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BYU-Arizona football series includes game at NFL stadium

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  • phantomblade Salt Lake City, Utah
    April 12, 2013 1:52 p.m.

    It'll be fun playing in another NFL stadium!

  • Hondo Scottsdale, AZ
    April 12, 2013 2:06 p.m.

    There's going to be a lot of NFL-caliber talent in this game!

  • 3grandslams Iowa City, IA
    April 12, 2013 2:19 p.m.

    Independence is working out just fine, right Cody?!

  • International Cougar Fan Tacoma, WA
    April 12, 2013 2:49 p.m.

    I love Independence! Life as and Independent and WCC member is a pretty good deal.

  • dumprake Washington, UT
    April 12, 2013 3:57 p.m.

    How about playing at a BYU "neutral" site like the University of Utah. Phoenix is hardly neutral. I really hate these so-called "neutral" sites that are walking distance from the university BYU is playing.

  • PP Eagle Mountain, UT
    April 12, 2013 4:15 p.m.

    Actually the crowd in Phoenix may be more hostile to U of A than they are to BYU. U of A is over 2 hours away and most of the fans in PHX are Sun Devil fans. If I am not mistaken BYU is the 3rd most popular D1 team in the Valley of the Sun.

  • caleb in new york Glen Cove, NY
    April 12, 2013 4:23 p.m.

    at dumprake - it looks like BYU is losing clout in the college football world where many teams from the power conferences who are on the same level as them won't play BYU with a straight-up 1 for 1 deal. So BYU has to get a little creative or stick to playing teams far down on the college football totem pole. But there are so many members of the LDS church and BYU alums in BYU that the neutral site game in Glendale could include a huge proportion of BYU fans.

    AZ gets from 6 to 9 fairly difficult to very difficult games a year from Pac-12 play, which means that their need for big out-of-conference matchups is much smaller than BYU's need is. Thus BYU wants in to this non-conference relationship much more than AZ does so AZ gets the slight spoils of having the neutral site game closer to them.

  • Obama10 SYRACUSE, UT
    April 12, 2013 4:25 p.m.

    At least one PAC-12 school isn't afraid of overscheduling and putting BYU on their schedule.

  • caleb in new york Glen Cove, NY
    April 12, 2013 4:29 p.m.

    also with the neutral site game, U of A won't control the ticket sales so if enough BYU fans want to show up for the game then there will be plenty of tickets for them to buy and they could even fill up 50% or more of the stadium.

  • CougFaninTX Frisco, TX
    April 12, 2013 4:33 p.m.

    @dump - there will be as many or more BYU fans in Glendale than UofA fans. I was at Cowboy stadium in Dallas when BYU played TCU last year. Some would say it was really a home game for TCU since it was just 30 miles from their campus. But I can tell you, there were just as many BYU fans as TCU fans.

    This is a great game to add to the schedule.

  • Hondo Scottsdale, AZ
    April 12, 2013 4:46 p.m.

    "Actually the crowd in Phoenix may be more hostile to U of A than they are to BYU. U of A is over 2 hours away and most of the fans in PHX are Sun Devil fans. If I am not mistaken BYU is the 3rd most popular D1 team in the Valley of the Sun."

    Sorry, but ASU fans won't go to the game to cheer against U of A. Fans will only go if they cheer for U of A or BYU or are indifferent, but like college football. Suggesting that ASU fans would go to cheer against U of A is like suggesting that BYU fans would go to a Utah sporting event to cheer against Utah. Most people don't have time to go to sporting events to cheer against teams.

  • PP Eagle Mountain, UT
    April 12, 2013 5:52 p.m.

    You missed the point Hondo.

  • Normal Guy Salt Lake City, UT
    April 12, 2013 7:03 p.m.

    These neutral-site games are awesome. Easy for me to get tickets to and the stadiums are incredible. Keep 'em coming!

  • Spokane Ute Spokane, WA
    April 12, 2013 7:11 p.m.

    BYU has done a great job of scheduling, this should be a good series!

  • SLCWatch Salt Lake City, UT
    April 12, 2013 7:58 p.m.

    This is easy folks:
    1. No NFL stadium in Utah...the only comparable thing is LaVell Edwards stadium and of course that's not neutral. Playing in the tiny mid-major SLC stadium wouldn't do.
    2. No Stadium in Flagstaff (Half way between)
    3. Arizona Sports and Tourism wants to sponser this and they think BYU - Arizona is a good match. You know, they like legacy programs.
    4. PAC12 TV can't get BYU on TV any other way (their local league affliate doesn't want to play a tough preseasn game so they scheduled their new rival...Fresno?) so the PAC12 network of course wants the game.
    5. Rich Rodriguez recognizes quality and wants to play even if it is some one he likes.
    Utah fans-relax, it's all just playing off the homer comments of BYU's most ardent supporters and commentors. (You all know them)

  • Who am I sir? Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 12, 2013 9:11 p.m.

    Congratulations - scheduling a PAC-12 team is great for the cougars (BYU not WSU as they are scheduled as part of the conference games) Even on a "modified" two for one basis. If you want to get a preview of what the Arizona team will be like in 2020 when they are scheduled to be in Provo catch their games in SLC in 2014, 2016, and 2018!

  • Snack PAC Olympus Cove, Utah
    April 12, 2013 10:44 p.m.

    hondo

    "Suggesting that ASU fans would go to cheer against U of A is like suggesting that BYU fans would go to a Utah sporting event to cheer against Utah."

