Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Just what did Tom Holmoe mean?

Tom Holmoe, BYU Athletic Director, caused quite a stir when he broke BYU's vow of silence and spoke with Deseret News columnist Brad Rock.

I read the story when it was published in the paper on Saturday, June 26. When I checked Cougarboard on Monday it was as if I was inspecting the rubble after an atomic bomb blast.

BYU nation exploded with excitement, and now the Monday clean up crews were busy at work trying to pick up the pieces.

The biggest mystery, though, was this quote by Holmoe:

"It's a good check for us right now," Holmoe continued. "There's a lot of work for us to do. ... In this time frame, we have our allegiances. BYU has certain allegiances, and BYU has lived up to them, and now we have opportunities that didn't exist in the past."

(Emphasis added)

What did Holmoe mean? What are these mysterious allegiances? What opportunities exist now that didn't exist before?

It's all very curious...

I'd love to hear your interpretations. We already know what my dad thinks.

Monday, June 28, 2010

BREAKING NEWS: BYU to the Big XII

…at least that's what my dad thinks.

Whether you know me personally or just follow this blog, you know that my dad, the Big KO, is my brother-in-arms when it comes to BYU sports.

We have daily BYU pow-wows where we discuss the latest and greatest from our Alma Mater.

So I wasn't surprised when Tom Holmoe's recent comments to the press came up in our conversation. Both of us were intrigued by Holmoe's statements, but my dad has adopted an especially extreme interpretation. He explained his feelings to me just tonight.

"You just wait," he said. "BYU is going to make a big announcement by August 15."

I inquired, "What's that?"

His response: BYU will be invited to the Big XII. He said it with such unflinching conviction that I had to ask who gave him his information.

He told me he didn't have a source. It was a gut feeling.

Now, it's no secret that I don't believe any of this Big XII hoo-ha. BYU just has too much baggage. Nevertheless, KO was unshaken in his confidence.

He was so confident, in fact, that we made a bet. I bet that come August 15 BYU would be where it is right now: Languishing away as a mid-major in the BCS. My dad bet that by August 15 we would have an invitation in-hand to join the Big XII. Winner gets a nice dinner at Mendy's… or another restaurant of his choice.

So what do you guys think? Who's going to win the bet?

Friday, June 25, 2010

The World Cup made a soccer fan out of me

Man, I am all kinds of confused right now.

I come before you today a conflicted man. For 26 years I've been a true-blooded American soccer hater, but now I can't get enough of it.

I blame Landon Donovan.

That dude's goal in the 91st minute of the World Cup match pitting the United States against Algeria is what won me over. In fact, that whole game was a masterpiece. It had me on the edge of my seat, jumping up and down, crying and laughing at the same time.

I've never liked soccer. Even when I played the game as a 4-year-old I didn't like it. But man, I am in to this whole World Cup thing.

At first I didn't like that soccer games were so low-scoring. But now each minute that passes without a goal fills the air with more and more tension. It gets to a point that when a team finally does score all of your emotion explodes into a frenzied cheer. Such was the case when the US beat Algeria.

I also didn't like how games can end in ties. But I didn't understand the scoring system. Ties award teams points, and a tie game could be the difference between first place or last place in a team's group (kind of like the United States in Group C).

It's still not totally satisfying to we Yanks who are used to high-scoring sports with clear winners after every game, but what can I say? I'm growing up.

Now I am full steam ahead for the United States. I'll be watching every game from here on out, and if I could find a zuzuvela horn somewhere in Provo I'd buy it in a heartbeat.

Go USA!

By the way, if you haven't seen this video yet, consider today your lucky day:

Thursday, June 17, 2010

United by the World Cup

Okay, enough talk about BYU and Utah. Now is the time when BYU fans, Utah fans and all true blooded Americans unite...



...in their hatred of soccer.

Actually, I'm lying. I am surprised by how much I'm enjoying the 2010 World Cup. I'm quickly finding that soccer, like high fructose corn syrup, is great in moderation.

