BYU Football: Bronco’s 3 Year Plan

BYU - Bronco Mendenhall
Photo Credit: Douglas C. Pizac-USA TODAY Sports

Bronco Mendenhall made a goal for BYU to be in a Power 5 Conference in the next three years.  This made me think: Does BYU need to play their way into a Power 5 Conference?  Would BYU’s tradition and history help?  Phil Steele tweeted out recently:

philsteele

https://twitter.com/philsteele042/status/592516896508874752

One of these things is not like the others.  BYU is the only one on the list that isn’t in a Power 5 conference.  They may not have to play themselves in because they have already.  BYU has the wins and reputation to be a P5 school.  So why aren’t they?

Is it persecution for not being willing to play on Sundays? Or is it location bias? Or is it that they aren’t considered to be a “research institution”? Or is SDSU right when they said that BYU is hard to work with?

BYU is one of the most unique programs in college football.  They have to juggle having success and having the Honor Code.  They not only teach men to play football they teach them to be men, something that I think Bronco Mendenhall has done a good job balancing.

You would think that this would be a benefit for a conference.  “Those BYU boys win without getting in trouble.”  With a few exceptions, BYU is not in the news often for people stealing crab legs and things like that.

Sunday play is one that everyone brings up, but I don’t see it as that big of a problem.  If the NCAA as a whole avoids championship games on Sundays then any conference could too.  The only problem I see is that the conference sees BYU as the new guy trying to change things.  BYU is the new guy at work who tries to change things that you’ve been doing forever just because he doesn’t like it.  Nobody likes or wants to be THAT guy.

I think location is BYU’s biggest problem when it comes to getting into a big conference.  The only conference that makes sense geographically is the Pac 12 but they only want “research institutions”.   The Big 12 always comes up but they are located mainly around Texas with one team in West Virginia which makes you think that they wouldn’t want another out on an island in Utah.  The Big Ten and ACC are regional too and the SEC is the Ess Ehe See which means they could do it, but they aren’t hurting for membership.

In many cases BYU would need a travel partner.  Boise State is the most logical choice if they were to go to any conference other then the Pac 12.  So BYU fans better hope that Boise keeps winning.  They have the recent success but most conferences are more worried about sustained success with Boise State.  In a way Boise State could play BYU and Boise State into the Big 12 or something.  Plus BYU and Boise State could be playing into a rivalry recently with how often they are playing each other.

The Pac 12 is still the best situation for the Cougars even though it doesn’t seem possible.  They already have the rival and geographically all the teams are in neighboring states.  It seems like the Pac 12 isn’t a fan of BYU though.  The only way I see BYU to the Pac 12 is if every other conference expands to 16 teams.  In that case BYU would have many suitors as well.  At that point it wouldn’t matter if they are a “research institution”.

The super conferences may still happen.  The SEC is already at fourteen they could add two more, maybe Florida State and or a number of others that would leave conferences scrambling to fill membership to keep up.  If they take two from the ACC then the ACC is forced to expand and they could take some from the Big Ten or Big 12 then they would feel the need for expansion.

The SEC is the trendsetters and every other conference tries to keep up.  BYU may just need to wait for dominoes to fall.  Bronco may know things we don’t and is just waiting for those dominoes.

Is independence that bad?  Every BYU fan should be grateful to have Tom Holmoe.  What he has done with the football schedule it amazing.  It seems that he just keeps getting big programs to play BYU and the schedule gets stronger every year. As long as BYU just keeps winning at a decent rate, the Power 5 conferences will take notice, even though their resume in the past should already been good enough.   I have faith in Tom Holmoe and Bronco Mendenhall to take the BYU football team to where they need to be.

So does BYU need to play their way into a big conference? Maybe…  Go Cougars!

Photo Credit: Douglas C. Pizac-USA TODAY Sports
Photo Credit: Douglas C. Pizac-USA TODAY Sports

About the author

R Todd Graham

I'm Todd Graham, no not the coach, I'm a big BYU, Utah Jazz and Seahawks fan. I think I'm funny others may disagree. My opinion is mine you are welcomed to disagree.

  • Realistic Optimist

    Why do we continue to do this.
    We are not fooling anybody.
    One can not compare our SOS schedule as a mid major the past 4o seasons, with those playing all P5 type teams and have the conclusion mean anything.
    People are not stupid.
    Why do we continue to insult people with such comparisons?

    • Taiwan 92

      Why is there a moon? Why is cheese yellow? Why do fat women insist on wearing spandex? Why do we have to repeatedly listen to idiots like you? Btw, Boise has done the same with a weaker schedule and Penn St was once in a similar situation.

      • Realistic Optimist

        Chin, Chin Bing. Peachy Bruhaw.
        Now you call posters Idiots because they have a different opinion than your own.