    No, it's like suggesting that Utah fans/BYU haters would go to a BYU sporting event simply to cheer again BYU - the truth is, it happens all the time.

    Regardless, at least half the crowd, or more, will be BYU fans - not only does BYU have a large fan base in Arizona, Phoenix is also close enough to Las Vegas, Utah, and Southern Cal to attract lots of BYU fans from those areas.

  • PAC 12 loves U Sandy, Utah
    April 12, 2013 11:18 p.m.

    @ NObama10

    "At least one PAC-12 school isn't afraid of overscheduling and putting BYU on their schedule"

    Not at all! Arizona has taken note of the annual beat down the Cougies get from the Utes. Arizona is just looking for an easy non-conference win. Utah has already proven it's dominance over little brother down south!

  • bribri86 Phoenix, AZ
    April 13, 2013 12:11 a.m.

    Here's one AZ BYU fan that will be there...and in greater numbers.

  • Who am I sir? Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 13, 2013 12:53 a.m.

    Many cougar fans are well pleased with this new scheduled series. One fan asked why Arizona could do this and Utah could not. Well, I for one will do all I can to match their offer. Because our current agreement has games playing in 2014 and 2016. I propose in 2016 we match the terms of the Arizona/BYU series. Therefore, in 2019 (3 years after the agreement(s) are signed BYU will play at SLC. In 2021 again we will play at Utah (No pro stadium available in the neutral city of Granger) and then in 2023 the Utes will play in Provo. Each game will be contracted separately. That way the cougar athletic director can continue to boast that they have not agreed to a two for one since he said they would never do that again. And equally important, because each game is contracted separately, the Cougars can boast how a PAC-12 team wanted so badly to play a powerful independent team they agreed to play a one and done deal to play at LES with no conditions.

  • phoenix Gilbert, AZ
    April 13, 2013 9:43 a.m.

    Already looking forward to the first BYU-Arizona game in Cardinals Stadium. Expecting thousands of BYU faithful at the game. Guaranteed, it won't be a "home" game for the Wildcats.

    Go Cougs!

  • Howard S. Taylorsville, UT
    April 13, 2013 10:01 a.m.

    N/H/H with AZ? Big Whoop...

    Utah has a perpetual H/H series with Arizona. In fact, AZ will play at RES three times before they are scheduled to the play at LES.

  • phoenix Gilbert, AZ
    April 13, 2013 10:10 a.m.

    Howard S.

    "N/H/H with AZ? Big Whoop..."

    Which of course is why the hill trolls are so obsessed with every opponent BYU schedules?

    Your blatantly obvious jealousy is laughable.

  • Bluto Sandy, UT
    April 13, 2013 10:22 a.m.

    @Hooward S

    Utah will play Arizona in SLC, because they have to.
    Just as they will have to go to the Mecca of College Football, Pullman Washington.

    Meanwhile, Texas, Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Ga. Tech, Boise State etc. will play BYU in Provo, because, they want to.

    And BYU will continue to schedule neutral-site games across this Nation in NFL Stadiums with multi- million dollar payouts.

    And they will also be shown to Nation-wide audiences on an actual National Network and not on Fox-Net Part Deux.

    Fantastic...

  • Cougars1 Bluffdale, UT
    April 13, 2013 10:32 a.m.

    Here is what Utah "fans" don't seem to understand. In the years that they play games at a neutral site, they will also have 6 home games. You can't look at one series and judge a season. What a great opportunity for BYU. 6 home games, 5 road games and 1 game at a neutral site with a large payout.

  • Solomon Levi Alpine, UT
    April 13, 2013 10:40 a.m.

    Cougars1

    Not only are the neutral site games played in NFL stadiums, they're almost always nationally televised on ESPN or another major network. More great exposure for the BYU football program.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    April 13, 2013 10:52 a.m.

    @Cougars1

    And in the case of 2016 it will be 6 home, 4 road, 2 neutral site games. Seems to be in BYU's favor actually.

  • Howard S. Taylorsville, UT
    April 13, 2013 11:32 a.m.

    @Bluto

    What good are ESPN audiences if they don't even get you a sniff from a BCS conference, or a BCS bowl game, or even a respectable recruiting class.

    hmmmmmm?

  • Cougars1 Bluffdale, UT
    April 13, 2013 11:55 a.m.

    Howard,

    That's the whole point. But the key is winning in front of the large ESPN crowd. Remember the win over Oklahoma? The next year BYU had a top 25 recruiting class. That has been the knock against BYU for the last few years. They have been unable to win the high profile, high exposure games of late. ie., Notre Dame and Texas last year and TCU the year before. The key is to also keep playing those games. You can't win them if you don't play them.

  • Uteanymous Salt Lake City, Utah
    April 13, 2013 12:18 p.m.

    Howard S.

    What good are good recruiting classes when you're a perennial PAC 10.2 bottom dweller?

    A couple more 3-6 conference finishes and the Utes won't even be able to out recruit Colorado and WSU.

    Meanwhile, BYU is obviously getting much more out of their supposedly "inferior" recruiting classes.

    2012
    #26 BYU(8-5) bowl winner > #61 Utah(5-7) bowl no show

    2011
    #25/#26/#34 BYU(10-3) > unranked/#39 Utah

    The ONLY significant wins Utah has had since joining the PAC 10.2 are against Independent BYU.

    The Utes won't even manage that accomplishment in 2013.

    Sad for U, but true.

  • Howard S. Taylorsville, UT
    April 13, 2013 12:34 p.m.

