Dick Harmon: BYU Cougars have opportunity in Fight Hunger Bowl to shake off disappointments

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  • SigmaBlue Centerville, UT
    Dec. 27, 2013 5:58 p.m.

    BYU has some of the best football talent in the country. The problem with their big game losses can be attributed to a lack of discipline, whether mental, emotional or physical. Case in point are the massive amount of penalties this year. Disciplined athletes rarely make mistakes. Their hallmark is consistency. Discipline always begins with the Head Coach, and must be instilled in the entire team. You can have the very best strategy and conditioning, but without disciplined thought and action, excellence will never be achieved. This, unfortunately, has been BYU's biggest nemesis, and Coach Mendenhall better master this principle if they're ever to rise to national prominence.

  • Big 12 Call Yet? Ogden, UT
    Dec. 27, 2013 4:23 p.m.


    I'm far from a byu fan, but if I remember right both Utah and byu did plenty of talking after our games against the aggies.

  • Objectified Tooele, UT
    Dec. 27, 2013 4:11 p.m.

    @ 1aggie:

    It might be true that a few BYU fans talk trash before their games,,, but usually only after anti-Y fans such as yourself throw out initial trash that begs to be defended against. And since BYU obviously won most of their games once again (for about 8 years in a row and counting), they are usually the ones still doing the talking after those games.

    So the odds are that they will still be talking long after you've become miffed and gone to bed. But I won't try to make the same kind of silly guarantee that Chris B sometimes makes... and usually ends up regretting. Anything is possible with equal record teams playing each other.

    The Aggies even proved that anything is possible... even against a team with a much better record. Their win against NIU last night was impressive. You should spend more time basking in that big win and less time hammering on other teams that previously beat your team.

  • Objectified Tooele, UT
    Dec. 27, 2013 3:58 p.m.

    @ ekute:

    Saying "those guys know they are going to lose" before the BYU bowl game is even played makes you the one being laughed at. It's true they might lose... or they might win (most likely). But at least BYU is still playing. None of the Ute players are doing your little "lol" (laugh) thing as they sit home on their couches getting stiff from watching all those bowl games and truly wishing they could be a part of one of them... any of them at all. But they are not... again!

    How much comfort are you receiving from "bagging" on another team? My guess is not much at all... since you actually have nothing to either bag or brag about. Those 2 upset wins... over BYU and Stanford (both by a single score) are getting further and further back in the rear view mirror. You'll soon have to come up with something new to keep from being laughed at by other readers, since you can milk a couple of early-season wins for only so long.

  • Whoa Nellie American Fork, UT
    Dec. 27, 2013 3:46 p.m.

    talkinsports, "Some day our little friends on the hill will finally understand that one game does not a season make."

    Theoretically, that could happen. I've been watching Utah fans and their program bank on their season being a success if only they could beat BYU for the past 40 years. So far, that "some day" of which you mention has never come. Perhaps it will but not likely. From all indications any time Utah beats BYU that defines Utah's success.

  • Objectified Tooele, UT
    Dec. 27, 2013 3:45 p.m.

    @ Mildred in Fillmore:

    All year long you've pretend to be a BYU fan with your mostly sarcastic statements. But you finally revealed yourself to be the real Ute fan you are today... not that you were actually fooling many people previously.

    @ Bleed Crimson:

    Both Ute and BYU fans are usually biased in their statements. But the real pros who have no stake in the outcome, will determine who the best team in the state is with their final national rankings at the end of the bowl games.

    It's almost a foregone conclusion that both BYU and USU will finish in those national rankings better than Utah... since BYU was already ranked higher after the regular season ended and the Aggies just impressively beat a 12 win nationally ranked team with a Heisman ranked quarterback... on national TV.

    Like another comment mentioned... Utah did win a few single-day battle skirmishes... while both BYU and USU won their overall season-long wars... and were rewarded with post-season bowl games. The final end-of-season national rankings will say it all. Comically, a few Ute fans will keep drinking red Kool-Aid while turning their heads the other way.

  • ClarkeinAK Anchorage, AK
    Dec. 27, 2013 3:42 p.m.

