Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I trust BYU

This could have been a huge year for BYU. Unfortunately, we failed every test we were handed on the field, and it looks like we can't do much better off it.

We didn't just lose to TCU, Utah and Texas this year. We lost out on membership in the Big 12 and the Big East conferences. BYU's Athletic Director Tom Holmoe said we never really had an official invitation to the Big 12, but my gut says we could have been a member if BYU was willing to play ball.

Big East negotiations were a little more open. The Big East made it publicly known that they wanted BYU, and even extended an invitation to join the conference as a football-only member. Negotiations stalled, however, because BYU reportedly would not budge in their insistence that they keep the broadcast rights to their home games.

I like independence. But I think I like the idea of being in a BCS conference even more. I, like a lot of fans, was disappointed twice this year as I saw talks with not one but two BCS conferences break down due, seemingly, to BYU's stubbornness.

But you know what? Through all the drama, all the soundbytes, all the unnamed sources and all the heartbreak, one thing remains: The thing I like the most is BYU.

So my official position regarding all future discussion of conference expansion is this: I TRUST BYU.

Furthermore, I trust our AD, our school's president and the Board of Trustees. I truly believe they have BYU's best interest in mind. Do you? So, therefore, when they decide it's not worth it to sell our souls to jump into a BCS conference, guess what? I'm on board.

Because here's the real thing: Despite what articles I read and what Twitter feeds I follow, I have no idea what's happening in these meetings between BYU and conference officials. And you don't either. The only guys who truly know what's going on are the people in that boardroom, or on that conference call. And they're a lot smarter than me and you. So I refuse to spend my energy lashing out at BYU over negotiations and conditions I know nothing about. It's useless, and it's foolish.

I'm in BYU's corner. Loyal, strong and true.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The 600-pound podcast in the room

Hello.

So it's the middle of football season, and as you can see I have been a neglectful blogger. It's embarrassing, I know.

But this time I have an excuse! I haven't just been watching football in my living room covered in the dust of a dozen jelly donuts. I've actually been doing things! I've been discussing the games, breaking down film, talking out victories and defeats.

I just haven't been doing it here.

ASB fans, I'm delighted to announce I've started a podcast with two of my good friends, Jeris and Trevor. It's called Death Star D and you can find it at DeathStarD.wordpress.com.

(I know: Not only am I betraying my blog, I'm betraying the whole blogger platform. Please forgive me, Google.)

Every week Jeris, Trevor and I talk out the games, give our takes, make predictions and crack wise. It's our chance to do what we love, namely talk BYU sports, and present the conversation to an audience of... 10s?

Check us out at DeathStarD.wordpress.com, and give us a listen. You can find every episode on our site, as well as iTunes. Just search for Death Star D (Can you believe no one snatched that name before we did?)

Oh by the way, don't for one second think I'm abandoning my blog like an infant in the snow. I still have a great love of the written word, and I'll be back every time something irks me so badly I just need to write it out.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Sad day for BYU, great day for Twitter

The news hit Provo like a kick to the spine: TCU has been invited to join the Big 12.

Rather than sulk, get angry or overreact, I took the opportunity to sit back and watch the BYU fan meltdown unfold.

You know I'm a Twitter guy, right? Well here's a sampling of the best tweets I saw on this, the day that the Big 12 left BYU behind:

eldermars
EVERYBODY PANIC! Seriously, I'm not making a sarcastic joke- it's time to panic.

LandThieves
This BYU stuff is lmost enough to drive them to drink.... a dr pepper

nicknewman801
If #BYU and Cecil O. Samuelson truly said no to Big 12, I've bought my last ticket in Provo, bought my last shirt. This is heinous.

ecolsen
I just became the mayor of Mini Of Murray Dealership on @foursquare!

[Editor's Note: Gotta love FourSquare...]

gr8justinc
I still believe BYU and ESPN have something up their sleeve. And it may incluude ND somehow.

[Editor's Note: Ah, Notre Dame. The last vestige of hope for BYU fans.]

JustinSchille
FWIW, I still believe we'll end up in the BigXII. And I do not know anything you guys don't.

BYUdeepthrowt
@geoffjBYU sometimes the Guy goes for current hot babe instead of sweet spirit and wholesome reliability. B12 chose hot TCU over us but....its not over. They didn't choose TCU because of anything we did. And, its not over....

[Editor's Note: Another BYU "insider." I love these guys. They make vague, ambiguous statements that are juuuuust hazy enough to make sure their tracks are covered, no matter what actually happens.]

BYUinsider
With #BYU to the Big12 crashing I fear for Saturday, if Bronco makes one wrong move I think fans will storm the field out of pure rage.

[Editor's Note: I can actually see this happening. We BYU fans have been put through the ringer this year. You know all it'll take is one fan to finally pop before an all-out stampede.]

stromanBYU
I am laughing pretty hard at all BYU fans (including myself). I guess the alternative is to put on R.E.M. & lower the blinds. #byu #big12

spaffoo
How many times has BYU been on the cusp of a perfect season 2 piss it away or b on the verge of national recognition 2 misstep @ key moments

Laners14
I trust the BYU admin. They have more knowledge & foresight than any of us. The last thing they want is to slip into irrelevancy. Be patient

[Editor's Note: When all else fails, try faith.]

Monday, October 03, 2011

Jake Heaps: Choose your own adventure

The more I think about it, I'm convinced Saturday's game against San Jose State is the most important football game of Jake Heaps' career.

I'm not kidding.

When the Cougars and Spartans square off late on Saturday night, the fate of Jake Heaps' future will hang in the balance.

If he starts: He'll have a great game, acquire vast amounts of mojo, win over his teammates and go on to be a BYU legend, a Super Bowl Champion and a serviceable analyst on NFL Countdown.

If he sits on the bench: Jake's college career is over. He'll be Riley's back up until his senior year, where he'll lose the starting job to a fiery Taysom Hill, fresh off his mission. Soon he'll be a supervisor at Ancestry.com.

There literally is no middle ground.

I know it's an unpopular position, but I'm on team Heaps. And believe me, after Friday's game and Nelson's heroics, it's a hard position to take. Nelson earned a shot to start, no question. But if Heaps rides the pine, it could seriously ruin his BYU career.

Follow my logic: SJSU is such an awful team, any QB could be successful. The question is, which one, out of Nelson and Heaps, do we want to have a successful game? It's got to be Heaps.

Riley Nelson is a gamer, no question. He's gutty, confident, and he has the respect of his teammates. But his ceiling is so much lower than the physically gifted, golden-armed Jake Heaps. Nelson is a known commodity. We've watched him play, and we've seen that movie. It doesn't end well.