    @Cougars1

    Yeah, BYU had a top 25 recruiting class that included Heaps, Apo, Stout, Ho Ching, Quezada, and a host of other non-contributors.

    How's that class workin' out for you?

  • Bluto Sandy, UT
    April 13, 2013 12:46 p.m.

    Memno to Howard S.

    The BCS "Conference Crutch" is dead.
    Try to keep up.
    The notion of bad programs riding Conference Coat-tails anymore, is also a thing of the past.

  • Howard S. Taylorsville, UT
    April 13, 2013 1:16 p.m.

    @Re Bluto

    Yeah the the BCS is dead... and BYU was a no-show... never made an appearance.

    Try to keep up? BYU should try to keep up... 3-8 isn't keeping up.

  • SoonerUte Salt Lake City, UT
    April 13, 2013 1:17 p.m.

    History says... don't get excited about a 3 game series until AFTER the games are played. See Georgia Tech. See Southern Miss. Game 3 at Provo? Not likely.

  • phantomblade Salt Lake City, Utah
    April 13, 2013 2:16 p.m.

    Howie

    The Utes have been a no-show on the national college football scene for most of their entire history.

    AP Top 25 Finishes (lifetime)
    BYU - SEVENTEEN
    Utah - FIVE

    AP Top 25 Finishes (Bronco/Kyle era)
    BYU - FOUR
    Utah - TWO

    The Utes are so far behind, they'll NEVER catch up!

  • Uteanymous Salt Lake City, Utah
    April 13, 2013 2:41 p.m.

    SoonerUte

    History says...

    your speculation is nothing but wishful thinking by a BYU hater.

  • Howard S. Taylorsville, UT
    April 13, 2013 3:01 p.m.

    phantomblade
    Salt Lake City, Utah

    All that BYU glory and they can't get invited to the big boy table in the modern era of college football...

    mid-major forever... power conference no-show.

  • Uteanymous Salt Lake City, Utah
    April 13, 2013 3:40 p.m.

    Howard S.

    The ONLY ones obsessing about invites to "big boy" conferences are our jealous little brothers on the hill who aren't even good enough to make a bowl game anymore.

  • backpacn Sandy, UT
    April 13, 2013 4:12 p.m.

    Howie

    Utah fans continue to cluelessly believe that being invited to a "big boy" conference validates Utah's football program. Unfortunately for U, nothing could be further from the truth. There are lots of lousy and mediocre football programs in big boy conferences.

    On the other hand, all of that "BYU glory" has given BYU a CONSENSUS National Championship, a Heisman Trophy winner, SIX National College Football Hall of Fame players, and FIFTEEN National Individual Award winners - accomplishments on a national level that are completely foreign to that jealous little program on the hill.

  • Howard S. Taylorsville, UT
    April 13, 2013 4:24 p.m.

    Uteanymous
    Salt Lake City, Utah

    Yeah... I can see why the Cougs wouldn't want to be in a big boy conference... they couldn't pad the schedule with cupcakes from the WAC.

    Those WAC cupcakes help when your goal is qualifying for a third tier bowl

  • Howard S. Taylorsville, UT
    April 13, 2013 5:16 p.m.

    Cougars1
    Bluffdale, UT

    Top 25 recruiting class after the Oklahoma win?

    Can you name 3 players from that class that are actually contributing?

  • Snack PAC Olympus Cove, Utah
    April 13, 2013 6:02 p.m.

    howie

    "Those WAC cupcakes help when your goal is qualifying for a third tier bowl"

    Remind us again which team couldn't even the only WAC cupcake on their schedule to qualify for a third tier bowl last season. Better stick to Big Sky cupcakes to pad your record; former WAC teams are obviously too good for U.

    The Utes are all talk, but no walk, when it comes to accomplishing ANYTHING as a "big boy" conference member.

    7-11 in conference, no Top 25 finishes, one losing season, and only 1 bowl.

    Being a perennial PAC 10.2 bottom dweller is nothing to beat your chest about.

  • ekute Layton, UT
    April 13, 2013 6:37 p.m.

    @Snack PAC

    You'll be watching the Utes Walking and Talking on 9/21. lol.

  • Naval Vet Philadelphia, PA
    April 13, 2013 6:58 p.m.

    Snack WAC:

    "Remind us again which team couldn't even the only WAC cupcake on their schedule to qualify for a third tier bowl last season."

    I can't recall when that was. Must've been a long time ago. In fact, the only WAC teams I can recall off the top of my head who'd beat the Utes, were nationally RANKED ones; not cupcakes.

    On the OTHER hand, I DO recall a certain mid-majorey little brother that got HOUSED in Logan back in 2010. And THAT team only made it to a 3rd-tier bowl game because they packed their alumni in the Replay Booth vs. a Home game with San Diego St. Do you remember who that was, or should I remind you?

  • Bleed Crimson Sandy, Utah
    April 13, 2013 7:14 p.m.

    Arizona is a great addition to BYU's schedule, can't argue that!

    It's funny how BYU fans claim how weak the Pac-12 is every year and here they are scheduling our conference brothers to beef up their schedule. Oh the jealousy from our little brothers down south wishing they're apart of the Conference of Champions.

    The question still remains: What does BYU have to play for as an independent? Certainly not BCS bowls or National Championships (unless your Notre Dame). BYU's so called "legacy program" will not get them the Notre Dame treatment when it comes to the post season bowl games. BYU can only play for their 3rd rate bowl game they have contracts with.

