Preview 2018: Previewing and looking ahead to the BYU season with what you need to know.
Preview 2018: BYU Cougars
Okay, BYU. Now what?
The whole independent thing is good enough when it comes to the bottom line – it’s not amazing coin, but it’s fine – and it can be fun to schedule anyone it wants as a national program.
And then 2017 happens.
There’s no difference between BYU going 10-2 or 6-6. Yeah, more revenue might be generated by winning more, having a fired up fan base, getting more ticket revenue, selling more T-shirts, etc. But really, as long as the Cougars are going bowling, everything is working out.
BYU would absolutely deserve to be in the College Football Playoff if it ever gets to 11-1 – and definitely at 12-0 – considering the schedule it deals with on a yearly basis. But that’s hardly a sure thing if it happens, and that’s dreaming that the team is really that talented and good again.
But it might not be terribly far off. After all, the Cougars are just a year removed from going 9-4 with all four losses coming by a combined score of eight points. Just as it seemed like the program was about to make an even bigger statement in 2017 …
4-9, no bowl, total irrelevancy.
Granted, it’s not like the also-rans in the Mountain West or Conference USA are getting a whole lot of national pub, but BYU doesn’t see itself as anything other than a Power Five program living in an independent world. If it’s not going bowling, and if it’s not beating the bigger and better teams, it doesn’t exist.
Again, BYU, now what’s your plan? How do you flip this thing back around to winning nine games again, if not do even better?
This year’s team has the experience, but can it be productive again?
First, a quarterback has to rise up and rock after nine Cougars got time under center last season – and it might be true freshman Zach Wilson who ended up taking over.
Getting grad transfer WR Dylan Collie to go along with TE Matt Bushman provides a boost to the passing game, and there’s a rotation at running back to work behind an okay line that needs new parts on the inside.
There’s a whole lot of shifting around on defense, but the parts are there with eight starters returning and enough depth to be even better.
Coming up with a better attitude, a little positive momentum, and a good start would work wonders. This is still a great program, there’s still enough from 2016 to expect a big turnaround, and there’s reason to think that 2017 was just a blip.
Now what, BYU? Find an offense again, get your groove back, go bowling.
And then matter again.