Carl is feeling poetic about the BYU basketball season that just closed. Write your best haiku to describe what you felt about the recently completed season.
Carl: So my haiku uses acronyms, but I’m only counting them for 1 syllable total:
Lack of wins hurts bad
NIT run makes all pains empty
BYU heals all hurt hearts
High hopes died early
Haws and Davies went beast mode
Can’t wait for ‘13
Mike: An ode to Matt Carlino:
There once was a point guard from Scottsdale whose obsession to become Jimmer made for a wondrous tale. He had grit and soul and in crunch time became a black hole, in the end leaving the ’12-’13 season an epic fail.
Wait until next year
These guys will get much better
Or the year after
The meteoric rise of Ziggy Ansah has been fun to watch, and we’re getting closer to the pinnacle (maybe) of his story. Where will he end up (team, draft pick), and why?
Carl: I don’t think he goes past 10th pick overall. Teams are gushing at the prospect of picking and molding Ziggy in to an NFL player. If I had to guess, I’d pick Detroit at 5 to take him off the board. What’s making him so special is the rawness of his talent and limitless nature of his motor. Ziggy flat out goes hard every single snap. NFL coaches see him as a tremendous opportunity to mold him in to a top quality pass rusher. No matter who gets him, they will get a great player. He may have some growing pains for the first little while, but if he stays persistent, he’s going to be great in the NFL.
Matt: Unfortunately, I see the Lions picking him up and dragging him off to Motor City. Detroit is dysfunctional enough, but in my mind, having to play alongside of Ndamukong Suh seems nightmarish to me for a still impressionable young man. Suh is so toxic, but I digress. But, if that issue were set aside, I like the Lions for him. He won’t be expected to produce earlier than he can as that front 4 is super talented. I’ve heard Jacksonville may be interested, but I think its smoke. I think Cleveland would be a good place to learn from Paul Kruger, but if he weren’t there, I don’t really like that as a landing place for Ziggy. If I could pick him anywhere, I’d love to see him on the right side of the 3-down line in Dallas pushing the line and opening lanes for DeMarcus Ware to have a bigger Kyle Van Noy-type impact on the field by rushing in behind him. My bet is he ends up in Detroit though. But don’t blame a guy for hoping.
Mike: Comparisons to Jason Pierre-Paul leave me hoping the Giants take him at #10. It would be frightening to think of Ziggy on one side and Pierre-Paul on the other side of New York’s defensive line.
Scott: I think he ends up in Cleveland with the 6th draft pick. As a Dolphins fan, I’d like to see him fall further, but his stock has risen so much, there’s really no way that happens. Cleveland has made efforts to improve its defense in free agency, and adding Ziggy in the draft will add needed talent to its D-Line.
Which BYU running back class was the best? How does the upcoming Mike Alisa, Jamaal Williams, Adam Hine class rank?
Carl: BYU hasn’t been in the running back factory for a long time. In all other seasons in the past, I can’t think of a potentially 3-headed running back core that could match this season’s. Alisa and Williams have both proven to be effective within BYU’s system and Hine has been pressuring them both during spring practices. It remains to be seen how this season will play out for the running backs, but they could amass more combined yards than any other tandem or trio in BYU history.
Matt: I’m trying to hold off on putting on my blue goggles here. In 1996, BYU rushed as a team for over 2500 yards. That does include quite a bit by Sark, but not something that Taysom Hill can’t cover. They averaged 48 carries per game and nearly 4.4 YPC. If BYU is to go fast and go hard as has been mentioned, racking up 90 plays per game, this is not only possible, but quite likely. But lets not get ahead of ourselves. In front of every great running back(s) is a great offensive line and our line has been anything but great the past few years. Getting this trio to the top rung on this ladder will require great line play and a great passing game. Garret Tujague will have to step his unit’s play up, the QB will be better but it needs to be A LOT better, and then this offense will fly all season. If this unit can make it even close to 2500 yards this season, I expect it will be a very fun season indeed.
Mike: In 1996, BYU had Ronney Jenkins, Brian Mckenzie and Dustin Johnson. To me that is the best running back class BYU has ever had. Jenkins and Johnson ended up on NFL rosters which is remarkable considering BYU rarely has NFL talent at running back. This season’s depth chart could be more potent. I’m a huge Alisa fan and fighting for playing time vs. two studs might be exactly what he needs. If Williams/Hine can stay focused and not take the Ronney Jenkins/Northern Arizona detour they might go down as the best all time.
Scott: This group of RBs definitely takes home the all-hype award. I’m not saying they are all hype, but this question comes from what we think we are going to get from Adam Hine. We’ll see. Nevertheless, I can’t think of a group of BYU RBs has had with more potential than these guys. And to think, Josh Quezada transferred last year!
With BYU entering its 3rd year of independence and Utah entering its 3rd year in the PAC12 which fan base should be more excited?
Carl: What I’m being asked here is ‘Which team has underperformed less since leaving the MWC?’ Neither has much to hang their hats on. Utah is in a more secure position in terms of conference affiliation, which is a plus in my view. But BYU has been more exciting. We’re slowly scheduling stronger and BYU’s product is being exposed to more viewers than the PAC’s. BYU is clearly winning this race for right now.
Matt: Oh man, someone is trying to start a firestorm here aren’t they? Could I be unbiased even if I wanted to be? I don’t think so. And it wouldn’t matter because if I still chose BYU, no one would believe me. But here it is. I think BYU’s fans have more to be optimistic and excited about. Utah has a very tough football conference to play in and until their talent level comes up, we know they will usually be a middle of the road team. But BYU is improving across the board. The schedule is what we’ve been promised. The team has a new look and feel about it. If execution can finally return to matching expectations, this season will be a lot of fun. However, that is true of the Utes as well. As a BYU fan, I quickly say that BYU has more to be excited about, but if Utah can get it together and get their execution to match their expectations, I’d be pretty excited as a Ute fan and I would certainly argue that the Ute fans have more to be excited about. I’m going to cheat my way out of this and say it’s a toss up (and I don’t think that is very far off.)
Mike: Ute fans will tell you about the PAC12/Fox revenue their sub-par football and basketball seasons have generated. Unless Chris Hill is sending profit sharing checks to the fan base I’ve never understood a fan touting annual revenue. Utah became very average very quickly in the two sports that matter. Not to say BYU isn’t just as average but BYU is able to put make up on their football and basketball seasons by building their own independent/WCC schedules. No doubt last year’s Riley/Doman debacle wouldn’t have been bowl eligible with a Pac12 schedule. Same could be said for Rose’s most recent 20 win season. As for which fan base should be more excited? I have to think BYU fans have more hope. By the look of all the PAC12 bumper stickers, T-shirts and billboards, the Ute Nation has gone the way of Vanderbilt fan, Purdue fan and Washington St. fan pretending conference success is more significant then actual team performance.
Scott: I think BYU fans should be more excited. Would I rather BYU be in the Pac-12 or Big 12? Sure, but that isn’t what the question asks. Utah only won 4 games last year and that schedule didn’t feature Stanford or Oregon. Without any big changes to the team, I don’t see anything to make them hope for a better season this year. BYU, on the other hand, has an elite defense returning much of its cast, a QB and RB with the kind of talent BYU rarely sees, a WR on the verge of a record-breaking career, and an offensive coaching staff with ability to put it together. Additionally, BYU’s schedule features a rich variety of games without a single unwinnable game. Rise and shout, Cougar fans!