Lots of big news this morning. Thanks for joining us.
First, rapidly escalating coaching salaries have been a cause for some concern among commentators, especially as the connection between salary and wins is a little dubious at best. It's pretty hard to find a coach that will actually insinuate, in public, that maybe things are getting a teensy bit out of hand. Bronco Mendenhall is that coach.
"Coaches aren't anything other than teachers, and we're really visible, but I think we've lost of that in the world of college sports." he philosophically explained.
"As for the monetary value, I'm not sure that many teachers, if you were to put a monetary value on it, are worth $7 million dollars. I've had great elementary school teachers, junior high teachers, junior college, and they never thought that they might make that over a lifetime, but the thought that they had any less influence over me than someone who might be making $7 million, that's hard for me to grasp."
Now, putting aside the discussion of societal valuation of elementary school teachers for a second, this full quote is a pretty stark example of how Bronco views his job, and how BYU views their coaching job, in comparison to other major (or not so major) football programs. I submit that the incentive structure that creates the demand for say, a 7 million dollar coach, doesn't really exist at BYU (perhaps to the chagrin of some fans). Interesting commentary to say the least.
SPEAKING OF INTERESTING COMMENTARY, Bronco was unusually candid about a lot of topics yesterday. Let's check the BYU Sports Nation Radio program for more.
Hey Coach Mendenhall, what will it take for BYU to make the playoffs?
Bronco on what BYU has to do to get into the Football Playoffs; "We’ll have to be undefeated. Just to be brutal and honest about it."— BYU Sports Nation (@BYUSportsNation) December 17, 2013
And what are your long term goals for this program?
"I’m ultimately after, on the football stage…, is a national championship." Bronco (1/2): — BYU Sports Nation (@BYUSportsNation) December 17, 2013
And you’re not in the consideration or conversation for that unless you are in the top 25 as a minimum on a consistent basis." (2/2) Bronco— BYU Sports Nation (@BYUSportsNation) December 17, 2013
And finally, Bronco, we couldn't help but notice that there aren't a lot of major programs, outside of the Pac-12, scheduling trips to Provo. Do you have any thoughts about that?
"I would love it if they would actually acknowledge us and come here on occasion. And eventually through independence that will happen." 1/2— BYU Sports Nation (@BYUSportsNation) December 17, 2013
"But until then biggest stages, on the road, best teams, shooting for 10 or more wins and to move the program to the elite level."2/2 Bronco— BYU Sports Nation (@BYUSportsNation) December 17, 2013
So all of this could probably be an entire article all by itself. I'd agree with Bronco's assessment, that as things are currently constructed, even going 11-1 would make getting a bid in a 4 team playoff awfully difficult without some help.
As for attracting more elite, non PAC-12 competition to Provo, I'm a little skeptical of how likely that is in the near future, but I've been wrong before, and Bronco is right. The only thing that will change that is winning (a lot) on a regular basis.
In non-Bronco related news, Sports Illustrated released their All-American list, as did the AP. BYU players were shut out of the AP list entirely, but two Cougars made the SI AA Honorable Mention team, Unai' Unga and Kyle Van Noy. Cody Hoffman had been mentioned as a possible AA candidate before the season, but missed time and inefficiency in the passing game stopped that campaign before it could really start.
For what it's worth, LB might have been the single most "stacked" position in the country, and a lot of very very good college players, including Kyle, were not recognized, despite having outstanding seasons.
Finally, on the basketball front, Future BYU Cougar (and onetime Ohio State recruit....sigh...) Payton Dastrup is featured in SLAM Magazine for his unconventional game.