Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Another shakeup: Week 4 pick 'em scores

This has been a wild four weeks of ASB pick 'em. In past seasons the question wasn't "Will BYU win?", the question was "How badly will BYU beat the poor saps on the opposite end of the field?".

The great BYU teams of the past three, four, five seasons have given us great times, but not much mobility on the ol' Pick 'em scoreboard.

Well, this season's a little different.

No one knows if BYU's going to finally get it going, or lose another heartbreaker. Scores are changing every week, winners one week are losers the next.

It's an exciting time at ASB. I hope you're enjoying the ride.

Here are this week's top scores:

Ross M. 26
Lesley W. 22
Trevor W. 20
Andrew T. 20
Spencer V. 20
Jeris H. 10
Seth S. 9
Travis A. 9
Kenny K. 9
Eliot B. 7
Jeff J. 7
Evan C. 23
Cade T. 7
Adam O. 6
Justin L. 4
Russ N. 4
Mike K. 4
Fabian L. 4
Spencer C. 4
Greg W. 4
Matt O. 3
Andy O. 3
Logan S. 2
Tyler B. 0
Russ O. 0

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The good and bad from Saturday's loss

Honestly, I didn't expect we'd go into Florida State and beat the Seminoles. It was one of two unwinnable games on our schedule. I would have been thrilled with a victory, but I was already prepared to lose.

So as a result, I actually don't feel too* bad right now.

I think I may be on to something here...

Anyway, there was a lot of bad on the field on Saturday, but admit it, there was some good too. For example:

BAD: First and foremost, tackling. Wrap up boys! Either Florida State spent some time in the greaser before the game, or our defense needs to go back to seventh grade to learn how to tackle. Unbelievable.

GOOD: Jake Heaps has restored order to BYU's offense. Heaps is the guy. He's young, and he makes young mistakes, but he gives our team a much better chance to win.

BAD: The O-line lost some credibility. The supposed strength of our team let the Seminoles sack BYU QBs a whopping 8 times. Add to that QB hurries and knockdowns and we have a big problem on our hands.

GOOD: J.J. DiLuigi is officially a playmaker. JJ has to love BYU's offense right now. He's touching the ball on almost every play. And to his credit he's doing a lot with the opportunity. He consistently seems to be a bright spot.

BAD: We need to lock up our rush defense. FSU rushed for a mind-blowing 280 yards in Saturday's game. The problem surfaced vs. Washington, it was exposed vs. Air Force, and it continues to be a problem. We need to tighten up and eliminate the mistakes when we defend the run. And do it fast... like, before Nevada gets here.

GOOD: Our Pass defense looked decent. There were some big plays, but I was generally pretty happy with our pass defense. We were right on every receiver, the 'Noles just happened to make great throws and catches.

BAD: Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers. This is the second game we've lost the turnover battle. Take care of that football, Cougs.

GOOD: It only gets better from here. The Cougs will go through some growing pains, and it will be painful, but we'll continue to get better. We won't lose forever, and there will be some very bright spots this season.

Looks like it'll be another long week. But it's only a week. I predict we'll come back strong at home this Saturday and put a hurt on the Nevada Wolfpack.

*Thanks for the edit, Ross

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Dropping out: FSU Pick 'em scores

A lot of people forgot to send in their scores this week. Either we're all a little hungover from the Air Force loss or no one reads my blog anymore...

...hello?

It's too bad too because this week sure shook things up. Half of you Cougar fans picked BYU to win, the other more sensible half picked BYU to lose. Unfortunately, the latter half was right.

We just couldn't get that offense working. But don't worry. We'll get there.