    The cougies should've stayed in the MWC where the highest rated non-aq conference champion is guaranteed a berth in the Fiesta Bowl. An independent BYU team has no special arrangements like that unless they're Notre Dame (which they're not). Too bad!

  • talkinsports Gilbert, AZ
    April 13, 2013 7:22 p.m.

    navelvet

    "THAT team only made it to a 3rd-tier bowl game because they packed their alumni in the Replay Booth vs. a Home game with San Diego St."

    Jealous Utah fan revisionist history. The head replay booth official who made the call in the BYU-SDSU game had absolutely NO connection to BYU. If the replay booth officials had blown the fumble call in the BYU-Utah game that same year, BYU would have beaten the Utes in 2010.

    Unfortunately, U have no such excuses for losing to the Aggies last season or the 3-10 Buffs the year before.

  • Howard S. Taylorsville, UT
    April 13, 2013 7:24 p.m.

    backpacn
    Sandy, UT

    If a CONSENSUS NC, a Heisman Trophy, SIX Hall of Fame players, and FIFTEEN Individual Award winners had any significance at all in the modern era of college football BYU wouldn't have been snubbed by every power conference in the country and they would be able to schedule straight up home and home schedules with big boy teams.

    But alas, those aging accomplishments mean nothing to the big boys of college football... and so BYU finds itself on the outside looking in and settling for N/H/H schedules with the big boys.

  • talkinsports Gilbert, AZ
    April 13, 2013 7:31 p.m.

    bleed crimson

    "It's funny how BYU fans claim how weak the Pac-12 is every year... blah, blah"

    LOL at how our little friends on the hill just make stuff up; BYU fans don't claim that the PAC 12 is weak every year, just that a certain team on the hill is weak every year - losing to 10-loss teams, finishing with losing records, and not even qualifying for a bowl is proof of that.

    There's no denying it; the Utes have been in steady decline since 2008.

  • Howard S. Taylorsville, UT
    April 13, 2013 7:39 p.m.

    talkinsports
    Gilbert, AZ

    Ute decline since 2008?

    Yet since 2008 Utah is 3-1 against BYU.

    Not a very good record against a team in decline... hmmmmm?

  • Cougars1 Bluffdale, UT
    April 13, 2013 7:38 p.m.

    Howard,

    You asked how scheduling the high exposure ESPN games have helped recruiting to which I gave you an explanation. Now you want to know why(as you say)no one from that class has contributed? For the record 2 have. Bronson Kaufusi and Ross Apo. The rest we will have to see. This year is the first year that a lot of them get back from missions. As for Zac and Jake. Well, that is something for Ute fans to keep in mind as they brag about what great players they are recruiting. Nothing ever turns out as planned. I guess I figured you would be smart enough to figure that out.

    You didn't ask how a recruiting class would turn out because of ESPN exposure. You asked how the ESPN exposure would help recruiting. Nice to see you brushed up on your circular reasoning.

  • Elmer Fudd Sandy, Utah
    April 13, 2013 7:47 p.m.

    @ talkinsports

    "If the replay booth officials had blown the fumble call in the BYU-Utah game that same year, BYU would have beaten the Utes in 2010"

    The fumble that occurred in the Utah-BYU 2010 game was not undisputed and that's why the call was not overturned. Both teams can argue that call because it was so close. Because of that, the play must stand as called on the field. So the refs got it right! The BYU-SDSU fumble was flat out an obvious blown call!

    Speaking of the fumble in the 2010 rivalry game. BYU had a whole 4th quarter after the fumble to win the game. The cougies failed and fired Anae after the game. So you can't use that fumble as an excuse for that loss. BYU had their chances to win and failed!

    "Unfortunately, U have no such excuses for losing to the Aggies last season or the 3-10 Buffs the year before"

    You're right! We have no excuses for losing to those teams. Both Colorado and Utah State showed up and played inspired football to beat us. So I give them credit for their wins.

  • Howard S. Taylorsville, UT
    April 13, 2013 8:30 p.m.

    @Cougars1

    You said the OK win on ESPN helped BYU land a top 25 recruiting class. Well actually it was two recruiting classes later so I'm not sure you can connect the two... but whatever.

    Out of that class at least four of the top players are gone, Heaps, Stout, Ho Ching, and Quezada. Apo is now second team behind a walkon. Kaufusi is the only contributor from that class that you explained was the benefit of ESPN coverage.

    Aside from that, now you say it’s too early to tell how that class will be because they are on missions.

    Well, if four of the top members of that class are gone, one as Junior is second team behind a walkon, only one has contributed, and it’s too early to tell on the others... how can you hold that class up as a benefit of ESPN coverage? As a class they haven't contributed.

    BYU has been snubbed by every BCS conference and they have to settle for neutral site games to play big league teams. You’ve said yourself the top 25 class is unproven.

    So the question remains… How has ESPN coverage helped BYU?

  • Howard S. Taylorsville, UT
    April 13, 2013 8:37 p.m.

    talkinsports
    Gilbert, AZ

    "If the replay booth officials had blown the fumble call in the BYU-Utah game that same year, BYU would have beaten the Utes in 2010."

    There is NO video evidence that shows Howard's knee down WITH possession of the ball... NONE.

    The call by the officials was the correct call.

    But even if the the call was incorrect all BYU had to do was execute on a simple field goal attempt... which they failed to do.

    And so Utah rightfully won the game.

  • Utes-Best Lil Brothers Anaheim, CA
    April 13, 2013 8:41 p.m.

