21 December 2008

Well, that didn't go well

Long story short, BYU's offense was held in check by Arizona's fairly good defense last night. The failure of the Cougar defense was to be expected, but for the third time this season, the Cougar offense, which returned many starters, was unable to move the ball when it mattered most.

What is common among these three instances? TCU, Utah and Arizona represent the three good-to-great defenses. And all three times, BYU ended up recording a convincing loss. 

This was not a good team. 

It seems odd to be so utterly disappointed in a 10-3 team, but it's the reality. Look at the schedule:

Northern Iowa: 43-17 win. FCS team. This win really shows nothing either way.

Washington: 28-27 win. Washington finished the season winless (that's impressive all on its own), but they lost Jake Locker after four games, so I'm not sure the team that showed up versus BYU is the same team that lost to California 48-7. That said, the Huskies were not a good team at any point in 2008. A road win over a BCS team is usually impressive, but in this instance, BYU fans found little to be excited about.

UCLA: 59-0 win. The Bruins finished 4-8. The 59 they gave up to the Cougars was the most they allowed all season, but this game seems raher fluky. A couple early turnovers and quick scores on the UCLA defense demoralized the Bruins and that was that. 

Wyoming: 44-0 win. Same story as UCLA, in my opinion. Early turnovers combined with BYU jumping out to an early lead led to the Cowboys giving up. Finished 5-7.

Utah State: 31-14 win over a 3-9 team. 

New Mexico: 21-3 win, at home. Lobos ended with a 4-8 record. I attended this game, and while the final score is somewhat impressive, at no time did I feel like BYU was the overwhelmingly better team. 

TCU: 32-7 loss. TCU is 11-1, and definitely a great team. BYU walked into a buzzsaw on this one. 

UNLV: 42-35 win. The Rebels went 5-7 this season, and the Cougars had to rely on a late touchdown to beat them. At home. 

Colorado State: 45-42 win. The Rams are a middle-of-the-road team, and this was a win on the road for BYU. Colorado State beat Fresno State in the New Mexico Bowl yesterday to put their record at 7-6. Their losses came to Colorado, California, BYU, Utah, TCU and Air Force.

San Diego State: 41-12 home win. Against a 2-10 team. Not much to be enthusiastic about here. 

Air Force 38-24 win. This is an 8-4 team, and the Cougars beat them in Colorado Springs. This was a good win. 

Utah: 48-24 loss. We all know how this game went. Utah is undefeated and set to play in a BCS bowl. 

Bottom line: BYU's nine FBS wins came against teams with a combined record of 38-71. Their three losses came against  teams with a combined record of 31-6. 

Nothing special here, folks. BYU was a good team, not a great one in 2008. 

And the sad thing is that at this point, there's not a lot to be excited about for next season.

Such is the danger of high expectations. 


Seth said...

Yup. Well summed up. However, we did not expect to lost half our secondary. Next year we lose all our offensive linemen, a pretty good receiver and a used-to-be good running back, and a veteran linebacker. So if you asked me, this year would have been the year to go undefeated and make a BCS bowl.

BCS bowl 2009?

LaPaube said...

I think what you should get excited about for next year is more of the same--some entertainment on Saturday afternoons. They'll win more games than they'll lose, and have some fun doing it. You can't ask more than that from BYU because they're just not in a position to be a national contender, for several reasons. Like both of us said at various points of this season, you just have to enjoy the entertainment of the games and not get caught up in tracking their airtime on ESPN.

Josh said...

If we ever were to go to a BCS bowl, it would've been in 2006. Think about it. Defense? Stingy. Offense? Explosive. Special Teams? Solid. So in other words, if the refs didn't screw up the Arizona game, and Jared McGlaughlin doesn't have a kick off the uprights and 1 blocked, we would've taken Boise State's spot against Oklahoma. Plus, their QB stunk. Ours had like 5 picks all year. And plus, we hammered an Oregon team who beat Oklahoma too.

( P.S. How bad is it snowing in Rexburg? It's probably more than a half foot, and it is snowing like crazy.)