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Comments about ‘Brad Rock: Bookings are looking up for BYU football’

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Published: Thursday, July 11 2013 7:20 p.m. MDT

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hobbes1012003
Kaysville, UT

Independance has clearly lifted BYU to a new level of football. The recruiting is getting better, the TV has been phenominal with ESPN and BYUtv working together. This is a great time to be a Cougar fan! cant wait for kickoff in Virginia! Go Cougs!

THE MTN MAN
Taylorsville, UT

It's nice to see. The Pac-12 in particular treated both BYU AND Utah like garbage when the conference first expanded. The first thing the league did was pull the plug on late-season non-conference games - except it seemed the rule only applied to Utah. And the Pac-12 went out of their way to DEMAND that Utah host athletic events on Sundays, despite Utah's polite request to avoid such games as much as possible. And yet Ute fans still brag so much about a conference that treats them as second-class citizens.

MyPerspective
Salt Lake City, UT

There isn't a Utah fan on the planet that would agree with your assertion that the Pac-12 has treated Utah like "garbage" or "second class citizens." Further, the Pac-12 has never treated byu like "garbage" either...the Pac-12 simply doesn't care about byu. Why should they?

Kralon
HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA

Clearly being independent is more difficult than being in a conference, but it is really exciting to see BYU be able to schedule so many big-name schools like Texas, Notre Dame, USC and Wisconsin. Those type of games we used to see once every three years or so, now BYU has some scheduled every year, and to be able to play anywhere in the country is great!

For BYU to continue scheduling these great teams BYU will need to step up the level of play to consistently finish in the top 25 so that great teams will want to play BYU to increase their SOS in hopes of making the new playoff system.

David
Centerville, UT

I wonder the mindset of some of these big-name school schedulers and coaches. Are they wanting to schedule BYU because they see it as a recognized program that draws big crowds, but doesn't win many games against opponents in the top 10 or top 20?

Or, as Kralon posted, do they want to schedule BYU because it would increase their SOS?

What would happen if BYU was winning 50% or even 60% of their games against top 25 opponents? Would BYU have so many takers lining up to schedule a game with them in November?

Perhaps there are some benefits to losing so many games to top 25 opponents?

mindgames
Aurora, CO

Great to see that the scheduling part of being an independent is becoming easier and better. The biggest fear I had in the beginning was that BYU might be ignored or even ostracized.

It was one thing to be the big fish in the WAC and MWC conferences, but to be an independent along side of Notre Dame was going to be a tremendous step. We cannot hold a candle to the history and tradition of the Golden Domers, but with the help of ESPN we will have the opportunity each season to play the type of schedule that will allow recognition.

Each season will offer quality opponents with national prominence. Now we can truly measure how we would do in a major conference when we play six or more games each season against those teams.

There were times in the past when we might go undefeated and not be invited to a major bowl because all the conferences had them sown up. Then with the BCS there was always a chance, but a perfect season was required. Now with the advent of the four team playoff system we conceivable might lose one game and still get an invitation.

let's roll
LEHI, UT

Smart PAC-12 teams, especially those with National Championship aspirations, will continue to seek out BYU for their OOC schedule for one simple reason, BYU is a "value" SOS enhancer, hence the USC and Stanford series.

As long as SOS continues to be calculated by opponents W/L record, BYU will continue to be an attractive opponent because they can schedule to assure themselves 6 to 9 wins a year and then play 3 to 5 marquee games each year against other legacy programs.

BYU will continue to be an attractive opponent for PAC-12 teams both because PAC-12 teams realize BYU is a legacy program, with name recognition that will be valued by its fan base, and perhaps most importantly because BYU provides a SOS boost without being as big a competitive risk as another 8 or 9 win team. I'm objective enough of a BYU fan to concede that.

