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Bronco on last year's Utah-BYU football game

Published July 13, 2011 10:31 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Of all the things that BYU football coach Bronco Mendenhall said at media day, perhaps the one that caused the biggest stir was that he believes his team was better than Utah's team last year. Seconds after he said it, I tweeted it out on my @drewjay Twitter feed, and inquiries started pouring in. A lot of people wanted to know the context of Mendenhall's statement, which is sure to raise the ire of Utah fans. Here it is: Tribune columnist Kurt Kragthorpe got in the first question when Mendenhall sat down with print reporters immediately after the opening session in Studio C at the BYU broadcast building. Kragthorpe wanted to know how Mendenhall will judge whether a season is successful or not, now that BYU is independent. His reply: "A lot of the same way I have been judging our seasons before. I think as a coach, you have an idea of what your team is capable of. And you know when they play if they are getting close to that or not, whether you win or not. "Our game against Utah, for example, a year ago, I thought we played a good football game. I wasn't convinced the better team won. But I thought we played a good game. So that's just a small example. "And now going independent, and some of the coaching changes that have happened, have not been in relation to wins. It could be argued that it has been one of the [best] winning stretches in BYU's history. But when I think about our program, and unreached potential, that's really what I measure us against. Are we as a staff and players performing at a level that truly reaches what we are capable of? And I think that's the best gauge. Easy as a coach, and easy in the setting we are in now to only be tied to wins and losses. But it is a reality. I will only keep my job if that happens. But I have actually felt better after a few losses, with how we played, than after a few wins. "And so I am going to try to maintain that perspective as much as possible." So there you have it.