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Friday, June 29, 2012

Friday Mailbag—BYU Media Day Edition: No Schedule Annoucements, Talking the Right Talk, and Tempering Expectations

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.

This week the mailbag questions are all about what happened at BYU Media Day on June 27, 2012.

What a waste!!! BYU went through all that effort to put together a huge production, and failed to take advantage of the spotlight and rock everybody’s world with a major scheduling announcement or preview of pro combat uniforms to be worn. To make it worse, Utah did announce a series with Michigan.

You may have a valid complaint about the Nike Pro Combat uniforms, IF the Cougars are going to dawn them this year. I know there has been some rumblings about pro combat uniforms being in the works. Therefore, the silence at media day tells me one of two things: 1—BYU will not wear pro combat uniforms this season, or 2—Nike and/or BYU have not finalized everything and making an announcement at this time would be premature.

As for schedule announcements, let me try and make this very clear. The purpose of media day is to focus on the upcoming season, in this case 2012, and get the media ready and fans excited. It is a sophisticated pep rally. Therefore, if a scheduling announcement was made at media day, it would be an announcement about the 2012 schedule. Nine times out of ten a change to the schedule two months before the season starts will be bad news. An announcement about a series that won’t start until 2014 would take the attention off of the 2012 season.

Still have concerns? Try this experiment. All the football conferences are going to have their media days over the next month. Pay attention and see how many scheduling announcements for 2013 and beyond are made. I am pretty confident there will be very close to zero. It just isn’t the time or the place.

*****

I loved to hear all the players talking the right talk at media day. No one was happy about hype. They want to show it on the field, where it really matters. Can’t wait to see how this changes what happens in games this year.

The humility in the players' words was a good sign. While I hate to say it, I still have reservations. I heard players saying the same thing three years ago after the last 10-3 season (2008) felt like a disappointment. All it took was one game—a win over Oklahoma—for all of that humility to be washed away.

What happens if BYU wins big against Utah, or BYU beats both Utah and Boise State to jump out to a 4-0 start? Utah State and Hawaii will not lay down for BYU, but that seems to be the mentality of the team since the unexpected 11-2 finish in 2007. I want to believe the team (coaches and players) has learned from what has happened the last four years, but I need to see something different actually happen on the field.

*****

Bronco Mendenhall has changed his tune from a year ago. Rather than talk about a national championship he wants to be in the top 10. As different as those two goals are, that would still be a huge accomplishment for BYU to finish in the top 10.

It would be a major accomplishment, and a step forward. Recently, BYU has been ranked in the top 10 during the season, but never finished higher than number 12. Not since 1996 has BYU finished in the top 10, and only four times in school history has it happened (1983, 1984, 1994, and 1996).

I liked hearing Mendenhall still talk big, but have it be tempered. It is fine to say the “master plan” is to win a national championship, but there has to be acknowledgement of where the program is at and what has to be done right now. For BYU to move into the top 10, BYU has to stop having bad showings against good teams and beat the teams perceived to be better than them.

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

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