Here are this week's scores:

Russ O. 33
Garrick I. 32
Chris W. 32
Russ N. 32
Craig C. 30
Matt O. 29
Jeris H. 29
Adam O. 29
Ross M. 26
Evan C. 26
Lesley W. 25
Cade T. 24
Andrew T. 23
Greg W. 9
Eliot B. 6
Trevor W. 3
Seth S. 0
Spencer C. 0
Justin L. 0
Fabian L. 0
Mike K. 0
Travis A. 0
Jeff J. 0

Next week should be another doozy. We face Nevada and the No. 1 rushing offense in the NCAA. Yikes.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Send in your scores

Reminder: BYU plays Florida State in t-minus one day or so. Send in your scores for ASB Pick 'em before kickoff, or may heaven have mercy on your soul.

I know you're all probably thinking BYU's gonna get blown out, but keep these juicy nuggets in mind before you send in your score:

  • BYU has never lost in Doak Campbell Stadium

  • A Jimbo Fisher-coached team has never beaten the BYU Cougars

  • Christian Ponder, Florida State's QB, is a Pisces

  • O'Neill Chambers is from Harmony, Florida

  • Curb Your Enthusiasm isn't as funny as everyone says it is


I happen to be surprisingly optimistic about this game. I originally thought BYU would get blown out, but I feel something about the Cougars right now. I feel like they're hungry, and ready to bounce back after a bad loss to Air Force.

I still think they'll lose, but it won't be a blowout. I call 35-28, Florida State.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

You know what? BYU's gonna be just fine

I loved being a student at BYU. It was the time of my life. But I definitely noticed that my fellow students generally fell into two categories.

There were guys like me and my friends who were always good students, but didn't freak out if they got the occasional B on a test.

Then there are the kids who would freak out. Freak out big time. These kids get 4.0s their whole lives, and a blemish on their record is unacceptable. Seriously, BYU kids are under pressure these days.

Unfortunately that ugly pattern has creeped into the minds of some BYU sports fans. When we lose, it's like heaven is collapsing on us and the world will swallow us into its depths. Suddenly the coaches suck, the players suck, there's backbiting and discontent in the locker room and our best players are going to transfer away.

Seriously.

The rumor mongers know to strike us when we're most vulnerable.

When we lose I get upset, sure. What fan doesn't? It's tough to see your favorite team get beat up. But sour and crazy are two different things. I don't think I ever get crazy enough to assume I know what's best for the football team over, say, the coaches.

I'm pretty sure they've got a good handle on things.

Bronco hates losing just as much as we do, I'll wager, and he knows his team a whole heck of a lot better. Air Force was good, okay? And they played out of their minds. BYU was unprepared to face that option attack, and our offense sputtered uncharacteristically. But don't take that one loss as a sign of black clouds on the horizon.

The loss hurts, but we'll be okay. Jake Heaps isn't going to transfer, Bronco Mendenhall is still an amazing coach and we will win again. Don't be the uptight student who needs straight A's. It's a lot more fun to enjoy the ride.

Monday, September 13, 2010

AFA Pick 'em scores are fugly

The Pick 'em scores were as ugly as the game on Saturday.

While I'm happy that most of you picked BYU to win, I'm sorry to report that it didn't help you in this week's ASB Pick 'em.

In fact only one person really benefited from the BYU loss. Inexplicably, Lesley W. picked Air Force to win, and has vaulted herself into the upper echelons of the leaderboard. Kudos, Lesley.

Cade T. also had a good week. While he didn't pick Air Force to win, Cade scored enough points to take our overall first-place spot.

Here are this week's scores:

Lesley W. 29
Cade T. 7
Eliot B. 0
Matt O. 0
Travis A. 0
Russ C. 0
Logan S. 0
Craig C. 0
Spencer V. 0
Seth S. 0
Fabian L. 0
Adam O. 0
Ross M. 0
Sam B. 0
Dan R. 0
Mike K. 0
Evan C. 0
The Boring Family 0
Casey J. 0
Justin L. 0
Trevor W. 0
Greg W. 0
Andrew T. 0
Russ N. 0
Jeris H. 0
Russ O. 0
Spencer C. 0
Andy O. 0
Chris W. 0
Kenny K. 0

Friday, September 10, 2010

Send in your scores

Hey Cougar fans, another week of Pick 'em is upon us! This week BYU plays Air Force in Colorado Springs at 2 p.m.