Jake Heaps is still the quarterback of the future, and he can still salvage this season. But he needs some confidence. He needs a trashy team to take behind the woodshed. He needs San Jose State.

And if, if, if Jake still can't find his way against the Spartans, then it'll finally be time to say goodbye to the best offseason quarterback in BYU history. BYU will officially be Riley Nelson's team.

Saturday is the day. The crossroads of the universe for Jake Heaps. Put the ball in his hands one more time. I know he'll make us proud.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

A win doesn't buy much in Provo these days

Do you know what it's like to be in the depths of of a nightmarish pit, hopeless and alone, only to climb out and find yourself basking in the brilliant light of noonday?

I do. I was in the stands on Friday night when BYU came back in the fourth quarter to beat Utah State 27-24.

After the win, I stood in the south end zone and watched our passionate students rush the field, marveling at how this rivalry has taken a turn for the bizarre. But you know what? An ending like that deserves a special celebration. BYU looked like they came back from the dead.

I walked away from LaVell Edwards Stadium a happy man. In fact, I went to bed and woke up a happy man. It wasn't until I logged on to Cougarboard.com that I started to get depressed. Not about the game, but about the fans. 

I love BYU fans. They're fiery, they're intelligent, they're thoughtful and civil. But sometimes I just wanna smack 'em all upside the brain. 

Instead of celebrating a thrilling, dramatic victory over our lower-case rival, the messages were almost totally negative. They focused on how bad our coaches are, how bad our players played, how awful the relish was at the hot dog stand, you name it. 

It really bummed me out. Granted, I am just as frustrated with our coaches and players as anyone, but I'm not going to let that story take top billing. Whatever your opinion of Riley Nelson or Bronco Mendenhall, the bottom line is we won the game. 

Come on Cougs. We're winners. Let's act like it. 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Holy cow, it's game day!

Geesh. These Friday games come quick, don't they? Here it is 2.5 hours until kickoff, and I'm just now getting to my prediction.

I'm sure you all are just wringing your hands with nervous anticipation.

I'll spare you the amateur analysis this week. Clearly I don't know what I'm talking about. The fact is, I have no idea how/if BYU is going to play tonight. I do think this is an important game, though. Deceptively important.

In 2007 we started the season 1-2, just like this year. We beat Arizona, and then lost successive games to UCLA and Tulsa. I was feeling just like I do now: Frustrated, upset, cold, nauseous, clammy, sleepy and forsaken. And a little hungry.

Then, in game four, we drubbed Air Force 31-6 and rattled off 10-straight wins.

This game, tonight, is our Air Force game. It's the fork in the road. We've got the UCF Knights at home in our building, we're bouncing back from a bad loss, and we face a crossroads. Will we mope? Will we quit? Will we lose again?

Or will this be our turning point?

Nothing cures the ills of an ailing fanbase like winning, and we could use some of that sweet medicine tonight. I hope our coaches have our players prepared, and I hope our players haven't lost the will to fight. Because this could still be a pretty nice season if we play our cards right.

My prediction: BYU gets a small measure of its groove back. Cougars win 24-13.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

5 potential rivals for BYU

With all of this conference realignment muck that's being raked around like a fresh pile of horse poop, I've given some thought to some pretty wild scenarios. Scenarios that would put BYU in line with some non-traditional rivalries.

And that's the beauty of being a BYU fan. No matter where we end up when the dust settles, we'll always have someone to hate and someone that hates us. Check out these not-now-but-soon-could-be rivalries:

1. BYU vs. Missouri - The Battle of Haun's Mill
The fine people of Missouri drove out the Mormons in 1838 with Governor Lilburn W. Boggs famous "Extermination Order". Well guess what? We're taking back the holy land! We would have to play this game in a neutral site, though. Preferably Independence.

2. BYU vs. Houston/Washington State - The Cougar Bowl
I think some pervs might be disappointed when they read the program description "Cougar on Cougar action" and it ends up being a football game. But this game would finally prove which is the fiercest Cougar of them all. Courtney Cox would be the special guest referee.

3. BYU vs. Wheaton College - The Shirley Temple Bowl
BYU, as we all know, is the country's most "Stone Cold Sober" school, according to the Princeton Review. But who's No. 2? That'd be Wheaton College in Wheaton, IL. The Wheaton Thunder's been living in our shadow for too long, and they're looking for some satisfaction. And if they win? Break out the virgin Rum and Coke!

4. BYU vs. Cal-Berkeley - The Prop 8 Bowl
It's hard to think of two schools as diametrically opposed as BYU and Cal. We're conservative, they're liberal. We're in the mountains, they're on the coast. We believe in a strict honor code that prevents premarital sex, their campus is, for all intents and purposes, one giant freak fest. Let's not let that rich opportunity go to waste! Let's put those hippies in their places!

5. BYU vs. Eastern Washington - The FCS Championship
Face it: Most realignment scenarios do not put the Cougars in a favorable position. So let's think outside the box here. Let's join the Big Sky conference and just lay waste to everyone who opposes us. We'll be like that big kid in fourth grade who got held back three years to be better than everyone else at sports. Actually... check that. The way we've been playing lately, we might be in over our heads in the FCS.

What do you guys think? Any other teams that should be on the list?

Disappointed

I don't feel like writing, but I figured I'd better put something up on the blog to knock my ridiculous prediction for the Utah game down from the top post.

I'm not gonna say much about the BYU Utah loss. It was awful. You know it, I know it, and I won't dwell on it any more.

All I want to say is I am disappointed. Disappointed in Heaps, Doman, our running backs and all of our coaches.

Remember when you were a kid and you screwed up royal? Sometimes your parents would scream you stupid, but when it was really serious they'd just look at you and say "Son, I'm disappointed in you."

That's the line that always made me feel like a donkey turd.

I hope it works on the BYU Cougars as well. BYU: I'm disappointed.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

A September rivalry

It's the night before the BYU Utah game, but it sure doesn't feel like it. Usually the night before the big game is like Christmas Eve for me. This year it's more like St. Patrick's Day Eve.

I admit, I miss the season-long buildup to the rivalry game. I feel like one of the country's great rivalries has been damaged by the greed and selfishness of college football realignment. However, that's a subject for another day. It's time to try and get fired up for The Holy War.

I am cautiously optimistic about tomorrow's game. I'm kind of feeling like a frightened animal after last week's pathetic display, but in the back of my mind I can't shake the thought that the Cougs might just turn a corner against those dirty Utes.

