Thursday, October 18, 2012
What Makes BYU Dangerous
When looking at the schedule, Notre Dame fans look at BYU as another tough opponent but a winnable game. Looking at the Cougars season, they are 4-3 against a schedule that doesn't compare to Notre Dame's.
They opened with wins over Washington State and Weber State. Neither are worth sticking your chest out too far. Then they had heartbreaking losses to Utah and Boise State. Both of whom have had down years. The Utes are 2-4 and the Broncos are not as good as their 5-1 record.
BYU then did blow out Hawaii, but that is like an NFL team beating the Jets. It doesn't count. Then they edged out Utah State in a defensive struggle 6-3, before being blown out by Oregon State.
Not only have they struggled to a mediocre record against an inferior schedule, but both quarterbacks Riley Nelson and Taysom Hill have had injuries. Based on that, Notre Dame should beat BYU as long as they keep doing what they have been doing.
So why then would any Notre Dame fan even be worried about a team like this? I have two words, "Trap Game." After coming off an emotional and controversial win against Stanford in overtime, the Irish became 6-0. That is good enough for bowl eligibility and #5 in the first BCS poll.
On the same day, Oklahoma put up an impressive 63 points against arch-rival Texas. Ordinarily that would not be relevant to Notre Dame, but the Fighting Irish will travel to Norman next week for a game that is setting up to have major BCS and national title implications.
As much as we say one game at a time, it is humanly impossible not to at least take a glance if not look ahead entirely. To be honest, the same thing can happen to Oklahoma as they face a struggling Kansas team that features our old friends Dayne Crist, Charlie Weis, and Mike Ragone.
I have seen this happen way too many times when a team is sandwiched between two really big games and they pull off an upset. Brian Kelly has done a great job of keeping the team focused on the task at hand. This may be the week where that is needed more than ever.