    • Chad

      Why do so-called mid-majors have to slight themselves? BYU does play as good a schedule as most P5 teams and does a better job of it. When Fresno State (then Boise State) took on a play anyone anywhere mentality and were winning several of those games against supposed superior opponents there were still many people who diminished the accomplishment simply because of the conference they were in. Really? You beat P5 teams and you should get P5 credit. Period. BYU, by the way, dispatched most P5 opponents last year while having trouble with non-P5 teams co-incidentally. Anyway, BYU does not have to act like they are playing a lesser schedule than most P5 schools. Yes, there are a few P5 schools who play tougher schedules, but most P5 schools simply do not. Indiana, Purdue, Minnesota, Rutgers, Iowa, Washington State, Oregon State, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, Duke, etc., etc., are simply not better programs than BYU, speaking objectively. If you are going to compare based off of performance then there are lots of teams already included in a P5 conference who would have had many less wins than BYU had they played the very same schedule as BYU the past 40 years. A fair honest unbiased observer would be able to admit that. College football needs to admit to itself that it is hardly about winning football games against quality opponents anymore. Money in certain people’s pockets is the biggest factor. And it is becoming almost the only real deciding factor. Sad, but true!

      • Realistic Optimist

        “Why do so-called mid-majors have to slight? BYU does play as good a schedule as most P5 teams and does a better job of it”.

        That is what we all want to believe. It just isn’t so.
        For the first time in history, we are now playing up to 4-5 P5 teams. per season. P5 teams are required to play at least 9 P5 teams per season. P5 schedules are at least twice as difficult as ours. We usually win our first major game to only lose to some of the games that follow which we are favored to win. No, we do not do a better job than the respected P5 teams i.e. USC, Oregon, Alabama, Ohio State, LSU, etc..

        “When Fresno State (then Boise State) took on a play anyone anywhere mentality and were winning several of those games against supposed superior opponents there were still many people who diminished the accomplishment simply because of the conference they were in. Really? ”

        The teams that you mention, and you can also include us, BYU, winning record of 3-1 = 4 games vs. Texas. We beat #3 Oklahoma in the new Dallas Cowboy stadium, than we came home favored to beat, in their off year, Florida State, but they killed us at our own house.

        All of us mid majors of the past, can get up for one good P5 type team. Remember that P5 teams must play at least 9 other P5 teams each season. That is much more difficult than just getting up for just one P5 team per season. We have made much progress and we are still growing, but we must be realistic in our optimism.

        “You beat P5 teams and you should get P5 credit. Period.”

        What should be, is a matter of opinion, with as many different opinions as there is fans, and what really is, is rarely the same.

        ” BYU, by the way, dispatched most P5 opponents last year while having trouble with non-P5 teams co-incidentally. “

        I don’t understand your statement, but if you are saying that we played more P5 teams than anyone else, you do not have a clue about anything in college football. Every P5 team, plays at least 9 P5 teams per season.

        “Anyway, BYU does not have to act like they are playing a lesser schedule than most P5 schools.”

        Thank you. But why not?

        “Yes, there are a few P5 schools who play tougher schedules,’

        A FEW ???? wow, you’re kidding me. Name those few P5 teams that play a rougher schedule than we at BYU do?
        I bet you can’t just name just a few!!! Remember that every P5 team plays at least 9 other P5 teams each season.

        “but most P5 schools simply do not. Indiana, Purdue, Minnesota, Rutgers, Iowa, Washington State, Oregon State, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, Duke, etc., etc., are simply not better programs than BYU, speaking objectively.

        Really !!!! That is really I surprise bit of new information, I thought that every P5 team must play at least 9 other P5 teams per season post 2014 season.

        “If you are going to compare based off of performance then there are lots of teams already included in a P5 conference who would have had many less wins than BYU had they played the very same schedule as BYU the past 40 years.”

        Is that a fact?” Wow !!! And how do we know this???

        “A fair honest unbiased observer would be able to admit that. “

        Fair? honest? unbiased? Hum, really ??? (TIC)(LOL)

        “College football needs to admit to itself that it is hardly about winning football games against quality opponents anymore”

        I suggest that you give all of this valuable information to TCU/Baylor/Ohio State of the post 2014 big 4 play off games.
        (TIC)(LOL)

        “Money in certain people’s pockets is the biggest factor”.

        Awe, thank you for the insight. I did not realize that teams like USC, UCLA, Stanford, Oregon, Washington, Texas, Oklahoma, Florida, Florida State, Ohio State, LSU, Penn State, and the rest of P5 teams, win all the tough teams they have to play each season, by putting money in somebodies pockets. I was silly enough to think they won because of the outstanding 5 and 4 star recruits they got, the best coaches in the nation they are able to hire, and all the hard work the coaches and their teams must go through to have a successful season. (TIC)(LOL)

        “And it is becoming almost the only real deciding factor. Sad, but true!”