The big matchup will be Jake Heaps versus the tall and speedy Utah defensive backfield. Jake shouldn't have a problem finding an open guy, but it may not be the first or even second guy. Settle down, Jake, take a deep breath and go through your progressions. I'm thinking he needs to look at the tight ends especially.

In order for Jake to succeed, the o-line needs to start living up to their billing as one of the top in the country. Give ol' Jake some time, open some holes for our mediocre RBs and start playing like the big boys you are.

On D, we'll be just fine. Seriously. Is it bad that I'm not worried about Utah's offense, even slightly? Actually, yes it is bad. Utah, just like BYU, is primed to explode. They've got athletes everywhere, and a QB who can get them the ball... Occasionally. We should be able to handle the Utes' offense, but let's not take them for granted.

Tomorrow we open the home season at LaVell Edwards Stadium. I can't wait to smell the grass, feel the hard metal bench on my rump and cheer till my voice is hoarse. I think BYU rides a wave of emotion to a convincing win tomorrow, and I'll finally be able to read the sports sectiion again.

BYU: 27
Utah: 14

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Top 10 clues you might be a Coug

Like I said yesterday, things are a little weird right now for college football fans in the state of Utah. Suddenly we find ourselves in the throws of Rivalry week, and we have little time to prepare.

So in case there are any fence-sitters out there who don't know who to cheer for on Saturday, I've prepared a list of 10 clues you can use to determine if you're a BYU fan. Take a good hard look at this list. If you find yourself nodding your head in agreement, then you, my good friend, might just be a Coug.

TOP 10 CLUES YOU MIGHT BE A COUG

1. Your football team wins their championships in February and August.
2. Missing the first and fourth quarters is pretty much the norm.
3. Your date night list: Chili's, Olive Garden or P.F. Chang's (special occasions).
4. You adhere to a strict dietary law: Lunch should not cost more than $5.
5. You firmly believe the backup QB is the best player on the team.
6. You don't mind if we lose a game, as long as we never lose a fireside.
7. You have huge drums of wheat sitting in your basement right now. Incidentally, if we are struck by a devastating natural disaster, what good is that wheat gonna do? Will you eat it by the fistful?
8. When casually talking about the NFL in church you use the phrase, "Yeah, I'll have to tape that game and watch it tomorrow."
9. You immediately distrust anyone with facial hair.
10. You get a funny feeling every time you pass the point of the mountain. You can't quite identify it, but you know it's there...

I'm not gonna lie, this list hits close to home. Except the Chili's part. Can't stand that place.

Care to add a few more clues? Be my guest. BYU fans are unique, that's for sure, but I don't care how many barrels of wheat you have in your basement: Just do us all a favor and cheer till your voice is gone this Saturday. We need a big win over the Utes.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Top 10 clues you might be a Ute

Rivalry week came a little early this year. A little too early, actually. It's catching me off guard, and I'm finding it hard to get in the proper mindset.

And I'm not the only one. Turns out the early game is affecting some of our half-bred neighbors to the north. See, usually it takes a solid season of success/failure to determine whether or not a Ute is really a Ute. Since we don't know how good or bad either team will really be this year, there are a lot of confused football fans in Park City right now.

But I'm here to help. I've come up with a list of 10 clues, and each will help you determine if you're a Ute. If you identify with any of these statements, then I'm sorry. You, my friend, might be a Ute.

TOP 10 CLUES YOU MIGHT BE A UTE:

1. You are the first to make a comment on any BYU-related article. Even the articles about the engineering students who make playground equipment in Africa.
2. You did not attend the University of Utah. Or any college for that matter.
3. You shop at Whole Foods in Sugarhouse. Ugh. Hippies.
4. You never miss an issue of Salt Lake City Weekly.
5. You have a crudely drawn Pac-12 logo hanging on your cubicle wall.
6. You attend several MMA/Ultimate Fighting competitions every month.
7. You participate in several MMA/Ultimate Fighting competitions every month.
8. You leave anonymous comments on this blog.
9. You have a nasty goatee. Goatees, incidentally, do not look good on anybody. No exceptions.
10. You don't know anything about sports or the teams. You just know you hate BYU.

Yes, this is a broad, sweeping generalization. And yes, some BYU fans shop at Whole Foods. Why, just the other day I bought some steel-cut oats there (although I did not appreciate the U of U flags hanging all over the walls). This is mostly just for fun. Mostly.

If, however, you have discovered you are a Ute, my advice is to embrace it. Own your Ute-ness. Start buying up Pac-12 gear, start stalking Norm Chow, slap that Drum and Feather on your Jeep Wrangler.

Just don't do anything permanent. No tatoos or anything. You want something you can easily remove/destroy when Utah becomes irrelevant again.

Tomorrow: Top 10 clues you might be a Coug

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Unimpressed

In this instance, I hate that I was right.

Yeah, I called a Texas win. Yes, I said it would be close. I was even pretty close to the final score. But I feel like I just kissed my sister. I don't ever want to predict a BYU loss ever again.

But unfortunately, the way we played yesterday I might have to.

I can't remember another game in which we looked so completely different from half to half. In the first two quarters we were dominant on offense and defense. Heaps looked like he was poised, in control, and getting better and better as the game progressed.

On defense, we were impenetrable. We were causing turnovers and stopping the Longhorns dead in their tracks.

So what the hades happened at halftime?!

We came out in the third quarter and inexplicably decided to stop doing everything that was working for us in quarters one and two. Heaps stopped throwing to the receivers, Doman stopped calling pass plays, the defense stopped tackling.

It was completely frustrating. It felt like I was watching a team that thought they had already done enough to win, and was trying whatever they could to milk the clock and end the game.

And that leads me to our QB and offensive coordinator. Warning: If you hate BYU fans who complain about QBs and OCs, skip this paragraph. Based on two straight games, I am supremely disappointed in the Heaps/Doman tandem we were once so excited about. Heaps isn't making the reads, and Doman isn't calling the plays we need to have success on offense. It looked like we were headed in the right direction in the first half of yesterday's game, but we regressed big time in the third quarter. All the talent we have on offense is going to waste. Especially when we call the same freaking pass play to the tailback every single time.

I am really starting to hate that play.

We've got tall, athletic, speedy receivers. Give them the ball! Austin Holt and Richard Wilson were making plays all day. Get them the ball!

One bright spot was Justin Sorenson. You know he was challenged this week to improve, and that he did. He knocked in three big field goals, and he deserves some credit for bouncing back from a forgettable week one.

I think we'll get better. Obviously, we've got some things to figure out. But it's a long season, and hopefully we won't have to live through painful games like yesterday's anymore this year.

I still think we beat Utah next week, but not nearly as big as I originally thought. Now I'm thinking it'll be another close game. Get ready for it.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Will BYU get Hooked by the 'Horns?

