BYU Spring Football: Everything is Awesome

Everything is awesome

everything is awesomeThe spring football report at BYU always seems like we’re living in the Lego Movie: everything is always awesome.

Don’t get sucked into the talk.  I have, and won’t again.  Just like with recruiting, spring football and scrimmages are used to telling people what they want to hear.

Jake Heaps ruined spring ball for me, showing me that things aren’t all sunshine and rainbows like they would have you believe.  To stay sane , it’s important that we focus on things we should actually be excited for. Heaps was supposed to be Jim McMahon and Steve Young with a dash of Ty Detmer according to the PR machine.  The spring before his demise, every report was about how the BYU offense was an unstoppable juggernaut and Heaps was going to break every record in BYUs record book, even the impossible ones.  We all know how that turned out. Jake Heaps broke my heart, mainly because of unhealthy expectations.

Thanks to the Heaps PR machine, I now take spring football reports with a grain of salt.

These days, I don’t get overly excited because usually l expect the opposite of what is being reported. Last year, for example, the report out of spring was how BYU was going to have the best defensive backs ever.  What we saw felt like the worst secondary in BYU history. (Not really but not the best by any stretch.)  We also heard that there were fights in practice…and how great that was.  They decided to show us what they practiced in the Miami Beach Brawl.

With all these spring reports, how do we filter out the fluff?  What can we believe?  There really is no way to tell.

I’ve been focusing on how Jamaal Williams and Taysom Hill are doing and whether BYU is having a better relationship with alumni, and I have heard reports on both lately.

Taysom Hill’s progress sounds great.  The more I hear Taysom talk about his process the more I like him.  I believe that he is almost 100% like he claims.  And I believe him when he says that if there were a game tomorrow, he would be good to go.  This is, of course, great news for Cougar fans.  I thought he’d miss a couple of games or just barely be ready to go before the season starts, but it sounds like he will be ready for Nebraska. Ironically, it’s believable because the BYU PR folks don’t say he’s ready to take hits.  They talk about the process and most of the “I’m ready” talk comes from Taysom himself.

Jamaal Williams still says he’s rehabbing, which tells me that they aren’t puffing out fluff on the injury front.  Hopefully we get to see the “swag daddy” out there running all over the field in 2015.

I hope the two senior leaders lead the Cougars to a great season.  They are both coming off of injuries but they are still leaders in spring football.  I like how they have Taysom and Jamaal out there with the team taking part in as much practice as they can.

I recently heard the great Hans Olsen, on the radio, talking about how BYU is reaching out to former players.  They want a better relationship with the alumni that came through the program.  This is good news because the first step to solving a problem is acknowledging that you have one.  I now have hope that we will hear less of the “I’m not welcomed” from former players.  I don’t like hearing about the children of former players going elsewhere.  Hopefully this will bring back some former Cougar pride.

Now we will wait to see what the truth out of spring football was.  It’s difficult for the media to see the whole story because they don’t see everything that happens and the coaches and players aren’t going to be negative and come out and say “our DBs are slow” or “we have no leadership at middle linebacker.” They show a fraction of the practices and even the spring game is friendly because nobody wants to get hurt.

Just don’t get lured into “everything is awesome” reports.  Just realize that everything can’t be awesome.  There are always problems that are hidden until game time when they are exposed by real competition.

It’s a good time to be a BYU fan.  Be excited about Taysom Hill and Jamaal Williams’ senior seasons and Go Cougars!

Jamaal Williams has chance to be special
Jamaal Williams

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

    Todd,, I like and I appreciate your objective report with straight talk. I like being able to identify some of the problems without white washing over them. I am cautiously optimistic over the 2015 season. I do not expect a 12=0 season nor do I expect a 11-1 or a 10-2 or even a 9-1 season with the schedule that we do have.

    What I do expect, is that for 12 full regular season games plus the post season game, that we prepare for each of those game like we prepare for the Nebraska game and that we do not take time off as a team for rest and healing. Instead, those individual player’s that need time off for rest and healing should have, on an individual basis that needed time off and the team should continue to train with the back ups giving them the needed training.

    Coaches need to take their family outings before the season begins and after the season is over, but not during the season.

    • Realistic Optimist

      Not a reply, but a continuation:

      Win or lose in regulation time or in over time, I expect our Cougars to look like a P5 Independent team with P5 Independent coaching, that indeed deserves to be called an P5 team and indeed is a treat to any P5 team that we play.

      Win or lose, we need to be accepted as a P5 team that belongs in the category of a P5 team.

      Win or lose, I expect our fan base as well as others to be proud of the execution
      of our team after each and every game if indeed, we look like a very well coached team with the needed discipline that goes along with a well coached team.

      Business as usual no longer cuts it, now that we are P5. Gone are the days when we can coach like we are coaching a mid major team. Coaches must grow, like the team must grow.

      Playing the new schedules, that we are now playing, which is on the correct path for being more like a P5 team than the typical path of a mid major team, we, as fans, must get over the idea that we must win ever game. It isn’t going to happen over night or even in the next few years. We are growing and that is better than winning almost every game in an unreal, make believe world which includes FCS teams and easy Mid Major Teams.

      Even if we lose in a very close game, that scares the heck out of our opponents, that congratulates us for a very hard and well fought game, we should be proud and grateful to our team and to our coaches for the preparation of these games.

