The Brigham Young University (BYU) men’s football team, more commonly known as the Cougars, is a winning program. This squad, under long-time Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall, now in his eleventh year, seems to end every season with a winning record.
Interestingly, the Cougars are truly independent. What that means is this squad is not affiliated with, or part of, any of the country’s top college football conferences. Brigham Young has been independent for three years and its “go-it-alone” approach seems to be working.
The Broncos get to play games against tough conference teams and often do well in those gridiron contests. That may explain why this squad from Utah completed the 2014 Season with a Won-Loss record of 8-5. The eight victories were enough for them to get an invitation to the inaugural Miami Beach Bowl. The Cougars played Memphis University in that game and lost.
As might be expected, the 2015 Season got off to a rousing start when the Cougars traveled to Nebraska where they upset the big, bad Cornhuskers. This resilient squad has four more road games this year, including stopovers at Michigan on September 26th for a game against the Spartans and northern California where they’ll compete against San Jose State University on November 6th.
The team also has a trip planned to another part of Utah where it will play Utah State University on November 28th. However, its toughest road game will pit it against the Bruins of UCLA on September 19th. The squad from southern California is currently ranked thirteenth.
Brigham Young University will play seven games at home this year. Its opponents include 20th ranked Boise State University in a game scheduled for this Saturday, September 12th, the University of Connecticut on October 2nd, East Carolina University (ECU) on October 10th, the University of Cincinnati on October 16th and 21st ranked Missouri on November 14th.
Clearly, this year’s schedule features some difficult opponents. The Cougars will have to “bring their A game” to topple the squad from UCLA and Missouri, too. Importantly, this squad has risen to the occasion and succeeded more often than not while Coach Mendenhall has been in charge.
There are what appear to be several “soft touches” or “easy games” for the rugged Cougars. On paper, Brigham Young University looks to be far superior to a number of its opponents. But games are not played on paper. They take place on the gridiron.
Every college varsity athlete, regardless of team, is likely to be talented and football-savvy. If the Cougars treat some teams as “soft touches,” there is every reason to believe that they will lose one or more games they thought they would win.
Coach Mendenhall will have to keep his team motivated and hungry. It is something he has been able to do in the past.
Courtesy of Brigham Young University