Ugh. What a lame title. I'm sorry everybody.

I hate myself for what I'm about to write. Believe me, I want nothing more than to talk about tomorrow's game at Texas, but I'm warning you right now: You're not going to like what I have to say.

I think the Cougs will suffer a tough loss tomorrow.

Ugh. That was tough to write. Feels like someone is stabbing me in the eyeball with flaming skewers. But if it's any consolation, I think it'll be a close loss. No? No consolation whatsoever? Sorry about that.

Working for us: Texas' inexperience and lack of leadership. The Longhorns started something like 15 freshmen last week vs. Rice. They've got talent, but lack game experience.

Also, when Colt McCoy graduated, Texas hasn't really had a field general who can take control of the troops. They're definitely prime to get rattled.

Working against us
: Offensive momentum. Texas didn't beat the heck out of Rice last week, but they had a very strong fourth quarter in which they scored points, racked up yards and built confidence.

BYU had a similarly strong second half, but still come in to Texas Memorial Stadium with the memories of a forgettable offensive performance in Ole Miss.

Now we face a better team with better athletes in a more hostile environment. Let's hope our Cougs worked out the kinks in our offense this week.

BYU Will Win If: Now don't get me wrong, BYU will definitely have a chance in this game. Our defense will make sure of that. And if we can keep the ball for a long time, sustain and FINISH drives, open some running lanes and make room for an open passing game... then we just might pull it out.

The real battle will be in the trenches. If our O-line can give Jake Heaps time and Heaps can relax and get in a rhythm in the pocket, then I like our chances.

If we can play clean football, put pressure on Big Chief Gilbert (Texas' QB... can't remember his first name... Dwayne?) and finish our offensive drives, then yes, we will win.

Key player: Corby Eason. Eason needs to be nails. He needs to lock up his man and keep his head on a swivel. I'm not worried about our safeties, our 'backers or our d-line. I am a little concerned with our corners. Eason in particular. I know he's a good player, but he'll be tested early and often.

Prediction: This will be one of those "What could have been" games (think UCLA 2007). If the ball bounces our way one or two times we might win. But it won't. Texas 21, BYU 17.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Thoughts from the deep South

Right now I'm sitting in the Las Vegas airport on layover from my trip to Oxford, Mississippi, by way of Memphis. 

Yesterday I was in the stands of Vaught-Hemingway Stadium where I witnessed a filthy awesome comeback win by the BYU Cougars over the Ole Miss Rebels. 

It's been a pretty exhausting weekend. 

Ole Miss was an amazing experience, but I'll post about that later. What I want to do now is give my take on the game. 

First and foremost, this was a big win for BYU. Our first game as an independent football school, on ESPN, on the road in the vaunted cradle of football, the SEC. Obviously I would have liked a little more oomph, a little more convincing a win, but I'll take this win any day.

Now let's take a closer look, together, at each unit.

Offense: Frustrating. We moved the ball well enough, but dumb mistakes kept us from finishing drives. Penalties, bad snaps, poor decisions... Without those mistakes we're looking at 10-20 more points on the board. Jake's pick six was also a 14 point swing in the wrong direction.

However, Jake still led our only TD drive late in the fourth quarter, and that took guts. He was surprisingly efficient, and even though he looked jumpy and uncomfortable at times, he put up decent numbers. Jake Heaps is my offensive MVP. 

Defense: Impressive. They lived up to the hype, big time. They hit hard, they played physical and in the end they, you know, won the game. I especially loved the front seven. Our d-line and linebackers showed me why they were so hyped coming into the season. Obviously KVN made the play of the game, but I also loved the play of Jordan Pendleton, Hebron Fangupo, Daniel Sorenson and Uona Kaveinga. 

The secondary looks like a BYU secondary, meaning, they can't hold coverages forever. We still need to apply lots of pressure to force QBs into mistakes. 

My defensive MVP is Kyle Van Noy, by the way. All this dude does is make plays. 

Special Teams: Disappointing. I don't want to say I knew Justin Sorenson was going to miss that 31-yard field goal in the second half, but I'll say it anyway. I saw it coming from a mile away. For all his leg strength, JS just can't figure out how to be consistent. 

Plus the punt coverage unit gave up a huge return that gave the Rebs all kinds of momentum. I was there to witness; it was loud. 

Nevertheless, I love Jordan Johnson as a kick returner. He only got to bring one back, but he showed quickness, elusiveness and speed. I'm thinking this guy is going to give us some good stuff this year. He's my MVP. 

Great win, go Cougs. If anyone is going to Austin next week, let me know. I think I might follow the team around full time. 

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Bring on Ole Miss!

You'll be pleased to know I have officially cleansed myself of conference expansion speculation, and I'm ready to get down and dirty with the upcoming season. Today I'm all about the Ole Miss Rebels.

I am ripe with nervous excitement for this game. First, because I'll actually be there in the stands, and second because this year's crop of Cougars has more potential than perhaps any other team in BYU history. Well... Recent history, anyway. I'm tossing and turning and foaming at the mouth ready to see how Jake Heaps fares as a sophomore, if Ross Apo lives up to the astronomical hype, and how many QBs Jordan Pendleton sends to the ER.

Ole Miss will be a huge test. It's an SEC team with big expectations, just like us. We'll be playing in an unfamiliar territtory in hot, muggy, sticky Mississippi. But BYU's especially talented this year, and we've got the horses to run with the Rebs, despite this mythical "SEC speed" I keep hearing about.

BYU will win if: We can stop the run. That's what it's all about. Ole Miss has a huge offensive line and a playmaking running back... Captain What's His Name. Also, they're breaking in a new QB who isn't very good. If Ole Miss can't run effectively, they'll get bowled over.

Ole Miss will win if: Obviously, they'll win if they can run. I feel like I just said that.

Key player: My key player in this game is Sir Jake Heaps. I was really impressed with Jake at the end of last season, and all reports are that he's made huge strides this offseason. I can't wait to see how he plays against a speedy, physical defense. If Jake is on, and if the line gives him time to throw, we'll be sailing to a comfortable win.

My prediction: I'm sold on this team. I think the pieces are in place for the Cougars to have a special, special season. We've got the best front seven in school history, phenomenal talent on offense, and our opponent has a whole truckload of question marks. I see BYU playing fast, playing physical, wreaking havoc on defense, and putting up points on offense. Ole Miss will struggle on offense, and too many mistakes on D will give the Cougs a comfortable win. I'm calling it 31-10 for the good guys.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

BYU and Texas should be BFFs

We're on the precipice of another College Football Expansion Crisis.

