College football has been surrounded by controversy in recent years, mainly because of the Bowl Championship Series.
Many have complained saying that it is unfair and that it gives the so-called “mid-majors” no shot at claiming a national championship regardless of whether or not their team actually is the best in the country.
The one thing that I enjoy amid all this controversy is the drama that it creates. That and the fact that it separates the good from the great.
When a “mid-major” makes the BCS, along comes the task of proving whether or not they actually belonged there. Hawaii proved they didn’t, but Boise State and Utah clearly demonstrated that they were top teams in their respective years.
Which team is going to demonstrate this accomplishment this time around? The answer is of course: BYU?
This team is becoming more and more of a juggernaut every single year since Bronco Mendenhall stepped into the head coaching position. A team that under Coach Gary Crowton was under heavy scrutiny because of allegations of player rapes and mediocre at best on the field performance is now considered to be the top “mid-major” team in all the land.
Coach Mendenhall has led the team to back to back undefeated conference seasons, back to back 11-2 seasons, and back to back bowl wins. This year in all likely hood will be the year they bust through the walls the BCS has set in place.
Led by quarterback Max Hall and running back Harvey Unga, the Cougars return 10 of 11 starters on offense, with the lone graduating person being that of center Sete Aulai.
The defense is a bit more questionable with key role players such as Brian Kehl, Kelly Poppinga, and Ben Criddle all graduating. But with a strong recruiting class, and set of players that have been waiting in the wings for their chance, those spots should be filled with some good talent.
The Cougars start out with very manageable non-conference games at Washington and Utah State, then UCLA at home. They should use this to give them a boost heading into conference play, and continue the path towards landing themselves a BCS birth and maybe in a few years—a spot in the National championship game.
BYU has established themselves as one of the premier college football teams in the country and will continue to dominate the gridiron for years to come.