        Thanks for all of your valuable knowledge which you give us.

      • Malty17

        TCU, Louisville and Utah were all ‘mid majors’…. playing mid major schedules. Baylor stunk it up for years as a ‘p5’…. everyone can move up and down. BYU beat UCLA 59-0… their worst loss in history. BYU destroyed Texas twice–worse than any other the p5 schools that they played in 2013 and 2015 (and all but three games in their history).

        In a perfect football world, the champion of each conference would play in a small tourney (yes, even those ‘mid majors’ that don’t get the $25Ms and 5 star recruits). Unfortunately, that doesn’t line the pockets of those that make the rules, so teams still have to play teams within their conference/location (or independence).

      • Realistic Optimist

        Yes Ma;ty 17. And What’s your point?Malty17

        “TCU, Louisville and Utah were all ‘mid majors’…. playing mid major schedules”.

        Yes and they all achieved enough to be invited in to the P5 type conferences.

        “Baylor stunk it up for years as a ‘p5’…. ”

        That’s true, but they worked hard and tied the big 12 for conference champions last season with TCU

        “everyone can move up and down.”

        Absolutely, and that is exactly what we want
        BYU to do.

        “BYU beat UCLA 59-0… their worst loss in history.”

        I was at that game. The score was 59-0
        We had 9 touch downs + 6 pats + 2 field goals. Add the points.
        6+1 6+1 6+1 6+1 6+1 6+1 6+1 6+2 6+2 1X3 Two of the PAT’s were 2 pointers each.

        ” BYU destroyed Texas twice–worse than any other the p5 schools that they played in 2013 and 2015 (and all but three games in their history).”

        There were four games in that history. Not 3. They won the other one. Our record vs; Texas is 3-1 with BYU in the lead.
        The last two games, (the first in Provo and the second in Texas)
        was our last two wins vs. Texas. I was at each of those games.

        “In a perfect football world, the champion of each conference would play in a small tourney (yes, even those ‘mid majors’ that don’t get the $25Ms and 5 star recruits). ”

        It may someday come to that perfect world of which you speak where the playoff is of the 5 P5 conferences plus the 5 group of 5 conferences for a total of a 10 team play off. the Independents must be attached to on of the 10 conferences to be included. In the meantime, we must deal with the real world of today where we have a Power 4 play off system.

        “Unfortunately, that doesn’t line the pockets of those that make the rules, so teams still have to play teams within their conference/location (or independence).”

        And that is why Bronco and the
        ad say that we must get into a p5 conference and we can’t hold out much more than 3 years if we don’t. And I agree with the HC and the AD on this one.

        This last post of yours shows some thought and a bit of intelligence. ‘Why waste your time and reputation on the others that you have been posting. You do know better.

        10:16 a.m., Sunday May 3 | Other comments by Malty17

    • Malty17

      What are ‘we’ continuing to do? Does hoping or pushing for inclusion into a money-making conference really irk you that much? Does being labeled BCS or P5 improve performance on the field?

      If being independent is viable long term, I’m fine with it. At best the schedules are as good or better than most ‘P5s’ (BYU’s 2015 SOS is ranked 7 based on final ranking and 2014 winning %) and at worst they aren’t any different than they would be in the MWC. Although I’d love more home games like the 2013 schedule, I’m a ‘realistic optimist’ that feels that all will work out. I like BYU football regardless of the conference.

      Note: Nobody is trying to fool or insult anyone (note: Steele sent out the tweet, not BYU). Winning games is winning games. If you feel the need apologize for winning the games on the schedule, then you should latch onto another team. Oh, and take optimist out of your name. I’ve read your posts and you whine more than most.

      • Realistic Optimist

        What are ‘we’ continuing to do?

        “Does hoping or pushing for inclusion into a money-making conference really irk you that much? ”

        Marty17, Are you a BYU student or graduate? Read the article again for what it is saying, Your statement is not relevant to what was posted.

        “Does being labeled BCS or P5 improve performance on the field?”

        Marty, where are you coming from? Read the whole article and than read the replies to the article. Your comment is not relevant to what was posted.

        “If being independent is viable long term, I’m fine with it.”

        Marty your issue is with the HC and the AD. It is not with me.
        It is the HC and the AD that states that Independence is no longer a viable option with the new college rules and the new distribution of TV money where P5 teams on an average get $25 million per year and we only get $10 million per year and with the new funding of athletes now included which we will be taking part of equal to the much better said funding of those P5 teams, We wil lnot be able to keep up as an Independent much more than 3 more years.

        “At best the schedules are as good or better than most ‘P5s’ “

        Come on Marty, get serious.
        We have greatly improved our SOS thanks to the HC and the AD. We now for the first time in BYU history, are consistently trying to schedule 4-5 P5 type teams per season, while the P5 teams each schedule at least 9 P5 type teams per season.