    "It seems to be the humble lot of the blue and white"? Humble I don't think is the right word here..how about 'infuriate' or 'enrage' or 'anger' or 'exasperate'. Maybe even 'incense' or 'rile' or 'umbrage'....certainly NOT humble.

    BYU has been known to choke for years when it comes to sporting events on the big stage, so there are no expectations for anything but more of the same...thus no need for humbling. The fact that it happens time and time again shows that BYU coaches are obviously doing something wrong in the preparation...you can't do the same thing every time and expect different results.

  • CougarSunDevil Phoenix, AZ
    Dec. 27, 2013 3:32 p.m.


    "BYU fans are always talking trash BEFORE their games. We'll see if you're still talking later tonight."

    I also saw a lot of BYU fans congratulating Utah State (on the DN article) on their win. Is it too much to ask to reciprocate the gesture?

  • bigirish OREM, UT
    Dec. 27, 2013 2:51 p.m.

    Still asking why we're not playing against coach Sarkisian? Why isn't he still the coach in a bowl game which is still part of the regular season? So he got hired by USC? Is he going to coach them in THEIR bowl game? (Do they have one?) It just takes some of the equality out of the matchup between BYU and WU to me. So he gets hired by USC...why doesn't he just say, "ok, but I've got to coach my team in the bowl game first". The Huskie's new coach isn't going to coach his new team - or his old one either in any bowl games. Makes no sense to me and Sarkisian gone for the bowl game takes away from the balance for both teams and seems like desertion on his part.

  • utahcountyute Cedar Hills, UT
    Dec. 27, 2013 2:52 p.m.

    Good stuff. One thing though, you forgot to mention the 20 point beat down the PAC 12 Utes put on the cougs up at the HC a couple weeks ago. Your welcome.

    In regards to football in Utah...All this "won the battle but not the war" stuff is quite amusing. Let me just say this, if the cougs or aggies had played a schedule anywhere near what the Utes had, there might be an argument. They did not, therefore the Utes take the prize. Whatever that is:)

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 27, 2013 2:23 p.m.

    A very average Pac 12 Washington team, without their coach, is favored by 8 points in this game. And for anyone familiar with football, that is a large margin.

    Turns out the experts think an average Pac 12 team, even without their coach, is significantly better than byu.

    I guess when you can't beat the #10 Pac 12 team, why would anyone think they could beat the #6 Pac 12 team?

  • UteNationAlum Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 27, 2013 2:14 p.m.

    BYU will give Washington a run for their money. Should be a great game.

    BYU will win if... they can slow down Washington's run game.

  • 1aggie SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Dec. 27, 2013 1:53 p.m.

    BYU fans are always talking trash BEFORE their games. We'll see if you're still talking later tonight.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Dec. 27, 2013 1:16 p.m.


    Utah State shook off it's first game disappointment of losing to a last place team unable to reach a bowl.

    Crazy things happen.

    Now it's BYU's turn.

  • Sportsman Salt Lake, Ut
    Dec. 27, 2013 12:53 p.m.

    I am not sure that arguing that going to a bowl game even matters. Nobody plays the same schedule and that gives inherent advantages to teams that play weaker schedules. Case in point that Buffalo, Middle-Tennessee State, Ohio, and Louisiana Lafeyette are playing in a bowl game. All three local teams would win against these opponents. I think that all the Utah teams are good but not great and splitting hairs as to superiority is fruitless. Congratulations to Utah State!! That was a great win and your defense was fantastic.

  • ekute Layton, UT
    Dec. 27, 2013 12:28 p.m.

    These guys know that they're going to lose so they try to find comfort in bagging on Utah and telling themselves that at least they went bowling and bronco has nice firesides. lol.

  • Mildred in Fillmore Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 27, 2013 11:38 a.m.

    BYU win or lose is the best team in the state every year.

    Just ask them.

  • thebigsamoan Richmond, VA
    Dec. 27, 2013 11:33 a.m.


    "... So I am putting together a pictorial website with fun moments in SD last year and SF this year so you can kind of remember what it's like to qualify for a Bowl... I know you'll enjoy them."