Texas A&M, the author of this year's panic, sent a formal letter to the Big 12 conference asking them to outline "the process to be followed by Texas A&M should it withdraw from the Conference."

Translation? "We're outtie 5000. Please don't sue us."

Another little bit of the letter I find intriguing is this: "There has been a great deal of speculation and comment in the media about Texas A&M leaving the Conference, including discussions of other institutions joining the Conference."

That's it. That's all they said.

They don't refute the claims or speculation. They just state that the claims and speculation are taking place. Well Duh.

Naturally, BYU fans like me believe we are on the short list of potential TAMU replacements. I made my case for joining the Big 12 a few posts ago, but I do want to add one caveat:

BYU should only join the Big 12 if we are, and can remain, connected at the hip with Texas.

Texas and BYU are on great terms. The Longhorns were one of the first teams that agreed to schedule a home-and-home series with the Cougs after we announced independence, and reports are Texas staffers were cozying up to the BYU broadcasting folks to try and glean some insight into starting their own network. If we do get an invitation to join the Big 12, then we may have Texas to thank for it.

BYU needs to keep those good vibes going.

We need to be best buddies with UT. Wherever Texas ends up, we need to be there with 'em. If Texas makes it very clear, in no uncertain terms, that they are committed to the long-term health and wellbeing of the Big 12, then we should join (if we're asked). If not, we shouldn't.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Soccer doesn't suck

We're a paltry 10 days away from what could be one of the best and most exciting seasons in BYU football history, but I'd like to take a quick time out and make way for...

...women's soccer?!

I've gone through a bit of a metamorphosis over the past 12-18 months, and it all came to a head when I found myself at a BYU women's soccer game last night... and I loved every minute of it.

See, I've always identified myself with the "Real Man's Sports" crowd who hated soccer. This group, founded by Jim Rome, convinced me that soccer is boring, un-American and weird. I was indoctrinated with anti-soccer rhetoric, and openly mocked those who were so passionate about it.

But I have changed my ways. Ever see American History X? Same thing, just without all the Nazis and curb-jobs.

The crack in my armor first appeared just last year when I watched the US Men's Team in the 2010 World Cup. I felt the goosebumps along with every other blue-blooded American when Landon Donovan scored that magical goal against Algeria.

Then, my heart broke right alongside everyone else's earlier this year when the US Women's Team lost a heartbreaker in the championship game against Japan.

And finally, I cheered loud and proud when BYU raked Utah over the coals on the way to a 4-0 trouncing just last night. It was a beautiful win on a beautiful night. The South Field was alive with just a shade under 4,500 fans, and the BYU women's soccer team won a new convert in me.

Now, as a post-script, I should say I'm not all the way there yet. I haven't bought a scarf, nor will I be attending any Real Salt Lake games any time soon. I still think the fake injuries are ridiculous, and I really will only watch soccer if I have a personal vested interest (my country, my Alma Mater, etc.). But at least I'm not a hater anymore, right? Baby steps.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Big 12 is better

BYU does NOT have an invitation to join the Big 12 conference. We need to remember that. In fact, say it out loud to yourself. Say it twice more. Now say it again, but believe it this time.

Okay. Now that you've said it, we can talk about it. It's the sultry little question has Cougar fans across the nation spinning like a top. It has BYU faithful debating in ice cream parlors and brawling in the streets. It's the golden question in a new era of Super-Conferences:

What if BYU gets an invitation to join the Big 12?

With virtually every major conference in the country taking a good hard look at expansion, the question of BYU to the Big 12 has popped up in papers, blogs and message boards from Florida to Oklahoma, Baylor to Butler. Everyone seems to have an opinion, and virtually all of those opinions are very favorable to extending an invite to the Cougars.

"National fanbase," they say. "First-rate facilities," "A huge network of alumni," "Broadcast facilities," are also common phrases. It seems BYU has made itself quite attractive to the college football landscape.

In recruiting terms, BYU has gone to the camps, taken some unofficial visits, demonstrated well and has bumped itself up from a one-star to a three-star recruit. Not quite a blue-chipper, but good enough that coaches are starting to take note.

And now, as the power conferences scramble to make themselves relevant on the national scene, BYU stands at the precipice of aligning itself once again with a conference, just one year after declaring football independence.

And, as a huge fan and staunch supporter of BYU, independence, and the West Coast Conference (where most of our non-football sports including basketball have landed), I say unequivocally and proudly that...

...we should accept that invitation. Gladly.

Look, independence is beautiful. I think it's safe to say it has worked out a lot better than we ever could have imagined. But we need to stop kidding ourselves. As great as football independence is, BCS conference affiliation is better. Maybe only marginally better, but better.

The Big 12 trumps independence for four reasons:

  1. BCS inclusion. The Big 12 has an automatic tie-in to the BCS and potentially the National Championship game. BYU doesn't have that as an independent.

  2. Bowl Tie-ins. The Big 12 has contracts with the Fiesta Bowl, the Cotton Bowl, the Holiday Bowl, the Alamo Bowl, the Pinstripe Bowl, and the grandpappy of 'em all: The Meineke Car Care Bowl. BYU has... the Armed Forces Bowl

  3. Scheduling. BYU's greatest weakness as an independent is finding quality games to schedule. Big 12 membership would mean really, really great games all season long. No more Idaho State in late November

  4. Non-Football Sports. As much as we've told ourselves we love the WCC, the Big 12 is much better. Across the board


Additionally, BYU would get all the exposure and a whole lot more money if it was a part of the Big 12. This decision should be a slam dunk for the BYU powers that be.

Assuming we ever get an invitation. Which we don't have. Say it again.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Follow me on Twitter

Hey loyal ASB-ers. And if you're reading this, you really are loyal. You've been with me in the good times (remember two-a-days a couple years ago?), and bad times (the inexplicable absences during Jimmer's final year). You're the best.

I'm going to try and take blogging seriously again, but just in case you want more, you really should follow me on Twitter. I'm a huge fan of Twitter, and I'm jabbering on about BYU almost incessantly. I'm like an unstoppable rebel force.

So visit Twitter.com/aolsen and give me a follow. But also, keep your eye on ASB. I've got some good stuff brewing in my brain-banana.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Answering Greg

I'm a huge Greg Wrubell fan. I think KSL and BYU were given a great gift when Greg Wrubell stepped on the scene. As the BYU play-by-play man, Greg has proven to be entertaining, insightful, enthushttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifiastic and more prepared than a Mormon Boy Scout.

In his latest blog post, Greg asked some questions about the upcoming season. It was kind of a "Here's what I'll be looking for" kind of blog post with no real answers.

