Today, I looked at athlonsports.com's game by game predictions for the 2014 BYU Football Season. I couldn't believe my eyes! How is it possible that NOBODY predicted BYU to start 1-2?!
Since Bronco became head coach in 2005, 5 of the 9 BYU campaigns began 1-2. But that doesn't tell the whole story. You see, if you exclude victories over FCS (Division II) teams, and only looked at the first 3 games against FBS (Division I) teams, 7 of Bronco's 9 seasons at the helm began with a 1-2 record. The odds are ever in the favor of a 1-2 start as the 2014 campaign starts with 3 FBS teams. 2009 was the last time BYU won at least 2 of their 1st 3 games against FBS opponents. Bronco's teams start slow and finish strong. They get better as the season progresses. Why should it be any different this season?
Why has everyone chalked up a road victory @UCONN?
Why doesn't anybody realize that BYU has been a bad road team? They only looked good in 1 road game last year (@Utah State). 2 road games in 2012 (@NMSU and @Georgia Tech). They are 9-14 away from LaVell Edwards Stadium since 2009. Beyond that, under Bronco, BYU is 3-6 in their 1st true road game. 2 of those 3 wins came by 1 point miracles over terrible teams (14-13 @Ole Miss (2-10) [thank you 4th quarter KVN strip fumble TD] and 28-27 @Washington (0-12) [thank you Jake Locker celebration]). They've blown their first road games to average to bad teams frequently. Cougars have fallen victim to 2005 SDSU (5-7), 2006 Arizona (6-6), 2007 UCLA (6-7), 2010 Air Force (9-4), 2012 Utah (5-7), 2013 Virginia (2-10). I don't care what the quality of the UCONN football team is, I can't trust BYU going all the way across the country and performing up to their potential.
Should BYU beat UCONN? Yes. Will they? History indicates that it is a dicey proposition.
Everybody selected Texas to defeat BYU.
I understand why, but I don't necessarily see this game as a fait accompli. BYU was awfully close to getting a road win in 2011. The Cougars seem to play well against Texas for whatever reason. BYU is 3-1 all time against the Longhorns. The average score of a BYU-Texas matchup is 31.3 to 15.3. Did you know the most Texas has ever scored against a BYU team in a game was the 21 points they managed in last year's 40-21 beat down? Still, its Texas. Respect must be displayed. This one could go either way. Perhaps BYU fans need to pray for another crazy weather delay before kickoff in Austin.
Why does everyone have BYU beating the Houston Cougars?
I know BYU beat them last year, but it was by 1 point, in dramatic fashion in the 4th quarter. Houston is unlikely to get another pick 6 and kickoff return for a TD. It probably won't be another 6 turnover fest. Then again, both teams want to go hard and go fast. John O'Korn and that Houston team looked quite dangerous. Neither defense had a solution to the other. To think that it couldn't turn into another wild shootout with Houston getting revenge is foolish. It's a genuine possibility.
Fortunately, BYU performs well in home openers going 6-3 under Bronco.
Why am I the only fan I know that thinks BYU will start 1-2?
History of slow starts, long road trip to UCONN, bad road team with 1st 2 games on the road, tough Texas team, potential for another shootout against Houston, I have to believe that form will hold and BYU will start the season 1-2. I don't know which two they will drop, but unfortunately that's how I feel.
I can already feel it coming. The eye-rolling. The Debby-downer comments. The history doesn't dictate what happens next arguments. The accusations of not being a "real fan." I've been here before.
Understand that I've been in your optimistic shoes. Deep inside, I'm still wearing them. It happens before every season and Cougar Nation has it bad as I've ever seen this year. The pre-season suspension of disbelief syndrome.
"Suspension of disbelief" is a notion that Samuel Taylor Coleridge first described in 1817. He suggested that if it is possible to infuse "human interest with a semblance of truth" people will suspend judgment concerning the implausibility of the narrative. To properly enjoy a work of fiction, one must have a suspension of disbelief. Rambo isn't the same if you are busy wondering how he hasn't run out of bullets.
But that's just it, before it is time for teams to step onto the playing field all prognostication is a work of fiction and most every BYU fan seems quite capable of crafting a fantastic tale. I'm tired of doing that. Rather than view the upcoming season as an implausible 2-1 start of a summer blockbuster, I'm looking at it as the more likely 1-2 documentary.
One thing we can all agree on, a summer blockbuster is far more entertaining and exciting than a documentary.
When it's come to BYU Football meeting fan expectations, well, you know what they say, "It only happens in the movies."