        “(BYU’s 2015 SOS is ranked 7 based on final ranking and 2014 winning %)”

        You are arguing that pork chops are better than a Rack of Lamb for the majority of people or at least something that is equally as silly. You are comparing apples with oranges.

        You are comparing Us, BYU, over the past 40 years, being the best of all we play, like San Jose State, Fresno State, Wyoming, Hawaii, New Mexico, Rice, Colorado State. Air Force, UNLV giving us many wins, compared to the P5 type teams that had to play teams like USC, UCLA, Washington, Oregon, Texas, Florida, Florida State, Alabama, Ohio State, Penn State, LSU to name a few of the P5 teams. Of course if we are playing as the best of the worst, we are going to fare well when compared to the P5 teams that have to compete agains each other playing the best of the best. It’s a silly comparison that makes the ignorant feel good.

        “and at worst they aren’t any different than they would be in the MWC.”

        Silly statement.

        “Although I’d love more home games like the 2013 schedule, I’m a ‘realistic optimist’ that feels that all will work out.”

        Please do not use my dba. I am the only Realistic Optimist allowed to use this name.

        The AD and the HC is not happy with our 2013 home schedule or any other home game schedule that we have had since being Independent. We are going through growing pains right now fighting for relevance. In order to get the badly needed P5 teams on our schedule, we have to play most of those games away. This will not always be the case. The more we improve both our SOS and our ability to play all of our P5 teams with at least 50% success, the more P5 teams will be coming to Prove. Right now, patience is required of our fan base.

        “I like BYU football regardless of the conference”.

        All of our fans love BYU football. We love it enough to study what is happening to it, good and bad, on a daily basis. We offer suggestions for improvement because we love our team and we want it to be as good as it could possible be.
        We fight to keep or team relevant. We do not want to lose it under the current new college football rules and the new money distribution from TV revenue which widens the gap between those in P5 conferences and those that are not. Some fans just like to complain and find fault with those that actually do research and try to make helpful constructive suggestions. We are Independents. We are not in any conference. We desperately need to get into a P5 conference, So says our AD and our HC,
        and I agree.

        “Note: Nobody is trying to fool or insult anyone (note: Steele sent out the tweet, not BYU). “

        I know Phil. Do you? It is silly to think we are 7th best in the country because we win more easy teams than the P5 teams win playing each other, Figures don’t lie, but those that manipulate the figures, at best, exaggerate that which is the truth, in order to make themselves look better than they really are.

        “Winning games is winning games.”

        You really do not understand college football at all. Winning games playing a P5 Schedule gives you, as a P5 team, an average of] $25 million per year. Being an Independent ND gets close to that figure from NBC. Being an Independent BYU gets $10 million from ESPN. Being from the Mid Major group of 5, you are lucky to get $1-2 million per year. Playing P5 schedule as a P5 team in a P5 conference keeps you relevant and able to continue playing college football. Playing mid major group of 5 teams, will soon put you out of business of college football because your Univeristy will not be able to afford to pay the athletes and get the coaches that can compete against those significant P5 teams. So, Marty 17, Winning games is not just winning games. It is who you are, and what you are that matters, or does not matter.

        “If you feel the need apologize for winning the games on the schedule, then you should latch onto another team”.

        I will forgive you for this statement because it is obvious that you know absolutely nothing about which you speak. You are rambling about something that you know nothing about.

        “Oh, and take optimist out of your name. I’ve read your posts and you whine more than most.”

        How dare you ?

      • Malty17

        I read the article. My reply was to your frivolous and useless rant. Your second reply rant is even sillier.

      • Realistic Optimist

        Marty17,
        It is sad that you do not understand what is printed. But your lack of ability to understand that which is being said is not my fault. I am not the enemy. Instead of attacking, try to understand or ask others what is being said.

      • Realistic Optimist

        Marty17, I am not a doctor, but I would strongly suggest that you take two aspirins, go to bed and rest, have plenty of fresh air, drink lots of water and take some deep breaths. If necessary, breath into a paper bag.

        Now, read what you have been printing and read what I have been suggesting and than tell me who is doing all the ranting.
        All I am doing is making some constructive suggestions for improvement which in my opinion, would give us a better chance of being accepted the next time there is a P5 opening in a P5 conference. All that I can see that you are doing is screaming and criticizing all that you do not understand.

      • Malty17

        Nobody called you the enemy (or treated you as one). But, you did go off on a rant that made so little sense that several people responded. If your opinion is worth writing, then so is everyone else’s.

    • Todd

      Because it’s the off season honestly

  • Dennis H. Clark

    HC (the 900 lb. pink Bronco in the room that the BYU admin. doesn’t want to touch)
    no longer matches the schedule.