BYU football consistently a Top 25 program? Not lately
BYU football coach Bronco Mendenhall tries to set the tone for the week when he meets with his team each Monday, and yesterday was no different after the weekend's crushing 20-13 loss to Utah. It was a devastating loss for BYU because it was the fourth straight to the Utes, but also because the two teams aren't scheduled to meet again until 2016. And the Cougars likely will never have more things working in their favor before a rivalry game. They were touchdown favorites, coming off a bye week, and playing on their home field.
"I had an extended team meeting to go over where I thought we were currently as a program," Mendenhall said, and later talked about a "dose of reality, of urgency, of getting the execution to match the opportunity."<
You might even say the coach was a bit delusional.
"I think we are one of the best in the country, at least if you consider top 25 consistently," he said. "I think we can all acknowledge that we have been here before, and I am not sending any flares off, nor hitting the panic button. We have been 1-4 before, and we have yet to be excluded from a bowl game. We always find a way to be resilient and win, because that's who our players are.
I think we are a consistent winner. I think we are a program and a head coach that is expanding their scheme and strategy with the hope of being better than we've been. And three weeks is probably [not long enough] to say how well it will work."
Wait. What? Top 25 consistently?
The Cougars haven't been in the AP Top 25 since they were there for one week (25th, before the Utah game) in 2012. Before that, they ended the 2011 season ranked in the coaches poll (after beating Tulsa in the Armed Forces Bowl), the only week they were ranked that entire year. They were never ranked in 2010.
Perhaps Bronco is stuck in the "glory years" of his tenure; The Cougars were ranked in the AP Top 25 six weeks in 2006, four weeks in 2007, 17 weeks in 2008 and 15 weeks in 2009.
A couple more excerpts from Bronco's media briefing that weren't included in this report in today's Tribune:
"After looking at the film, and a full day of practice today, our team was very disappointed after the loss and saddened by it. But also I think the best medicine now is to have a game that is one day earlier than what we normally play, and be forced to get right back to work.
I was impressed by the practice habits today, and the resiliency and am looking forward to getting back to work. So that's the temperament and mood that I saw today."