    My only fear and concern is if we don't show up and end up getting badly creamed and embarrassed by the Huskies in S.F.

    Here's hoping they won't disappoint!
    Go Cougars!

  • talkinsports Gilbert, AZ
    Dec. 27, 2013 10:49 a.m.

    Bleed Crimson

    "Didn't BYU lose to a PAC-12 bottom dweller?"

    Didn't Stanford lose to a PAC 12 bottom dweller?

    Yet, not even a delusional Utah fan would try to argue that Utah is better than PAC 12 champion Stanford.

    Some day our little friends on the hill will finally understand that one game does not a season make.

  • BlueHusky Mission Viejo, CA
    Dec. 27, 2013 10:47 a.m.

    Upsets don't a better team make. Eastern Washington beat OSU. Utah beat Stanford. UVA beat BYU. CSU beat WSU in a bowl game! Upsets happen and are fun. But lets give this a think:

    Is Utah better than Stanford? No.
    Is UVA better than BYU? No.
    Is Eastern Washington better than Oregon State? No.

    Would Utah want to play Stanford again? No.
    Would Utah want to play OSU, WSU, ASU, USC, UCLA, AZ again? No.
    Would Utah want to play BYU again? No.

    Would BYU want to play Utah again? You betcha!

    Will BYU beat Washington in the bowl game? Doubtful.
    Will Utah beat anybody in a bowl game? No.

    Nuff said.

  • Black & White SLC, UT
    Dec. 27, 2013 10:41 a.m.

    USU actually IS the best college football "Team" in Utah this year.

    In fact, with 5 starters not physically able to participate, including the BEST QB this state has seen in several years, it was the USU "team" that pulled together, worked through adversity, made themselves Bowl-eligible, kept themselves relevant, and then (not-so-surprisingly) rose to the challenge of knocking off a nationally-ranked opponent to end the season.

    Led by a fantastic coach in Wells--whose staff and players believed in him, as he reciprocated trust and belief in them--USU easily epitomizes what it means to be a "team". Nearly every tackle was a "team" tackle, every sustained offensive possession was because each member of the "team" fulfilled their roles and helped each other out. And the Special Teams players had great success by working together.

    The success of USU should not go unnoticed by its in-state counter-parts, else their arrogance may have them walking away beaten by the true "Team Up North".

    Way to go Aggies! You have successfully obliterated the "Little Brother" stigma and unlike some of your counter-parts have a post-season trophy to show for all your hardwork.

  • CougarSunDevil Phoenix, AZ
    Dec. 27, 2013 10:19 a.m.

    If BYU wins, then everyone in the state of Utah will have won their bowl game.

    BYU against Washington on 12/27/13
    Utah State against NIU on 12/26/13
    Utah against BYU on 9/21/13

    Some people's bowl games just come a little earlier in the season than others.

  • Y Ask Y Provo, UT
    Dec. 27, 2013 9:07 a.m.

    You have to grin at the trash talk going on here:

    "Your team is more irrelevant than our team!"

    "We're less pathetic than you!"

    "Well, at least our OC is not as bad as yours!"

    "We have beaten more bottom-dwellers than you, and we have better shoes!"


  • RevK Glenwood, UT
    Dec. 27, 2013 8:50 a.m.

    Go Cougars! Utes don't bowl, 2 years in a row. Nice win by USU last night.

  • poyman Lincoln City, OR
    Dec. 27, 2013 3:19 a.m.


    Didn't the team that won the big bad pac12 also lose to the bottom dweller? Does that mean that the utes are better than Stanford? LOL... Unfortunately, your logic doesn't hold up... Every ranking service out there has Utah 10 to 15 places lower than BYU on average... I'm thinking the drubbings that the utes took from WSU, Arizona, ASU, etc. is the reason your team was rated so low.

    There is a reason that the utes are not going Bowling again this year... they're just not very good.

    You did out perform what I had you down for... I thought that you would go 3-9 with your only wins over Weber State, WSU and Colorado...So your team actually out-performed my expectation.

