The BYU conversation could get interesting

13 Comments

For the second week in a row BYU found its football program ranked in the AP Top 25 and the Cougars finally cracked the coaches poll this week. BYU has reached a quick 3-0 record with relative ease thanks to the play of quarterback ranked in the AP Top 25 and the Cougars finally cracked the coaches poll this week. BYU has reached a quick 3-0 record with relative ease thanks to the play of quarterback Taysom Hill and one of the hardest hitting defenses in the country. There is still plenty of football to be played, but BYU is starting to already show signs of a team capable of stringing together a 10 or 11-win season. But what would happen if the Cougars went 12-0?

BYU going undefeated is certainly a realistic possibility, but will not come easy. BYU will host a Virginia team that has already shut down UCLA’s and Louisville’s offenses this season, but the Cavaliers may come up short on offense on the road against the Cougars this weekend. After Virginia, Chuckie Keeton and Utah State visit Provo. Keeton may not be quite 100 percent but BYU holds the edge over he and the Aggies anyway the last few years.

BYU’s biggest road games the rest of the season will be played at UCF (Thursday, October 9) and at Boise State (Friday, October 24). The regular season concludes on the road at California. To most, the strength of schedule for BYU lacks much to stack up compared to teams from other conferences, so it may take some convincing even to get a 12-0 BYU team into the College Football Playoff. BYU’s case would be given some legs to stand on if an unblemished record included wins over a Mountain West Conference champion (Boise State, Utah State or Nevada) and an American Athletic Conference champion (UCF), but even that might not prove to be enough to make a push into the playoff. Not in the eyes of the selection committee, that is.

When BYU left the Mountain West Conference to pursue football independence, it did so knowing it faced a challenge to crack the grand stages of the postseason format in the BCS era. The formula has not changed under the new playoff era, but the Cougars have another obstacle to even get to one of the big revenue bowl games at the end of the season. Even without receiving a spot in a four-team playoff, BYU will have to wait until all power conference champions or alternates are slated in the playoff and big bowl line-up. Then BYU must wait for the highest ranked conference champion from a Group of Five conference to be given a bowl game. BYU then must hope the selection committee extends an invite to BYU over attractive and qualified options from the rest of the field, most likely coming from the power conferences. Then it all comes down to who has done the most and (likely) who will draw the most attractive match-up and crowd in the stands and on TV. If that becomes the case, then BYU’s best bet may be to rely on a spot in the Fiesta Bowl.

But hey, there is plenty of football to be played. If you are BYU, the only thing to do now is the same as what schools like Florida State, Alabama, Oregon and Oklahoma are doing and just win all the games you can. Nobody knows how the selection committee will handle the postseason, so the best thing BYU can do is simply make it impossible for the selection committee not to include them somewhere in the field.

Georgia state rep. proposes pay-for-play legislation with a twist that will make no one happy

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Ever since California’s SB 206 passed last September, more than a dozen states followed with their own versions of the Golden State’s Fair Pay to Play Act, to go along with a number of concurrent pushes in Washington. No matter your stance on the pay-for-play issue or what side of the political aisle you sit on, it seems we can all agree that politicians are not the people to solve this issue, and yet the NCAA kept dragging its feet, and dragging its feet, and draaaaggging its feeetttt and, well, here we are. And Sandra Scott‘s bill a large reason why.

Scott, a state representative in Georgia (D-Rex) has introduced HB 766, a type of compromise bill that will make no one happy.

The appeal, at least from the outside, of California’s SB 206, is that it would allow college athletes to capitalize on their popularity during the lifetime of that popularity while costing the school very little money, since the money would come from third-parties.

Scott’s bill does neither. In fact, it goes out of its way to do the opposite.

According to HB 766, Georgia would require its schools to set aside a third of all monies earned in postseason play into an escrow account, which would then be given to players upon graduation.

Read for yourself below.

To recap, Scott’s bill would cost the schools millions of dollars and also shut out a lot of the players who generate those millions. Why should, say, Jake Fromm be barred from having a hand in the money he produced for Georgia just because he went pro?

In short, Scott’s (well-meaning) bill would anger both schools and athletes while continuing the overly paternalistic attitudes adults have adopted toward college athletes that applies to no other demographic in college sports.

Trey Holtz set to join father Skip’s staff at Louisiana Tech

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Coaching is the family business for the Holtz family, and now two of them will work under the same roof.

As first reported by Bleed Tech Blue, Louis Leo Holtz, Jr., better known as Skip Holtz, has hired Louis Leo Holtz III, better known as Trey Holtz. The younger Holtz will serve as Louisiana Tech’s wide receivers coach.

Trey Holtz played his college ball at Texas under Mack Brown and Charlie Strong. A reserve quarterback, Holtz appeared in 23 games as a holder in 2015-16.

He then moved into the family business at Ohio State, where he worked as a graduate assistant for the past three years. Holtz worked with the Buckeyes’ running backs and tight ends, but will now coach receivers for his father’s staff. He replaces Todd Fitch, who left to become the offensive coordinator at Vanderbilt.

For the Holtz family, Skip hiring Trey is an act of history repeating itself. After serving as a GA at Florida State and Colorado State, Skip’s first full-time job came on his father Lou Holtz‘s staff as Notre Dame’s wide receivers coach in 1990. Skip was promoted to offensive coordinator in 1992 and became Connecticut’s head coach in 1994.

Two workers injured by falling beams at Bryant-Denny Stadium renovation

Getty Images
2 Comments

Two workers were injured Saturday by falling beams at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

The workers were laboring on a manlift when a pair of beams fell and struck the lift, trapping the workers, who were not named.

Firefighters responded around 5 p.m. Saturday to extract the workers, who were “seriously injured,” according to AL.com. After they were extracted, the workers were transported to DCH Regional Medical Center. Their condition was not known as of press time.

The workers were working on a $92.5 million phase of renovation to Bryant-Denny Stadium, announced in last fall. Crimson Tide AD Greg Byrne said in September that construction would be expedited to meet an aggressive schedule.

“We realized this is an aggressive construction schedule we are going to be talking about. However, our contractors are confident. They have expressed they will deliver this on time,” he said at the time.

Mizzou adds Va Tech’s second-leading receiver

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Missouri’s passing game received a boost this weekend in the form of a new receiver. Damon Hazelton, Jr., has joined the team as a graduate transfer.

Hazelton arrives via Virginia Tech, but announced over earlier this month he would leave Blacksburg. This is the second transfer of his career; the Towson, Md., native signed with Ball State out of high school.

Hazelton made the announcement Saturday through a social media post.

After sitting out 2017 as an undergraduate transfer, Hazelton led the 2018 Hokies with 51 grabs for 802 yards and eight touchdowns. His production dipped a bit in 2019, registering 31 catches for 527 yards but still collecting eight touchdowns.

He joins a Mizzou receiving corps where no player caught more than 31 passes in a Kelly Bryant-led offense. With Bryant out of eligibility and Eli Drinkwitz now running the show, expect Hazelton to be the focus of the Tigers’ re-tooled passing game.