Be sure to send me your predictions before kickoff.

There are two ways you can send me your scores:

1. By email. Send your scores to AdamsSportsBlog (at) gmail (dot) com

2. By comments. Leave your name and score in the comments section of this post.

Go Cougs!

(New to Pick 'em? No problem. There's still plenty of time to get on board. Click here to read all about ASB Pick 'em, and get playing!)

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Go Vikings!



(Brett Favre, Adrian Peterson and Percy Harvin may or may not be on my fantasy football team)

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

When Non-AQs attack

I hate Utah most, and Boise State is a close second. TCU isn't too far behind. But all three of those teams made me smile this weekend.

Seeing a cadre of over-payed, over-hyped, bungling BCS coaches try to bring down the Non-AQ powerhouses is quite entertaining to me.

Frank Beamer, head coach of Virginia Tech, was a perfect example last night. I got a special joy out of watching Beamer's dumbfounded look as the BSU Broncos beat up his Hokies in every facet of the game.

Dave Wannstedt, of the Pittsburgh Panthers, has both college and NFL teams on his coaching resume. But his team, which was picked to win the Big East, looked absolutely awful against the Utes. They looked like they had never defended the forward pass before.

The same can be said of Washington fans, who strolled into LaVell Edwards Stadium on a sunny September afternoon convinced that their Huskies would roll all over the BYU Cougars.

TCU beat Oregon State, whose coach (Mike Riley) I actually like. But the BCS Beavers couldn't get it done over the supposedly inferior non-BCS Horned Frogs.

AQ coaches, fans and players need a serious reality check. There are some big boys among the non-AQ ranks, and when your team lines up against them you better be ready. Learn from the mistakes of your fallen brethren.

So close to perfection: Week one Pick 'em scores

On Saturday, BYU scored with a safety, two field goals, two touchdowns, an extra point and a two-point conversion.

Add it all together and it comes to 23 points. Enough to win, obviously, but not enough to give Kenny, Seth and Russ a perfect score in week one for the inaugural ASB Pick 'em contest.

All three picked a 24-17 BYU victory. So close.

They'll have to be content to share the top of the leaderboard for now. But the lead is a slim one. A lot of people made some very good guesses, and points are plentiful.

And then there are the three pitiful souls who picked BYU to lose. Benjy, PJ and Lesley. Shame on you all. I hope you learned your lesson.

Here are week one's scores:

Name Score
Seth 39
Kenny 39
Russ Olsen 39
Cade 38
Ross 37
Andrew Theriault 36
Adam 35
Justin 35
Logan 35
Tyler 35
Spencer Cotterell 31
Fab 30
Chris Welsh 28
Becky 27
Jeff J. 27
Russ Cleveland 26
Andy 26
Jeris 25
Travis 25
Eliot 20
Trizz 20
Russ 20
Matt 20
Benjy 9
PJ 9
Lesley 4


It's not too late to play! Anything can happen in ASB pick 'em, so if you'd still like to get in on the action simply send your BYU game predictions to AdamsSportsBlog (at) gmail (dot) com.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Putting the hurt on Locker

Jake Locker didn't impress me all to much on Saturday evening. His stats look pretty good, but he didn't live up to the hype.

All we BYU fans heard through fall camp was Locker this and Locker that. He's the best athlete in the world, he's a Heisman favorite, he'll be the first pick in the NFL draft and he raised a young boy in the Seattle area from the dead.

But when the rubber met the road at LaVell Edwards Stadium, the BYU defense contained the awesome power of Locker.

Ol' Jake couldn't lead his team to victory in the season opener.

BYU's front seven is to thank for stopping Locker. They're bigger, stronger and faster than they were when we faced Jake Locker the first time in 2008. Vic So'oto and Jordan Pendleton, for example, are massive upgrades over their 2008 counterparts. It showed on Saturday, as Jake Locker only rushed for about 30 yards.

