Memo to all you discouraged, disheartened, demoralized and downright disgruntled BYU football fans:
Climb back down off the ledge. Please don't jump, and for heaven's sake, don't jump ship on your team, either.
Yes, your guys just got blasted by a talented bunch of Badgers from Wisconsin in an embarrassing 40-6 loss Saturday at LaVell Edwards Stadium.
And yes, it was that bad. Any way you slice it, it's still a stink-bomb. This one was downright ugly, a beatdown in which BYU failed to score a touchdown on its home field for the first time in a dozen years.
Indeed, it was a loss after which Cougars head coach Kalani Sitake admitted his team was "overwhelmed as a group. ... There's a lot of things that we need to improve on."
Yep, no doubt about that.
So now, BYU fans, your beloved Cougars are off to a dismal 1-3 start, and all those high hopes you had a month ago for a gloriously successful 2017 season have sunk faster than President Trump's approval rating.
But in spite of what you may think, it's not the end of the world. The sky is not falling, and despite all the recent dark days, I'm pretty sure the sun is still gonna come up tomorrow, and the day after that, too.
Keep in mind that last year's team also started the season 1-3 — albeit their first three defeats were far more competitive than this year's lopsided losses to Wisconsin and LSU — but then the Cougars got their ship back on course and wound up winning eight of their last nine games for a respectable 9-4 finish.
And though it may be difficult to believe right now, BYU's gonna win some more football games this season.
Sure, it won't be that delightful 10-win season that you might have envisioned. However, in all honesty, if the Cougars' clunky offense doesn't get things figured out, they might be lucky to win half that many.
After all, in three games against Football Bowl Subdivision teams, BYU has scored a grand total of 19 points. For you non-mathematicians at home, that's a whopping 6.3 points per game. With that paltry output from a program that, back in the glory years often scored more than 19 points in a single quarter, it's no wonder they lost all three games.
"We've just got to score more points," Sitake said following Saturday's frustrating defeat, in which his sputtering team managed to muster just two first-half field goals.
Still, there's daylight at the end of that long, dark tunnel, and that daylight will be brought to you by ... the schedule.
After losses to nationally-ranked LSU, Utah and Wisconsin, the schedule is going to soften up considerably over the next two months.
Sure, you've still gotta go up against an always-tough Boise State team, and that mid-October trip to Mississippi State looks mighty daunting now after the Bulldogs beat up on the same LSU team that blanked BYU a couple of weeks ago.
But hey, the Cougars have a bye week now to lick their wounds before getting ready to play Utah State, which has suffered a couple of lopsided losses of its own. You'd better believe, though, that the Aggies are likely licking their chops for a chance to take on BYU's non-existent offense in Logan.
Then thankfully, after meeting Boise State and what will assuredly be a bad loss to Mississippi State, the Cougars' final six contests — road games at East Carolina, Fresno State, UNLV and Hawaii, and home games against San Jose State and Massachusetts — all look very winnable despite BYU's current litany of under-achieving results.
"We've gotta find ways to win games," Sitake solemnly said. "... We've got a long ways to go, but we've got a lot more season to play."
That's definitely true, but those discouraged and disgruntled BYU fans are growing increasingly impatient.
After BYU's loss a week earlier against in-state archrival Utah — marking the Cougars' seventh straight defeat in the Rivalry Game — the grumbling began to grow. And in the wake of the Wisconsin loss, it'll be even worse this week.
Sadly, many longtime faithful fans have openly expressed their doubts on sports talk-radio shows, some of them questioning whether offensive coordinator Ty Detmer, the 1990 Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback who spent many years in the NFL, was really the right guy for the job.
You know what? When it comes right down to it, folks, Detmer has forgotten more about football than most of us will ever know. And I firmly believe that with his knowledge and background, he's gonna figure things out and this team is gonna be OK.
Not great, perhaps, but OK. And who knows? They might become great again in the future.
Bottom line is, this has become BYU's reality nowadays. This program is no longer among the nation's elite and, these days, seems very, very far from it.
Nope, darn it, the Cougars are no longer one of the big dogs on the national scene. And, let's face it, at times this year they've played like overmatched puppies.
However, I also believe that Sitake and his staff could eventually get them back in the Top 25 conversation again, although it may be later instead of sooner.33 comments on this story
Finally, BYU fans, don't give up hope. This disappointing start doesn't mean these Cougs can't still salvage something good out of the 2017 campaign. There's still plenty of time to turn this thing around. Remember, the teams you've lost to thus far are all powerhouse programs that can be found in the national rankings.
Someday, who knows when, the Cougars could very well be there again, too. It'll take some time, a ton of hard work by the coaching staff to bring in the right recruits, and some soul-searching by the players and coaches to assure they're doing all they possibly can to make success — dare we say magic? — happen.
Until then, keep the faith.