    Gotta luv the frantic and emotional attempt to rewrite history by the kids on the hill.

    The reality is, Bronco has finished with a winning record and has played in a bowl game every season during his tenure as BYU's head coach.

    Unfortunately, Kyle can't claim the same accomplishment.

    Bronco has NEVER lost to a 10-loss team.
    Kyle has lost to TWO 10-loss teams.

    Bronco has finished in the Top 25 FIVE times; Kyle only three.
    Bronco has finished in the Top 15 THREE times; Kyle only once.

    Despite his perfect storm season in 2008, Kyle has fallen short of Bronco in overall accomplishments.

  • Howard S. Taylorsville, UT
    April 13, 2013 9:01 p.m.

    Utes-Best Lil Brothers
    Anaheim, CA

    If all those BYU accomplishments were so meaningful why has BYU been snubbed by every power conference in the county and why to they have to settle for N/H/H schedules with big boy teams?

    If BYU is so relevant why can't they schedule straight up home and home games with the big boys.

    Hmmmmm?

  • Cougars1 Bluffdale, UT
    April 13, 2013 9:11 p.m.

    Howard,

    You are not only unreasonable, you can't even get your facts straight. BYU played Oklahoma in Arlington to start the 2009 season. They followed up the 2009 season by signing a top 25 recruiting class in Feb. of 2010. The game was on ESPN. How the class turns out or contributes, or when they start to contribute has nothing to do with whether BYU beat Oklahoma on ESPN. Not quite sure how you got there on that one. Kids go on missions at BYU. Sorry if that doesn't fit into your method of reasoning. Also, the exposure from that game has nothing to do with how any recruiting class will turn out. That wasn't your original question anyway.

  • uteBusters Park City, UT
    April 13, 2013 9:26 p.m.

    Howard S.

    If Utah is so relevant, why have the Utes only been able to schedule ONE big name, elite OOC opponent to come to RES - Michigan - in their entire history?

    BYU has been scheduling teams like Texas, Notre Dame, Florida State, Miami, Penn State, and USC to play in LES for decades?

    BYU wasn't snubbed by every "big boy" conference; the Cougars were snubbed by the PAC 12 for the same reason Baylor was, because of religious bigotry, and the Cougars supposedly weren't invited to the Big 12 because of BYU's no Sunday play policy. BYU turned down the Big East, while the Big East was still considered a power BCS conference. The Big Ten, SEC, and ACC were never in play.

    The Utes were snubbed by EVERY power conference east of the Rockies, not because of religious bigotry, but because their athletic programs are so mediocre.

  • Cougars1 Bluffdale, UT
    April 13, 2013 9:27 p.m.

    "What good are ESPN audiences if they don't even get you a sniff from a BCS conference, or a BCS bowl game, or even a respectable recruiting class.

    hmmmmmm?"

    Howard,

    By the way, that was your original question. I only answered the last part of it. As for no invite from a BCS conference. Speculation. Who knows, but I will admit that a lack of success like Utah's in recent years certainly has to play into that. But it most definitely has nothing to do with ESPN. As for the BCS bowl game, even you should be smart enough to figure out that no matter how much exposure you get from ESPN, ABC, NBC, Or FOX, if you don't win, you don't go. Which goes back to my original point. The exposure is there to benefit from, but you still have to do your part and win.

  • let's roll LEHI, UT
    April 13, 2013 9:34 p.m.

    Congrats to Tom Holmoe for continuing to upgrade the schedule. Neutral site games in NFL stadiums are great recruiting tools and provide some interesting variety to the schedule.

    Moreover, with the BCS bowls losing relevance with the advent of the playoff system, the games become a great showcase for an Independant team looking to get into what, undoubtedly, will shortly become more than a four team field.

    What will be telling will be how large the field becomes. I think the most likely number is 12, with the top 4 having byes in the first round. At any number above 8, teams can't afford to schedule soft non-conference games because wins in high profile games at neutral sites will be the calling card of teams looking to boost their ranking and SOS to get into the playoff.

    Time will tell whether BYU can win enough of those games to get into the playoff, but it's at least as likely a road to the playoff as trying to win a major conference title, with the additional benefit of providing a national schedule against a variety of quality opponents.

  • Howard S. Taylorsville, UT
    April 13, 2013 9:49 p.m.

    Courgars1

    Okay... good catch... you got me on the timing from the OK game to the signing the top 25 class in Feb. 2010.

    But lets look at that timing a little closer...

    Of the 27 signees in the 2010 class all but 4 had committed before the OK game on ESPN. Everett, Quezada, Ho Ching, and Hannemann committed after the game. So you can't claim that beating OK on ESPN helped BYU sign that class.

    The first class after the BYU ESPN win over OK was in Feb. 2011 when BYU signed the 66th ranked class.

    With independence beginning in 2011 BYU began playing more games on ESPN. Yet, despite all the BYU winning on ESPN, in Feb. 2012 BYU signed the 60th ranked class. In Feb 2013 BYU signed the 63rd ranked class.

    Seems to me that since BYU began playing more games on ESPN, recruiting has gone south.

    So if winning on ESPN hasn't helped BYU recruiting, the question remains... How does ESPN help BYU?

    Hmmmmm?

  • Cougars1 Bluffdale, UT
    April 13, 2013 9:57 p.m.

    "But alas, those aging accomplishments mean nothing to the big boys of college football... and so BYU finds itself on the outside looking in and settling for N/H/H schedules with the big boys."

