turned them into top 25 ranked teams and is a top 5 defensive mind. No rational thinker would want to let him go (and no he won't stay on just to be DC.)

Everett, WA

@Wireless Lawyer

Largest reason other teams score so few points (and also why BYU scores so few points) is that BYU is running the ball (and scrambling) most the time. When we run all the time, the clock continues to run and teams have far fewer opportunities to score. Bronco knows that and encourages the run to help his defense. Remember those 4-1/2 hour long passing games of yesteryear, with endless opportunities to score? Not anymore, by Bronco defensive design. Running the ball = fewer scoring opportunities = lower scores = having a chance at the end = Bronco philosophy. Other problem is, he loses all those close games. We need new HC & OC.

Bountiful, UT

"The execution and the difference of this season between 7-5 and maybe 9-3 or 10-2 is the difference of a couple of plays here or there."

More like the difference between 7-5 and 11-1 was the difference of a QB or two. 3rd season in a row this staff has totally blown the QB situation.

What makes this even more glaring is SUU QB Brad Sorensen was kicked to the curb by Bronco and staff when he tried to walk on. They told him he'd never play there because they had Riley. So he transferred to SUU and is a finalist for the Payton trophy (FCS Heisman equivalent) and is rated by most NFL scouts as the 10th best QB coming out of college this year. He will likely get a spot on an NFL roster somewhere for next season.

If you want to add insult to injury, Northern Illinois wins the MAC, finishes with one loss and ranked 15th in the BCS poll and they're invited to play in the Orange Bowl. This will forever be known as the season of what if...(Lark had been the starter instead of Nelson).

Bronco's legacy.


Looks like someone got midpacmajor all rilled up. Have to laugh at how many times people "like" those posts though.
Guess its easy when you manage multiple avatars to make yourself feel better. Just log in, and "like" your own post.

Washington, UT

@wireless lawyer

Thank you for writing something that makes sense.

BYU fanin. Some truth in what you say also.

Wireless Lawyer
Lehi, UT

Wow. If you really believe the main reason BYU held USU to 3 points when the average 37, Boise to 7 points when they average 33, Hawaii to 0 points when they average 23 and five other opponents to 10+ points fewer than their average was because they ran the football more than other teams, your hypothesis should be easy enough to prove.

I look forward to you response indicating the number of BYU rushes in each game as compared to the average number of rushes by the other team in all our opponents' other games.

If your theory were valid, you'd expect Georgia Tech (who runs the ball as much as anyone) to be the number 1 defense in the country (or at least hold teams to well below their scoring average). Of course, neither of those things is true.

Instead of helping the defense, as you suggest, the offense has made the defense's job more difficult. I did not net out all the pick six points scoreed on the offense not the defense. When you consider the above average number of turnovers by the offense, the defensive results are all the more amazing.

Orem, UT


Wow, looks like some BYU haters simply can't handle having a little reality rained on their hyperbolic parade.

Ragnar Danneskjold
Bountiful, UT

Can BYU fans PLEASE stop talking about how close they were to a great season? You had 5 losses! It just isn't true. Close games happen, and on 2 of those close BYU losses (Utah and Boise), the team is 1 play in each of those games from losing by a comfortable margin.

USU is 2-3 plays away from a BCS bowl. They can talk about what may have been, and have a legitimate point. But BYU fans should just accept that the team (and especially the coaches) needs a lot of work.

Baltimore, MD

Ragnar Danneskjold

"Can BYU fans PLEASE stop talking about how close they were to a great season?"


I can cite four specific plays in four of the games that BYU lost by a total of 13 points that would have given BYU an 11-1 regular season record.

Regardless of how much it bothers our jealous friends on the hill, the reality is, BYU WAS just a handful of plays away from having a great season.


I just had a discussion last week with my twelve year old about how self esteem doesn't come from putting others down, but from focusing on building yourself up and being the best YOU can be!

Nuff said?

Ragnar Danneskjold
Bountiful, UT

What are the four plays? How many plays are you from losing by double digits in those games, and from losing to Utah State? If you lose 5 games, it just wasn't your season. Any team can say they are 5-10 plays away from a dramatically different year.

