Many other people have criticized BYU football’s transfer to independence, as different sports activities at the faculty had been stashed — and in some instances, left to undergo — in the West Coast Conference.
That wondering/observation is not anything new.
Former football trainer Bronco Mendenhall championed the transfer to begin with, speaking about successful nationwide titles and different nonsense, and then later, when the Cougars struggled to persistently win video games towards far-flung groups with awesome ability, stated the standing used to be unsustainable over the lengthy haul.
Others have blamed the program’s cratering ultimate season on independence, claiming it has hampered recruiting, led to the Cougars to over-schedule in the early portions of seasons, tearing the center and soul out of the gamers after they again and again get beat, and once in a while drubbed, and supplied little incentive for athletes to proceed to combat via the back part, languishing with out tangible motivation to play for one thing — say, a league championship — and to succeed in for very much reduced targets.
Last month, Kalani Sitake stated he likes the perception of his gamers being challenged early in the season towards Power five groups. He requested: “How can you know what you need to do to improve, to be the best, if you don’t play those kinds of teams?”
BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe again and again has stated he and his faculty haven’t any plans to bail on independence, all the whilst hoping some P5 league comes alongside in the future with a call for participation. In the period in-between, he has stated he’s positive that BYU will renew its tv contract with ESPN, and revel in the alternative to exhibit — corresponding to it is — Cougars football on that community’s quite a lot of channels.
It will have to be famous that since BYU turned into an impartial, it has been proven on a lot of telecasts, on some events now not in a lot of a successful manner. Exposure is something, certain publicity is any other. BYU has now not sniffed a New Year’s Day bowl, neither has it gotten a lot run as any roughly a countrywide program, which is one among the causes directors gave for going impartial, manner back in the starting.
They sought after a better profile.
Providing a possibility for a countrywide target audience to witness the Cougars getting beat most likely isn’t what the powers that be, BYU’s board of trustees, had in thoughts below this fashion.
While critics were loud, I’ve by no means had a lot of an issue with BYU taking its shot at independence. The faculty were given significantly more cash out of its ESPN deal than it used to be receiving as a member of the Mountain West. And it sought after to see how it would do towards a better selection of big-name fighters.
It shouldn’t be forgotten that the yr prior to ultimate, in Sitake’s first season, the Cougars beat 3 P5 groups — Arizona, Mississippi State and Michigan State — en path to a nine–four file.
Last season, that file used to be flipped in the damaging, as the Cougars now not most effective misplaced to P5 fighters, but additionally to groups corresponding to UMass and East Carolina. It used to be unsightly, and the latter a part of the agenda, as standard, featured an uninspiring slate.
There may well be heart floor, despite the fact that, for BYU to believe as it strikes ahead. This is a metamorphosis of opinion on this nook, nonetheless not anything progressive, and in line with Holmoe’s remarks of the previous, it almost definitely gained’t pursue this, however that doesn’t imply it shouldn’t.
What if BYU rejoined the Mountain West, permitting its groups in different sports activities to face what most often can be higher, extra compelling pageant, a few of it towards extra regional, conventional opponents, whilst football received the good thing about taking part in for a league championship, despite the fact that/after it misplaced early video games towards P5 groups?
If the Cougars performed that league agenda, it nonetheless would depart room for no less than 4 video games towards marquee systems in the nation’s some distance reaches, enabling BYU to legitimize itself, if it had been excellent sufficient, towards the biggies.
The impartial agenda that commences in a little bit over seven weeks contains Arizona, Cal, Wisconsin, Washington and Utah. It additionally options McNeese State, Northern Illinois, UMass, and New Mexico State, in addition to MWC individuals Utah State, Hawaii, and Boise State.
That agenda isn’t that a lot other or favorably numerous or higher than what BYU may agenda as a member of the Mountain West. In the latter case, it may well be a distinction of 1 much less P5 opponent.
The aggressive benefits are, as discussed, that the Cougars would have one thing to play for — and enthusiasts would have a reason why to come to the stadium for league video games — in seasons the place they couldn’t take out the better systems. The gamers may nonetheless keep eager about successful a trophy. In seasons the place BYU beat a couple of of the ones P5 groups, and then rolled via its league agenda, now it would have now not most effective a possibility for a championship, it would have a greater shot at qualifying for a significant bowl recreation.
That makes some primary sense.
Even if the overall TV payout had been slightly reduced.
Taking that path would possibly require the swallowing of a few satisfaction.
But it may also breathe some life back into a football program this is suffocating in an atmosphere the place it, briefly a minimum of, and perhaps now not so briefly, is unprepared to capitalize on plans of ambition laid for it 8 years in the past, back when the trainer main the effort spoke in highfalutin absolutes, with no trace of a unmarried snigger, about conquering all of faculty football.
Independence, and all its targets of glory, would possibly have gave the impression a bridge too some distance back then. Now, it, and they, appear a blown bridge too some distance, with little left lingering however the smoke of fantasy.
GORDON MONSON hosts “The Big Show” weekdays from three–7 p.m. on 97.five FM and 1280 AM The Zone.