Friday Mailbag: Max Hall’s Suitors, Pendleton’s “quitter” comment, Poinsettia Bowl date, and more

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

On to the mailbag.

In the True Blue Spring Football Special, Max Hall said some teams were interested in signing him. For me, it was a foregone conclusion that his career is over. I keep asking myself, “Who are these suitors and how serious are they?”

I was glad to hear that Hall is getting some interest from NFL teams. I don’t have any inside sources on who his next team might be. My opinion has always been that Hall could do well in the New Orleans Saints’ system. Accuracy is much more important for Drew Brees than his arm strength. When the Saints won the Super Bowl a few years ago, Brees averaged less than 10 yards a completion.

The Baltimore Ravens might have some interest. Dennis Pitta might have dropped Hall’s name once or twice to Ravens coaches. The Indianapolis Colts might be involved as well. Clearly, the Colts’ offense is above average in complexity. Hall demonstrated his ability to grasp a complex offense at BYU. While Andrew Luck is still their quarterback of the future, maybe the Colts are looking at bringing Hall on board, at the recommendation of Austin Collie, in case Luck misses an entire season.

Experience is so valuable in the eyes of NFL coaching staffs. The fact that Hall has two years of NFL experience on his resume can’t be overlooked. However, in the end, I think the odds are stacked against Hall and his playing days are done.


I didn’t see the True Blue football episode when it aired originally, but I watched it online today. If you have seen it, what do you make of [Tom] Holmoe’s comments about scheduling? Do you think that it can get better in the long run?

There was one point that Holmoe hit on that I think we often forget, or at least overlook, in scheduling. That is the uncertainty of the BCS system. The end result of the BCS adding a “plus one” element may make games against BYU more attractive to name brand teams at any time of the year and in any venue. Hard to explain why, but that was the thought that came to me as I listened to Holmoe talk.

However, if BYU is staying independent, then it ultimately needs some scheduling agreements with conferences, not teams. Holmoe talked about having friends out there. He needs to get those friends in a big conference to help get at least one guaranteed game in November and one in October.

Ideally, BYU and Utah would get a waiver from the Pac-12 to play in November, similar to how USC and Stanford have been granted exceptions to play during the latter end of the season. Maybe BYU doesn’t get invited to join the Big XII, but an agreement to play two conference members annually, one in November, would go a long way to soften the blow.


Jordan Pendleton called Jake Heaps a quitter in a radio interview. Your thoughts?

I didn’t hear the interview, but, as I understand it, it all started with a dumb move by the radio host. Pendleton was asked to say the first thing that came to his mind when he said one or two words. “Jake Heaps” was one of them, and “quitter” popped out of Pendleton’s mouth.

I assume that most people, including Pendleton, have moved on from the whole Heaps drama. Pendleton has an injury he is trying to recover from and is hopeful for an NFL future. His sister is married to Austin Collie who is facing an interesting situation in Indianapolis. Why not pick Pendleton’s brain about these things? I don’t think Pendleton has given much thought to Jake Heaps since he transferred. It isn’t surprising that the first thing he would think is “quitter.” That was the popular label for Heaps when he left town. It would have been better if Pendleton had said “Kansas” or “gone,” but “quitter” was bandied about by everyone when Heaps left. Not only is it the most recent memory Pendleton has of Heaps, it was one of the most repetitive.

I guess, technically, Heaps did quit the team, but a case could be built on the comments from Bronco Mendenhall and Brandon Doman since the season ended that they quit on him as well.

To be succinct: A dumb interview question is probably going to get a dumb answer.


It is nice to have BYU guys in other places so guys like [Brandon] Doman can have the opportunity to network and get other ideas like you suggested with Andy Reid.

Networking is HUGE in the sports world. Its importance cannot be overstated.

It was exciting to see BYU hire Ben Cahoon, Kelly Poppinga, and promote Brandon Doman a year ago—all former BYU players. In my opinion, it is just as important for BYU’s development as a program to have former players littered across the country on other coaching staffs on all levels—high school, college, and pro.

Ty Demter can be just as much of an asset to BYU by coaching high school football in Texas than if he was the quarterback coach. Detmer can help funnel players to BYU that might otherwise never consider BYU. That is exactly what is happening in Georgia with Robert Nkemdiche. He is coached by former BYU Cougar Lenny (Gomes) Gregory. He is also one of the nation’s top recruits for 2013. Odds are slim, but thanks to Gregory, BYU has gotten a foot in the door with him. O’Neill Chambers and Jamaal Williams are two current players who got onto BYU’s radar because their high school coaches played for BYU.

Dennis Simmons and Ben Cahoon were teammates on the 1996 Cougar team. Simmons coached wide receivers at Texas Tech, including a guy named Michael Crabtree (maybe you have heard of him). Cahoon can benefit greatly from Simmons’ experience.

BYU guys with coaching gigs in the NFL will open doors for BYU players after college. Andy Reid’s ties to BYU have helped guys like Reno Mahe, Zac Collie, and Dallas Reynolds get NFL tryouts.

Let’s be honest, a lot of the opportunities we get in life have as much to do with who we know as what we know. The more people out there that know BYU, the opportunities BYU will have to grow as a program.


The Poinsettia Bowl date has been set for December 20. Back to pre-Christmas bowl games. I really wish BYU would be in San Diego to play in the Holiday Bowl.

I won’t deny there is a stigma about pre-Christmas bowl games, but in some ways this date is better than the December 30 slot BYU had last year. From the way the press release reads, it sounds like the Poinsettia Bowl will be the first bowl game played in college football. That will attract some casual viewers. The game is being played at 8 PM Eastern time, as opposed to the noon Eastern time kickoff BYU had for the Armed Forces Bowl this past season.

The bowl game buzz will depend on two things: how good of a season BYU is having, and how good the opponent is. Prime time is prime time. Football is football. A game matching two good, intriguing opponents will draw attention, especially when there aren’t 50 other games being played the same day.

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