Dick Harmon posted an article last evening (read it here) about his thoughts on BYU to the Big XII. I found I was pretty much on board with all that he shared. Firstly, I’d love to see BYU stay Independent. I know this season’s schedule is a bit fluffy with battles against San Jose St, Idaho St, and New Mexico St, but there are also glimpses of what we can have with battles against BCS-caliber talent in Ole Miss, Texas, Oregon State, and TCU. Other future games include series against Notre Dame, Texas, Georgia Tech, Washington State, Boise State, and many others.
But in the scheme of things, it will be hard to suffer through seasons like this one, knowing that there is an element of “what could have been” when you lose one or two games and you don’t have a conference championship to play for. The Big XII would be tough sledding for a BYU team not accustomed to playing week in and week out against higher quality competition (look at how Utah is doing this season to see how hard that adjustment is to make). However, playing against the teams currently in the Big XII as well as some of the other that are slated and/or rumored to be joining and that is almost as good as what we are putting together as an Independent. Can you imagine a home schedule with Texas and Oklahoma on it? And add to that the benefits of seeing a Kansas and a Kansas State in the Marriott Center every year.
I want to be in the Big XII. Ultimately, I think BYU will end up in the Big XII. This conference realignment merry-go-round isn’t over, but when the dust settles, I believe BYU will be in the Big XII. Until then, I’m enjoying this football season.
Riley Nelson vs. Jake Heaps
Speaking of this football season, how about a little more QB controversy? Jake or Riley? How long will Riley hold onto this starting job? Will Jake stay or go?
I’m a firm believer that Jake Heaps is our best QB. Unfortunately, he hasn’t been our best QB this season and it cost him his job. I don’t see another meaningful snap for Heaps this season barring injury to Riley Nelson. I don’t think there is enough time (or for that matter, quality opponents remaining) for Riley to lose this job. Let’s face it; he’s got games against Idaho State, New Mexico State, and Idaho. I can’t see him performing so poorly against TCU that Bronco Mendenhall and Brandon Doman would make a switch again. I think Jake will get some reps in the games in the remaining home games because he needs to have a chance to redeem himself.
As for rumors that Jake will leave, I say bah! Right now a lot of talk is coming out that portrays him as entitled and selfish. Whether he is or not, I don’t know. But what good does it do him to transfer schools? If he stays in the FBS level, he has to sit a year, and at this point, which school really wants to hand him a scholarship? If he is going to have to sit, why not take a red shirt next year at BYU and continue learning this new system Doman is putting in place. If he wants to play immediately, he needs to go to an FCS school and that will all but eliminate his chances at playing on Sunday. Plus, let’s not forget he got married this past off-season. It’s no longer an individual decision.
Jake will stay and play again at BYU, just not this season.
ISU comes in at 2-5, ranked 218 in the weekly Sagarin rankings. BYU is ranked 57. They’ve given up 41 sacks and 8 INT’s this season. They throw A LOT. The leading receiver has 75 catches, almost 1000 yards, and 8 TD on the season. By comparison, our leader has 28 receptions, 420 yards, and 2 TD.
339.1 pass YPG, 14 TD, 8 INT
36.5 YPG rushing, 7 TD
10 Rec/game, 142 YPG, 1 TD (leader only)
225.7 pass YPG, 8 TD, 8 INT
142.5 YPG, 5 TD
Receiving game is much more spread out
BYU is going to have to step up the pass defense and I believe they will hold the Bengals under their season averages for passing and receiving (specifically Rodrick Rumble). BYU has a solid beginning to end performance and dominates on both sides of the ball. More exciting plays from Kyle Van Noy and Michael Alisa continues his emergence in dominating fashion.