When it comes to preseason college football previews, there are two big names to watch. One is Bill Connelly, right here at SB Nation, and the other is Paul Myerberg, with his exhaustive countdown series for USA TODAY. Myerberg starts at the worst team in the country and counts his way up, and today, published his BYU preview. His has the Cougars as the #34th best team in the country, similar to where the Cougars sit via the preseason Coaches Poll.
Nothing that Myerberg writes should come as too much of a shock. He praises Taysom Hill, while also mentioning that he needs to improve efficiency, accuracy,and performances against elite teams. He singled out the WR position group as one to especially watch, and said "not to be surprised if Blackmon and Kurtz become BYU's best pass game options" later in the year.
As for a final prognosis, Myerberg has BYU as a team that should contend for nine wins or more, and could eventually work their way into the national rankings, thanks in part to a relaxed schedule, a stout defense, and projected improvements on offense. BYU's ability to do so depends on whether Hill can mature and progress as a passer, and whether the front seven on defense can fill some very large shoes from last season. BYU hasn't been a real national player in the post independence era, but perhaps that can change, especially if the Cougars can beat Texas again.
The "absolute baseline" for wins this year for BYU? Myerberg says eight...but a nine win year with losses to Texas, Boise State and UCF, probably won't move the national needle much.
The entire article is exhaustive and well worth the read though.
What do you think? Is this a fair assessment of BYU? What would you disagree with?