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Don't forget that today at noon on KSL Newsradio and ksl.com, Marc Lyons joins me live at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington for our hour-long "Cougar-Sooner Showdown Special." BYU AD Tom Holmoe and reps from the Dallas Cowboys and Cowboys Stadium will be our guests as we set the stage for Saturday's pigskin spectacle.
Quick thoughts on last night's three marquee games from college football's opening night:
National TV games--
South Carolina 7, NC State 3: I'm fairly certain Steve Spurrier used to know how to coach offensive football. I also thought this was a regular-season game and not an intra-squad scrimmage. Wrong on both counts.
#14 Boise State 19, #16 Oregon 8: Perhaps Oregon should worry less about which uniform/helmet combo they are going to wear, and more about, say, getting at least one first down in each half. Also, head coach Chip Kelly might want to stay away from "The Jungle" on gameday; so much for karma. As for "The Punch," both guys kind of had it coming--LeGarrette Blount for opening his mouth before the game, and Byron Hout for opening it afterward. Not that I condone Blount striking Hout by any means--Blount should have faced the music and kept walking.
#18 Utah 35, Utah State 17: 12 years, 12 wins, by an average of 24 points a game. Same story, different characters.
What would you think about a 91% win percentage? Pretty good, right? Well, that's BYU's win rate under Bronco Mendenhall when the Cougars are "positive" in the turnover margin (20-2). In fact, BYU is 28-4 (88%) in the Mendenhall era when not losing the turnover battle ("even" or "plus" on turnovers). Meantime, Oklahoma was the nation's number one team in turnover margin in 2008. I sense a storyline...
I will be a guest on ESPN 2's "First Take" at 9:00am Mountain time today...
So, we've known for some time that Arizona State dropping BYU from its schedule made room for the Cougars to play Saturday's game with Oklahoma. As far as we knew, it was just Arizona State getting out of the contract in order to ease its schedule. Now, we discover that ASU might have been subject to a little friendly persuasion, by way of Bristol, CT.
In USA Today, we read the following, about how ESPN arranges certain non-conference matchups:
"ESPN programmer Dave Brown says he gets a feel for who's willing to add a tough early-season opponent. "The biggest thing is to see who has an opening. We call them up and the process starts from there. And I've almost never heard somebody say they don't want to start with somebody tough."...
Sometimes, things just work out...getting No. 24 BYU vs. No. 3 Oklahoma (ESPN, 7 p.m. ET Saturday) was relatively simple after Brown says he asked Arizona State in October if it wanted to "lighten up its non-conference load" and drop BYU — which made BYU available for the Sooners."