Back to Work!
By Knute Lombardi
Greetings sports fans, Knute here with worthless commentary, flip remarks, mean-spirited jabs and, if we're lucky, The Ol' Crystal Ball.
Gary Glitter inches closer to "being released" from his current calling as President of the Allegedly Big and Fast Guys Quorum in the BYU 1st ward, Mick Deadasme's boys stopped doing their best Montana impression and started playing like the Aggies of the past decade (unfortunately) and Quag Meyer's legend continues to grow faster than the list of anti-depressants being prescribed to Cougar fans.
Let's start with the plight of Gary. Two years ago he inherited a team of guys put together by the Patron Saint of the Perpetual Frown and guided them to a 12-2 record that induced visions of BCS grandeur into the hunger addled minds of Fast Sunday observing Cal State Provo fans everywhere. In doing so, they also piled the points on the poor, hapless teams that stood in their path in an effort to, you know, impress the BCS folks.
A few short months later here are the same hunger addled UCP fans bearing tearful testimony about the oppression of the evil Idahoans who not only smote their beloved Cougars but (GASP!) ran up the score!
Payback is a bitch huh?
In his post game remarks after Boise State trampled the Cougs, Gary said something along the lines of "They (BSU) want to prove they can play with the big boys." Well Gary, I don't know if the Broncos proved that but they sure proved they could kick the holy hell out of a crappy team didn't they?
Meanwhile Gary Glitter continues to blame everyone around him including the same man whose recruits he won with 2 years ago. It's unbecoming and it's contributing to the erosion of the BYU fan base that is almost exclusively <NEWSFLASH!!> Mormon. The Mormons are funny folk (since I am one I consider myself qualified to address this subject) who continue to value the pioneer heritage of hard work and accountability (mostly). This isn't to say other demographics don't value these traits but it is a strong undercurrent in Mormon life and being accountable for your actions is a keystone of the culture. With all of his finger pointing and blame deflection, Gary is alienating even the most hardcore Zoobies because he is trampling all over what they are trying to teach their kids about taking responsibility and having stewardship. Being the head coach at BYU is a lot different than being Joe Schmoe in elder's quorum meetings. Lame excuses may get you out of helping the family down the street move (although you will still look like a self-centered schmuck) but they will not get you off the hook for back to back losing seasons.
Stand up and be accountable for the madness you have wrought Gary and maybe, just maybe, the faithful will cut you a little bit of slack. Unless you string together 3 losing seasons then all bets are off.
And now this week the it's the Holy War as the Mormons take on the Catholics in South Bend. After watching BYU stink things up all year and witnessing Notre Dame nearly losing to Navy, I have deduced that God is taking this football season off. Either that or he's following TCU.
It could also be that with all the BS in the world he has other things to think about besides BYU's "missionary tool" and Notre Dame "football" but that's just silly. If God didn't love football, he wouldn't have invented pigs or scoreboards.
So, who will win the Tidy Bowl this week? Maybe an even better question is: Who cares?
BYU has been struggling long enough that it's not really a story anymore. They've reached such depths that it's a bigger story when the Cougs win than when they lose. Now they are turning into a non-entity. Oh sure, people are still having fun piling on (yours truly for example) but now the rank and file Utah sports fan is starting to ignore them. Even the UCP faithful are turning their back on Gary "I'm the Personal Savior if This Program" Glitter and the team. It's both fascinating and amusing all at the same time.
Oh yah, the game. Umm....Notre Dame by 10 I guess. Like I said, who cares?
Meanwhile, up the road at Taxpayer Stadium Quag Meyer is giving John Stockton a run for his money as Utah's greatest sports icon, and this after only 10 games. Here's a guy who is the Anti-Glitter. He demands toughness, respect and adherence to the rules and he'll sit your ass down no matter who you are if you aren't going to get on the bus. In short he is a football coach while BYU has turned it's program over to some Nintendo Techmo Bowl junkie.