BYU will be able to continue to put together interesting schedules which include games against legacy/marquee programs from across the country as long as it continue to maintain a balanced schedule that allows it to be a SOS enhancer to those legacy/marquee teams.

toosmartforyou
Farmington, UT

With a greased schedule to get into the first edition of the PAC 12 Championship Game the PAC 12 hardly treated Utah like garbage. Before the division alignments were announced there was hand-ringing by Utah and Colorado. Utah was treated royally in that they were placed in a very favorable position. All they had to do the last Saturday of the regular season was beat the worst road team in America on their own field. But you gotta hand it to Colorado----they decapitated the Utes that day and derailed all the banter about "Rose Bowl." Now we hear that the SOS is too hard and they if they reach .500 they are truly performing well.

PAC 12 has thrown Utah under the bus this time, though, folks, because now they won't have Weber State on the schedule or Fresno State and they likely won't qualify for a bowl game yet again.

I just don't get how Mr. Rock thinks BYU's schedule has vastly improved because they are playing Utah twice more. Surely he wouldn't say that if it were Washington State or Colorado. But he needs to help sell newspapers I suppose.

BlueNtheFace
Rancho Cucamonga, CA

"Tittle said BYU draws 5,000-6000 supporters at almost any road venue ..."
I think he's underestimating our draw. Sure, the numbers are down when we play in Las Cruces for New Mexico State, but practically every other venue sees way more Cougar fans. When we played UCLA in Pasadena, for example, we had 17K easy.

Also, one of the things I like about independence is being surprised by who we get to play. When we belonged to a conference, we only got 3 or 4 of these surprises (OOC games). Now? Double that. I wonder if ESPN will re-up its partnership with BYU after the 8 years are up.

Good times, Cougar fans.
Just win, baby!

slcftball
Salt Lake City, UT

Guys...people keep saying this BYU schedule is so tough. I don't get it. Look at every Top 20 team, especially in BCS conferences and they line up harder. We just aren't playing easy wins every game.

Whose schedule is tougher Utah or BYU? Stanford, Oregon, etc I say Utah by far. Virginia, GT, Houston etc aren't any good.

I like the Cougs, but people get a clue. It's hard because we aren't playing Wyoming and Idaho etc. let's play some real football and be a Top 10 team like every Cougar fan thinks the team is!

CougarColby
Fort Benning, GA

I can only imagine U fans disgust right now. BYU is starting to reap the benefits of being independent and it will only continue as they play more and more high profile games on ESPN against quality opponents. This is nearly the same route Boise took, and look at where they are currently. BYU has a much bigger brand, better recruiting, better facilities, more money, and more exposure. To think BYU was going to strike it big in the first 1-5 years of independence is/was crazy. But give it some time. The recruits will see BYU playing fantastic games on National TV and as long as BYU can win 2-3 of those big games a year, things will start looking up. A few more years down the road though, they will have to starting winning 3-4 to keep the momentum going. BYU has placed itself in a fantastic position, it is just up to the coaches and team to take full advantage of it!

U fans, I know you wish you were independent, but get over it. You have nothing more than a (small) regional fan base. Hope you make a bowl this year!

SLC BYU Fan
Salt Lake City, UT

One thing that is working in the favor of BYU is the desire in some leagues to completely eliminate playing FCS level (Weber State, Idaho State etc...) level opponents. If the Pac-12 does this as has the Big Ten, then they'll realize they must give BYU those post September waivers as they already do Notre Dame.

Two For Flinching
Salt Lake City, UT

@ hobbes

I think it's a stretch to claim that BYU's recruiting is getting stronger. If anything, BYU recruiting is about the same as it was the past few years before independence.

@ CougarColby

There is not a single Utah fan who would switch places with BYU. Not one. Utah landed in a much more prestigious, lucrative, and secure spot. BYU has a great schedule this year, but go check out what is coming down the pipe in 2014. It's not great.

wwookie
Payson, UT

Looks like the hard work by BYU´s athletics department is paying off. Scheduling as an independent has to be a beast of a job. Utah has helped out their little brother by not requiring a Home-Away-Home like USC did. And the ESPN draw is critical for the kewgs to draw attention from the mid to lower teams in the power conferences.

One thing that this article conveniently left out is in what seasons these games were scheduled. Some as far away as 2023. BYU will still have a bunch of Idahos and NM States in November for the next 5 or 6 years.

