… I am biased and I admit it. I have lived BYU football my whole life. My father was hired as an assistant coach at BYU the year I was born. My childhood was the "Wide World" of BYU football. From the time my father was named head coach in 1972 until he retired in 2000, I "thrilled" with every victory and agonized in every defeat. I still closely follow the team, the games, and the recruiting victories.
… I was a member of the 1984 through 1986 teams. I was there when Jim McMahon broke records, Steve Young broke tackles, and Robbie Bosco won the national championship. Good times! Aren't we glad that we had ‘em?
… It is easy to become discouraged after comparing the success of the teams I played on with the frustrations of the last two seasons. My intent is not to paint the present in a negative light by comparing it to past successes. Rather, the past is part of the basis for my optimism for the future.
… There are two main reasons for optimism: (1) the quarterbacks are maturing; and (2) recruiting has been strong.
… This year Matt Berry and John Beck saw most of the action. All objective assessments of these quarterbacks are that they are very talented; they are tough; and, of course, they are returned missionaries. What they need is more experience. Be patient Cougars fans; their day is coming.
… The current Cougars signal callers have not had that opportunity. This is most unfortunate for Berry and Beck. Fans would like to see four years of phenomenal quarterback play from their quarterback, but that does not happen very often.
Most quarterbacks, even great ones, are not ready to play as freshmen. Many of them are really not ready to play at a high level as a sophomore. A couple of years in the system, with possibly even a redshirt year thrown in to boot, helps develop and refine a quarterback. This is especially true when the quarterback is playing in a complex system. Steve Young and Robbie Bosco are good examples.
… Neither Berry nor Beck will gain the luxury of this same apprenticeship period. In fact, fans have lived and figuratively died through their development this year. They made mistakes, but they were young quarterbacks – not young in age, but in experience at the Division I level. Both should improve next season, and they should be even better the following season.
… There has been a lot of excitement about the recent recruiting classes – as there should be. BYU should have a really good team in a few years. Hopefully the trend of superior recruiting classes will continue.
… There is no reason to believe excellence will not return. The recent recruiting classes should not only grow into their own positions, but the coaching staff is also strong, and the offensive and defensive systems are in place.
In short, this article is a plea for real Cougars fans to be patient. Don't pull the plug on your support of this great program. Good things are in store.
THE COMPLETE ARTICLE WILL BE IN THE DECEMBER ISSUE OF TOTAL BLUE SPORTS MAGAZINE.
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