I wrote this for next week's Scroll issue.
It's a sneak preview for loyal blog readers! More perks to come (maybe)!
Cougars look to future, appreciate past
1984. A significant year for all Cougar faithful. In 1984, coach Lavell Edwards and quarterback Robbie Bosco led the team to a national championship in football. A year I'll always remember.
Okay, so honestly, I was only two years old at the time. But I've watched the BYU victory over Michigan in the Holiday Bowl enough times that I've convinced myself I was there.
But what does any of this have to do with this year's Cougar squad?
After beating San Diego State 48-27 October 27, BYU found itself undefeated in conference play for the second year in a row. The last time that happened?
1983 and 1984.
BYU's next game is against the UCLA Bruins in the Las Vegas Bowl on December 22. This is not only a chance for the Cougars to avenge a September 8 37-17 loss to UCLA, but also a shot at beating the Bruins for the first time since when?
1983, when Steve Young did it. And who was Young's backup? Robbie Bosco.
A win over UCLA would be more than a chance to stop a seven-game losing streak to the Bruins. It would also be the first time BYU has recorded consecutive bowl victories since when?
You guessed it, 1983 and 1984.
To be fair, these Bruins aren't the same ones you watched thrash BYU 68-14 in 1993 or 26-9 in 1995. This team is 6-6 on the season and just fired their head coach. But a win is a win, and a new era of Cougar dominance could begin December 22.
The parallels to 1984 end there. But what if 2007, like 1984 is so many ways, is a springboard from which BYU can launch itself into a possible national championship game in 2009?
We'll remember this team for a long time if that's the case. We'll recall 2007 as the year quarterback Max Hall, running back Harvey Unga, tight end Dennis Pitta started down that path and restored BYU to national prominence.