Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Third-person Sports - BYU: Why the BCS bubble may not have burst just yet

Photo credit: AP

Admittedly, last Saturday was a very disappointing day in Cougar Nation. I, like any other fan of a non-automatic-qualifying team, loved having my team be the center of attention, even if it was only for a couple of weeks.

With the image of a game-winning touchdown catch by McKay Jacobson still only two weeks old, BYU got outplayed by Florida State at home, the first home loss since 2005. And that's the nicest way to describe a 54-28 drubbing.

Frankly, the Cougars were the ones who looked like they hadn't played at that altitude before. The defense that had all the ESPN talking heads paying so much attention to Provo couldn't stop a team Jacksonville State nearly beat.

That said, can BYU salvage the season? While I don't want to underestimate the rest of BYU's schedule, I don't believe a BCS Bowl is completely out of the question for these three reasons:

1. Florida State is not a bad team. Has anybody been following the team Florida State barely lost to? Miami has proven to not be a bad team. In fact, they are now in the top 10 after beating FSU and Georgia Tech, both of which were ranked. And after the way the Seminoles played against the Cougars, I think Miami's ranking, along with continued success from FSU, can only help BYU chances.

2. The Oklahoma game still happened.
Yes, BYU has lost a game, and no non-BCS team has ever gone to a BCS Bowl with a loss on its record. But if someone was going to do it, don't you think a team with a win over Oklahoma (who is not playing poorly, by the way), as well as possible wins against TCU and Utah (who could both be ranked at that point), is in the best position to do it? Frankly, even with one loss, BYU's resume would still be a lot more impressive than an undefeated Boise State (one win at home against Oregon).

3. The polls were actually pretty kind to us. OK, a 12-spot drop is never good news. However, nine games are still left on the schedule. Don't think it's impossible to slowly climb the rankings, especially with the TCU and Utah games still left. Especially, since the four or five undefeated SEC teams ahead of BYU have been feasting on a schedule Boise State would call weak. I would expect most of those teams to lose two games. BYU could very easily find itself in the top 10 once again.

Obviously, there are a lot of assumptions:

This is assuming Max Hall and the Cougars can shake off the loss and win the rest of their games.

This is assuming Boise State loses a game - even though the Cougars would be far more deserving than the Broncos.

This is assuming Florida State really is a good team.

This is assuming TCU and Utah will win every other game possible.

A lot of assumptions? Yes. But I am not - and no BYU fan should be - ready to give up on the 2009 Cougars.


  1. Boise State Yet again needs to prove to sports writers that they are the BCS busters and will remain on top for years to come... Reality Check... Cougars are done. Go Broncs!

  2. I challenge the notion that Boise needs to lose for BYU to make it in to the BCS.

    If BYU runs the table and potentially beats a top 10 TCU team in OCT and a top 20 team in the Utes I expect that it is very plausible that BYU will leap frog Boise in the rankings.

    Consider how the Broncos closes the season in the same interval: San Jose St, Louisiana Tech, Idaho, Utah State, Nevada, New Mexico State.

    Can you say WEAK?!!!! It doesn't get any weaker.

    My point becomes even more emphasized when Oregon likely plays to a near .500 record while getting thumped in the PAC 10. Oregon is not a very good football team.

    Everyone (outside of those in their own private Idaho) is going to be looking for an alternative to Boise State at year's end. Undefeated with their paltry schedule doesn't mean much. Frankly, BSU in the BCS is just boring and meaningless.

    Any doubts BYU could go undefeated with the same BSU schedule? Didn't think so. Think BSU can beat Oklahoma? Didn't think so.

  3. Couldn't agree more with you, S Carroll! I only said Boise State would have to lose to be more conservative with my approach. I hope your right about the voters looking for an alternative to BSU.

    I'm amazed Boise State fans feel the Broncos deserve a BCS bowl when they play no one. They wanted it last year, didn't get it, and then lost to TCU.

    Boise State was lucky to get out of Fresno with a win, and now they're not going to be able to "Statue of Liberty" their way to a BCS win this year.

    BYU would be a more deserving team than Boise State.

  4. As big of a BYU fan as I am, I would personally rather see Boise State go to a BCS game over BYU. Reason being - even though BYU has plenty of talent and ability, they have proven year after year that they have a tendency to lose their cool and break down.

    Take a look at last year's Utah game. The first half, BYU was right up there with Utah, if not outplaying them. Then, there was a BYU turnover, as well as a Utah stop - putting BYU in a little hole. Psychologically, Max Hall and the team kind of freaked out, and what happened next? 4 more turnovers and a complete thrashing by Utah.

    Same thing last week with FSU. The team got into that "uh-oh" mode, lost their cool, and then fell apart. By the end of the game, the defense couldn't contain the rush OR the pass, and Max Hall looked no better than a high school QB.

    Boise State may not technically be as deserving as BYU would be, provided their schedule, but BSU definitely is more able to not fall apart in those crucial situations. Hell, look at their win against OU a few years back. Yeah, they had to use some trick plays, but you know what? They were losing and the chips were down. Did the team panic? No, they held together, played well, and finished the game. Something I don't think BYU could do too well on the national arena.

  5. Let's not act as though Boise State is a proven clutch team. They have won ONE big national game. It was an awesome game and really put the national spotlight on the non-BCS teams. But even in that game, the only reason those clutch plays happened is because they gave up a huge lead necessitating the comeback. We don't really know how Boise State is in the big game, because its conference creates NO big games. What happened when they played TCU last year?

    Bottom line: BSU and BYU have the same number of big wins - one against Oklahoma.

  6. Same number of big wins? You guys are forgetting about the past, I hate to bring it up because it is the past but BYU has way more big wins than one. They beat Miami when they were #1, they have a national title win in '84, they have the miracle bowl, I could go on and on, so don't say BYU has only one big win. If you are looking at the BCS era then sure, but BYU has way more big wins than BSU

  7. Oh, yeah, I was absolutely referring to the recent history, the BCS era. If we went all time, BYU would blow them out of the water.