So what’s new with your Cougars? At this point, I’m certain you know everything I would write about, but since you clicked here, I’m going to tell you what’s going on and give you my two cents while I’m at it.
The New Holy War: He said, she said – the BYU/Utah Version
On July 10, Dr Chris Hill, Utah athletic director, announced that Utah had no intentions to include BYU on its football schedule in 2014 and 2015. Whoa, whoa, whoa Dr Hill, are you kidding me? Now, I’m not nearly in the camp of hatred toward the man or his coach, Kyle Whittingham, but a lot of Cougar fans jumped all over this like the Utes had pulled the ultimate Benedict Arnold and were clamoring for the men to be hung from the gallows for their treachery. Some Ute fans felt that this was the just dessert that BYU fully deserved after years of bullying the Utes on the field. I think that opinion is so off-base. Ditching BYU as a reward for getting into the PAC 12 isn’t revenge or justice on BYU for on-the-field dominance. If they want to get back at BYU, keep rolling the Cougars on their home field. But I digress. Personally, I feel that if the two of them feel it is ultimately in the long-term best interest of the Ute football program, they should do exactly that. I mean, they can’t keep BYU in their sights if they intend to move into the upper echelons of collegiate football.
But I think it is a mistake. This rivalry is huge. Its huge for the students and alumni of each school. Its huge for the fans. Its huge for the teams. Heck, its larger nationally than we might sometimes believe. To kill at tradition of this magnitude that hasn’t been missed since the country was mired in WWII is a travesty if the motives are nothing more than just finding an extra easy win on the schedule. I know this is moot now that the deal with the Big Ten fell apart, but dropping BYU just to add a cupcake is weak. If you want to be the best in the land, you have to beat the best in the land. BYU as an opponent brings far more cred to your sched than does Montana State.
In a recent Locked on Jazz Tipoff Podcast, David Locke said he thought that if the fans truly expressed their feelings to the admin at the U, they would find a way to schedule BYU every year. Well Dr Hill and Coach Whit, this fan wants to see the game continue, even if you can’t talk the idiots in the PAC 12 conference offices to allow it in November. Find a way to get it done.
Wisconsin: Is it the right move for the Cougars or too much all at once?
On Monday, news broke that BYU and Wisconsin had finalized a home and home series to be played in 2013 and 2014. It came as no big surprise as this had been rumored for months and months now. The only “surprise” in this is that Wisconsin agreed to host BYU in November, something BYU fans have been clamoring for since BYU announced its independence. Getting a Big Ten school to play BYU in November is as good a thing as any BYU fan could hope for.
But is BYU biting off more than they can chew? 2013 is shaping up to be a schedule like none other in the history of BYU’s program. With home games against Texas, Utah, Boise State, and Georgia Tech added to road games against Washington State, Notre Dame, Houston, Hawaii, and now Wisconsin, 2013 will be one to remember. However, BYU will be starting a new QB who will be as green around the gills as any in recent memory. The early favorite has to be return missionary/former Stanford Cardinal Taysom Hill. Couple that with eligibility for Cody Hoffman, Kyle Van Noy, and multiple graduating seniors on both sides of the ball and BYU could be in way too deep in 2013.
But BYU wants to be in the national spotlight. They want to prove that independence was not a fluke, a knee-jerk reaction, or something they take lightly, but that they are here to serve notice to the BCS and its flunkies that they mean to be taken seriously. This schedule will give them that opportunity, but they will have to win a lot of these high-profile games with a team that will be very inexperienced.
As a season ticket holder myself, I am beyond excited at the prospects of the 2013 home schedule. The currently scheduled home games, along with the prospect of as many as 3 more games has me salivating before football fall camp even opens in 2012. And if I were given one road game to attend in 2013, it would be to go visit Camp Randall in Madison, Wisconsin.
Juice is gone
On July 20, BYU announced that Josh “Juice” Quezada would be leaving BYU. No reason was given. In a Salt Lake Tribune article by Jay Drew, Juice tells Drew that he felt he needed to be closer to his family and that after much prayer, he felt this was the right decision. Well, far be it for me to criticize a person who makes a decision after much prayer, but forgive me for a little personal opinion.
In the article Jay says that Juice plans to contact the schools that gave him scholarship offers out of high school if he isn’t contacted by any schools. Those schools include Washington, Hawaii, and Utah. I’m confused how anything outside of a southern California school would constitute being close to home, especially if that school is Utah. I don’t care if he plays for Utah. Heck, we’ve had our fair share of players transferring to bluer pastures in Provo from the U, but I feel as if he’s being disingenuous with what he’s saying. He told Drew when asked why he was leaving, “To be honest with you, the main reason I left is just because, you know, I had a fun time at BYU. I love it there. I’ve been there for two and a half years, and so a lot of my friends are there. I made some real close friends there and I made some close relationships with the people there. So it has been a really fun experience.” Huh? You’re leaving because you had a good time?
I think Juice is a great guy and I really wish him the best. But really, just say I don’t like my role or I don’t like my coaches, or whatever the reasoning was. No hard feelings. Bronco understands he isn’t going to win with every player. We the fans understand that not every player is going to enjoy his experience in Provo; it isn’t for everyone. But man, don’t feed everyone a bunch of lines to help make sure we don’t feel bad that you didn’t like it as well as you’d hoped.