Heading into the 2018-19 season, many head coaches of college football teams were on the proverbial hot seat.
For some, the seat ultimately proved too hot, leading to their dismissal. Such was the case for Louisville's Bobby Petrino and North Carolina’s Larry Fedora.
In other instances, bounce-back seasons saved coaches' jobs and saw them removed from the hot seat entirely.
According to Bleacher Report’s David Kenyon, BYU head coach Kalani Sitake was one of those coaches.
“Kalani Sitake's place on hot-seat lists was mostly semantics,” Kenyon wrote. “You don't overhaul the coaching staff if there's minimal concern. Last season, the Cougars ranked 106th nationally in yards per snap and 124th in scoring. This year, they're 100th and 95th, respectively. Meanwhile, the defense jumped from 46th to 21st in yards allowed per snap and 46th to 28th in scoring. BYU's offense must improve for Sitake to bolster his security, but attaining bowl eligibility was a sign of progress in 2018.”
Sitake wasn’t the only coach from the Beehive State to save his job. Utah State’s former head coach Matt Wells also staved off the ax, in spectacular fashion.
“... Not only did Wells sprint away from the hot seat in 2018, the 10-win season at Utah State resulted in him landing a bigger job.”
Bowl game rankings, previews and more
’Tis the season for bowl rankings, previews and guides, and multiple news outlets did just that over the weekend.
ESPN, The New York Times and The Washington Post all got in on the action, previewing each of the 39 bowls that will be played this holiday season.
Of the Potato Bowl, set for Dec. 21 at 2 p.m. MDT, ESPN staffers noted “BYU rebounded from a 4-9 disaster in 2017, but had an uneven regular season and blew a 20-point lead to rival Utah to lose 35-27. Can the Cougars rebound from that disappointment?”
The Washington Post ranked the bowls, and the Cougars’ bout with Western Michigan came up as the second to least watchable. Nevertheless, the publication focused heavily on BYU in its preview.
“Things didn't turn out how BYU (6-6) would have thought when it opened the year at 3-1 with victories over Arizona and Wisconsin. Nonetheless, the Cougars still have a top-20 defense and will try to contain Broncos tailback LeVante Bellamy (1,172 yards, five 100-yard rushing days),” Patrick Stevens wrote.
The Times, meanwhile, was brief in its bowl description.
“BYU was just 6-6, but its independent schedule (Washington, California, Utah, Utah State) was tougher than the MAC slate played by 7-5 Western Michigan.”
Cougars fall out of ‘Other Top 25’
Throughout the college basketball season, every week in fact, SB Nation's Mid Major Madness ranks the top 25 teams from outside the Power 5 conferences (ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, SEC and Pac-12).
Called "The Other Top 25," the poll credits those teams that often find themselves outside the national spotlight.
At the top of the poll every week so far this season have been the Gonzaga Bulldogs, who are 8-0 and ranked No. 1 nationally in both the AP Top 25 and Coaches polls.
Unfortunately for BYU, the men’s basketball team is nowhere to be found in this week’s rankings, despite the fact the Cougars headed into last week ranked No. 6 in the mid major poll.
“BYU started the season ranked so high because of the makeup of its roster. The Cougars were supposed to be the second-best team in the West Coast Conference behind Yoeli Childs and TJ Haws. That benefit of the doubt kept them in the top 10 after an understandable loss to Nevada and a string of ho-hum wins,” SN Nation’s Russell Steinberg wrote. “Then BYU lost three in a row, including a 10-point defeat at Weber State this week. If the Cougars want to re-enter the rankings, they need to string some Ws together against teams better than, say, Oral Roberts.”
The Athletes Journal: Taylah Beckman (BYU Athletics)
Early look at BYU’s 2019 football schedule (247Sports)
Florida Gators volleyball to take on BYU in Sweet 16 match (Gator Country)64 comments on this story
And finally …
Recruiting is in full swing for BYU football, and the Cougars’ coaching staff has made more than a few home visits to in-state recruits over the last two weeks.
Those included visits to Corner Canyon’s Caden Johnson, Bingham’s Braedon Wissler and Skyridge’s Logan Sagapolu, to name a few.
And finally … part two
Former BYU quarterback and New Orleans Saints do everything-player extraordinaire Taysom Hill made two brief, albeit memorable appearances on Bleacher Report's Gridiron Heights.