Comments about ‘Commentary: Independent BYU just needs wins to return to nation's elite’

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Published: Monday, Aug. 19 2013 12:00 p.m. MDT

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Salt Lake City, UT

Patting yourself on the back for an end-of-season top 25 ranking means you are fooling yourself about your football program. For an accurate assessment, look at the last poll of the regular season. That is the poll which determines if you go to a BCS bowl or participate in next year's playoff. In the modern era of football (that's 1998, not 1950), anything beyond the top 16 is meaningless.


The Rock
Federal Way, WA said:

"Dear Brave Sir Robin,

Alabama is not an independent because they do not have a national following. Religion allows BYU and Notre Dame to go independent. The Military academies can also go independent because of a built in national following from our vets. No institution not connected to an organization that knows no boundaries could possibly go independent."

National following has nothing to do with being independent. Just ask Idaho, New Mexico State and Old Dominion. If you take TV viewers by game. There are 42 schools with a higher national following than BYU.

Any time a school wins a national football title, it becomes a national following. Don't believe me? just look at the SEC. And also look at merchandise sales. BYU is not even on the radar compared to schools like Texas, Ohio St, Duke, USC, Michigan, Alabama and more.

Farmington, UT

Kind of funny that Utes still talk about bowls and being in the PAC 12 Conference. They won't see any bowls because every school still has to earn it and not every PAC 12 school will qualify. Remember, Utah was picked 5th of 6 teams in their division....some great honor!

Basement Dwellers scream the loudest about the bowls their conference plays even though they stay home and watch on TV.


Gerald Wiltson
Ogden, UT

BYU football independence is great, and BYU just needs to win now.

Most BYU fans feel that the West Coast Conference is an embarrassment and obviously inferior to the Mountain West Conference though (only basketball matters). I want to the LMU vs BYU game in Los Angeles while on business last season. The "gym" was empty, and felt like attending a bottom tier high school game. It would be nice if BYU basketball was in a decent conference....but I guess that is the price of independence. Gonzaga fans I've spoke with said they wish they too were out of the WCC.

Harold Skill
Ogden, UT

"regarded by many as a major program in terms of prestige and reputation but connected at the hip to a mid-major conference"

BYU still has that with basketball. We are a major program, connected to the hip of the West Coast Conference.

Elmer Fudd
Sandy, Utah

@ ManInTheMiddle

"If being in a conference is so great then why doesn't Notre Dame play football in a conference?"

Maybe because Notre Dame has been independent since the beginning of their football history and that's their tradition! BYU doesn't have a history of being independent, the Cougies decided a couple years ago they wanted to be like Notre Dame aka "Notre Dame of the west". Notre Dame doesn't want to join a conference because they will get the same benefits as being in a BCS conference. Plus they want to stay with their tradition. BYU does NOT have those same benefits! The Cougies will still be treated as a mid-major school as an independent.


"Same article could have been written for Utah, or almost any other team in the NCAA. Cookie cutter article with no insight.."

Really? For instance, how many teams won 22 conference championships from 1974 through 2010 (BYU's last conference season)? Oh wait, no one else in the entire nation which is the whole point that WAC and MWC championships did not mean as much to BYU. It was time to move on and BYU had talked about turning independent for at least a few years. How many other teams in the nation had reached a point where a conference championship had so little meaning?

BYU now has a much better game schedule and the article is spot on that now BYU needs to win more games (I will admit that is something that could be written about Utah!).

Elmer Fudd
Sandy, Utah

@ djcoug

"At the *bottom* of the pac12. Fixed that for you"

Being in the "bottom of the Pac-12" is still better than being "lost in independence".

BYU as an independent is like a ship without a rudder. The Cougies will load up their schedules with BCS schools. But no matter how many games they win (6, 8, 10, 11 games) they'll wind up in the same place every year (irrelevant third tier bowl games).

Utah in the Pac-12 can play for something far beyond what BYU can even dream of as an independent (Rose Bowl, National Championships, ect). But to get there, Utah has to win their conference which is a tough task for anyone in a BCS conference. But the team that does win it's conference is rewarded greatly! Utah will get there one day!

idaho cougar fan
Twin Falls, ID

Poll's are a measure of overall success. During the BCS era, yes your team needed to be in the top 16. But I would still rather be 25 then 50 or 120. I also like the idea of playing anybody, anywhere and let the chips fall where they may. If I were a betting man, the chances of the Cougars going to a big bowl in the new system are better than the Utes chances. Neither are good, but BYU in the next 10 years has about a 1% chance of making it, while Utah will have maybe a .1%. Utah has to win the South division (once every 8 years tops, see WSU, ASU, Cal, OSU, AZ), then beat the champ of the North division (once maybe every other time in the Pac 12 championship game at best). That is once every 16 years. BYU would have a couple of good teams during that time. Simple math for Utah. If your name is not UW, OU, Stanford, USC or UCLA, chances of winning Pac 12 are slim!

