Some sports writers have short memories.
After BYU's thrashing of Wyoming last week, Denver Post columnist Mark Kiszla whined that the Cougars didn't belong in the WAC."This bullying has got to stop," Kiszla wrote. "The Cougars are the toughest customer in a neighborhood of dweebs. Where's the honor in that?"
What Kiszla has forgotten is that last year BYU won its first WAC title in four years. In fact, in 1988 BYU finished tied for third, three games behind those "dweebs" from Wyoming.
As evidence of the low national regard for the WAC, Kiszla pointed out that the Cougars went up in the national rankings after two bye weeks in October, then dropped after two victories over WAC foes. That was weird, true, but it is more indicative of the heavy Eastern bias in the polls.
Consider: BYU beats a weak New Mexico team but drops in the polls, ostensibly because it gave up 31 points to the Lobos. The next week Notre Dame gives up 31 points to a weak Navy team - the same Navy team that lost to James Madison (they have a football team?) - and jumps to No. 1.
The truth is, in its last four games BYU has played as well as a BYU team has ever played - maybe better. To say that the Cougars' victories are attributable to their playing in a conference of wimps demeans their success - and completely ignores the Miami game.
DETMER DATA: The BYU quarterback needs just 267 yards to pass Jim McMahon as the NCAA record holder for total offense in three years . . . He has thrown for 300 yards-plus in 20 straight games . . . He now holds 16 NCAA records and is tied for four more . . . With two passes intercepted in Laramie, Detmer is now averaging an interception every 24.5 throws. That's higher than his average of one every 27.5 passes last season, but after playing nine games Detmer has already thrown five more passes than he tossed all last season.
It was reported last week that Detmer passed seven quarterbacks to move into fifth place on the all-time NCAA passing-yardage list. They were: Mark Herrmann, Purdue; Chuck Long, Iowa; John Elway, Stanford; Erik Wilhelm, Oregon State; Todd Ellis, South Carolina; Jim McMahon; Ben Bennett, Duke. If he averages 318 yards in the Cougars' last three games, Detmer will move into second place, behind only San Diego State's Todd Santos. About three games into next season, Detmer will likely pass Santos.
SHORT STUFF: The 16 yards rushing that Wyoming rolled up against the Cougars is the lowest total for a BYU foe since Utah State netted eight yards in '88. That effort moved BYU back into first place in the WAC in rushing defense, a position they lost after facing Air Force's rushing-only offense . . . BYU leads the nation in passing yards per game (445.7), total offense (564.7 yards per game) and net punting (42.3 yards). It is second in scoring (44.3) and 11th in rushing defense (104.4 yards per game).
BYU also made the Top 50 listing in pass-efficiency defense this week, checking in at 42nd in the nation - and No. 1 in the WAC - with a 110.50 mark.
Y. fullbacks Peter Tuipulotu and Mike Salido are averaging 6.6 and 6.8 yards per carry, respectively.