Comments about ‘Ryan Teeples: Ziggy Ansah's story priceless, evidence BYU football independence is working’

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Published: Thursday, May 16 2013 9:30 a.m. MDT

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Jake D.

Rather than evidence that independence is working I think Ansah is an example of just the opposite. Ziggy matches Jim McMahon as the highest draft pick in BYU history yet the coaching staff really had no idea what they had, finally gave him minutes as a senior almost by accident, and still underutilized him in the final games of his senior year.

Ziggy somehow found a way to be successful in spite of the blunders of the coaching staff.

Johnny Triumph
American Fork, UT

There's no way to say that BYU's football independence had anything to do with Ansah's success nor the subsequent media coverage. Had BYU been conference affiliated Ansah's unique and compelling story would still have garnered intense exposure.

I love that BYU is football independent but it's a much too limited view to say that independence led to Ansah's story and media coverage.

Cris B.
Sandy, UT

Bronco has yet to have a single of HIS recruits that was drafted.



Hasn't happened. Ever.

Whittingham has over 20.
So does Saban
And miles
and mack brown
and chris Peterson
and steve spurrier

What this shows is that quality coaching in BCS leagues "is working"


Sneaky Jimmy
Bay Area, CA

Ziggy's story somewhat mirrors "Book of Mormon the musical" Sheds a lot of light on what the LDS church is doing in Africa. Exposure is good and it goes both ways. BYU, the LDS church and rank and file mormons are being exposed to diverse opinions and beliefs. I hope everyone continues to benefit.

Salt Lake City, UT

Clearly Ansah's success has brought a lot of attention to BYU. That's not debatable. But I'll confess: I'm not seeing how Ansah's success justifies independence. I'm pretty sure he would have had the same success had BYU still been in the MWC, or any other conference.

Is this article making the case that a player can still get to the NFL in BYU's independent state? Was there any doubt of that before? The top player in the NFL draft came from Central Michigan -- a school from a conference that gets FAR less ink than BYU as a MWC member or independent.

River Falls, WI

"If you believe ESPN would have given the Ansah story the same airtime were BYU still playing games in anonymity on a crummy low-def network based in Colorado, Craig Thompson has a bridge to sell you in Laramie."

Great line and well written article. Teeples is a welcome addition to the DNews staff. I agree that independence is working out better for BYU than if they had stayed in the MWC. Would I rather be in the Big 12? Absolutely, but it is unlikely that they will come calling. Independence is the next best thing.

Re: Jake D.

You obviously didn't watch Ziggy early on in this process. As someone who has watched him and his development closely I can tell you that the coaching at BYU did a masterful job with him. And rooming with KVN didn't hurt either. You don't start someone in college football just because they are athletic, you start them when they're ready to make meaningful contributions to the team. That is exactly what happened with Ansah at BYU.

River Falls, WI

RE: Johnny Triumph

"I love that BYU is football independent but it's a much too limited view to say that independence led to Ansah's story and media coverage."

That's not what the article said. It said that partnering with ESPN led to more airtime and exposure than Ansah would have gotten otherwise, which is true. It also pointed out that this partnership with ESPN led to very positive exposure for the LDS church, which was also true.

Payson, UT

Confused at why the TITLE of the article is saying this is evidence that BYU's independence is working.
There s no objective evidence that BYU's independence is working. In fact, even the most die-hard fan gets giddy with the possibility of joining the big 12.
Ziggy is the success story. In and of himself. He deserves the credit for pushing on, trying out new things, leaving home and persevering. This is not a success of BYUs or of the church. This IS great exposure for the two and that they can facilitate such success, but the credit is Ziggy's.

Just the FAX
Olympus Cove, Utah

Jake D.

LOL at your jealous, delusional spin. Only a jealous BYU hater would even think that way.

BYU's coaching staff provided exactly what Ziggy needed as far as coaching, first giving Ziggy a chance to learn the game by being a member of the team, then being patient enough to teach him enough about the game so that he wouldn't be totally lost when he was finally stepped onto the football field, and finally, not pressing him into a starting position until he was ready to handle the every-down grind of being a starter.

The bottom-line results SCREAM success, since Ziggy progressed from not even knowing how to don a pair of shoulder pads to being the #5 NFL draft pick under the tutelage of BYU's coaching staff.

Brave Sir Robin
San Diego, CA

The problem I have with hypotheses like the one in this story ("Ziggy's story is proof that independence is working") is that it's impossible to test any alternate hypotheses. Who's to say that if BYU were a part of a conference that Ziggy wouldn't have gotten even MORE press and the church's efforts in Africa wouldn't have gotten even MORE press?

Being able to draw a rash conclusion like the one drawn in this article without testing any other hypothesis is disingenuous. In fact, in psychology it has a name: Experimenter's bias.