      Games vs Nebraska, UCLA, Michigan, and Missouri are among those teams that win or lose we can be proud if it is obvious that we have been a well coached team.

      Shame on us if we lose any of the others if we really believe that we deserve to be called an Independent P5 team.

      Shame on us, if for any reason, we have not learned how to “Just Say No” to scheduling any more games with Idaho, Idaho State, Savanna State, Wagner, or any other FCS team.

      Any fan that tries to tell me that other P5 teams, now, schedule FCS teams, just does not know what they are talking about, post 2014 season. Ask Baylor, TCU,
      Ohio State. They will tell you just how important SOS really is and why no P5 team, can ever again schedule a FCS team or even a weak mid major team.

      • Dereck Smith

        “Shame on us, if for any reason, we have not learned how to “Just Say No” to scheduling any more games with Idaho, Idaho State, Savanna State, Wagner, or any other FCS team.”
        I couldn’t disagree more. FCS teams are a scheduling necessity for BYU. Wagner was scheduled as part of the rearrangement that allowed BYU to get a home and home with the 2 time defending SEC East champions, the Missouri Tigers. Would you toss aside that series just because you don’t want to play an FCS team?
        BYU plays both Michigan and Nebraska on the road this year. These games are both pay for play games. Neither team will be coming to Provo. That means that BYU needs to find 2 teams that will come to Provo for a pay for play to ensure BYU gets 6 home games.
        BYU has neutral site games in NFL stadiums against Arizona (2016), West Virgina (2016), and LSU (2017). That means that BYU will need 3 more teams willing to play in Provo without BYU returning the favor.
        What teams would accept a pay for play agreement with a mid major? I’ll give you a 3 letter hint. FCS.
        No one likes playing FCS schools, but lets be honest. Which would you rather see on BYU’s schedule, Michigan and Wagner, or New Mexico St and Idaho (which is an FBS team by the way)?

      • Realistic Optimist

        Dereck Smith (Guest):

        RU:  “Shame on us, if for any reason, we have not learned how to
        “Just Say No”  to scheduling any more games with Idaho, Idaho State, Savanna State, Wagner, or any other FCS team.”

        DS:     I couldn’t disagree more.

        RU:   That is one of the great things about this site.  We do not have to agree with each other as long as we disagree respectfully.  It, in my opinion, to is good to have a varied opinions. In that way we all learn from each other.  If we all agreed, then being on this site would be a waste of time.
        DS:   FCS teams are a scheduling necessity for BYU.
        Wagner was scheduled as part of the rearrangement that allowed BYU to get a home and home with the 2 time defending SEC East champions, the Missouri Tigers. Would you toss aside that series just because you don’t want to play an FCS team?

        RU:  I am assuming that this is not a rhetorical question.  I am assuming that you really want me to answer this “again”.
        I know all the reasons, (excuses), for scheduling Idaho, Idaho State, Savanna State, and now Wagner.  It is always an excellent reason and it is always someone’s else’s fault. I get it, but we still need to learn how to “Just say No”.
        Of course, I advocate playing as many P5 Teams as possible each season.  Of course, I want as many home and home games as possible with those P5 teams.  If not Missouri tigers, another P5 team will do.
        If we want the respect of the P5 teams from P5 conferences, we must schedule and we must act more like a P5 Independent team than a mid major team.

        Our strength of schedule must be of a P5 team comparison, and not that of a mid major team comparison.
        Post 2014 season, there will be no more FCS teams allowed on a P5 team if they have any hopes at all of making the play offs.  Ask TCU,  Baylor, Ohio State.

        When we bargain to get a P5 team on our schedule, know that it is a trap to keep us where we belong without the possibility of a P5 play off invitation as a team at large if that bargain includes playing a FCS team.
        You can totally disagree all you want.  This is how the play off system is set up.  I will not argue if it is fair or not, or if we like it or not, or if we want to go along with it or not, but I will tell you that this is the way the P5 play off system is set up.  We can’t have it both ways scheduling like a mid major and wanting to be treated like an Independent P5 team.

        DS:  BYU plays both Michigan and Nebraska on the road this year. These games are both pay for play games. Neither team will be coming to Provo. That means that BYU needs to find 2 teams that will come to Provo for a pay for play to ensure BYU gets 6 home games.
        BYU has neutral s ite games in NFL stadiums against Arizona (2016), West Virgina (2016), and LSU (2017). That means that BYU will need 3 more teams willing to play in Provo without BYU returning the favor.

        RU:  Yes, I have all the schedules through 2027, which most years are still incomplete with room to add P5 teams to the schedule.

        DS:  What teams would accept a pay for play agreement with a mid major? I’ll give you a 3 letter hint. FCS.

        RU:  Scheduling a FCS team for any reason is counterproductive.  Just say no.
        DS:  No one likes playing FCS schools,

        RU:  There is a reason why no division 1 team wants to play a FC team.  It destroys your SOS and you lose respect for playing them is you are serious about wanting to be more ‘ than a mid major team.

        DS:  but lets be honest.

        RU:  That goes both ways.

        DS:   Which would you rather see on BYU’s schedule, Michigan and Wagner, or New Mexico St and Idaho (which is an FBS team by the way)?

        RU:  Neither are acceptable as both of your choices include a FCS team. Just say no to any and to all FCS teams.