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Sunday, October 3, 2010

This season a perfect storm

The Cougars are terrible this year. There's no getting around it and no excuses. But the elements have sure combined to create a perfect storm of failure for BYU football and its fans.

First, the Cougars said goodbye last year to the school's statistically best quarterback, running back, and tied end. That's enough to knock the wind out of any program, especially when your replacement quarterback is a true freshman. Which bring us to the next element of failure...

Youth. Aside from Jake Heaps, the Cougars have first-time starters at almost every skill position. Running a complex playbook with only fall camp to prepare is a lot to ask of receivers and linebackers who are used to high school competition. Welcome to D-I football (now known as the FBS). Many of these new starters have been thrown into the spotlight because of the next element...

Injuries. Cougar Nation can only pray that Andrew Rich's injury isn't as bad as Romney Fuga's. Until he went down against Utah State, Rich lef the nation in solo tackles. Now Jordan Pendleton has also been sidelined by injuries. That makes for a weak, inexperienced team to go up against the next element...

Schedule. Much has been said about BYU's scheduling, and most of it comes off as whining. But the truth of the matter is that Florida State, Air Force, and Nevada are all ranked in the top 25, Utah State gave Oklahoma a run for their money, and Washington just beat USC in Pasadena. Perhaps I'm coming off as making excuses, but I think this is the best preseason BYU has every played. It's just too bad they weren't up to the task.

The bright side is that BYU set up all their contracts with ESPN and Notre Dame before the season started. One can only imagine what kind of reception Tom Holmoe would have received if he would have been asking for big money and big games this season. BYU capitalized on their succes at just the right time, and now they can use those contracts to continue its recruiting despite this years miserable failures.

All is not lost, Cougar Nation. We just have to weather the storm.

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