Soap Box: I have to admit to being quite perturbed as the seconds wound down confirming what we all began to suspect during the 3rd quarter of last weeks exercise in laissez faire football. Here was a chance for Crowton and company to prove once and for all that BYU was on its way back to becoming a winning program. Anyone worth their salt in football knew that this game was going to be a battle, but the Cougar team that took the field Saturday morning appeared to be asleep at the wheel.
An offensive line that had
been blowing out defenses in prior weeks gave up 7 sacks against the Lobos. It
The number 7 seems to be the key to this game as 7 sacks were complimented by 7 passes dropped by Cougar receivers. I was shaking my head to gain clarity since I could have sworn I was experiencing the 2003 season all over again. Anyone can drop a pass now and then, it happens to the best, but 7 passes dropped at crucial times during the game this late in the season? The rope walk at BYU is a narrow one which leaves little to no room for any more "learning" experiences.
Somebody forgot to wake up Matt Payne and let him know that BYU had a game Saturday morning. He must have thought he was attending some midmorning mandatory scrimmage to walk through game strategy. Three missed field goals in a row? Come on, that has to be some kind of record by a Lou Groza award finalist. Well no one can blame Matt for doing anything halfway. When he is on, he is ON, and when he is off, he is really AWFUL. BYU sure could have used those nine points, or even six, which would have given BYU a chance to tie the game with a two point conversion.
What really surprised me was how banged up the Cougars were even before the game started. Several linemen looked gimpy out there, which was made even clearer by the early replacement of Offensive Lineman Brian Sanders with Sophomore Gary McGiven. The portent of the days events should have been clear already when wide receiver standout Todd Watkins limped out onto the field at the start of the game; his first reception was also his last. Linebacker Justin Luettgerodt has been playing hurt all season, but his lack of playing time as of late clearly states his physical condition. Things didn't get any better during the game, and Cougar fans had a heart stopping moment when star defensive back Aaron Francisco went down with a knee injury.
Regardless of their current
status, the Cougars are going to have to get their act together if they stand
any chance of staying with a
A win for
Regardless of the outcome, BYU has a monster game ahead of them, and they will need to be at their best if they have any hope of winning. Cougars were really banged up last week, but many of the walking wounded will be in better shape by game time. Todd Watkins is practicing and his ankle seems to not be bothering him as much. Aaron Francisco is running on his injured leg and is probable for Saturday.
This game is often
determined by the defensive efforts on both sides, but this years battle may
just be the opposite. Expect offensive fireworks. Alex Smith and company have
been lighting it up at will against all comers, and BYU has shown that they can
score lots of points given the chance. The
Picks: Last Week 13-7 (.650) Season 61-26 (.701)
(CSU @ Air Force) This game lacks any bowl implications, and both teams are playing for next season. The Rams snuffed out the final spark in a UNLV team that is so happy that basketball season has started. Air Force is struggling at the QB spot. Fitch was capable of leading his Falcons to a victory over SDSU, but got hurt in the 3rd quarter and again Air Force had to rely on freshmen Shaun Carney. The results weren't stellar. Air Force still has problems to sort out, while CSU seems to be coming into their own as of late. Their own freshman quarterback Caleb Hanie looked like a seasoned veteran vs. the Lobos. Falcons are at home however, and CSU's defense is not ready to shut down the wishbone. Air Force 36 – CSU 30
(UNLV @ San Diego State) A tale of two teams gone south.
Both squads have suffered injuries, bad press, timing, and coaching dramas. The
difference…? The Aztecs have never given up throughout the season. They have
brought their best each and every week. Last weeks debacle vs.
(19) BC (7-2, 3-2 away) vs.
(9) Wisconsin (9-1, 3-1 away) vs. (17)
Iowa (8-2, 5-0 home)
Well after predicting the Spartans winning over the Badgers last week, I will
go one further and claim that Wisconsin is in for another beating. The Badger
offense is nonexistent, and
SMU (3-7, 0-5 away) vs. (25) UTEP (7-2, 4-1 home) SMU has actually been playing much better as of late, and who knows, maybe in a couple of years they will be bowl eligible for the first time since the death penalty. UTEP is trying to show that they are for real. Coach Price certainly has the Miners believing. UTEP is too tough for Mustangs. UTEP 38 – SMU 28
BYU (5-5, 2-2 away) vs. (6)
Roll Call: Urban Meyer – Head Coach Utah –
Fisher Deberry – Air Force – Stock stable
Injuries and youth are making things difficult for the Falcons. If this keeps up next year, get prepared for a coaching change
Gary Crowton - Brigham Young – Stock Dropping
Well there was no blowout, and Crowton's head is back on the chopping block. Crowton daytraders are getting whipsawed to death, looking for the right side to his stock. Is he a winning play for BYU? If he is, can BYU afford the buy and hold strategy much longer to prove it?
Joe Glenn –
Regardless of what happens the rest of this year, Glenn gets a flyer. He has the Cowboys going bowling.
Lubick may get the last laugh this season as some have
begun to question his ability as a coach. One thing that goes unnoticed is
Sonny's penchant for finding tough hard nosed NFL type QB's.
His freshman phenom is quickly becoming a hometown
favorite, and next year will be decision time for Lubick
in regards to who plays. Both
Rocky Long –
Rocky stock looking stable
as Lobos finish season at home vs
John Robinson – UNLV – Stock has been bought out.
Still no word. UNLV has hung it up.
Tom Craft – SDSU – Stock may have found bottom
Well the talk is still going on, but the Aztecs finally won, and they did it at altitude and in the snow; encouraging signs for Craft. SDSU finishes the season at home vs. UNLV. They couldn't have ended with a better opponent. Craft stock could stop bleeding with a season ending victory vs. the Rebels.
Whispers: BYU Administration looking at DC's for next Head Coach. There remains a real possibility that Gary Crowton will be around for at least another year, but the strongest rumors tend to focus on DC candidates replacing the beleaguered coach.
Fandumb: This week's fandumb award goes out to ESPN's Trev Albert.
He has been known to grate and irritate college football fans. Well for people who like to blow their own horn, Trev seems to be quite good at it, but his Kerryesque spin doctoring leaves much to the imagination:
"It was a football fans dream. Starting Oct. 28, ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC teamed up to air 19 straight days of college and NFL action! That's 19 straight days of nonstop football! To make it even more exciting, we recruited ESPN's outspoken college football analyst Trev Alberts to try and match wits with SportsNation!(meaning we the fans)
Throughout the 19 days, Trev Alberts picked the winners along with you, SportsNation. When it was all said and done, Alberts came out on top, as he so boldly explained in his visit to The Show on Monday.
"In closing, there is a reason why you are sending questions and I am answering them. I won the SportsNation head to head 19 Days of Football picks. I missed some to keep it close, but it was a nice try by all of you. We'll do something again during the bowl games to give you another shot."
That's right. We'll do it again during bowl season. Brush up on your picking skills and give it another shot!
Final Records: SportsNation 13-6 | Trev Alberts 15-4"
Hey Trev, beating your chest on national television and insulting the fans in your patrician manner only serves to further disconnect you from reality. Come on, a one game difference separates the "expert" from the "joe shmoe"? Please! There is a reason why Disney is falling out of favor with the public and it has to do with a nipple ring, nudity and a nincompoop called Trev. By the way Mr. Alberts, my picks for those 19 days of football went 17-2, guess that means I should get paid six figures to starch my hair, my collar and read a teleprompter just like you. Hmmmm.