    I know that y'all miss bowling in December alot and that is why you shoot at the Cougars... It will be at least 3 years since you will have had the experience... So I am putting together a pictorial website with fun moments in SD last year and SF this year so you can kind of remember what it's like to qualify for a Bowl... I know you'll enjoy them.

  • OC Fan Orange County, CA
    Dec. 27, 2013 12:33 a.m.

    @Bleed Crimson:

    Our Crimson crew is bleeding out. We lead the PAC-12 in one stat: most consecutive annual OC coordinator hires. Next year we'll continue our run with a fourth OC in four years to go with our new head coach. The trend arrow is a big up for USU tonight while for all our claims of "best in state" on media day 2014 we'll be picked 11th in our conference. Again. And home for the holidays in 2014. Again.

    Great win for the Aggies tonight! Congrats on a great hire for head coach - an Aggie alum, no less!

    Go Cougars tomorrow night!

    Go recruit a QB and an O line, Ute coaches!

  • BYU DUDE Provo, UT
    Dec. 27, 2013 12:33 a.m.

    When BYU beats Washington the State Rankings will look like this.

    1. BYU
    2. Utah State
    3. Utah

    Utah won the battle but lost the war.

    It's not how you start out its how you finish.

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    Dec. 27, 2013 12:21 a.m.

    Bleed Crimson, Utah was the best on two days. However, given the entire season, Utah was by far the worst (if you leave out Weber State) because they got a fluke win over Stanford, but couldn't beat Oregon State at home, Arizona or Washington State on the road, and after defeating three other teams in Utah couldn't get bowl eligible for the 2nd straight year. Impressive!

    Keep up those Crimson Colored Glasses view of the world and enjoy watching all the other teams in the country enjoy their bowl games. Did you see where USU knocked off a rated team that many postulated would be a BCS buster? So much for the mighty BCS program which is ending this year.

    Just what is Utah going to do to get to a bowl game again any time soon? They just love the PAC 12 and the PAC 12 loves them because they're #12 of 12 joining the league and can't get out of being PAC 12 fodder for everyone else. Everyone's happy---keep smiling!

  • Rational Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 27, 2013 12:21 a.m.

    BYU's losses against Wisconsin and Notre Dame were on the road, as were 4 of the 5 basketball losses. Until BYU schedules a balanced home-and-home schedule with ranked teams, it will be an uphill battle to win the majority of those games. (That and when the football team's OC learns how to call plays in the last 2 minutes of a half.)

  • runnerguy50 Virginia Beach, Va
    Dec. 27, 2013 12:14 a.m.

    BYU, who I cheer for, is not a top program nationally nor are they the best in the State of Utah but the Coach does alot of things right off the field. Bronco ain't perfect but he is someone I greatly respect. I don't like win at all cost college football programs which is why I like BYU.

  • Y Grad / Y Dad Richland, WA
    Dec. 26, 2013 11:51 p.m.

    Bleed Crimson
    Sandy, Utah

    Keep scratchin' your head, Crimson. Two inferior teams go bowling, one already with a bowl victory over a ranked opponent in the bag, and the superior team sittin' home sayin "shut up and deal."

    The expression, "won the battle, lost the war," comes to mind.

    Utah was one injured qb away from having a good season. Utah State had a good season in spite of losing a great qb. I'm giving the nod to the Aggies on this one. Kind of ironic. They lost to both of us but looks like the y may well end up best of all.

  • Bleed Crimson Sandy, Utah
    Dec. 26, 2013 10:52 p.m.

    @ Thomas Jefferson

    "A win gives them a nice 9 game win season and solidifies BYU as the best team in the fabulous State of Utah"

    Wrong! Didn't BYU lose to a PAC-12 bottom dweller?

    Last I checked, Utah beat BYU and Utah State this year. That could only mean Utah is the best team in the state because all three teams played against each other and Utah prevailed (no surprise there).

    Keep dreaming Thomas!

  • BYUalum South Jordan, UT
    Dec. 26, 2013 8:15 p.m.

    Dick Harmon sounded like a diplomat instead of a reporter!

    Go Cougars!