Until now. I'm taking it upon myself to answer Greg's questions. And no, I'm not seeking any money or accolades for knowing the un-knowable. Just come on back and give me some credit when I turn out to be 100% right.*

GW: "Who will emerge as the top tight end?"

AO: Devin Mahina. At least, he'll gobble up all the numbers. Austin Holt will be a great "Behind the scenes" kind of guy, blocking and what-not, but Mahina will prove to be the No. 1 pass-catcher.

GW: "How will the safety situation play out?"

AO: Here's how: Daniel Sorenson wills start at Free, and Travis Uale at Strong. No one will unseat Uale, as much as we'd like it to be Hague. Joe Sampson and DeQuan Everett will be the phantoms standing on the sidelines, and we Cougar fans will be forced to wonder "What if?"

GW: "How will speedster Drew Phillips be used?"

AO: He won't. I was excited about Drew Phillips, but I think this dude's a gonner. An academic casualty who will probably finish his career at another school.

GW: "Will we see the return of the slot receiver position?"

AO: Only if it's Jacobson. If we have to rely on Falslev or DiLuigi, it's not gonna happen.

GW: "How quickly will the first-string front seven come together?"

AO: This is going to be a nasty, flame-broiled, juiced-up front seven, and they will be the strongest combined unit on our team. Every starter talks about the bond they have with the rest of the group, and it'll show early and often.

GW: "Can WR Ross Apo live up to the hype?"

AO: Yes. Emphatically. If you thought Cody Hoffman was the real deal, wait till you see Ross Apo.

GW: "(Who will win) the position battle at center between Terence Brown and Houston Reynolds?"

AO: Pass.

GW: "Which true freshman will make the greatest immediate impact?"

AO: The obvious answer is Ryker Mathews. And it's the right answer. Ryker is the only true freshman to be with the team since January, and he's already cracked the two-deep. Ryker will be a superstar when all is said and done.

GW: "How badly will the injury bug bite?"

AO: A lot of pulled hammies, a lot of twisted ankles, the word "contusion" will pop up fairly regularly, but nothing serious. Unless we play Nevada again. Stupid Nevada.

GW: "How sharp will new Offensive Coordinator Brandon Doman's offense look?"

AO: Exceedingly sharp. I base that on the last half of last season, which I believe was captained principally by Doman. I think Jake Heaps "gets" Doman, and I think we'll pick up where we left off in 2010.

GW: "Which four players will make up the starting secondary on September 3rd?"

AO: Eason, Buckner, Uale and Sorenson. Write it down.

GW: "Is Jordan Pendleton all the way back?"

AO: Yes. Yes he is. And he will rise up and smite his enemies to the ground with vengeance. He'll lead the team in tackles for loss, he'll knock at least one QB out for the year, and he'll bring back the mohawk we all loved so much. JP won't blink or crack a single smile during the season. And next year, he'll be cashing NFL checks.

*Note: The above commentary was written by a fan who has absolutely no inside information whatsoever. He likes to pretend he does, but he doesn't. Don't let his confident tone fool you, he doesn't know what he's talking about.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Do some good. Come to BYU.

I wish I could put my brain in Jabari Parker's body.

If you're a BYU fan, you probably already know all about Mr. Parker. He's the 6-8 high school junior from Chicago who might just be the No. 1 basketball prospect in 2013. He's an incredible player. He's a lottery NBA pick for sure.

Oh yeah, and he's LDS.

That last little beauty has BYU fans like me all aflutter. Like it or not, the church connection means BYU has to be in the conversation when it comes to Jabari's recruitment.

Realistically though, Jabari-to-BYU has to be considered a long shot. This kid literally has his choice of schools. Duke, Kentucky, Kansas... They all want him. Dave Rose is making a strong play for Parker, but it'll be an uphill battle.

I've never been a No. 1 anything before, so I can't imagine what Jabari's recruitment must be like. He's got a tough choice to make, but if it was me it would be the easiest choice in the world: I'd pick BYU.

Here's the thing, JP is going to the NBA. That much is certain. And he's most likely going after one year. So if your college experience is going to be limited to just one year, I ask you this: does it really matter what college you pick?

Actually, that all depends.

if he goes to Kansas or Kentucky, no. He'll be another flash in the pan. Don't get me wrong, the fans will love him, but in a school with 500 legends it's pretty easy to get lost in the mix.

At BYU, though, he would be the ultimate ambassador for the school and the church. He would spark countless conversations about Mormons, the mission of BYU and faith, and it would extend well beyond his one year in college. He would do all sorts of good for BYU with a long and successful career in the NBA.

In other words, Jabari Parker's future is already taken care of. He'll be just fine. However, he is now in the unique position of being able to do something extremely good for his church, and his church's school.

And if JP is worried about exposure or draft position or whatever, I've got two words for him: Jimmer Fredette. Jimmer showed the world you can play at a mid-major school and still be the most popular player in the universe. Jabari could do that. And if he does indeed come to BYU, he'll even have the advantage of having regular games on ESPN, a luxury Jimmer never had.

Like I said, I'm not Jabari Parker. I'm a 27-year-old BYU fan who has no idea how it feels to have every major college in the country beat down your door. It has to be flattering. But if it WAS me, I'd take a good hard look at the big picture. I'd go to BYU so I could do the most good for myself and my church.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The MWC is full of morons

I'm just gonna come right out with it: the Mountain West Conference is full of morons, dullards and ignorami. As a BYU fan, I'm deliriously happy we won't have to deal with those hicks anymore. Let me tell you why.

When BYU announced it would be leaving the MWC in favor of Football independence, our conference family almost immediately greeted our decision with anger and bitterness. Commissioner Craig Thompson issued a terse statement in which he failed to acknowledge BYU's move or even the school's name. Fans around the conference responded to the news with a bizarre combination of envy, disgust and relief. Relief that they'd never have to see the BYU Cougars ever again.

Several schools, TCU, Wyoming and SDSU for example, vowed publicly to "punish" BYU by never scheduling them again. They knew scheduling would be the hardest part of our jump, and they were determined to make independence as difficult for us as possible.

And these were supposed to be our friends. Our conference allies.

I can understand the jealousy and the bitterness, but try as I might I can't wrap my head around the sheer idiocy of not putting BYU on your future schedule.

BYU's independence and its partnership with ESPN mean more money and more exposure for the Cougars. What these MWC simpletons don't realize is it provides money and exposure for BYU's opponents too.

