One of my twitter followers, @rkdavidson13 presented the following question: With the way the BYU football schedule is lining up this year and in the future, will Y fans be satisfied?
My answer? Are fans ever satisfied? I think the first two years of independence has been a gamble but adequately patched together by Tom Holmoe under the circumstances.
But 2013 will be very tough, one of the strongest schedules in recent memory.
Some BYU fans want balance. They want respect by playing two or three BCS schools, a couple of winnable patsies and respectable mid-majors so they can reasonably see a 9 or 10 win team with possibility to go undefeated.
Other fans want the schedule loaded up with every name team Holmoe can possibly sign up from the Pac12, Big 12, Big Ten or SEC. Just do it.
I will say, if the so-called “Big Fish” Holmoe eluded to on BYUtv are who I believe they are, then putting out a respectable schedule is the least of Bronco Mendenhall’s worries if he is to tackle what may come.
Both Holmoe and Mendenhall told reporters the 2113 schedule would be the toughest in school history, and it will be. But it may not be as tough as another one in the last decade under Gary Crowton.
According to an email I got from Robert Garrick of Clayton, Missouri, a BYU fan who loves to track Jeff Sagarin’s USA Today ratings, they have short memories.
Here is a portion of his research:
Holmoe and Mendenhall will turn out to be WRONG, and their memories are short. In 2004 played three teams–USC, Utah, and Boise State–that finished the regular season undefeated. That had never happened before to a school in college football’s top division. Sagarin rated BYU’s 2004 schedule the 11th toughest in the country. BYU also played Notre Dame that year (and won). The Boise State game, played in Boise, should have been a BYU win, but Matt Payne, who had made 28 consecutive field goals, missed an easy 37-yarder with 23 seconds left, and Boise escaped.
Sagarin said that BYU was the second-best team in the MWC that year, despite its losing record of 5-6.
Only one other schedule in BYU football history was close to 2004 in difficulty. That was the schedule Gary Crowton had to play in 2003, rated 14th hardest in America by Sagarin.
By contrast, BYU’s 2011 schedule, which got them a national ranking, was only the 90th toughest in America. I have no doubt the 2013 schedule will be more challenging than that, but I’ll bet you, Mendenhall, or Holmoe $1,000 right now that it won’t be one of the ten toughest schedules in America. That’s what it would have to be to make it “the most difficult in school history.”
End of Garrick.
The question is will BYU fans like what they’re getting in the future, I’d say 2012 is slightly tougher than 2011 when they won 10 games. The October stretch is extremely tough, especially the jaunt to Notre Dame then back to Georgia Tech within a week to prepare for that option attack.
There’s probably a little wisdom in believing beefing up the schedule is all fun and games, it gets you great attention if you win. But it also comes at a price with losses that will be surely come. BYU lost three of what I call 50-50 type games in 2011 against Texas, Utah and TCU and barely won the fourth against Tulsa. BYU has a ways to go to get to where it can play a 2013 schedule and win 10 games. They’ll have to do so with a rookie quarterback in the post-Riley Nelson era.
The bigger question for fans, in my opinion, is whether BYU will ultimately join the Big 12. T