Thursday, September 24, 2009


As much as I love BYU and as much as I like to present the up side of issues for BYU, I am seriously concerned that BYU will never go undefeated again. It is not a talent thing; it’s not a schedule thing. It’s a BYU thing. Florida State, yes THE Florida State, came to town last week, and the BYU defense was no where to be found. Maybe I am crazy, but I don’t understand how you don’t come ready to play. Consider the following:

  • If you beat Florida State you have beaten one of the upper echelon programs in all of college football.
  • Florida State is coached by the legendary Bobby Bowden. How impressed will your children and grandchildren be to know that you beat a Bobby Bowden coached team?
  • This is the first home game of the season when you can reward your fan base who has been supporting you by showing up at the airport in the middle of the night when you come home from your road trips.
  • If you win much of the college football world is willing to consider you as a legitimate national championship contender.
  • If you don’t win, the BCS is a very long shot.

Many people want to blame the loss on BYU being slower than Florida State. That is not true. Yes, Florida State has more speed than BYU, on both sides of the ball. If speed was the issue, why could the offense move the ball at will on the Florida State defense? If speed was the issue, why could the BYU defense stop the Oklahoma running backs from getting to the corner and limit Oklahoma to 265 total yards? Florida State’s speed isn’t that much faster than Oklahoma’s speed is it? It’s not a speed thing; it’s a BYU thing.

Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall further convinced me that it is a BYU thing when he explained BYU’s lost due to “27 simple assignment errors.” Let me say it again this way: How do you have “27 simple assignment errors” in a game that had so much on the line? It’s a BYU thing. As a life long BYU fan, and a BYU graduate, I cannot deny that BYU is a special institution with a divine purpose and mission. I even believe that this special and divine aspect reaches into all university endeavors—including football. The BYU football team feels the same way. All this is fine and dandy. There are certain things about you that you cannot change, so there is no sense in ignoring your identity. The problem for BYU comes when the players start to have an attitude of entitlement.

I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up (Doctrine and Covenants 84:88).

Players with an attitude of entitlement read the above citation and they start to think they don’t need to work as hard, they start to think all they have to do is show up and success will fall into their laps, they start to become mediocre. This is the BYU thing. We stop after we hear about our greatness and the promises for being chosen for a special purpose, and we neglect to fulfill our duty.

For of him unto whom much is given much is required; ... I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise (D&C 82:3, 10).

Therefore, after a season opening upset against Oklahoma and a way to easy blowout of Tulane, the entitlement attitude set in, the players took a mediocre approach to preparing for the next game, and the undefeated season that could have been was lost because the players “do not what I say.” Go back to 2008. By the time BYU completed its non-conference schedule unbeaten, the entitlement attitude proved costly as TCU showed BYU was not entitled to a third consecutive undefeated conference record. Go back to 1996. BYU was 2-0 and flying up the rankings. They took their show on the road to Washington and thought they should worry more about the socks they would wear than the actual game. Sixty minutes later perfection was out of the question as Washington won 29-17. That was the team's only loss that year. Unless BYU can change the prevailing attitude I am fear that I will never see BYU go a whole year without losing a game.


  1. As an avid BYU fan, I'm not too concerned BYU's "quest for perfection." I think that BYU can definitely go undefeated in any one season, and even go onto win a BCS or a championship bowl. However, I always think it will be a long shot, regardless. I think BYU will always be the underdog in the situation and never consistently be a top 10 team year after year. (Just look at Utah. They've been there and done that twice in the last decade. But they are still not consistently a top ten team.) But I'm fine with that, I don't expect BYU to be the best team in the nation. I am very content with the program as it currently is and I think they are doing a great job. I'm addicted to BYU football and I love to watch the team play every week, regardless of win or loss.

    Couple of thoughts:
    1) Going into this season, I didn't know what to expect of BYU team. Because of the great win against Oklahoma (which you have to agree most BYU fans were surprised with including myself), we all had much greater expectations going into the Florida State game. Had BYU been blown out by Oklahoma, the Florida St. game wouldn't have been so devestating. Yes, seems like they blew a chance to go BCS bowling this year, but I still think it was a long shot to go undefeated this year. But BYU has some fantastic players and coaches and they will always contend to be MWC champions.

    2) I have to disagree with the perspective that "It's a BYU thing." I just think it is a "Competitive Sport thing." While I agree that BYU in nature is a special school, BYU football is just like any other football team. Due to the success of the first 2 games this season and the high national rankings, I'm sure they were feeling confident going into the Florida State game, just like any other football would be. I don't think that their over-confidence can be attibuted to the team believing that they have any type of higher calling. Nor do I feel the individual players feel this way. And I think God could care less whether BYU wins or loses a football game. What God does care about is how member's of his church on whatever football team they are on respects his priesthood and acts on and off the field as he should with respect, good behavior, and humility. Any arrogance that BYU players comes from their success, but not from their foreordination to be on the BYU football team. Because of their early season success, the players were just as surprised as the fans were at the big blow-out. Sad to hear that there were several fans boo-ing a the last game.

  2. Scott,

    This was an extremely disappointing post. Since you have actually played organized football in high school, you can probably see things in a football game that those of us who haven't played organized football -- like me -- cannot see. You have a better understanding of defensive and offensive strategies, positions, play calling, etc. So I was expecting some sort of insightful analysis of the X's and O's of the FSU BYU game: "FSU kept running _such_and_such_ a play and BYU's defense was in _such_and_such_ coverage and therefore..."

    But what did you give us?

    Quasi-religious psycho babble.

    I still look at the Florida State game, scratch my head, and wonder what went wrong. But just because I can't come up with an explanation doesn't mean I need to concoct some bizarre religious explanation for the outcome of the game.