    Howard,

    Who said anything about settling. I love how Utah "fans" love to make up imaginary things. Please provide us all with a quote from either BYU or Arizona that Arizona demanded a game on a neutral field. Maybe it was a request of BYU. After all it gives BYU a schedule with 8 games either at home or at a neutral site for the year and 4 games on opponents fields. That sound pretty beneficial to BYU, especially since the game in Phoenix will probably have as many BYU fans attending as Arizona fans.

  • Cougars1 Bluffdale, UT
    April 13, 2013 10:08 p.m.

    Howard,

    Nice way to change positions. It didn't help because the game was played 2 years prior to the class, THEN, it didn't help because the game happened too close to the signing date. Say goodbye to what was left of your credibility.

    As for the 2012 and 2013 classes. Remember when I said that the only way the exposure helps is if you win. Going 1-4 against ranked opponents those two years definitely hurt. Exposure only helps if you win, otherwise it will hurt you.

  • Y's little brother Sandy, UT
    April 13, 2013 10:37 p.m.

    Howie

    It's gotta be soooo depressing for the kids on the hill to be signing such amazing recruiting classes, and yet U still haven't been able to beat a single PAC 10.2 team with a winning record, let alone finish ahead of BYU in the final rankings.

    2011 #25/#26/#34 BYU(10-3) > UNRANKED/#39 Utah(8-5)

    2012 unranked/#26 BYU(8-5) bowl winner > unranked/#61 Utah(5-7) bowl no show

    Utah fans live in this fantasy world where much less reliable recruiting rankings of thousands of recruits trump actual results and much more reliable season rankings of 120 teams.

    Quite obviously, it's waaaay to soon to make any kind of accurate evaluation of the dividends in better recruiting caused by BYU's frequent appearances on ESPN.

  • Cougars1 Bluffdale, UT
    April 13, 2013 11:05 p.m.

    Y's little bro,

    And that is the bottom line. Ranking recruits is so overrated and unreliable. Bill Walsh didn't evaluate talent with just 40 times. The most important time for his evaluations was from 30 to 60 yards. Jerry Rice.

  • Howard S. Taylorsville, UT
    April 13, 2013 11:37 p.m.

    @Cougars1

    "Exposure only helps if you win, otherwise it will hurt you."

    Okay... let examine the wisdom of Mr.Cougars1.

    From 2006 to 2010 BYU appeared on ESPN 10 times with a winning percentage of 60%.

    In the recruiting years following those seasons from 2007 to 2011 BYUs average recruiting ranking was 46th.

    In the 2011 and 2012 seasons BYU appeared on ESPN 20 times with a winning 70%.

    In the 2012 and 2013 recruiting classes following those 20 appearances and winning 70% BYUs recruiting ranking averaged 62nd.

    Exposure and winning up in 2011 and 2012 right?

    Mr.Cougars1 believes that when exposure and winning go up recruiting results go up.

    But, noooo... Actually when BYU exposure and winning go up, BYU's recruiting rankings fall to the worst levels in a decade.

    So the question remains... how does BYU benefit from ESPN exposure?

  • Howard S. Taylorsville, UT
    April 13, 2013 11:44 p.m.

    Y's little brother
    Sandy, UT

    How humiliating is it to be 3-8 against a team that hasn't been able to beat a PAC team with a winning record?

  • bribri86 Phoenix, AZ
    April 14, 2013 12:04 a.m.

    Meanwhile, no one is commenting on any of the Utah Ute articles, because no one cares about the utes

  • Y's little brother Sandy, UT
    April 14, 2013 10:02 a.m.

    Howie

    How humiliating it must be to be in a big boy conference and beat the Cougars and still be left home watching BYU beat SDSU in a bowl game while the Utes are spending the holidays as couch potatoes.

    Someday, our little friends on the hill will wake up and realize that one game does not a season make.

  • Rockwell Baltimore, MD
    April 14, 2013 10:07 a.m.

    howard

    Humiliating isn't losing a couple of games on the last play of the game on the home turf of your bitter rival, humiliating is watching your bitter rival finishing in the Top 25 and winning bowl games while you're not good enough to do either.

  • Clark W. Griswold Sandy, Utah
    April 14, 2013 10:25 a.m.

    Howard S.

    Good comment, let me add this:

    BYU's recruiting class has declined so significantly over the last two years is because of independence. Recruits will look at BYU and ask themselves "if i were to play at BYU, what do we have to play for?" BYU has nothing to play for as an independent. Think about it! BYU has no conference championship to play for, no BCS bowls (including the new system), no national championships, ect. Only Notre Dame can pull of independence because of who they are. Notre Dame has a partnership with the Orange Bowl when the new playoff system. BYU has no such contract with any BCS bowls. Notre Dame plays for National Championships when they go undefeated, BYU will be pushed aside like any other non-aq team that goes undefeated. If BYU wants to attract better recruiting classes they need to rejoin the MWC because the new rule is the highest ranked "non-aq conference champion" (independents are excluded) will go to the Fiesta Bowl.

    BYU can beef up their schedule all they want, but the fact remains they're still a non-aq team and will be treated as one.

  • MUSSing with U Baltimore, MD
    April 14, 2013 11:00 a.m.

    Clark W. Griswold

    "BYU has nothing to play for as an independent."

    Laughing out loud at your delusional spin.

    Unlike our little brothers on the hill, BYU plays for Top 25 finishes, 10+ win seasons, big wins over elite programs like Oklahoma, Texas, and Notre Dame, and, soon, a shot at a spot in the national championship playoff.