Palo Alto, CA

Ragnar Danneskjold

"Any team can say they are 5-10 plays away from a dramatically different year."

BYU and Utah State can.

Utah can't.

Get over your jealousy.

Ragnar Danneskjold
Bountiful, UT

How many plays would you say Utah was away from winning that Utah State game? One more win makes Utah bowl eligible, and Utah is having a different season right now.
How is it jealousy to be bored of hearing about how close BYU was to greatness in a 5 loss season? The team wasn't that great. I just want to hear Cougar fans admit that. Utah fans will and do.

Highland, UT


No not "any team can", utah can't. They got blown out and pounded in several of their games and 4 plays wouldn't have amde a bit of difference. BYU can claim that and so when you are trying to make an honest assessment of what happened with the season that fact is one part of that assessment. If BYU could have made those 4 or 5 more plays they could have been 11-1.

Now they didn't make them and that is the difference in 11-1 and 7-5 so the thing to do is analyze what they could have done and why they didn't do it. Pretty simple to understand for most people.

On the otherhand you would need to analyze 4-5 plays per game, or about 60 for the season to figure out why utah was so bad this year. Time for utah "fans", and of course utah coaches, to get to work. It is going to be a lot longer process for them.

Marked it Down
Park City, UT

Ragnar Danneskjold

In the real world nowadays, project teams often review recently completed projects to determine what went well and what didn't. Best Practices are then incorporated into the next iteration of the project. It's always nice to discover during your review that simply by adjusting some minor inefficiencies, the entire process could be significantly improved.

Such was the case for BYU and Utah State this season. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case for U.

Salt Lake City, UT

BigCougar says "If you want to add insult to injury, Northern Illinois wins the MAC, finishes with one loss and ranked 15th in the BCS poll and they're invited to play in the Orange Bowl. This will forever be known as the season of what if...(Lark had been the starter instead of Nelson)."

BYU was a LONG ways from a what if season.

NIU qualifed under the rules of a non-AQ conference - higher than #16, and higher than the champion of a BCS conference. BYU is independent. They are not Notre Dame independent (auto bid if in the top 8). They are Army independent (considered if in top 12). The key word is "considered", not "automatic bid". A one loss BYU sitting at 15 would NOT have earned a BCS bid.

Don't torment yourself with "what if". For BYU, it is a perfect season, or no BCS.

Orem, UT


"A one loss BYU sitting at 15 would NOT have earned a BCS bid."

A one-loss #15 BYU MAY NOT have earned a BCS bid, but a one-loss #6 BYU, with wins over #1 Notre Dame(11-1), #19 Boise State(9-2), #22 Utah State(10-2), and #24 San Jose State(9-2), and a lone loss to #13 Oregon State(9-3), would have had a VERY GOOD chance for a BCS bid.

Yes, I know Notre Dame and Boise State would have dropped a little, and San Jose State may have fallen out of the rankings, but Utah State's ranking probably would have gone up with a close loss to #6 BYU.

It wouldn't be a stretch to assume that a majority of the votes that pushed Northern Illinois high enough in the rankings to qualify for the non-AQ auto bid, would have gone to an even more deserving #6 BYU.

Utah fans can torment themselves all they want, but bottom line, Northern Illinois has already proven that you don't have to be undefeated to be a "bcs buster".

The bar will be even lower for an 8-team playoff.

Salt Lake City, UT

TrueBlue. As a fan, of course you'd put a 1 loss BYU up with Florida, Oregon, and Kansas State instead of down with NIU at 15. A one loss mid-major would realistically be in the 8 to 12 range.

Do you picture BYU with one loss before they played Notre Dame? Very difficult for an pre-season unranked team to crack the top ten with one loss by mid October. One loss after the Notre Dame game? Voters/computers are cruel to one-loss mid-majors. They drop hard and fast.

But let's say things worked out. Notre Dame would still be in the top 8, so they are automatically in. NIU would be in the top 15, so they're automatically in. BYU could be considered, but there wouldn't be any room left at the BCS dance. BCS teams would fill the remaining slots.

The important thing is understanding that NIU can qualify easier than BYU can.

Orem, UT


14-1 BYU finished #5/#5

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