The BYU Cougars football team is for real. The Cougars of the past were not. They were a ghost, a shell of this new team that all of a sudden is racking up points like no other.
If you didn't believe in BYU all you needed to do was watch about five seconds of the Cougars' convincing win over a good Boise State team.
Then listen to Ty Detmer say that Taysom Hill might be the best Cougar quarterback ever. That's right; ever. And that's coming from BYU's only Heisman Trophy winner.
And watch Boise State head coach Chris Petersen tell reporters that BYU "made the plays, and we didn't," referring to his mighty Broncos -- who came into Provo and lost, 37-20. (See the video)
Counting this past weekend's loss, and since the mid-2000's, the Broncos have lost a total of 11 games and never lost to BYU -- until now.
The Trojans are not the Cardinal -- but the Utes made USC look like a national championship caliber team when what the Trojans really have is a terrible offense and a great defense.
USC barely got into the end zone once on Saturday -- and then settled for four field goals. Meanwhile the Trojans defense put the Utah offense to shame, giving the Utes a short field -- and even less time to do anything with the football.
As for Utah State, the Aggies were on a bye week but prepare for Hawaii, the worst team in the Mountain West Conference. If USU wins Saturday, the Aggies will be one win away from qualifying for a bowl game.
If the Aggies lose, however, then Utah State will have to win two of its last three games to qualify for the postseason -- and you can forget about seeing them win the conference title.
And the Utah Jazz wrapped up a horrendous preseason by winning just one game. One.
How anyone can put a pretty bow on the Jazz preseason is beyond me -- but the "Non-Believer," who thinks he's all that and a bag of chips for correctly predicting five college football games in a row, will certainly try.
As for the "Believer" he'll just spit straight facts about BYU, Utah, Utah State and the Jazz -- and let the words do the talking.
One thing is clear: you will probably be entertained and possibly even enlightened -- if not mortified -- by their hideous Halloween masks and ridiculous costumes.
Here's how the "Believer" and "Non-Believer" handicapped last week...
BYU stuns Boise State
Breaking news: BYU must have disposed of the last team to take the field against Utah -- and replaced them with a group of zombies because this Cougar team can't be stopped. Against Boise there were no six yard tosses, no suspended star receivers and no stupid turnovers.
The turnovers part is most important -- though I'm sure the Non-Believer will say it's the amazing offense. The defense is not playing as well as in weeks past so it's a concern going into the big game Nov. 9 at Wisconsin. That said, big win for the Cougar football program. What a shame they're going to the Whatever It's Called Food Products Bowl in San Francisco with six wins or 10 wins.
Non Believer says:
If you haven't noticed. BYU is really good. They can beat you with 6 offensive weapons anywhere on the field. So to say this game was by any means a shocking result is lazy. All you would have had to do is read what I have been writing. BYU's offense is fast and exciting. The defense is fast and exciting.
BYU has a shot to beat two ranked teams in the next three weeks and get back where they belong: A Top 20 program playing in a crappy bowl before Christmas that nobody cares about.
Utah loses at USC
Utah's defense is playing amazing football. Trevor Reilly is a flat-out stud who deserves to win the Butkus Award as the best linebacker in college football. The Utes held USC's potent rushing attack to next to nothing in terms of yardage -- and limited the Trojans' passing game also. The only problem? Utah had no offense. None. Zip, zilch, zero. And the defense couldn't score for the offense, sadly.
Travis Wilson again threw for under 100 yards, marking the second straight game he's achieved that not-so-noble feat. The Utes also can't run the football if their lives depended on it -- and since Wilson can't throw the ball that leaves the "throw game" on Adam Schulz' cannon arm that is altogether erratic. Dres Anderson couldn't catch a Schulz pass if he wanted to -- because the ball Schulz is throwing is screaming 100 miles an hour as it's going towards Drizzy's helmet.
Non Believer says:
Utah loses yet another game in the Pac-12, making their win against Stanford a fluke -- as predicted by me. Irrelevant. They are lucky enough to catch a bye so they can get blasted next week against Arizona State. Utah never had a chance in this game which like last week was... Boring.
