ATI 2.11.2

On Monday, the BCS Commissioners and the Presidential Oversight Committee settled on what the future of the BCS would look like.  BYU was not part of the “Group of Five” that would gain an automatic berth at the table but rather has to be part of the “at-large” selection and could still be passed over by bigger name teams.  Does this mean it is time for BYU to get into the Big East or continue to stay true to its mission of independence?

Carl – You get the feeling BYU is being ‘nudged’ in that direction of being in a conference.  But they still have cards to play and I believe that BYU is still wanting to get all the bells and whistles that have come with independence in a conference affiliation.  Any of you who read this blog regularly know I’m of the opinion BYU should move to a conference sooner rather than later.  This announcement doesn’t change a whole lot; it still gives BYU time to find the right suitable fit that will meet their objectives.  This announcement gives mid-majors access to a top-tier bowl game, but still no credible shot at the 4-team playoff for the National Championship.

Don – It’s not time to do anything. Reactionary decisions almost always end up bad and are rarely necessary. Any pressure to make a reflexive move is almost entirely based on public reaction and a groupthink mentality. What this move DOES mean is Tom Holmoe and company will assess the situation with the powers that be and come up with a new blueprint when it’s the right time. Not being included right now doesn’t mean we never will be. I’ll ride the ESPN gravy-train and choose to stick with what we know as we study out our next pawns in the chess match of CFB. Oh, and having ESPN in your corner in future negotiations is never a bad thing.

Matt – The debate continues. Will they or won’t they? Should they or should they not? Big East, Big XII, ACC? I remain in the camp that BYU should stay independent.  There is nothing to be gained by joining forces with any conference short of the Big XII, and be that as it may, be careful what you wish for BYU fans. The BCS games are still going to be played by the winner if each of the Power 5 (Pac 12, Big XII, Big Ten, ACC, and SEC) and one team from the “Group of 5.” In any case, BYU has to be undefeated or close to it to find inclusion in this group. As an independent, BYU can still schedule how they want, play where they want, and if they have to be undefeated to be included (assuming they are chosen), then the Big East doesn’t provide them any easier of a path to the party than doing this of their own accord.

Mike – BYU has to decide what they want to be when they grow up.  If they want to continue playing cupcake schedules with promoted position coaches as coordinators while recruiting with “talent is overrated” logic then maybe a little boy conference is where they should go. Like it or not BYU has shown very little reason in recent years to be considered for a BCS bowl.  The last thing BYU needs to do now is pull the plug on their independent experiment.  If Cougar Nation wants to join another bad football conference with hopes of racking up enough bad conference wins to maybe get a BCS invite, then by all means, jump on the Big East. If you believe Holmoe has a plan to build the brand until a choice BCS conference comes calling I think sticking out the Independent plan for now makes sense.  Utah is a shining example of a little league program that snuck into the BCS, much like UCONN, Pitt and Hawaii, only to look extremely small after joining a BCS conference. If Holmoe can keep getting big boy schedules forcing Bronco’s staff to coach and recruit like big boys BYU may be a big boy one day.  

If Kansas State, Oregon and Notre Dame each finish undefeated, who’d be left out of the National Championship?  Why?

Carl – I’m glad I don’t really have to answer this question because the season isn’t over yet.  Right now, Kansas State and Oregon are playing better football than Notre Dame.  The style points are heavily in their favor which would make that match up ‘sexier’ to the viewing public in my opinion.  Although Notre Dame does have the huge national following, they’re simply not playing as good a football as KSU or Oregon.

Don – Notre Dame. They have been the least impressive of the three, they don’t have conference backing, and most important, they are 3rd in current BCS standings. I don’t see them leap-frogging anyone if all three schools win out.   KSU will win the NC over the Ducks.

Matt – If the system follows its own rules, there is no reason Kansas State and Oregon shouldn’t be playing for the championship. However, there is always a lot of politicking and I expect that Oregon may get left out. Kansas State has a legit Heisman candidate and a tougher schedule than Oregon. But Notre Dame is a sympathetic national candidate and the history there may get them in front of Oregon by season’s end.  And then the ultimate catch here is that the SEC will have a 1-loss champion and since we all know the SEC is king of the land, the computers may just find a way to mess this whole thing up and cause a situation where Oregon (who will have beaten USC twice this season – whoopee doo and Kansas State – who won’t play a conference championship game) will get leaped over by not only Notre Dame, but also likely Alabama when they beat Georgia in the SEC title game.  That will set up a game against Notre Dame and Alabama.  But that would be the ultimate conspiracy theory gone wild.