    Playing big name teams in nationally televised games in historic venues throughout the country is just an added bonus when you play for a program with a national fan base.

    It's no wonder our little friends on the hill with their small little regional fan base are incapable of appreciating a true national perspective of college football.

    Beating BYU is still the most important goal for the kids on the hill.

  • Cougars1 Bluffdale, UT
    April 14, 2013 11:38 a.m.

    Howie,

    Not quite sure what your angle is since you seem to change mid-stream. You are saying that playing a weak schedule in the MWC on an obscure network is better than playing the 2013 schedule with 10 or more of those games on ESPN? Sorry, Griswold makes a good point about playing for a conference championship, but even then, recruits would rather play a schedule like 2013 on ESPN. I know this because I see recruits every Saturday and I actually ask them. As for the claim that BYU can never play in a BCS game; well that is bunk and you know it. If BYU goes undefeated or is ranked high enough with one loss, they play in a BCS game. I love how fabricating a notion that fits your opinion is suddenly spun as truth when it is nothing more than a half truth.

    Now, my claim is that winning big games against ranked teams on ESPN helps recruiting. Is that the only thing that affects recruiting? No. I never made that claim.

  • Clark W. Griswold Sandy, Utah
    April 14, 2013 1:30 p.m.

    @ MUSSingwithU

    "Unlike our little brothers on the hill, BYU plays for Top 25 finishes, 10+ win seasons"

    blah blah blah! Teams from the MAC can do that too. Even Northern Illinois can crash the BCS with a one loss regular season. Why can't BYU do that? hmmm.......

    I guess BYU's top 25 finishes and 10+ win seasons only get them to Vegas or the Helicopter Bowl and not the BCS on the national stage with a real national audience. Utah has done it twice, Boise State has done it twice, TCU has done it twice, Hawaii once, and Northern Illinois once. Still waiting on BYU to join us!

    "Playing big name teams in nationally televised games in historic venues throughout the country is just an added bonus when you play for a program with a national fan base"

    Then explain to me how Utah games always have higher TV ratings than BYU games? So much for that national fan base of yours.

  • Clark W. Griswold Sandy, Utah
    April 14, 2013 1:43 p.m.

    @ MUSSingwithU

    "Beating BYU is still the most important goal for the kids on the hill"

    Utah's most important goal now is winning the Pac-12 title and going to the Rose Bowl. Utah is BYU's most important goal for two reasons. 1) BYU can't beat us! 2) BYU has nothing to play for as an independent.

    @ Cougar1

    The current BCS format will allow non-aq teams to automatically qualify for a BCS bid if they're undefeated and ranked in the top 12 or they can qualify for an at-large bid if they're ranked in the top 16 and ranked higher than a BCS conference champion. BYU has failed to meet either requirement in the current BCS format.

    Now the new playoff system is coming and the rules have changed. Top 4 ranked teams go to the final four (long shot for BYU). But the BCS bowls will select their conference partners or second place teams. Notre Dame formed a partnership with the Orange Bowl. The new BCS bowls don't have to invite BYU. They'll select teams from other conferences whom they have contracts with. BYU has no contracts with any of the bowls. They'll be left out!

  • Howard S. Taylorsville, UT
    April 14, 2013 2:28 p.m.

    Cougars1

    "Now, my claim is that winning big games against ranked teams on ESPN helps recruiting. Is that the only thing that affects recruiting? No. I never made that claim."

    Here is truth... Since announcing independence and its ESPN contract in August of 2010 BYU has signed three recruiting classes. Each of those classes was ranked in the 60s.

    Those are the worst ranked recruiting classes for BYU since 2002.

    If recruits were really attracted by BYUs schedule and ESPN, why have the last three recruiting classes been so dismal?

    My guess (as supported by the evidence) is that top recruits don't care about playing an independent BYU schedule even if it is on ESPN.

    Do you have any other reasons that explain BYU's three dismal recruiting classes?

    Now, you may say that BYU hasn't won big games on ESPN.

    To which I would reply, First, you can only speculate that recruiting would benefit by big wins on ESPN.

    And second, even if it were true that big wins would benefit BYU recruiting, three dismal recruiting classes make less likely that BYU could get a big win.

    Now, how is it that independence and ESPN helped BYU?

  • football43 Morgan, UT
    April 14, 2013 8:21 p.m.

    Howard,

    You know way too much about BYU's recruiting classes.

  • Cougars1 Bluffdale, UT
    April 14, 2013 9:16 p.m.

    football43,

    False knowledge is a wonderful thing.

  • Howard S. Taylorsville, UT
    April 14, 2013 9:23 p.m.

    @football43
    Morgan, UT

    "You know way too much about BYU's recruiting classes."

    I know the last three years have been pathetic.

    I also know that top recruits in the 2010 class are now gone... So what was good class is now a pathetic class also.

  • Howard S. Taylorsville, UT
    April 14, 2013 9:40 p.m.

    Cougars1
    Bluffdale, UT,

    "False knowledge is a wonderful thing."

    Care to point out my inaccuracies about the pathetic rankings of the three recruiting classes that followed BYU's independence/ESPN partnership?

  • Wiscougarfan River Falls, WI
    April 15, 2013 9:55 a.m.

    RE: Clark Griswold

    "Utah's most important goal now is winning the Pac-12 title and going to the Rose Bowl."

