08 April 2008

BYU Football Hype

The Cougars are getting some serious preseason respect.

To be honest, I hate preseason hype in college football. Preseason rankings mean everything, as a team ranked lower than 20 or so in the preseason polls has approximately a 0% chance of making it to the BCS title game. (The system itself stinks, but that's another post.)

But even though I despise how important preseason talk is, it still makes me kinda excited to see BYU get some love.

And shoot, any team that goes 11-2 two straight seasons is going to get some attention.

ESPN.com has an article covering the upcoming season.

After four straight non-winning seasons, BYU has gone 11-2 in each of the past two campaigns, not losing a game at home or in Mountain West Conference play. Only LSU, Ohio State and Boise State have a better two-year win total (23) than the Cougars (22), who won bowl games in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1983-84.

After finishing last season with its highest national ranking in 11 years, BYU will enter the fall riding the nation's longest win streak (10). The offense returns 10 starters, and several key holdovers remain from a defense that ranked ninth nationally in points allowed (18.5 ppg).

"We have a chance to do something special," quarterback Max Hall said. "A lot of people believe in us right now."

Fox Sports thinks the Cougars will go 11-1 with a schedule good enough to go to a BCS bowl.

BYU isn't being shy about where it wants to be with "Quest for Perfection," the motto for its season. After two straight fantastic 11-2 years, this should be Bronco Mendenhall's best team yet, with QB Max Hall operating a high-octane offense and pass-rushing terror Jan Jorgensen leading a defense that should be strong if the secondary can reload.

The Mountain West should be better, with TCU and Utah each able to ruin the Cougars' dream, but the the non-conference schedule isn't bad with Northern Iowa, at Washington, UCLA and at Utah State. Would that be good enough to send a 12-0 BYU team to the BCS title game? That could be the big debate of 2008, but a huge win over the Bruins could set the tone and generate the buzz needed for the national attention. An 11-1 BYU should still find its way into a BCS date.

But we'll see. The Cougars are one or two key injuries away from bombing in 2008. After their 1984 National Championship, BYU returned a lot of starters, and some say the '85 team was the most talented ever. BYU went 11-3 and lost its bowl game, mainly because quarterback Robbie Bosco was injured late in the season.

I hope all this respect doesn't make the players complacent. Best way to lose a game is to think you've already won it.

But I doubt Bronco will let them get too confident. After going 1-2 to start each of the past two seasons, Mendhenhall can't afford to let that happen again.


Graham & Heather said...

True, the BCS stinks, but if they want to push some attention our way I'll take it. If we have to play their game I say why not. Could be another fun year for the Cougars! WOOO!

Filbert Karo said...

ugh Utah

Filbert Karo said...

Why is UCLA always winning in every sport...basically

Steve-O said...

Can't wait to start watching me some more BYU football. Yee-haw! (My inner hick shining through.)

superman jock said...

I really can't wait at all for the football season because I am playing and thinking about it all the time and they should ax the BCS, but nobody is going to stand in our way!