Imagine you're the athletic director for an MWC school like, say, Wyoming. If you schedule a home-and-home series with BYU, you can instantly count on more fans in your stadium. You can also charge a premium for tickets, knowing that your fans and the traveling Cougar fans will gladly pay it. Every team does it when the Cougs come to town, after all. Boom. Suddenly you've got bigger crowds who are spending more money in your stadium. Isn't that what every AD wants for their school?

Then, next year, you play the Cougars in Provo. Thanks to BYU's deal with the Worldwide Leader, you'll probably get your game on one of the ESPN family of networks. Suddenly you've got a game on ESPN, and if you're Wyoming, that happens about as often as a Cheesecake Factory customer walking out the door not feeling like he's gonna yack. And even if you're not on ESPN, your game against the Cougs will be on BYUTV, and that's still about a billion times better than the paltry offerings of The mtn.

Money and exposure. That's what BYU gets, and that's what BYU can give.

I should point out not all the MWC schools are so stupid. Boise State, Hawaii and TCU all have BYU on future schedules, and all will benefit greatly for it. I'm telling you, putting BYU on the schedule is a great idea.

Not that I'd expect the brain dead bubbas around the new MWC to recognize it

So glad we're out of that tire fire.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

BYU football has a mission: Convert the Mormons

Independence is sweet, when you think about it. With a partner like ESPN, BYU's football independence means exposure, freedom, money a new national brand, and so much more.

BYU football will now be broadcast nationwide on the ESPN family of networks, and whatever ESPN doesn't air will be picked up by BYUtv and the tens of millions of homes in its footprint. BYU fans outside the state of Utah are no doubt rejoicing.

But that's the big question. How many BYU fans really live outside the state? Certainly there are a few- I'm thinking particularly about the BYU alumni who move out of state. But too often when pundits, experts and fans talk about BYU's national audience they mention the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its members. It's true that these members, Mormons, belong to the same church that owns BYU, but in many cases that's where the similarities end.

There are a lot of Mormons, the vast majority I would guess, who are completely apathetic toward BYU sports. I'm sure they've all heard about BYU, but how many non-alumni Mormons would consider themselves big BYU fans? My guess would be not many.

BYU needs to change that. Now that we have the freedom to schedule games all year, all over the country, BYU should make a special effort to involve all the members of the church in each area. BYU can make a huge impact on these non-fan Mormons, and they need to reach out to this large, diverse and nation-wide audience.

To do this, BYU can leverage the fireside program, participate in activities with the youth, make a special effort to invite members of the church to games in their areas, etc.

Don't make the mistake of thinking all Mormons will flock to the BYU banner just because they have the church in common.

There's another side to this issue, though, and it's this: non-fan Mormons need to get behind BYU. They need to recognize BYU as "their school." Just as Catholics would support Notre Dame, Mormons need to love them some BYU. If you're one of these "too cool for school" Mormons who hates BYU for some inexplicable reason, it's time to grow up. BYU is your church's school. Get behind the Cougs, because more positive exposure for BYU means more positive exposure for the church. And that's a good thing for everybody.

BYU and Mormons. It's a match made in heaven.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Hangin' with Jimmer

Have you heard of the Jimmer poster yet? You should have. Dick Harmon wrote all about the thing, and Tom Kirkland was all over it too.

How do I know? I was there.

That's right. A buddy of mine, Bryce Randle of Post Fifth Pictures, was tapped to put together a "behind the scenes" look at the making of the poster, and he asked me if I wanted to tag along.

I dropped what I was doing and drove over.

The experience was pretty cool. As we were setting up equipment, more and more people began to arrive. Harmon, Kirkland, some sports personalities from UVU, and then Jimmer. When Jimmer walked into the room, a hush fell on those gathered. We parted ways as Jimmer passed through our midst. It was awesome, and I am not lying one tiny bit.

Bryce let me hold some stuff and shuffle some equipment around to make it look like I was actually doing something, but mostly I was just a spectator. Bryce just knows I'm a BYU geek, and would love just being in the same room as The Jimmer. He was dead right.

Anyway, you should all go buy Jimmer's poster to commemorate the only player in BYU basketball HISTORY to win all 6 major Player of the Year awards. Hold on, let that sink in a moment: Of all the greats who have donned BYU blue over the years, not one has done what Jimmer has done. What an amazing player. Buy the dang poster, will ya?

By the way, here's the "Making of" video. See if you can spot my ugly mug.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Way to go, students

Just wanted to write a quick love letter to the BYU students.

I can't tell you how impressed I was with the Cougar student section in the Marriott Center this season. They were loud, proud, and they filled those benches to the rafters all year long.

Don't get me wrong. BYU has always had a great student section. Our students have been just as dedicated as the next school's. In fact, the best experiences I ever had at the Marriott Center were when I was a student, waiting in impossibly long lines to rush toward the most desirable seats.

But I have to admit it: The 2011 class brought it.

It started with the Front Row Fanatics. Not sure how these guys get front row center all year long, but I'm as happy as a clam about it. They're personally invested in the games, and they fire up the people around them.

The fever spread with tent city. Before all the big games this year the students camped out in front of the MC entrance to get the best seats. There's something about this activity that makes me proud to be a fan.

The students also did a great job with their cheers. I was especially impressed with how they were able to start the section-by-section "B-Y-U Cougars" chant. One of my all-time favorites.

Finally, you'd have to be a stone-cold, robotic nazi communist not to love this little diddy:



I saw this flash mob live and I was blown away. I hope it becomes a tradition, but maybe only once a year. Let's keep it special.

To sum up, I just want to thank our students. I remember taking a trip up to Logan last year to see the Cougars play Utah State in the Spectrum, and I came away absolutely taken aback by the USU student section. They get it. I always wished BYU would inspire that kind of passion.

Well, I'm happy to say that I felt the passion this year. I felt like the students were invested, they took ownership of their game role, and they made the Marriott Center the place to be on game night.

Great job students. Thanks for letting me live vicariously through you.

Friday, March 04, 2011

A silver lining

Brace yourselves, this post is gonna be a little heavy.

Like I mentioned before, I've run the emotional gamut since I heard about Brandon Davies' dismissal from the BYU basketball team. Well, I'm happy to report that today I've reached a peaceful, transcendent state.

I'm not sure how long it will last, so I figured I'd better write about it now.

In case you didn't know, BYU held a big press conference yesterday featuring Tom Holmoe, Dave Rose and spokesperson Carri Jenkins. They decided to do it because the questions and requests for information about the Honor Code were overwhelming--especially from the national media.

It was then that I started thinking: Maybe some good will come out of this awful situation after all.

At a time when BYU had the country's undivided attention, suddenly the Honor Code (and to some extent the standards of the Mormon Church) were brought to center stage. The verdict? BYU is an institution to be respected and, by comparison, a beacon of light in the murky, unethical and sometimes corrupt world of college athletics.

