Final exams are about to start at BYU. These exams aim to measure the intellect of Brigham Young Cougars football players and all university students. In the spirit of “Finals Week,” BLUE COUGAR FOOTBALL will try to measure the intelligence of BYU fans.
Here at BLUE COUGAR FOOTBALL, fans have the opportunity to vote in a weekly opinion poll (see the current poll to the right). Some polls, like “What validated the BYU QB factory the most?” have no definitive right or wrong answer; they are strictly opinion polls. Others questions ask fans for their opinion on a matter that will later have a definitive correct response.
The results for all opinion polls in the history of BLUE COUGAR FOOTBALL are found on the Opinion Polls page. From those, 20 have had a definitive correct response that has been answered (we will have to wait until next week for the correct answer to “How many BYU players will be drafted by the NFL in 2012?”)
Let the "test" begin!
From February 2010 comes the poll: Who is the most likely to get drafted?
Poll Results: Dennis Pitta.
Reality: Pitta was the only BYU player selected in the 2010 NFL Draft. The Baltimore Ravens selected Pitta in the fourth round.
From March 2010: Will Bronco [Mendenhall] name a starting quarterback by the end of spring practice?
Poll Results: No (60%).
Reality: Bronco Mendenhall did not name a starter. He let the quarterback competition continue into the fall.
From April 2010: When will Dennis Pitta be drafted?
Poll Results: Round 3
Reality: As noted above, Pitta was drafted in the fourth round.
From May 2010: Will Harvey Unga play for BYU in 2010?
Poll Results: Yes (68%)
Reality: Harvey Unga did not play for BYU in 2010. He entered the NFL Supplemental Draft and was selected by the Chicago Bears.
From June 2010: Who will lead BYU in rushing in 2010?
Poll Results: Joshua Quezada (52%)
Reality: J.J. Di Luigi lead the team with 917 yards in 2010.
From August 2010: When will Bronco Mendenhall name the starting quarterback?
Poll Results: One week before the first game (40%).
Reality: Mendenhall did not name a full-time starter until Riley Nelson was lost for the season due to injury in the third game of the season.
From September 2010: How confident are you that BYU will beat Air Force?
Poll Results: 90-100% confident.
Reality: BYU lost to Air Force 35-14 in the second game of the 2010 season. Only one percent of voters had a confidence level below 50%.
From September 2010: How many total yards will J.J. Di Luigi have at the end of the year (2010)?
Poll Results: Tie between 1,200-1,299 and 1,400-1,499 (30% each).
Reality: 1,360 (917 rushing, 443 receiving)
From October 2010: When will Jake Heaps have his first 300-yard passing game?
Poll Results: Utah State (44%), which was the next game at the time of the poll.
Reality: Heaps did not crack 300-yards until game three of the 2011 season against Utah when he passed for 305 yards.
From October 2010: Will BYU go to a bowl game this year (2010)?
Poll Results: Yes (57%).
Reality: BYU played in the New Mexico Bowl at the end of 2010.
From December 2010: How will BYU do in the New Mexico Bowl?
Poll Results: Win by 20+ (41%)
Reality: BYU won by 28 points, 52-24.
From January 2011: Will Matt Reynolds enter the 2011 NFL Draft?
Poll Results: No (72%).
Reality: Reynolds stayed at BYU for his senior season in 2011.
From January 2011: When will the restructured coaching staff be in place?
Poll Results: Tie between "End of January" and "In time for spring practice" (48% each).
Reality: Ben Cahoon was the last piece added to the coaching staff. He was hired on February 1, 2011.
From April 2011: Which player who changed positions will have the biggest impact?
Poll Results: Mike Hague (79%)
Reality: Although “biggest impact” is typically subjective, Michael Alisa clearly had the biggest impact of all the players in the poll. He was the team’s second leading rusher in 2011 with 455 yards. None of the other players saw significant action other than special teams play.
From June 2011: Will Jake Heaps do enough to join the BYU QB club in 2011?
Poll Results: Yes (91%).
Reality: A big fat NO.
From July 2011: How long will Matt Reynolds be an Outland Trophy candidate?
Poll Results: Finalist (51%).
Reality: Reynolds fell off the map as soon as BYU fell to 1-2. I never heard his name mentioned as an Outland Trophy candidate during the season.
From July 2011: What will Jake Heaps’ pass efficiency rating be in 2011?
Poll Results: 160.0-169.9 (42%)
From August 2011: How many games will BYU win in 2011?
Poll Results: 13 (27%)
From September 2011: Who will score BYU’s first points this season (2011)?
Poll Results: J.J. Di Luigi (27%)
Reality: Ross Apo. He was second in the poll with 20% of the votes.
From November 2011: Will BYU win its final three regular season games?
Poll Results: Yes (85%).
Reality: BYU was 3-0 in its final three games beating Idaho, New Mexico State, and Hawaii.
Seven correct opinions out of 20 is equal to 35%. Ouch! In better news, nine of the 12 wrong opinions, fans were wrong because they were overly optimistic.
Fans, don’t let these results get you down. How well you predict the future is not a requirement to be a fan. In fact, the excessive optimism is a sign that BYU has a healthy fan base. When grading fans, the level of optimism is much more important than how well they can prophecy.
This exercise was intended to be a fun look back at the opinion polls. A true measure of intelligence would require a more scientific process.
The Editor appreciates all feedback. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org