I must say I'm really looking forward to the 2005 season and watching our new coaches perform in their new roles. One can get downright giddy listening to the new coaching staff talk about their plans (of course, we were all giddy as school girls at a sleepover when Gary Crowton was introduced as the new head coach 4 years ago).
As these thoughts and others ramble around in my head and occasionally collide - I find myself trying to codify my expectations for the BYU football program.
What follows is this fan's view - though frankly I am not sure if it is finished. I welcome dialog and debate on these points, as my own mind is not completely settled.
Note: One basis for some of these declarations is the context of competition that BYU will face in future years: 8 MWC games/season (4 home, 4 away), 2 BCS non-conference games/season (1 home, 1 away) and 1 "gimme" non-conference game (home). Should conference affiliation change, then that would affect the expectations.
1. I expect BYU to win more games than it loses. I don't expect BYU to win every game, but 7 wins and a bowl game is my minimal expectation.
2. I expect BYU to contend for the MWC championship every year. I don't expect BYU to be champions every year, but they should always be playing for the championship through mid-November.
3. I expect BYU to play hard, to play smart, and to be disciplined. BYU may not be as athletically gifted as our competition, but we should be mentally stronger. Silly penalties, turnovers and dropped passes should be the exception at BYU, not the rule.
4. I expect BYU to be competitive in every game. We should be known as a team that is difficult to beat. When we lose, it should be because the other team was better.
5. I expect that the BYU coaching staff will focus first on winning games, then on schemes and "style".
6. I expect BYU to improve every week. This is the hallmark of great teams and in my opinion this was one of the best qualities of Lavell Edward's teams. Most of his teams got better every week.
7. I expect BYU to be dominant in LaVell Edwards Stadium. It should require a true accomplishment for an opposing team to escape LES with a win.
8. I expect that there will continue to be HC violations - everyone makes mistakes, especially the young. However, I do expect that there will be no further gratuitous violations of the HC.
9. I expect BYU will continue to recruit non-LDS athletes of exceptional character, such as Brian Mitchell, Jamal Willis, Curtis Brown, Todd Watkins, and many, many, many others. To not do so would, in my opinion, be counter to the values of the university and the sponsoring institution.
10. I expect that BYU's football program will be of such quality and class that it would be attractive to, and seriously considered by, all "blue chip" LDS athletes - and that BYU will vigorously and honestly recruit these athletes. However, I don't expect that they will all play for BYU.
11. I expect that every BYU coach and administrator associated with the football team will have undergone yearly media training. PR gaffes should be a thing of the past. BYU should be using the media - not the other way around.