Gilbert, AZ

timid sparrow

It is possible to test this hypothesis:

That Ziggy produced far more publicity for BYU and was far more successful in helping BYU qualify for a bowl game, than Star produced for Utah.

Future BYU recruits all over the country obviously noticed and will undoubtedly be factoring that into their personal equation when it comes to deciding where they want to play college football.

Ziggy's story IS priceless, and the exposure BYU received IS evidence that BYU football independence is working, despite the ankle-biting yapping from the hill.

Cris B.
Sandy, UT


Did you know Utah just won the recruiting battle for the fourth year in a row?


Yes, the great majority of kids who had offers from both byu and Utah picked UTAH.

And UTAH's average stars are higher than byu's.

And if you think stars don't matter, Nick saban disagrees. He gets more 4 and 5 star guys each year than BYU will in the next 20 years.


Surfers Paradise, AU

I guess I'm not seeing how the BCS recruiting on the hill is working? I think the interesting story is that BYU doesn't have NFL talent but is playing at a high level of success. Given BYU's lack of NFL talent, the football team should be getting crushed every single game right?

Syracuse, UT

I think that many people are really looking at not only this story but the whole BYU thing in the wrong way. Too many people on the hill think only football in the eyes of the pac-12....money, money, money. BYU and the Church look at it through the eyes of exposure for the Church. Football, the game and its success is way down the list of what they want to achieve. BYU has taken the high road and over time will become very successful in their goals. Most of u need to step out of the football box and take off your crimson (or whatever color u are using now) glasses and see things as they really are. BYU is making a huge success of independence and over time will see things grow and progress to make not only BYU but the Church more successful than anyone has ever dreamed.

Don't believe me? Just watch ! ! !

True success is in the eyes of the beholder. Success is not being on the bottom of a major conference.

Y's little brother
Sandy, UT


CBSSports is already projecting Kyle Van Noy as the 11th pick in the 2014 draft.

Sorry, no Utes mentioned on the 2014 Big Board

Unfortunately for U, the tide is turning as the two programs head in opposite directions.

BYU back to national prominence.

Utah back to conference also ran, infrequent bowl game participant.

Park City, Ut

If you continually have to keep trying to talk yourself into believing you made a good decision about something... in the face of facts and reality, chances are...

Big XII here you come LOL

Sandy, UT


There's nothing wrong with using new evidence to validate previous decisions.

The most critical decision in leaving the MWC to become Independent was gaining increased exposure, the evidence for which is ample.

As far as the Big XII is concerned, there's no evidence that BYU turned down an invitation from the Big XII. BYU did engage in discussions with the Big XII, but only those involved in the actual discussion know how close BYU and the Big XII came to a formal agreement that would have produced a formal invitation.

Farmington, UT

Seems many are missing Teeples' point: a) ESPN was a huge factor in promoting Ziggy and gaining him and BYU national exposure b) ESPN has a vested interest in promoting both because of their contractual relationship with BYU, and c) that relationship would not exist were it not for BYU's independence.

@wwookie--No, not every "die-hard fan gets giddy with the possibility of joining the big 12". Being part of a conference is not nirvana. Playing other great programs, being on the national stage, and having a shot at a big bowl if we do well--THAT's nirvana to a true football fan. BYU's 2013 schedule is stellar: Wisconsin and Notre Dame in November, Texas, Georgia Tech and Boise State in Lavell Edwards Stadium, opening game against Virginia. And membership in the WCC has been huge for the other sports: top-drawer competition in basketball, soccer, volleyball, baseball, softball, gymnastics.

I'm LOVING independence, and I suspect we're just getting warmed up!

Brave Sir Robin
San Diego, CA


I don't think you understand how the scientific method works. Star and Ziggy aren't the same person so their "exposure" can't be compared, just like how you can't compare their stats on the football field because they don't play the same position. Ziggy has a "rags to riches" story that Star doesn't have, and Ziggy is a relatively new arrival on the high-level football scene, unlike Star.

Again, we can't turn back time, insert Ziggy into Utah's football team, and see how his exposure changes vs. his time with BYU. The logical fallacy you posted is the exact definition of an apples to oranges comparison.

Y's little brother
Sandy, UT

timid sparrow

Bottom line little brother is that Ziggy was the most talked about story in the NFL draft this year and BYU gained tremendous positive exposure because of the story.

Nobody, except our jealous little friends on the hill, cares to what degree BYU was responsible for Ziggy's success, but the fact remains, that BYU was responsible for making Ziggy's story possible.

You can claim that Ziggy would have been just as successful at Utah, but you have absolutely no evidence to prove that Kyle would have even given Ziggy a chance to be on the team.

We know its tough, but you'll just have to get used to the reality that Utah's 15 minutes of fame are in the past. Your bcs busters are old news and being a bottom dweller in the PAC isn't nearly as exciting as Utah fans like to pretend it is.

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