Saturday, October 18, 2008

Accurately Predicted, Sadly

This falls under "I hate it when I'm right". I wrote in January about the difficulty I foresaw in running the conference table a third consecutive season. I asserted that BYU would win its non-league games this year, but that the task would be even harder to go undefeated in the Mountain West again.

I think Bronco Mendenhall is an amazing coach, but I hope the 32-7 loss to TCU, and Horned Frogs coach Gary Patterson's admission that his staff had been preparing for BYU since January--along with the TCU tackle dummy wearing a BYU helmet--illustrates what I wrote about teams targeting the Cougars. Mendenhall is great, but not perfect. I hope he will see the value in deflecting attention to other conference teams where he can, talking about how good they are, etc. and not coming up with slogans like "Quest For Perfection" that make other teams so overjoyed when they finally beat BYU. Or was I the only one who noticed TCU's defender in rapture after sacking Max Hall and recovering a fumble late in the game when the outcome was hardly in doubt?

I suppose if Mendenhall could always get his team to walk the walk to match the talk, he could disregard how the opposition feels about things. So far, however, I haven't seen a coach anywhere who can do that all the time. I continue to believe he improves his team's potential for success by publicly showing humility, even as he builds up his troops behind closed doors.

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