Glitter's young players are screwing everything up, or so he'd have you believe, but Quag's Sophomore QB is tearing up the Conference and there aren't a whole lot of seniors on the squad. In fact 8 of 11 offensive starters last week were underclassmen and 7 of 11 defensive starters are coming back next year. The eighth is stud lineman Jason Kaufusi who missed this year with an injury. Plus, these aren't Quag's guys, they're Mac's. It's an interesting study in contrasts.
Now the Utes get to take on a surging Wyoming team with full knowledge that two more wins means their first ever outright MWC title. Perfect formula for a Ute El Foldo Special. Won't happen. The Utes show the 'Pokes that there's a new sheriff in town with a 31-17 win.
As for the Aggies, they were finally doing what their faithful had hoped for and not just beating similar or perceived "lesser" competition, but blowing them away. Dave Kotulski has the defense ranked in the top 50 and they pitched a shut out for 9 straight quarters until Mick let the color guard play in the fourth quarter against Middle Tennessee. On top of that, the offense seemed to have suddenly found it's stride and much of that has to do with the fact that QB Travis Cox is finally getting some time to throw the ball. Amazingly, quarterbacks play much better when they aren't getting a close look at the turf. Add that to a running game that has been steady all season and suddenly the Aggies were scoring like crazy.
Then they went on the road where they have won 4 games in 20 plus tries.
Not only that, Rain Man was obviously missing Wapner. Who's Rain Man? Rain Man is my new moniker for USU Offensive Coordinator Bob Cole. See, I'm convinced the guy is a retarded genius. Sometimes the genius comes to the forefront and his offense rolls. At other times we see the retarded side and we wonder if Wapner is on or something because he doesn't seem to be watching the same game everyone else is.
Mick: "Bob, Travis needs the play Bob. Bob?"
Rain Man: "Wapner. Definitely Wapner. Gotta watch him."
MD: "Bob, you can't wander off in the middle of the game like that, now come on! There are only 15 seconds on the play clock what is the play?"
RM: "I like waffles."
MD: "BOBBY! Stay with me Bob! The play! What is the play!"
RM: "Throw deep."
MD: "Throw deep? You think we should throw deep? We've tried that 26 times now and each time the corner has good coverage. Are you sure?"
RM: "Definitely deep. Throw deep. Corner could forget to cover this time. Throw deep."
MD: "Okay. Travis! Throw deep!"
RM: "Wait, maybe flanker screen. Yep. Flanker screen, lose 2 yards then throw deep on third and long to pad the passing stats. Definitely flanker screen. Where's Wapner?"
MD: "Flanker...? Ah, hell a delay of game penalty. Bob!"
RM: "Draw play. Fourth and inches...definitely draw play. Big Blue. I see Big Blue. He likes bacon. More motion. Gotta run more motion. Send Big Blue in motion."
And so it went last Thursday as the Aggies and their simplified playbook (Draw, Counter, Throw Deep, repeat) had a hard time finding the end zone and the rejuvenated defense couldn't come up with a stop. Oh, and did I mention the special teams and the stellar kicking game? Poor Hamblin. He has to have all the confidence of 75 year old Porn star Fred "Floppy" Jones before the Viagra kicks in.
So now it is back home to face the Fighting Prophylactics of Troy State. Home has been kind to the Aggies. They've averaged 34.3 per game at Romney while only giving up 19.5 (48 of the 78 points the D has surrendered at home came in one game vs. a resurgent Wyoming team). So, do the Thundering Condoms charge into Logan and wilt under an onslaught of northern Utah weather, a tough defense and an offensive game plan devised by the genius side of Rain Man? Or do the Rampaging Rubbers come in and shut down the Ags (the Troy State D is 46th in the nation), take advantage of shoddy special teams and come out winners?
It's Senior Day, the Aggies were embarrassed last Thursday and I'd like to think that they are going to have the toughness to respond at home and win 28-20.
That's all for this week gang. As always, if you want to drop me a line feel free to do so at: Knute@aggies.com
My baloney has a first name, it's T-O-C-B
Back to Work!