Mike – The preliminary numbers suggest Notre Dame gets left out.  Mostly because USC’s stock continues to drop like a dump truck off the top of the Coliseum.  If USC loses to UCLA this weekend, the Irish have zero shot in passing KSU and Oregon.  KState has #15 Texas left. Oregon has #13 Stanford and #16 Oregon St, followed by the PAC 12 Championship.  It will be interesting to see if the BCS who rewrote the rulebook for Notre Dame leaves the undefeated Domers out of the National Championship.  Where’s this playoff I keep hearing about?

Basketball

Is Coach Dave Rose a BYU lifer?  How many more stellar seasons before he heads on to a better program?

Carl – If I had to choose, I think Rose is here to stay.  He loves the program, that he can be competitive, even dominant, with the talent he can get to Provo, and that mounds of added stress will come with a better program.  Move over Stew Morrill, Dave Rose wants to be the next great lifer coach in the state of Utah.  Honestly, Rose would have made the move by now if he was interested in greener pastures.  He’s been a ‘hot coach’ for a while now.

Don – He’s a lifer unless something dramatic happens. Don’t see that happening, even if a pile of cash is tossed in his lap. He’s a Coug.

Matt – I think Rose may be a lifer. I was worried for a while, but I am becoming more convinced that he isn’t in this for the recognition or the money; he’s in it for the kids.  He’s comfortable at BYU, he has what he wants/needs, and I think that with his record, he could have gone on by now if he wanted to.

Mike – College hoops coaches are strange.  Mark Few could triple his salary if he left Gonzaga but you have to respect a guy with a long-term vision.  Butler coach Brad Stevens is in the same boat.  It’s what makes college basketball unique.  As for Dave Rose, if he’s driven by making the most money possible then he won’t be at BYU much longer.  I like to think he loves his quality of life and enjoys being another strange college hoops coach.  

BYU has a pretty soft November schedule, Florida State notwithstanding (in spite of their embarrassing home loss to South Alabama). What sort of November record helps BYU fans set high expectations for the ’12-’13 season?

Carl – FSU is the only challenge.  Anytime you go on the road to face a power conference team, it’s a good test for BYU.  If they get by FSU, I think it will be 6-0 for the month.  I also think FSU could be good to have on the resume come March selection.

Don – No more than 2 losses in non-conference play. I could see them winning  out in November. FSU will be tough even with one loss. Might make them hungrier if anything.

Matt – Outside of the Coaches vs. Cancer tournament, BYU has a really weak November schedule remaining with the powerhouses that are UT-San Antonio, Cal State Northridge, and Montana all coming to Provo (Montana is at the ESA.)  Removing the tourney, BYU should expect and settle for nothing less than 3-0 against these teams. With the tourney included, no more than 1 loss should be acceptable to this team and I don’t see any reason why BYU shouldn’t win against FSU and whomever they face in the next game, be it Notre Dame or Saint Josephs.

Mike – BYU’s November schedule isn’t difficult.  Most programs use November games to iron out wrinkles.  With recent player issues look for BYU to do exactly that this month.  I still think the schedule is soft enough to win out.  Build confidence at FSU and take care of business in the lighter games.  Gonzaga showed Monday night they are for real.  Hopefully Rose uses November to get ready for February/March.

What do you make of Matt Carlino’s performance against Tennessee State on Friday (3-6, 0-3 from distance, 3-4 from the line, 10 assists, 5 rebounds, and 4 turnovers?)  Is this what you want from your point guard or does he need to score more for this team to be successful?

Carl – It’s the reincarnation of Riley Nelson!  The dude can make plays, there’s no questioning that.  Good play here, give up a steal and fast break there; terrible pass here, beautiful touch pass there.  But Carlino doesn’t have the mental flow of the game yet and it’s disconcerting.  If he can’t figure it out, it’s going to be a grind it out type season.  The less the fans cringe at some of Carlino’s mistakes will be a telling sign if he’s improving and if this BYU team will get better.  As Carlino, like Nelson, goes, so goes BYU.

Don – I love his assists and overall ball distribution stats. I’d like more offensive production, but that will come. I LOVE that for the most part he has stayed within the system and played a role instead of trying to be superman. Overall, a positive sign of maturity. His shots will fall eventually, and it’s the rest if his game becoming more well-rounded that I see as a very good sign.

Matt – I’m actually okay with Carlino’s performance.  It wasn’t like he got nine points on a lot of shots.  He still averaged 1.5 points per attempt which is really efficient playing plus 10 assists and five rebounds.  He will keep getting better and this is exactly what we asked him to be last week when we all said to be patient and let the game come to him.  Some nights he’ll need to be the facilitator and some nights, the scorer.  I trust he (and Dave Rose) will know what he needs to be each and every night.

Mike – Less Carlino is more.  If he’s playing within Rose’s system we are talking less about Matt Carlino and more about BYU wins.  So far I’m liking the ’12-’13 version of Matt Carlino.

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