Let me get this straight: BYU is playing today's game with hopes of earning an invitation to the Humanitarian Bowl, right?
Pardon me while I catch my breath. It seems only yesterday people were talking about the Cougars dumping USU from the schedule; now they're hoping to play them for the second time this year. In Boise. In December. Bet all those BYU Hawaiian guys won't want to miss that.So it has come down to the Utah-BYU game today and, as you might have surmised, I'm picking the Utes in this year's Obscurity Bowl.
I'm picking them because they're faster. I'm picking them because they have Big Mo on their side. I'm picking them because they're homeless, and as the state's flagship institution they're planning to take Cougar Stadium by right of eminent domain.
Beating BYU shouldn't be a big deal for the Utes. If there's been a sorrier BYU team in the last 20 years, I'd like to have seen it. The very year after they made such a ruckus about going to an Alliance bowl game, what happened? They fell on their faces, that's what. Alliance, schmiance.
So who was the Murderer's Row largely responsible for derailing the Cougars this year? The Three Amigos of the Southwest: Rice, UTEP and New Mexico - three teams Utah beat.
BYU's quarterback situation has been a loose cannon all season. Shoemaker-Feterik-Miller-Feterik-Shoemaker-Miller. What in the name of Steve Clements is going on? I can imagine how the staff meetings went this year:
LaVell: "Whattya think Norm?
Shoemaker? Miller? Feterik?"
Norm: "I'm thinking of a number between one and 10."
Robbie: "Heads it's Feterik, tails Shoemaker - and if it doesn't come down we take Miller."
Feterik is the clear winner as the No. 1 quarterback, but what can you say about a guy who says he has dreams of someone breaking through the line and sacking him? Jim McMahon dreamed about touchdowns.
Statistically, this isn't a BYU team any opponent needs to worry about. The Cougars are 15th out of 16 teams in the league in rushing. (Thanks, Ronney.) They are second in the WAC in passing, but it's the kind of yardage Ty Detmer could have managed left-handed. (Hey, maybe that's Feterik's problem.) Last time the Cougars were eighth in total offense, LaVell was thinking of becoming a high school guidance counselor.
On defense is where things really gets ugly. BYU is 11th against the rush, 11th against the pass and ninth in team defense. This year's edition of the Cougars couldn't stop a Primary Parade from going up the middle, much less Utah's Chris Fuamatu-Ma'afala or Juan Johnson.
Still, in an attempt to close the ranks, the Cougars Club is bringing in former quarterbacks Gifford Nielsen, Marc Wilson and McMahon to speak prior to the game. Too bad. They won't like what's happened since they left. And they won't like what happens today. As Ricky Ricardo used to say, "Somebody has some 'splainin' to do around here."