Our coaches and athletes keep talking about exposure, and this is the right kind of exposure for BYU.

Consider these reports from the national media:
And that's just a few of the many, many stories that have come forward in support of BYU.

It's extremely unfortunate that these stories had to come at the expense of a good person, but the good news is Brandon is being taken care of. He's working his way back, he has the support of the school, his team and the fans, and when he comes back he'll be received with open arms.

I feel completely awful for Jimmer and Jackson, two senior guards that deserved the magical season we were about to have, but there is a silver lining to this mess.

What now?

Let me give you a little insight into what I was feeling when I heard the news about Brandon Davies:

Shock, disbelief, rage, more rage, white-hot rage, sympathy, hope.

Then the New Mexico game started. I think I was back to rage within the first four minutes.

Anyone who saw our No. 3 Cougars get their cakes handed to them by the unranked New Mexico Lobos saw that we have a big problem on our team. With Davies' dismissal we now have absolutely no inside game whatsoever. It became obvious to me on Wednesday night that Brandon Davies was the pace-setter for our big men. He may not play a lot of minutes (averaging just over 24 a game), but he sets a very important tone for the rest of our bigs.

James Anderson did not set that tone. He looked awkward and uncomfortable in the starting role. He can't handle the ball, he has no offense, and he's a turnover just waiting to happen.

Noah Hartsock is definitely a talented player, but he's as soft as a plush ballerina in the post. He can't play with his back to the basket.

So what does that leave us? A lot of rushed, off-balance jump shots. That's what. And that's no good.

Opponents will now follow the New Mexico model when they play the Cougars: Do not give BYU any respect whatsoever in the paint. On offense and defense. Pound it down their throats, because we gots no game down low.

Unfortunately that leaves us in a tough spot now. With little-to-no time to find our identity, BYU is about to enter the post season as weak and vulnerable as a Ute fan at a court hearing. At this point I doubt BYU will make it to the MWC Tournament championship game, and I doubt BYU will make it past the second round of the NCAAs.

It's hard to put it in writing, but that's how I feel deep down in my bones. I hope I'm wrong, though. I hope Dave Rose can figure this team out and we can still make a run.

But he'll have to fill some big shoes to do it.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Catching up

I'm so lame. I can't remember the last time I was as excited to be a BYU fan, and yet I've failed to express my feelings to the blog.

For that, I apologize.

Please allow me to catch up on some long-gone sports events and issues.

UNLV: Yeah, I'm going back that far. Deal with it. I just want to comment that I was in the Thomas & Mack last year when BYU got blown apart by the Rebels. I remember relishing the thought of being inside the T&M when BYU finally puts it on those dirty Rebels, and lo and behold it finally happened. I wasn't at all disappointed to be watching it on TV. After suffering humiliation and having to deal with the scum of the earth UNLV fans, I went to bed with a big grin on my face knowing we Cougars got the last laugh.

SDSU: I don't know how many of you were able to go to the SDSU game at the Marriott Center last month, but it was without a doubt the best game I've seen in Provo. The previous leader was when Wake Forest came to town a few years ago. BYU played an inspired game, and they were electrified by a crowd that can only be described as epic. After the win, BYU students rushed the court. I have never seen such a thing, and while I initially found it shocking, I quickly made my peace. It was well-deserved.

Jimmermania: Running concurrent with these amazing games is a nation-wide case of heightened Jimmermania. I have nothing new on the subject, I just want to add my voice to the hundreds who are already singing Jimmer's praises. This is a once-in-a-generation player. I highly recommend you get to as many games as possible while he's still wearing Cougar blue.

Not a one-man show: Having said that, I refuse to believe this BYU team is a one-man show. Jimmer gets the pub, because he's the best, but don't discount the value of Jackson Emery, Brandon Davies, Kyle Collinsworth and the rest. Don't do it. We've got some big talent on this team, and BYU will continue to be a power for years to come.

The 2011 Recruiting class: Shifting gears to football, I just want to say I love the 2011 recruiting class. It's a class full of beef. Big d-linemen, big tight ends, offensive linemen like Holsteins. This is the kind of class that will anchor a team for years and years. They'll make our flashier skill players look awesome.

Coaching staff: with the additions of Joe DuPaix and Ben Cahoon, the BYU coaching staff is complete. And anyone who isn't excited for the future of BYU football with this coaching staff should go into electroshock therapy. I'm so juiced I can barely stand it. We've got a roster full of extremely talented kids, and a fired up coaching staff who will get the most out of our players. I am freaking out about Cougar football, and (spoiler alert!) I'm already predicting a perfect 2011 season.

Jerry Sloan: Finally, on a sad note, Jazz nation (okay, Jazz state) said goodbye to an icon last week. Jerry Sloan decided to step down, and I, like so many other Basketball fans, am just so bummed. Jerry Sloan was the Jazz. He gave the team its identity, and now that he's gone I'm afraid his old-school, tough guy attitude will leave with him. He did so much with so little, and im sad to see him go. I predict a very painful season for the Jazz.

That's what's been on my mind. I'm sorry for the huge breaks in between posts. If you really miss me you should probably follow me on Twitter. I'm on that crap all the time, and I can't stop talking about BYU sports. Give me a follow; you won't regret it (although you will have to put up with an occasional Tweet about my extremist right-wing philosophies).

Happy Valentines Day everybody!

Friday, January 07, 2011

Enjoy it

When the BYU Cougars made a trip across the country to play in Glens Falls, NY, they did it for Jimmer. Actually, they did it for the town itself; the fine citizens of Glens Falls desperately wanted to see their hometown hero play again.

I think I can understand how the people of Glens Falls felt. Jimmer is a special player; it's no wonder they wanted to see him again.

Fortunately we get to see Jimmer, along with his equally special running mate Jackson Emery, twice a week in a big building less than a mile from my house. Both Jimmer and Jackson are some of the best players to don BYU blue. Both are making their way to the top of the record books, and both are going to graduate at the end of this season.

That dark truth is just starting to sink in.

We've got such a great team this year, and if you're not taking the time to savor every bit of it, you're doing yourself a great disservice. We BYU fans are in the middle of something pretty awesome, and we better be enjoying it.

You hear me Cougar fans? ENJOY IT!

Start by going to see BYU play Air Force tomorrow night. I know the Falcons aren't the sexiest team on our schedule, but I personally will take every chance I can get to see Jimmer and Jackson and the rest of this BYU team play.

Because some day they'll be gone, and we may find ourselves desperate to bring them back again.