Go USA!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Utah Utes leave BYU behind

Hard to imagine a day any worse than this one.

I'm going to attempt to summarize simply how I feel tonight, but don't misunderstand: The ride I've been on, along with every other college football fan in this great country, has been a wild one.

Suffice it to say, my roller-coaster ride ended today when the Pac-10 announced it would add the Utah Utes to its numbers. Little did I know that after the ride I would be deposited into a swirling cesspool of cotton candy vomit depression.

I sailed through denial. Anger and bargaining were a breeze. But the depression stage is one tough nut to crack.

Here's why I'm down in the dumps:

The Utes and the Cougars have a symbiotic relationship. At least they did, anyway. We depended on each other.

We both hated each other, but we were partners. We built up the WAC together, we formed the MWC together, we fought against the BCS together. There were even positive signs that we would take the MWC to automatic-qualifier status. Together.

Now? not.

Utah jumped ship. I can't say I blame them. I would hope BYU would have done the same thing. I guess... it's just a shock to the system. I mean, Utah is a BCS-caliber team. They deserve to be in a BCS conference. I just find it so amazing that they would so willingly and quickly leave BYU behind given the chance. Where's the loyalty?

What's done is done I guess, but the unfortunate result is one of the greatest rivalries in college sports is flatlining. Don't kid yourself: Taking the conference implications away from our beloved rivalry game is like removing the teeth from an alligator. It's still big... but who cares?

Now we'll likely play each other in September, maybe even the first game of the season. No more will we fight for the conference championship, in any sport. Scheduling is optional now. Maybe we won't even play each other every year.

In other words... we have a new Utah State.

And what about Deseret First Credit Union?! Did anyone even consider their beloved Duel???

Now BYU fans like myself are asking themselves that old familiar question: "Will anything good happen to BYU ever again?" I mean what's the deal here... are we being punished? It sure feels like we're being punished.

Imagine watching your arch-nemesis fulfill your wildest dreams not once, not twice, but THRICE. Is there anything worse than that?

So now we sit. The news has broken, Utah's departure is imminent. There's just not much left for BYU fans to cling to. Some naive Cougars are still holding on to hope that the Big 12 will save us, but I know better. The MWC is our home. Now and forever.

Write it down everyone. June 16, 2010: The suckiest day in Utah sports history.

Guest Post: An arranged marriage in the Pac-12

Editor's Note: Wow... it's been a while, hasn't it? Well the Pac-10 expansion has shocked me back into activity. Read this guest post now, and check back soon for my thoughts.

By: KO

What an odd choice for the Pac 10: Colorado and Utah. Absolutely no history, no tradition, no rivalry, no brand and no fan following. It's like an arranged marriage. Think of the current Pac 10:

Arizona/Arizona ST.
UCLA/USC
Stanford/Cal
Oregon/Oregon St.
Washington/Washington St.

And add to it (drum roll please. . . )

Colorado/Utah

A manufactured rivalry? A manufactured association? This is clearly a deal for television sets, not classy institutions.

Here's the real question, though, do the TV sets in Denver flicker on whenever Colorado hits the field?

The CU Football field holds 53,000 and they average 46,000. They average 6,700 at B-ball games. It's hard to believe life stops in Denver during a Buffs game.

Likewise, Utah has a stadium that holds 45,000 and they struggle to have one or two sell-outs per year. Are the TV ratings for Ute games that impressive?

Fast forward 5 or so years when the Utes are laboring every year for 4th or 5th place in the Pac-12. No ranking. No prestige. A lot to sell for a few coins.

Meanwhile, BYU just has to keep doing what it has been doing... winning games. Whether the MWC achieves AQ status or not, or if BYU gets an invite to the Big 12 or not, in the end winning is still everything.

As for the BYU/Utah rivalry? It just took a big hit. Frankly, my energy on it just lowered by 90%. It is going to be just a game, like USU. Nothing on it, nothing to gain or lose really. Another non-conference game. I hate the school, but now my hatred is turning to indifference. A great rivalry will be destroyed this week and it is a real shame.