As the article points out, with a low SOS, cougars need to go undefeated like the Utes did in 2004 and 2008 to even be considered for a BCS Bowl or playoff game, and then pray that they are the only undefeated team at regular season´s end.

Big 12 Bob
Salt Lake City, UT

David -- "Are they wanting to schedule BYU because they see it as a recognized program that draws big crowds, but doesn't win many games against opponents in the top 10 or top 20?"

Big-name schools use the A-B-C formula for out of conference. For example, Texas opens with their C game (New Mexico State), then B game (BYU), then the A game against Ole Miss out of the SEC.

The answer is "doesn't win many games against opponents in the top 10 or top 20". Those big-name schools are already going to be on TV, and they're already going to be sold out. BYU fan following is nice, but of no matter to them. Texas' 2012 home game vs Wyoming had a bigger crowd than the 2011 game vs BYU.

"What would happen if BYU was winning 60% of their games against top 25"
You'd see more reluctance to play BYU like many avoid BSU today. BYU has a nice role as a mid-major stepping stone for other teams to get to the NC. They don't want to upset that gravy train. Its good exposure.

rogerdpack2
Orem, UT

Actually he may have a good point here...with ESPN on the table, some teams from bigger conferences might think that scheduling a late season game against BYU might help them look good because they get to play on ESPN near the end of the season, to try and get publicity/exposure before the bowl stuff is decided. Interesting...so it's like BYU's independence (and ESPN contract) helps them out a bit as well.

Johnny Triumph
American Fork, UT

BYU would be in trouble if it weren't for the ESPN agreement, and I don't see ESPN cancelling anything after the 8 year contract ends.

BYU needs to start winning some of these big games in order to keep interest in the program high.

Big schools will continue to want BYU as they'll provide a valid test and adding to SOS no matter the time of year. ESPN will put the bigger games in the spotlight which will continue to entice big schools to play BYU.

As for the road draw, BYU fans need to step up. I drove from Utah to the Cotton Bowl in '97 and we had a measley 10k fans. It was a sea of Kansas State purple in the stadium; if BYU wants to get noticed, especially for the bigger bowl games, we've GOT to travel better. While BYU has an established fan base nationally it's still a problem to convince frugal BYU fans to shell out $50+ for a single ticket (and MUCH more at some venues).

RedBlood
Bountiful, UT

This is great news. This information has been developing and becoming more obvious and this article does a nice job of summarizing what most knew was the reality, i.e. that BYU would need some time to develop things but that they felt that would happen eventually. That is exactly what Holmoe said early on.

Enough of the silly bickering and sizing of one another up. BYU having a better schedule and games only makes for better football watching and I certainly wish them luck, except on that ONE day of course!

Now all BYU has to do is figure out how to win the games. Although it can be argued that regardless of a win or not, the 'exposure' is good for the program. I would argue against that generally and say that repeated showings on ESPN that involve losing aren't good for recruiting and for the program. You've got to win some of those big games. The Utes are learning that the hard way and need to start doing the same.

But again, this is nice news and we should all be happy for BYU. Enough of the negativity - it's all good.

ImaCaMan
Oceanside, CA

Keep up the tradition of losing to Top 25 programs and scheduling will improve even more. You've got to win these games to be taken seriously by anyone outside the bubble. "Recruiting has improved sice becoming independent". Really??

MyPerspective
Salt Lake City, UT

mindgames
"It was one thing to be the big fish in the WAC and MWC conferences, but to be an independent along side of Notre Dame was going to be a tremendous step." This might be news to you but even ND has seen the futility (going forward) of full independence.

CougarColby
"I can only imagine U fans disgust right now. BYU is starting to reap the benefits of being independent and it will only continue as they play more and more high profile games on ESPN against quality opponents. This is nearly the same route Boise took, and look at where they are currently."

Two Comments
1) Starting to reap the benefits...look at byu's 2014 schedule. Futher, the few good teams announced today are spread over 10 years (2 for 1 and 1 off's)

2) Look where Boise is currently...they ditched ESPN and went to the MWC!

Good luck with independence, from my point of view you guys are being sold a bill of goods and it just keeps on coming.

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