Time for the League Lid-Lifter...

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Enough's been written and said about BYU's missed golden opportunity last Saturday night--for whatever reason (or combination of reasons) the Cougars weren't ready for what hit them, and they got smacked in the mouth for four quarters.

Indeed, it's rare that BYU get run over like that from start to finish: the last time the Cougars were outscored in all four quarters of a game (as they were against FSU) was in 2003, when Colorado State won 58-13 in Provo.


Speaking of CSU, that 2003 win was the Rams' last victory against BYU. The Cougars have rattled off five straight wins against the Rams, with all of the wins by double-digit margins.


In Bronco Mendenhall's first season, his team went 5-3 in MWC play, with losses to TCU, SDSU, and Utah.

Since that rookie season, only the Horned Frogs and Utes have beaten BYU in conference play. Bronco's in-league record against:

AFA: 4-0

Colorado State: 4-0

New Mexico: 4-0

SDSU: 3-1

TCU: 2-2

UNLV: 4-0

Utah: 2-2

Wyoming: 4-0


I wrote previously about BYU's troubles getting out of the blocks on offense. In eight first-quarter possessions (a low number to start with), the Cougars have only three points.

Among MWC teams, only BYU and New Mexico have failed to score at least one first-quarter touchdown, and you do not want to be sharing offensive stats with the Lobos. Additionally, among conference teams, only BYU and New Mexico have failed to score a touchdown on at least one opening drive (BYU has a missed field goal, a made field goal and a fumble on its three opening drives).


Colorado State, on the other hand, has thus far excelled in setting the tone early. The Rams have outscored their opposition 38-0 in the first quarter, with touchdowns on two of three opening drives.


Based on recent history, the loser of Saturday's game is out of the running for the conference championship. And while that may sound tongue-in-cheek, since TCU joined the league in 2005, the MWC champion has been undefeated in league play. TCU (2005), BYU (2006 and 2007) and Utah (2008) all went 8-0 in conference play in winning the nine-team MWC crown. In fact, in 2004, when the MWC had only eight teams, Utah won the league at 7-0.


Did you know?...

BYU has been in the Top 25 for a league-leading 24 consecutive weeks. TCU has been ranked for 14 straight weeks.

CSU has lost seven consecutive games to ranked teams, and is 1-9 in its last ten games against Top 25 teams.

Colorado State has the nation's seventh-longest win streak at six games.


It's always a good day when the Mountain West Conference Men's Basketball Preseason Media Ballot shows up in my e-mail inbox.

Question: will BYU be a unanimous choice to win the league? I think it would be hard to argue in favor of anyone else, considering BYU returns the league's only three postseason honorees from last season, and the fact they have won three consecutive championships.

Jimmer Fredette and Jonathan Tavernari would appear to be shoo-in Preseason All-Conference selections, with the rest of the team kind of a toss-up.

The preseason media selections will be released on Tuesday, October 6th.


Reading overseas accounts, it appears the German team that signed Lee Cummard is attempting to terminate his contract. From what I can gather by the roughly-translated accounts, the coach of Alba Berlin wanted a more physical presence than he felt Cummard presented.


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