BYU Cougars Have a Chance to Right the Ship

Brett RichinsSenior Analyst IOctober 18, 2010

FORT WORTH, TX - OCTOBER 16:  Head coach Bronco Mendenhall of the BYU Cougars heads his team against the TCU Horned Frogs at Amon G. Carter Stadium on October 16, 2010 in Fort Worth, Texas.  TCU beat BYU 31-3.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The BYU Cougars play three of their next four games at home—if ever there was a schedule for a struggling team to right the ship, the Cougars have it.

Over the next five weeks the Cougars will face the usual bottom-dwellers in the Mountain West Conference. Statistically, they truly are some of the worst teams in the country.

There is no reason for BYU not to win each of its next four games.

The Cougars do battle with a 2-5 Wyoming squad in Provo this Saturday, a team they have scored 103 unanswered points on, dating back to a 2007 matchup in Laramie. Over the past four seasons, BYU has outscored the Cowboys 186-17, including 52-0 in 2009 and 44-0 in 2008.

After a bye week, the Cougars will then host a hapless 1-6 UNLV team, whose only victory thus far has come against the New Mexico Lobos, arguably the worst team in the FBS this season.

BYU will then go on the road to Colorado State (2-5) before returning home to take on the winless Lobos.

It’s the perfect schedule to get back on the winning track, develop some confidence and become bowl-eligible. By taking care of business from here on out the Cougars should be 6-5 heading into the game at Utah.

The defenses of the next four opponents are just what the doctor ordered for freshman quarterback Jake Heaps and the toothless Cougar offense.

Wyoming is 93rd in the nation in points allowed, UNLV is 108th, Colorado State checks in at 101st and New Mexico is dead last in the country at 120th, giving up 46.5 points per game.

Conversely, these next four offenses that Bronco Mendenhall’s defense will face have been just as anemic as that of BYU.

Wyoming is 119th in scoring offense, four spots below the Cougars. UNLV is 105th in scoring, while CSU is 109th and New Mexico is 117th.

The other good news for the Cougars is that they are hoping to get back the services of linebacker Jameson Frazier this week, while Mendenhall indicated in his weekly press conference on Monday that he is looking at the CSU game as a possible return date for the injured Jordan Pendleton.

The importance of these next four games can not be overstated for this program.

By winning six games and making it to a bowl this season, the Cougars will have the opportunity for three to four extra weeks of practice. That’s almost the equivalent of the amount of work a team gets during spring practice.

Such extra work would be a godsend for this struggling program. It would be a boon for the 2011 season and BYU’s first foray into football independence.

By righting the ship and making it to a bowl, the inexperienced players on this team also have a chance to get a taste of some level of success following a catastrophic beginning to the 2010 season.