Win over Cal reveals what’s wrong with BYU

Byu Vs Cal

Win over Cal reveals what’s wrong with BYU


Just me or did anyone else think Bronco Mendenhall got a little carried away in his celebration of BYU’s win over Cal yesterday? It reminded me of the late Jim Valvano running around looking for someone to hug after his NC State basketball team went on an improbable run and ultimately knocked off highly favored Houston to win the tournament. Seriously, if you’ve never seen the famous clip, here it is:



In contrast, Bronco’s team barely eked out a victory over the 9th best team in the PAC-12, after coming off what were essentially 3 straight bye weeks – games against Middle Tennessee State, Savannah State and UNLV. (The celebration begins at the 2:45 point)


Give the Cougs credit – it was a nice finish to a season that turned horribly wrong mid-way through.

However, the feeling that BYU just accomplished something is exactly what’s wrong. Cougar faithful will tell you they went undefeated against teams from power 5 conferences this year. (Texas, Virginia, Cal) What they won’t say is that when they were stung by the injury bug, the wheels completely fell off against Utah State, Central Florida, Nevada and Boise State. Outside of Boise, that’s not exactly Big-12 or Pac-12 competition. They then had a bye and the equivalent of 3 high school teams to get ready for the Cal game. Of course they should have beaten Cal! But that win should have been a ho-hum finish to a 10-2, or maybe even an 11-1 season – not a singular, iconic win like Jim Valvano’s actually was.

I don’t mind seeing a little enthusiasm out of the head coach – overstated or not. But please don’t tell us a win over Cal validates the season and that 8-4 was a great year. BYU should be better than that! Let’s see that enthusiasm go into better conditioning and depth. Let’s see BYU beat teams with inferior talent, even after your quarterback goes down or you sustain some defensive injuries (like everyone else does!) If you’re really gonna be a big-time program (which you routinely tell us you are) stop running around and jumping up and down after you hung on to beat the 9th place team from the Pac-12.

Matt Nielson has been writing about the college sports landscape in Utah and the Intermountain West since 2010. When he’s not pretending to be a professional blogger, he works full time as a residential real estate agent and house flipper. Matt graduated from Brigham Young University in 2000. He and his family reside in Salt Lake City, UT.


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