After four consecutive 10-win seasons from 2006-09, the Brigham Young Cougars have won just 24 games the last three seasons. During the last three seasons, BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall has made several decisions that have caused some fans to question him, and even put him on the proverbial hot seat.
Has Mendenhall lost the support of the BYU fan base, or is this just a vocal minority that is really out numbered by the silent majority?
Based on poll results, only 24 percent of fans support Mendenhall less than 50 percent. Well over half of poll respondents (57%) said their support for Mendenhall was greater than 50 percent. A fraction of fans (17%) said their support was right at 50 percent, and just 2 percent of fans were undecided.
The complete breakdown of poll results are as follows:
- 28% voted for 90-100 percent support
- 20% voted for 76-89 percent support
- 9% voted for 51-75 percent support
- 17% voted for 50 percent support
- 5% voted for 26-49 percent support
- 5% voted for 11-25 percent support
- 9% voted for 1-10 percent support
- 5% voted for 0 percent support
- 2% voted for Undecided
The top tier of support received the highest amount of votes. The second most votes were cast for the second highest tier of support. This data suggests that the fans publicly complaining about Mendenhall are either supporters who are just venting their frustrations, or part of a vocal minority.
As for myself, my current level of support for Mendenhall is between 65 and 70 percent. His decision to start James Lark this last week moved my support up a few percentage points. I felt strongly that starting Lark was the right thing to do, but had little confidence that it would actually happen.
I disagree with a few decisions that Mendenhall has made over his career. One, in particular, this year was to burn a year of Justin Sorensen’s eligibility when he was not ready to play this season.
It would be nice to see Mendenhall reach out to fans a little better and in some small way validate their concerns. He doesn’t have to try to appease fans with his decision making, but at least acknowledge their feelings more. When BYU loses 54-28 to
, don’t tell me it was just a matter of 37 execution errors. First, let me hear that you hurt, too. Tell me that was not an acceptable performance and you are doing all you can with the team to ensure that won’t happen again. Then you can throw in something like, “On the bright side, I don’t think we were overmatched. Watching the game film I noticed 37 execution errors that would have significantly changed the outcome of the game. The problems are correctable.” Florida State
I understand that Mendenhall needs to constantly worry about appealing to boosters and convince them that the program is going in a good direction. However, I think he can do that and, at the same time, express to fans that he feels awful about the team losing five games this season.
Managing the quarterback position is always delicate. It has been especially so the last three years. Without knowing everything that has happened behind the scenes, I think it is safe to say it could have been managed better, but it is hard to say how much better. There are many, many variables at play. While quarterback is the most important position on the team, it is not greater than the team. The coaches need to get the player that the team needs at quarterback, which isn’t always black and white.
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