Elmer Fudd
Sandy, Utah

@ Steven S. Jarvis

I respect your opinion on how you ranked BYU's schedule this year. Here's how I ranked Utah's games according to toughness and importance!

1. Oregon
2. Stanford
3. USC
4. Arizona State
5. Arizona
7. Oregon State
8. Colorado
9. Washington State
10. Utah State
11. BYU
12. Weber State

I ranked this because Utah has 9 games (conference games) which are far more important than non-conference games. I ranked USU ahead of BYU because the Aggies beat us last year and it's payback. BYU is below the Aggies because the Utes seem to beat BYU every year. Weber State is at the bottom for obvious reasons.

Danbury, CT

There's always a lot of hope this time of year (but to be fair, it's the same for every team). I only use one success measure for BYU: to go to and win a BCS bowl. Utah, TCU and Boise State have done it each two times. Until we do that, it's all talk. Sure, it would be nice to beat Utah (actually, to annihilate them) but we have to put a whole season together. If we can just get an offense to match the kind of defense we had last year, I think we could make it.

Cottonwood Heights, UT


"Typical byu...Living in the past."

Where do Utes live?

Y Grad / Y Dad,

"In the PAC12."

Let me add..... In the basement of the Pac12.

Frisco, TX

@sweetnewss - I agree that the next couple of years are pivotal for both BYU and Utah, but to call this years schedule average versus a BCS schedule is not accurate.

I don't think independence is where it's at long term, but I do think it's much better than being in the MWC. If BYU pulls off a 10+ win season this year or next (more likely next year), the interest from the Big12 will increase. The Big12 will eventually go back to 12 teams. There's too much money in a Big12 championship game not to. BYU should be well positioned to get one of those invites.

In addition to a boat load of money, PAC membership has given Utah a recruiting advantage. But if Utah is sub 500 this year and next (which I see as likely), the recruiting advantage will dry up. U will get the reputation as a losing team. Does Washington St have a recruiting advantage over Boise St? Top athletes would much rather play for BSU.

Go Cougs! And good luck Utes in every game except against BYU and USU.

Salt Lake City, UT

@sweetnewss "I don't think anyone would question the fact that if utah would have had byu's schedule they would have been in a bowl game last year and if byu had utah's schedule they would have been 5-7 or worse."

I would question it. Last year four of BYU's five losses were to teams that finished the season ranked in the top 25, while five of Utah's seven losses were to unranked teams.

In two years of membership in the vaunted PAC 12 conference, Utah has played a total of two games against PAC 12 opponents who were ranked in the top 25 at the end of the year.

Salt Lake City, Utah


Typical Utah... whining about the past, because the Utes have none - only a brief two-blip history that ended almost as quickly as it began.

And your future? The annual pillow fight in the rockies to determine the PAC south basement dweller.

Salt Lake City, Utah


Only a Utah fan would see qualifying for a bcs bowl, instead of winning a national championship, as the pinnacle of college football achievement.

The truth is, except for winning a national championship, the final poll is the ONLY poll that matters.

AP Top 25 Finishes
BYU 17
Utah 5

At Utah's current rate of 1 Top 25 finish every 13 years, it'll take the Utes another century and a half just reach the 17 AP Top 25 finishes BYU has already achieved.

Ernest T. Bass
Bountiful, UT

We ARE the nationals elite! Wins don't matter as much as we are elite.

Gilbert, AZ


"Patting yourself on the back for an end-of-season top 25 ranking means you are fooling yourself about your football program."

Typical, desperate spin from a program that only has FIVE AP Top 25 finishes in their entire history to pat themselves on the back for.

Not surprising for a team that didn't even crack the AP Top 25 until 1994, more than a hundred years after U started playing football.

Littleton, CO


"Earth to everyone, winning games in sports IS WHAT MATTERS? That is why this is such a ridiculous article, all he is doing is stating a given fact and using it for BYU. Same article could have been written for Utah, or almost any other team in the NCAA. Cookie cutter article with no insight..."

You missed the point, Joe. Remember that 1st year in the PAC when the utes had a VERY pedestrian season, yet ALL of the stars had aligned and it came down to the last week of the season all they had to do was beat CU and they were Rose Bowl-bound? THAT is the point. As referenced in the article, no more 6-6 seasons resulting in a bowl game and a conference championship and proclaiming it a "successful" season. Without a conference, wins are the only measuring stick....

Mildred in Fillmore
Salt Lake City, UT

You don't need to win to be elite. Look at BYU. We rarely beat anyone of significance and we are the most Elite.

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