Travis Wilson had no business playing in that game. They should be healing him up for the Washington State game. Cause they are gonna need that one if they have any shot at a bowl. They lose the next two games big anyway. Rest Wilson for a game you can actually win.
Who wins between Utah State-Hawaii
Utah State has a big game this weekend against Hawaii. Coming off of a bye week the Aggies are running out of opportunities to win the Mountain Division of their conference. The Warriors are the worst team in the league -- but the Aggies haven't exactly played the best football since Chuckie Keeton got hurt. (New Mexico doesn't count except for being in the win column.)
That said, this is Hawaii, and Norm Chow shouldn't even be coaching college football. He was coaching at Utah -- but we all know how that turned out. Oh wait...the Utes went to their only bowl game as a member of the Pac-12. Well, never mind then. Still not convinced the Aggies are that good. Guess we'll find out this weekend. Hawaii is better than their 1-7 record indicates, by the way.
Non Believer says:
Utah State should really take Utah and BYU to dinner. They showed the blue print on what to do in the Mountain West Conference. Every single year there is only one good team, two dangerous teams and... New Mexico, Hawaii, UNLV, Wyoming, blah blah blah. Utah State will win this game because Hawaii isn't any good.
Sure, they have Norm Chow. Best retirement home I could think of. Way better then the creepy place down the street with old people just wandering the parking lot. Hawaii can't stop anyone. Utah State will have no problems scoring. The Hawaii offense is so so. Utah State is too good on defense to let this be a shoot out.
Jazz preseason recap
This is the ONLY team in the state of which I am not a believer. The Jazz are about to stink up the NBA like no other Utah team since being back in the old Salt Palace. Getting one win in the preseason was about right, frankly. What the Jazz are really playing for is draft position.
Primarily, the chance to be the worst team in the league. But, Ty Corbin won't let that happen so that they can nab Andrew Wiggins. So Jazz fans need to dream on, because getting Wiggins isn't in the cards -- unless Utah can trade up. Instead, the Jazz will be like the Spurs and let some kid simmer in a Euro-league for a few years -- then watch as he leads the team to a title -- in the year 2019.
Non Believer says:
This is the year we see who is a real Jazz fan. This team will win maybe 26 games. Maybe. This team will get blown out of games every time you think they are due for a big win. They will get better. They will be an exciting team to watch. With Jamaal Tinsley coming back to run things till Trey Burke is feeling better, they will still lose.
But the true fan will watch all these growing games. Will cheer till the end when they are down 20 with four minutes to go. If this team can learn to play with one another they have the opportunity to become very good. Add a lottery pick to this young core and the Jazz could start turning heads by next year. This Jazz fan is excited.
The Non-Believer Speaks
I have to hand it to you, Non-Believer. You certainly have had a run of luck like nobody since Jimmy The Greek. Of course, we all know what happened to The Greek. He got big-headed on "The NFL Today," made some disparaging comments about a certain race's ability to jump higher -- and watched his star fizzle as it meandered into the smoke-filled gambling halls from whence he came.
A wise man once said, "Wise men don't need advice. Fools won't take it." That person was Ben Franklin. I will wait to see how the rest of the season plays out before making any determination on the merits of your braggadocio. But hey, five games in a row that were called correctly (sans Utah-Stanford) aint bad.
Non Believer says:
Yet another perfect week for the Non Believer. If we go all the way back to the beginning the only games I missed were the Utah-BYU game and the Utah Stanford game. Both of these games were flukes and should have went the other way. So in a way I am pretty much undefeated this season.
I also called Taysom Hill having multiple 300-yard games and a 400-yard game. Called soccer a non-sport. Also called the Utah kicker Andy Phillips a cheater. He then went on to have his worst game of the season. Coincidence? So really I am the voice of this column. The Non Believer is taking the Believer to school.
Our guest columnist "Non-Believer" is actor/comedian Jim Stevens. You've seen him on Arctic Circle TV commercials playing the "dorky astronaut", and as one of the infamous "Stevens Brothers" in Adam Sandler's feature film "Punch-Drunk Love."
Jim also teaches acting, and more information is available at: http://thesugarspace.com/classes/actors-anonymous-with-jim-stevens/