    While that may be true for U of U players, we know that is nowhere near the truth for those who claim to be Utah fans. Would you like to see any evidence of this? Try comparing how many comments are made by "Ute fans" on Utah articles and compare that to how often those same "fans" are posting on BYU articles. If this doesn't convince you try reading their posts. Utah "fans" will beat their chests about how superior they believe they are to BYU and never mention their superiority to conference powerhouses that they may also beat occasionally like Colorado. It's no secret that your "most important goal" has always been and will continue to be the one game you play each year against the non-bcs BYU Cougars.

  • truecoug1 Provo, UT
    April 15, 2013 9:59 a.m.

    @Howard S.

    Wow, I think U have 20 comments on a BYU article. Thank U for your support!

    As for the recruiting discussion, I would like to point out a few inaccuracies of your 'claims'. First, BYU's recruiting classes haven't been "pathetic" with ESPN. By BYU's standards, they've been average, or slightly above average. According to Rivals (the Utes' favorite recruiting service), BYU has had a top 50 recruiting class 3 times since 2002 (2002, 2009, 2010). That means that out of the last 12 recruiting classes, 9 of them have been below 50 and 8 of them have been 60 or below. If you average out BYU's class ranking since 2002, it comes out to around 68.

    That's who BYU is. They have a smaller recruiting pool to draw from because of the higher academic standards and the honor code that all students who attend BYU have to adhere to. And they do just fine with the kids they get.

    Second, ESPN has helped BYU in recruiting. Fred Warner, a 3* LB, recently committed to BYU because of watching KVN on ESPN. Brayden Kearsley mentioned ESPN as a reason why he committed to the Cougs.

  • truecoug1 Provo, UT
    April 15, 2013 10:11 a.m.

    @Howard S. continued

    There have been several other players who cited ESPN, or watching BYU on ESPN, as at least part of the reason they committed to BYU (Trent Trammel, Jamaal Williams, Trajan Pili, etc(.

    So it's obviously helped BYU in their recruiting.

    Recruiting smack is weak smack. Recruiting is completely subjective, and varies from database to database. For example, BYU's "pathetic" recruiting classes over the last 3 years have resulted in a steady increase in BYU's final Sagarin rankings from 2010-2012. It's interesting to note that Utah has had three of their best recruiting classes over the last three years, and yet they have steadily declined in their overall record and their Sagarin rankings over the course of those three years.

    But in conclusion, your statements that BYU's last three recruiting classes have been "the worst in a decade", or the "worst since 2002" are completely false. They are actually right in the middle, or slightly above average, of where they've been over the last decade.

    So please stop trying to stir the pot, since U clearly have no idea what you're talking about.

  • Cougars1 Bluffdale, UT
    April 15, 2013 10:37 a.m.

    truecoug1,

    Exactly. Still can't figure out why the dnews wouldn't post my comment from last night that said as much.

    Something else to consider is that BYU has such a small recruiting pool that it fluctuates from year to year in talent. These aren't the Crowton years where they didn't care if a kid could live by the honor code. That is a focal point in the recruiting process right up until signing and beyond.

    We shouldn't worry about Howie. He not only can't get his facts straight, he loves to change his position midstream.

  • WACPaddingOurSchedule pocatello, ID
    April 15, 2013 4:33 p.m.

    backpacn
    Sandy, UT
    Howie

    Utah fans continue to cluelessly believe that being invited to a "big boy" conference validates Utah's football program. Unfortunately for U, nothing could be further from the truth. There are lots of lousy and mediocre football programs in big boy conferences.

    On the other hand, all of that "BYU glory" has given BYU a CONSENSUS National Championship, a Heisman Trophy winner, SIX National College Football Hall of Fame players, and FIFTEEN National Individual Award winners - accomplishments on a national level that are completely foreign to that jealous little program on the hill.

    ____________

    I can always count on wishful BYU fans to bring up useless accomplishments. Because no other media outlet even brings up this stuff on a daily basis.

  • Bluto Sandy, UT
    April 16, 2013 9:18 a.m.

    @WacPadding

    Every time BYU has a National ESPN game, their camera's pan through the Legacy Hall of BYU.
    Showing their Heisman, Outlands and Waterford Crystal Coaches Trophy.
    They always mention Quarterback U's Pedigree. From Carter to Hall.

    Indeed, a College Team's History and Legacy is defined by their cumulative accomplishments.
    U fans denegrate BYU's Legacy and History because they have none of their own to speak of.
    BYU has "Generational Legacy" and an actual Brand and Utah does not.

  • stealthblue Herriman, UT
    April 16, 2013 2:41 p.m.

    Unfortunately, the biggest questions regarding these games isn't where the game is played but what reffs will officiate. Even the Hack12 reffs knows how bad their officials are!

  • WON84 PLANO, TX
    April 17, 2013 8:52 a.m.

    Who am I sir?

    Cottonwood Heights, UT

    This works out well for a couple of reasons. For one, SOS is going to play a larger role in the upcoming playoff therefore playing BYU (a probable 8-10 win team) is far better than a filler regardless of whether or not you "like" them.

    BYU gets three games, one at home, one on the road, and one that really is neutral. The Cards stadium is not walking distance from the Arizona campus and there are a lot of BYU fans in the area. So, getting three games against a non-WAC opponent without two of them being true road games is good.

    And I assure you the Cougar athletic director doesn't boast about anything related to scheduling Utah. There are midmajors in major conferences and no one boasts about scheduling them (WSU, Utah, Duke, Wake Forest, etc.).