Saturday’s game was a relief in more ways than one. The win was great but there something even more important accomplished last Saturday. If you loved Bronco and BYU you should have been in full meltdown mode coming into the SDSU game. If Bronco was actually "coaching" a team with no heart, no enthusiasm, no defense and no clue, then it was indeed time to hit the panic button.
That’s what had cougar nation so worried…how could the Bronco we know and love be doing such a terrible job? Had he lost his own fire? Was his heart on life support? Why was the defense, which is Bronco’s coaching specialty, almost literally the worst defense in the country?
Before the SDSU game Bronco’s two most important traits; his passion and his defensive coaching skills, were not being reflected in the team’s effort, execution or demeanor. How could anyone see that team and not think that the head coach had lost his grip. It turned out that was exactly what had happened, but luckily not in the way we assumed.
So first the bad news - Bronco had indeed lost touch with the team. He had moved more into an administrative role and away from the teacher and motivator that led to his past success. Too much trust and responsibility had been delegated out and the worst part is it had been delegated to those who didn’t share his vision and passion. Delegation can be effective but you first have to have the right people in place and obviously this was not the case.
It was during the Utah State game when we all became aware that this team had become possessed. The spirit (or lack thereof) of J-Hill had infiltrated the defense and was quickly spreading to other parts of the team. An exorcism was necessary. I’m sure it was painful for all involved and let’s not forget that this was the first person Bronco had fired in his young coaching career… a task that’s taxing on any individual.
Now the good news. Bronco admitted his mistake and repaired the tether to this team that he had allowed to wither and rot….and most importatnly, Bronco still has the magic touch. You could see his fingerprints all over this team on Saturday. Inspired, sound football. So I think Cougar Nation can be upset that Bronco erred in drifting so far from this team and can mourn the toll that mistake has taken on the first half of the season, but there is a reason to rejoice knowing that it wasn’t Bronco’s coaching ability that hurt BYU but his lack of coaching.
Bronco’s figured it out and hopefully he’ll never lose control of his program like that again. The future is still a bit bumpy with a certain loss looming this week against TCU but I can live with a loss to a better team if we come out and play with the same determination and enthusiasm displayed last week.
Welcome back Bronco. The exorcism is complete.