BYU Football: The Offseason 'To Do' List for the Cougars
The dust is settling on the commotion of National Signing Day, and now BYU football fans are officially biding time until the start of the 2012 football season in 204 days.
Sure, there’s BYU men’s and women’s basketball to follow, but those toys aren’t nearly as shiny and fun to play with as BYU football.
Just because the Cougar football team isn’t taking the field each weekend doesn’t mean there’s nothing for head coach Bronco Mendenhall and athletic director Tom Holmoe to do before the start of the 2012 campaign.
In fact, there are several items that should be at the top of both men’s “to-do” lists that are better off handled sooner than later.
Pull up a chair, grab a cup of blue Kool-Aid and let’s take a look at what needs to be done before kickoff against Washington State on Sept. 1.
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With Jake Heaps out of the picture, Riley Nelson is the guy in 2012, but who will be his understudy and heir apparent for 2013 and beyond?
The answer to that question is one of the things Mendenhall and staff must tend to quickly.
On paper, senior James Lark figures to be Nelson’s backup for the 2012 season, but because both are seniors, you’ve got to wonder if Mendenhall will opt to give junior Jason Munns more reps in preparation for the 2013 season.
Three quarterbacks committed to BYU on National Signing Day, but only two will be on the 2012 roster as highly-touted Tanner Mangum will serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints before he enrolls at the church-owned school in time for the 2014 season.
Sophomore Ammon Olsen might sneak in there and become the No. 2 guy, but it’s difficult to say at this point.
Making these types of decisions is why Mendenhall gets paid the big bucks.
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The 2012 schedule is practically set, but that doesn’t mean a little more effort couldn’t be put in to secure some future dates with a powerhouse or two to spice up the Cougars’ dockets for 2013 and beyond.
It’s no secret Cougar fans were struggling to stay interested as the season rounded the midway point and headed into the home stretch. With no conference title to play for and the thrill of late-season games determining the Cougars’ postseason fate, the second half of the season was kinda anticlimactic.
So put an Oklahoma or an Alabama on the schedule for late in the season. If BYU can’t take a swim in the BCS pool, at least let it make some waves and spoil a BCS giant’s postseason plans.
Or, Mr. Holmoe, you could do something else to fix this situation.
Join a Conference Already!
It’s too late to jump into a conference for the 2012 season, but making a conference deal should be at the top of BYU’s “to-do” list anyway.
With Memphis following the path that was once thought to be BYU’s destiny with the Big East, the Cougars are going to have to find another party to join.
Conference realignment talk has been the rage the past couple of offseasons and even dominated a lot of media time during the 2011 season.
Where—or if—they’ll go is anybody’s guess, but there’s a strong feeling in Cougar Nation that the Big 12 is an eventuality.