To me the best athlete on the field for Washington wasn't Locker, but running back Chris Polk. Polk ran for 92 yards against BYU, and found yards even when the holes were closing all around him. He looked good.

But BYU's defense looked better. Overall the Cougs did a great job holding the line and stopping Washington when it counted most. Plays were made on all three levels, including Eathyn Manumaleuna's pass deflection on fourth and six, Jordan Pendleton's sack in the third quarter, and Brian Logan's strong pass break up in the end zone on a crucial third down.

Locker and the UW offense were a big test for the Cougar defense, and I'm happy to say they passed with flying colors.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Starting the season off right

My throat is scratchy, my energy is sapped, I’m sunburnt and exhausted.

Football season is back baby.

And the Cougars made an impressive 2010 debut yesterday scoring a 23-17 win over the upstart Washington Huskies. Washington was 5-7 last year, but are clearly on the rise and looked pretty okay yesterday.

But try as they might, they couldn’t stop the two-headed QB monster at BYU.

Riley Nelson and Jake Heaps shared snaps and passed for exactly the same amount of yards (131) in the win. Nelson looked like a gamer, running around and making plays with his feet and his weird-lookin’ left arm. Jake Heaps shook off some early jitters to lead the team with poise. They both looked great to me.

In fact I was watching the game from my south end zone seats thinking “Yeah, I don’t blame Bronco for using both QBs.” I sure wouldn’t want to have to choose between the two.

I personally liked Nelson a little bit more in yesterday’s game. His arm looked good, he led BYU to their only two touchdowns, and his ability to run my most beloved play, the dive option, made me a happy man.

But Heaps showed some great promise. He’s going to be a great BYU quarterback.

JJ DiLuigi gets my player of the game award. When Washington was wearing down in the second half, DiLuigi just got better and better. He ran the option well (with one exception), and he was great catching the ball out of the backfield. The 48-yard TD he caught from Nelson was pretty. It was a beautiful ball, first of all, but DiLuigi used great speed and quickness to make sure he got in the end zone untouched.

As far as defense is concerned, I was excited about this group. And they made me happy for the most part. The run defense was a little shaky, and they did give up some long pass plays, but they cinched up when they needed to most. In fact, Washington only converted 1-7 third downs in the second half, and 0-3 fourth downs. That’s clutch.

Props to BYU on a big season-opening win. This win, over a good Washington team, is a huge confidence builder for this young team. I see a lot of good things from our 2010 Cougars.

Friday, September 03, 2010

2010 Pick 'em

After weeks of deep thought and careful consideration, I have decided to bring Pick 'em back for the 2010 BYU football season.

If you're reading this then I'm guessing you're familiar with the rules, but if not here's a quick rundown:

To play pick 'em:

1. Send me your predictions for every BYU game this year. You can send them all at once or one game at a time. Each prediction must be sent before kickoff. Email your picks to adamssportsblog (at) gmail (dot) com.

2. Win points for accurate predictions. 20 points will be given for picking the correct outcome (a BYU win or loss), and up to 10 points will be given per team based on your score predictions. A correct score will earn 10 points, and one point will be deducted for every point you're off.

For example, if you pick BYU to beat Washington 24-17, and the final score ends up being BYU 28 Washington 14 you would get...

*20 points for picking the correct outcome (a BYU win)
*6 points for being within four of BYU's true score
*7 points for being within three of UW's true score

If you find this all confusing, then just don't worry about it. Send me your predictions and I'll take care of the rest.

3. Win prizes. There will be a running tally throughout the season, and the top overall points winner will win a BYU t-shirt from the big dog. There also may be a mystery prize for a perfect weekly score of 40.

Everyone is invited to play. So... get moving! Our first game is tomorrow at 5 p.m. MDT, so you have until then to send me your picks.