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Friday, April 27, 2012

Friday Mailbag: BCS Changes, the 2013 Football Schedule, and the NFL Draft

Welcome to the Friday Mailbag where once a week I answer your questions and respond to your comments about Brigham Young Cougars football. As a quick reminder, there are three ways to submit a question:

1. Email: bluecougarfootball@gmail.com
2. Twitter: @BlueCougarFball and use #BCFmailbag
3. Leave a comment at the end of a BLUE COUGAR FOOTBALL article.

On to the mailbag.

I have seen pigs fly!!! No more AQ status for BCS bowls and a four-team playoff. This has to help an independent BYU football team. The only question is how much?

It is pretty amazing how quickly the prevailing opinion of the BCS brass could change. At this time four years ago, even with 2-loss LSU as the reigning national champion, it was inconceivable that these two changes would be so widely accepted in the not-to-distant future.

With regards to BYU, I don’t want to sound like an Eeyore, but it is still way to soon to get excited about the changes. A lot of details have to be worked out and finalized. In principle, abolishing the AQ and opening the championship format to give four teams the possibility to win it all gives the impression that BYU’s access to the party has doubled. However, no matter how thick the blue goggles get, it is still hard to imagine that the road to a national championship will be much different for BYU under the new system.

The major issue for BYU is still whether long term independence is viable. These changes to the BCS could have a domino effect on several other issues that directly impact the viability of independence. How will the BCS changes impact scheduling, especially late in the season, bowl partnerships, and television revenues? More importantly, can BYU afford to wait to find out?

*****

Re: Poll Results: Do you share Tom Holmoe’s optimism about the 2013 and 2014 schedules?

1. Uhhh, 2013 is the best schedule we will have ever played. Ever. Compare. It's the best.

2. I totally agree. 2013 Has Notre Dame and Texas. That alone makes it the best schedule for BYU...EVER. Georgia Tech and Houston consistently flirt with the top-25, so that is another mark in the "plus" column. Add our soon-to-be new regional rival Boise State, who is also consistently a top-25, if not top-10 contender, and it's no question. Plus, we get Utah State and Hawaii, a couple of old rivals. That schedule is sweet, regardless of whether we also play Weber State, UNLV, or San Jose St.

As for the first comment, I am not sure whether you were being sarcastic or not. The second seems pretty sincere.

Is 2013 the best schedule ever? It will depend on how good of seasons BYU’s opponents have.

Notre Dame and Texas are two great brand names, but are they going to win 10 games in 2013? Personally, I am down on Georgia Tech. They had a few good years when nobody they played understood how to defend the option. Now that the ACC is catching on, the Yellow Jackets appear to be just another team. How good is Houston going to be without both Case Keenum and Kevin Sumlin? Boise State will probably still be top 25, and rivalry games are good, no matter how bad the rival might be.

For me, the gold standard for schedules is 1985.
  1. Boston College in the Kickoff Classic. The Eagles finished 1984 ranked #5, and had the 1985 Outland Trophy winner on the roster.
  2. UCLA, a big name school, came to Provo. The Bruins finished 1984 ranked #9, and did even better in 1985 by winning the Rose Bowl and ranked #7.
  3. Washington was another home game. The Huskies finished 1984 ranked #2 behind BYU. There was a score to settle.
  4. Air Force was undefeated and ranked #4 when they came to Provo in November. The Falcons finished the year ranked #8.
  5. Rivalry games with Utah (home) and Utah State (away).**
  6. Temple wasn’t very good, but BYU got a trip to Philadelphia out of it.
**You can add Hawaii to this list of rivalry games if you think it was a rivalry back then.

At this point, I don’t think 2013 measures up to 1985, but it is really too soon to say.

As I have said before, I am not the type to go around criticizing the schedules. I watch BYU football to watch BYU, not who they are playing. However the 2013 schedule shakes out, it will not change my enthusiasm for the season.

*****

Re: NFL Landing Spots for Four Former Cougars

1. This is the dumbest article ive ever read. WOW.

2. Yeah, this was pretty bad.

I guess you are not fans of mock drafts? I consider this the equivalent of a mock draft.

We all know that, this year, no NFL teams are going to draft, or sign as free agents, BYU players to fill a huge need or to contribute immediately. Every NFL team is always looking to upgrade every position. As I tried to justify the teams I listed, I tried to come up with reasons why that team would take a BYU player over a player from another school who plays the same position.

I don’t understand the logic of NFL executives. Can you explain why the Green Bay Packers, and not the Tennessee Titans, signed Vic So’oto last year? How about why Manase Tonga landed with the Oakland Raiders rather than the Houston Texans?

My main goal was to provide something original and unique for BYU fans to read to help preview and prep for the NFL draft. I could have put out the same rhetoric that everyone everywhere else did, but I thought readers would appreciate an effort to spice it up a little. Sorry it didn’t work for you.

The Editor appreciates all feedback. He can be reached via email at bluecougarfootball@gmail.com

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